We know that it is a worrying time for families looking after someone with dementia during the coronavirus crisis and the weeks ahead are going to be challenging. But now it's more important than ever to maintain connections with the outside world, family and friends, and to look after yourself, and the person with dementia, during this difficult time.

Whilst day to day life may have changed, with lockdown restrictions in place and loved ones not able to visit, it’s important to have ways to maintain these connections. Here we will cover just some of the ways those living with dementia can maintain their wellbeing during this time.

Technology

Utilising technology has proved invaluable for maintaining verbal and visual connections during a time when you can’t visit people and is a fantastic aid for those living with dementia. Being able to utilise a video call or phone call to hear the voices and see faces of familiar people can help to boost mood and emotional wellbeing.

Technology can also be beneficial in other ways, from helping family members to get advice and information if they are caring for someone living with dementia and for speaking to health professionals.

Hobbies

Taking part in activities we enjoy doing is brilliant for boosting our overall wellbeing. Whether this is watching a favourite sport, listening to music, knitting or even doing a jigsaw. For someone living with dementia, hobbies can be a brilliant way to evoke memories and help maintain connections with normal ways of life during this time. Dementia activities take in to account the abilities of the user and can be wonderful for taking part in from the comfort of the home; this could be something such as picking up a paintbrush, completing a jigsaw puzzle or colouring in, it all depends on what brings the person joy.

It is also important to look at ways other hobbies such as visiting local favoured places or visiting loved ones can be replicated indoors. For example, using photographs of places or people to spark conversations and memories.

Sensory

Exploring the senses is brilliant for someone living with dementia, as sight, sound, smell and taste can all help to evoke memories. Whilst it may not be possible to visit the person right now, scents such as a familiar perfume along with photographs can be great for sparking conversations and memories.

Sensory engagement is also fantastic for boosting mood; cooking a familiar meal can engage all the senses from the touch of dough when kneading bread, to the sounds of sauces cooking away and the smell and taste of the finished food. The cooking process can often be as beneficial as the eating and is great for maintaining connections to the past, and places where the person may have enjoyed the meal previously.

There are a variety of ways to maintain connections, and for someone living with dementia experiencing social distancing from family or friends right now, it’s more important than ever.

To read more about our dementia services, click here. We also have two specialist dementia care homes: Haviland House and Linfield House.

You can also get in touch with our friendly Customer Service Team on 01903 327327 or [email protected].