With winter quickly approaching, it is recommended, and common, to start introducing more appropriate winter activities for the elderly. During the winter months there are many indoor activities and outdoor activities that older adults, including those living with Dementia, can enjoy; these types of great activities are beneficial for skill development, keep the mind active and encourages individuals to socialise with like-minded people.
Whether you’re looking for ideas for engaging activities to suggest to an elderly friend or relative, or are interested in activity suggestions to host at an Arts & Crafts session, we have complied some of the most popular activities that are ideal to carry out indoors, while keeping cosy and warm during the cold weather.
1. Arts & Crafts
Arts & Crafts, such as painting and and wreath making are great options for the elderley, especially those living with Dementia as it encourages creativity and self-expression without being physically demanding. As winter approaches, it’s the perfect time enjoy making Christmas themed decorations, art and even gifts for family and friends. Activities could include making paper chains, paper snowflakes, seasonal paintings, and much more. For those with good control over their fine motor skills, you could even consider crafts such as pottery which can be great fun for older individuals.
In addition to the enjoyment of creating something and feeling a sense of accomplishment, attending an Arts & Crafts sessions also brings wellbeing benefits due to the social interaction it naturally provides. Group activities encourages people to spend time with residents, staff, family members and the broader community which creates friendships and bonds. Arts & Crafts classes go beyond simply painting a picture, and it’s guaranteed everyone will have a great time when participating in Arts & Crafts.
To discover 82 DIY Christmas Crafts suitable for older individuals, visit countryliving.com.
2. Cooking & Baking
For those who enjoy cooking, recreating favourite meals is a great way to bring a healthy dose of nostalgia to anyone’s day, especially those living with Dementia. We recommend you choose a simple, easy-to-prepare recipe that is straight forward to prepare and make. During the wintertime, festive dishes, including those passed down through generations, can help rekindle those important memories while enjoying good food that’s been made with love.
No-bake cookies, decorating a cake and other activities can serve the same purpose while reducing health and safety risks. Your can discover the top no-bake dessert recipes recommended by the BBC.
3. Safe Winter Walks
Despite the colder temperature, it’s important to get fresh air and exercise throughout the winter months. Getting outdoors comes with a host of mental and phsyical benefits, and is something we recommend doing safely, and as regularly as possible. When possible, you could travel to a scenic nearby location for a leisurely walk, enjoy lovely views, take a flask and enjoy a picnic or even bird watch.
This activity can be enjoyed with a loved one as well as in a big group. It’s important everyone is wrapped up warm - especially those in wheelchairs as they will be less mobile and therefore feel the cold more.
4. Movie Marathons & Family Videos
A simple and effective activity to do during the winter period is to cosy up under a blanket with a hot drink and enjoy a movie. Film has the power to bring people together and allow them to share emotions and prompt discussions about the storyline.
Home videos are also something that can be enjoyed on the big screen. Home videos have the ability to spark memories and stimulate nostalgic moments. We recommend to not ask, “do you remember” too many times as that can become frustrating and overwhelming for those living with Dementia. Even if a loved one doesn’t remember, we find it’s still incredibly beneficial to share videos of people and events from their life.
Activities such as puzzles and board games are hugely beneficial for mental stimulation and development, which can help to slow down the progression of certain health conditions. By enjoying puzzles of all types and levels of difficulty, either in groups or alone, allows individuals to partake in a fun-filled activity that gets them fully engaged.
In any stage of Dementia or Alzheimer's, puzzles are said to have the ability ease some of the symptoms and provide stimulating comfort to inidividuals, as well as provide a sense of control. Puzzles, especially personalised photo puzzles, can reawaken memories in those living with Dementia, and can even improve probem-solving skills.
6. Music & Singing
According to SCIE, dancing improves mood and can strengthen the bond of trust between people. This type of occasion is ideal to carry out in the month of December and the lead up to Christmas as festive themed hymns and songs can be incorporated. Listening to, and singing songs that are widely known and recognised help us to reminiscence, which sparks wonderful memories and bring people together during one the most the special times of year.
As stated by NHS England, music can have many benefits in the setting of dementia. It can help reduce anxiety and depression, help maintain speech and language and enhances quality of life, so it’s important that memory care facilities incorporate music into their activities schedule.
Woodlands Care Home is a purpose-built care home in Aberdeen that supports those who require care from a team of professionals, whether that’s residential, nursing or dementia care, we are here to provide exceptional care. Our home has been built to provide an enriched quality of life where residents are able to live happily and healthily, free from the stresses of day-to-day life.
We offer a variety of all-inclusive facilities and services including fine dining, an activities programme, cinema room, library and landscaped garden for residents to enjoy on a regular basis. We are proud to provide a fulfilling lifestyle by combining person-centred care with a range of engaging activities for those of all abilities, designed to cater to the many interests of our residents. Our wonderful team is on hand to provide expert advice and we welcome you to get in touch to find out more about the care types and facilities on offer.