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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Activities in the community

Activities in the community
There can be many opportunities for activity and engagement in the local community for people with dementia, their families, friends and carers. These can include art galleries, places of worship, museums and pubs. If the person has links to a community group it can be helpful to maintain these, as it will increase social interaction and provide an opportunity for activity.

It may help to discuss the dementia diagnosis so that people in the community are aware of how they can offer support. However, this should only be done with the permission of the person with dementia and if it is what they want.

There are many pastimes that can be undertaken in groups which may help to prevent social isolation or loneliness. They can also create a sense of togetherness and belonging, for example singing or reminiscence groups.

Birthdays and seasonal events can be a good focus for activity and inclusion. They can help to bring people together and reduce social isolation, while helping to focus on the individual.

Involving others
Interactions with others, especially family members and friends who can offer emotional and practical support, are very important for people with dementia. It can be helpful for people other than the main carer to spend time with the person to do something they both enjoy. There are benefits to engaging other people, such as giving the main carer a break and allowing them to recharge their batteries. It gives the person with dementia more varied interaction and more social opportunities, which can lead to improved wellbeing.

Touchscreen technology (such as tablet computers) has real potential to enhance interactions with others. For example, a person with dementia and their carer could use YouTube to watch an old film or play music together. Applications for video calling (eg SKYPE) can help people stay in touch with family and friends who don't live nearby. The technology can also act as a link between younger and older generations.

Meetings with other people with dementia, and their families, can be rewarding for people with dementia and their carers. They give people the chance to share how they are feeling, offer support and a chance to meet with people in a similar situation.
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