Bright Shadow are big advocates of bringing people together to enjoy group activities. There is something about coming together with a group of people that is so valuable to our wellbeing.
However, spending time with someone one on one can lead to incredibly meaningful and precious times too. To celebrate the arrival of our Bright Boxes: One to One activity kits, here are our 5 top tips for enjoying time one to one with a person with dementia:
- Be yourself. Remember that you are both human beings, both have experiences, emotions, personalities, skills and stories to share. So often we can slip into a ‘carer’ and ‘cared for’ mentality which doesn’t bring much joy to anyone! But when we relate simply as two people making their way through the world, the dynamic changes.
- Be spontaneous. People with dementia are really good at living in the present moment-lets live there with them! Let’s try and not be bound by what we have planned to do, rigid routines or preconceptions about the person we are spending time with. If you are out and about and something catches your attention and interest, go with it! Make the most of each moment.
- Be daring. Try new things, take some risks and who knows what you might both discover about yourselves and each other. If it doesn’t work then you will know what not to do next time!
- Be invitational. Don’t force an activity on someone, additionally don’t expect someone to do something of their own accord. Just because you put a jigsaw in front of someone doesn’t mean they will do it (or even want to)! Instead, treat an activity as something you would like to do, that you want to invite them to join in with. Eg “I’m going to try and do this jigsaw, would you like to help me, or even just keep me company?” or “I could do with some exercise and fresh air later, shall we go on a walk?”
- Be expectant. It should go without saying that people with dementia have plenty to contribute to us and our communities. However sometimes it does need to be said! Expect to be encouraged, given wisdom, helped and inspired by the person you care for. Enable them to take the lead. Expect good things.
If you would like more ideas and resources to help you enjoy time with a person with dementia, why not check out our brand new Bright Box: One to One activity resource kits? Available for both family and professional carers.
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