People with dementia slowly lose cognition, and more than half of those who have it show both behavioural and psychological symptoms. They tend to withdraw from society, their family and their friends, which only makes the condition worse. This also leads to other side effects such as the onset of anxiety and depression. Which is why it is so important to find a combination of non-pharmacological interventions (like memory care activities), and pharmacotherapy to treat the person holistically. 

A recent study, called the Cochrane review, helped to prove that there are notable benefits for people with dementia when memory care activities are carried out regularly and with structure. These treatments are carried out in a social setting of a small group of normally four or five people with dementia, and only for about 45 minutes twice a week. 

These are activities such as: 

  • Baking or cooking 
  • Cleaning and simple home tasks
  • Arts and crafts
  • Organisational tasks like sorting and packing
  • Reading books and newspapers
  • Gardening
  • Outings
  • Music and movement sessions
  • Puzzles and board games
  • Group and animal therapy sessions 

How do memory care activities slow cognitive decline?

The activities are structured and tailored to the person’s unique interests as much as possible to maximise their involvement and emotional engagement, as well as stir past memories. The expresses the importance of creating meaningful activities that focus on their past interests, and which are modified to ensure their safety and appropriateness to their ability.

Communication difficulties and behavioural problems, depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation and a number of other problems that may be associated with dementia, can be reduced or minimised when the loved one is able to participate in enjoyable and creative activities on a regular basis, within a structured daily programme. The activities that are made available at Livewell are carefully planned and are designed to be therapeutic for residents.

Cognitive stimulation involves activities that stimulate general thinking, concentration, and memory. People with mild to moderate dementia are likely to benefit the most from this kind of treatment, especially when paired with the right medicine. The World Alzheimer Report (Alzheimer’s Disease International, 2011) suggests that Cognitive stimulation should be offered to people with early-stage dementia for the best impact. While family participation and training in memory care activities is encouraged, it is in the patient’s best interest that it be provided by a range of health and social care staff with specialised training and constant supervision. 

Memory care treatments at Livewell Estates

At Livewell we take a special interest in each resident’s history, including what they did for a living and how they enjoyed their down-time. Everyone has a personalised activities programme, prepared for by the Occupational Therapist and based on their interview when they first arrived. This programme assists with general dementia care therapy and supports the individual by aiming to reduce cognitive decline where possible, including frustration, agitation and more. 

If there is an activity that your loved one used to partake in but is not already on our list of activities, we take great care to potentially accommodate. Especially if it will be beneficial to your loved ones’ progress and quality of life. 

Our residents are in the care of highly trained staff that specialise in dementia and memory care, 24/7. Their quality of life, dignity, and well-being are our first priority. If you would like to find out more, please contact us. Your loved one can even join us for dementia day care, where they can participate in the many activities we offer.