I think it’s time I reviewed some products that I have found helpful so I thought I’d start a series of ‘Tried and tested products for Dementia’. Some will be things specifically designed for people with memory problems and others will be just lovely discoveries I’ve made. A real miscellany of things today.
We all know that music is amazing for the brain. It can soothe or stimulate, make you smile and make you cry. Songs from our youth are so imprinted on us that once we hear the music we can sing along to songs we may not have heard for years and years. There are amazing examples of initiatives that help people with dementia engage with music.
The Alzheimers Society run groups called Singing For the Brain https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/your-support-services/singing-for-the-brain and I know these groups have adapted and many have gone online through Zoom or YouTube.
The Dementia Choir has received national recognition and featured on a number of TV programmes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004pyb
However, just buying a CD can help!
Wartime Memories CD
I bought this CD online as a resource for a client who struggles to engage with TV or conversation. When I played it he soon started tapping his leg and even sang a couple of words to a familiar song. I had to take photographic evidence or his family wouldn’t have believed me!
This CD has also had a magical affect on his eating! We were getting to the stage of food becoming a chore rather than a pleasure and after a bout of ill health he really needed building up. Having been a captain of industry (with an OBE no less!) he had enjoyed fine dining over many years. One day I laid the table, put this music on and served his meal with a bit more ‘flair’ than usual! It took him back to the restaurants of his heyday with a piano playing in the foyer. Anyway, we sat and chatted….he instinctively fed himself and the meal was gone in no time. (As a bit of background I had been helping him eat from a spoon and had to encourage every mouthful.) We now make this our evening routine and it is a pleasure for both of us.
2. Comedy Shows
Music isn’t for everyone. I have a collection of DVDs and CDs from old comedy series. Joyce Grenfell was an absolute favourite of one of my clients.
“George……..don’t do that!”
was her favourite part and soon she knew the familiar CD so well she anticipated the phrase!
Who doesn’t laugh at Morecambe & Wise?? I have a DVD and CD of their best bits. If you want to see if your loved one/client is a fan you could play them some clips from YouTube.
3. Dementia Clock
One of the very best things to get for someone with any form of Dementia is a Dementia Clock. https://www.alzproducts.co.uk/alzheimers-dementia-clocks
A clock like this promotes independence in early and mid stage Dementia. There are a whole variety and some can be set as alarms for medication or appointments. Definitely a must-have.
4. My Grandma Has Dementia
This is a lovely, sweet book written by Alex Winstanley. It is written in verse and is based on his own Grandmother – there is even a photo of her in the back. This is perfect for explaining to the very young about Alzheimers/ Dementia.