Keeping active is hugely important for reducing the risk of dementia, managing the condition and improving quality of life.
More specifically it can encourage mobility, improve circulation and help prevent muscle wasting, promote a sense of calm and reduce anxiety, stress and depression.
Here is how you can get started.
Consider how the environment, healthy living programmes and activities can help people affected by dementia, and take action to remove any barriers that may be present
- It is important to keep in mind that a person’s health will depend a lot on them as an individual. Each person will have different interests, physical needs and abilities
- Gentle yoga can be a great form of exercise for people living with dementia because it incorporates spatial awareness, balance training, sensory activities and social interaction. The British Wheel of Yoga has developed a Gentle Years Yoga programme which covers the needs of older adults including those with dementia
- Dance can be really beneficial for people living with dementia, especially those who have been recently diagnosed. Dancing improves coordination and balance but also has the social aspect which makes it fun and interactive
- When thinking about physical activity for a person with dementia, think about the opportunities for both socialising and respite. Support people to go at their own pace and if you are able to, take part in the activities they enjoy
- Choose activities and games which provide stimulation to help the person with dementia to remain alert and motivated for as long as possible
- There are a lot of different types of exercises that can be adapted to individual preferences and abilities. For example, look for seated exercises for people who have difficulty walking. The British Gymnastics Foundation has developed a seated exercise programme called Love to Move, which is suitable for all age-ranges.
If you’re still not sure where to start, a physiotherapist can assess you and work with you to create a weekly activity plan
You can download this page for future reference.