A new booklet produced by the Health Innovation Network has collated some online resources that are offering interesting activities for older adults during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many are dementia friendly, and while the booklet is intended for use mainly by in-patients or those in care homes, there is much that can be accessed and enjoyed by those living at home.
Obviously, those with dementia who are having to self isolate during the pandemic are at risk of low mood, depression, loss of self esteem and a whole range of mental health challenges. The booklet has been produced at short notice in association with the NHS and various academic networks, using their expertise to bring together the best elder-friendly activities and entertainments available on the internet. The discoveries include music, TV, exercise classes, online jigsaws, colouring and even a virtual fish tank!
Activities are divided into those that can be accessed via tablet, phone or using a collective screen (such as in a care home). One of our favourites was the My House of Memories App, which allows users to explore objects from the past that may jog memories or trains of thought. These includes things such as Singer Sewing Machines or cinema tickets. You can save your favourite objects to a digital memory tree, digital memory box or timeline.Try out the app here.
We also enjoyed the Daily Sparkle, an online newspaper for older adults (you can also print off copies if that is more appropriate for your setting). They are currently offering an eight-week trial free of charge here.
If your loved one is keen on the arts, start them off with a tour of any one of the online galleries around the world with Google Arts and Culture. There you can visit the Rijksmuseum or the Museum of Modern Art in New York without moving from your armchair. Some offer downloads with activities such as colouring, spot the difference and dot to dot.
If exercise is more their thing, then head to Move it or Lose it, who have a facebook page with live workouts for older adults. Lots of friendly chat here too.
The new booklet is now available in our resources section here and is well worth a look.