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How to live well with dementia: Creating precious moments

At Sage House we are committed to helping people to live well with dementia, no matter what stage in the journey they are at. If you are looking to improve your life or that of a loved one who is living with dementia, there are several things which you can do to optimise levels of comfort, happiness and wellbeing. In addition to learning to live well with dementia, it’s also an opportunity to create precious moments and make memories to cherish for years to come.


Staying Active & Healthy With Dementia

 

Having an active lifestyle can benefit you in so many more ways than just offering the opportunity to improve your fitness. There are also plenty of different forms of physical activity, which are designed to benefit everyone, no matter what your level of fitness is. Try to find activities that are enjoyable, such as going on walks in the countryside, going swimming or to fitness or dance classes. Regular exercise is also thought to improve mental health, focus, and create an overall sense of wellbeing.


For those who aren’t able to be particularly active, there’s still the opportunity to enjoy what you like doing, but perhaps at a slower pace. If you liked aerobics, for example, there are plenty of seated exercise classes which you might enjoy. There are also practical solutions and adapted tools which can be explored to make staying fit and active easier.


Eating healthy regular meals and ensuring you stay hydrated is important for everyone. A balanced diet and plenty of water can certainly improve both energy and focus throughout the day. Making meals pleasurable is an important part of living well and enjoying precious moments. Try to make time to sit with loved ones for regular meals, make an effort to set the table nicely and enjoy tasting favourite foods together. Sleep should also be a priority focus for living well with dementia. It is important to regulate sleep patterns by sticking to a healthy sleep routine to ensure that the brain has sufficient and optimal rest to recharge each day.


Keeping Busy With Dementia

 

Keeping your mind occupied and engaged in physical and mental activities is a great way to live well with dementia. If you are living with dementia, try to keep your mind busy, perhaps by listening to music which evokes fond memories, or socialising with friends and family.   


Anything which stimulates the mind and inspires creativity is beneficial for a person living with dementia. Some people with more mathematical minds may enjoy solving puzzles, tackling sudoku, crosswords or word puzzles. As dementia progresses it is important to adapt the level accordingly, for example, there are many adult puzzle books with large print and simpler puzzles.


Equally, it may become a supported joint activity that couples or friends can complete together. If it becomes frustrating or anxiety-inducing it might be time to look for alternatives. Remember that it is the enjoyment from the activity that is important, not necessarily the outcome. Creative activities not only stimulate the person but can also have calming benefits as well, things to try include poetry, gardening, painting or other forms of creative art. If cooking is your thing, but some of the recipes are feeling more complicated as time moves on, why not consider trying to simplify them or for example buy a packet cake mix rather than struggle to weigh out ingredients.


Take time to relax and be kind to yourself

 

Engaging in social & community activities is important to avoid social isolation. However, taking time for some quiet downtime, mindfulness and relaxation is also vital for improving wellbeing, whether that’s through running a warm bath, practising breathwork or mindfulness or anything else which might help you to relax.  If you haven’t come across it before, then complementary therapy is a form of treatment which runs alongside traditional forms of medicine to promote optimum health and wellbeing. Complementary therapies might include having regular massages or aromatherapy sessions. Some complementary therapies are available here at Sage House, so just get in touch for more details.


Join Support Groups

 

When you or a loved one is living with dementia, finding local support groups which can provide help, camaraderie and support can feel like a godsend. At Sage House, for example, we offer a wide range of support groups, all of which are designed to help people to live well with dementia. These include the following:


  • Empowering People Pre-Diagnosis

  • Ex Services Support Group

  • Young Onset Support Group

  • Sage Minds Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)

  • Empowering Carers

  • Carers Support

  • Grief Café

  • Community Outreach Programmes


The key to living well with dementia is to try and stay positive and focus on the things which you can do and those which you enjoy. If you would like any help and advice on living well with dementia, or you would like to find ways to make a loved one living with dementia feel happier and more comfortable, then get in touch with our Wayfinding team today.

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