Projects: Living Well

Tavistock Park                                                                                                    Image courtesy and copyright of Alan Howe, www.devonlandscapephotography.co.uk

It is important to encourage those with a dementia and their carers to continue to do those things they have always enjoyed for as long as they are able.  The issue most often highlighted by those with a dementia in Tavistock is that of social isolation and loneliness.  Many people are also happier if they can remain independent in their homes for as long as possible.

A number of our current projects, (July 2017), are aimed at providing social and physical activities.

Sensory Garden: An exciting and imaginative whole community project which is part of a major partnership initiative including Tavistock Town Council, the Lions, the Rotary Club, Roots to Transition and Tavistock Dementia Action Alliance.

It will be easily accessible and contain a concentration of different experiences.  There will be passive places designed to be calming but appealing to the senses;other areas which will stimulate activity and even those which can be used as part of therapeutic or educational programmes.

Dementia-friendly Swimming: To encourage those with a dementia and their carers to continue to be active and enjoy a social life.  Working closely with the Mount Kelly Swim Centre, we can provide opportunities for people to meet and swim where they can feel reassured that the staff and volunteers have an awareness and understanding of the difficulties they may face.

dementia friendly swimming

 

Dementia-friendly Walking on Dartmoor: Walking and exercise in general really helps improve circulation, promotes restful sleep and can enhace moods.  We also believe that spending time outdoors and connecting with nature can enhance feelings of well-being.  This will encourage those with a dementia and their carers to do what they have always enjoyed for as long as they are able.  Supported by the Forest Inn at Hexworthy who can provide refreshments and a place to rest.

Staying Healthy

Leading a healthy lifestyle can help to protect against cognitive decline. When someone has dementia, it’s important that they remain as fit and healthy as possible – both physically and mentally. The better a person feels, the better life will be for them and those around them.

  • Physical exercise is essential for maintaining good blood flow to the brain as well as to encourage new brain cells. It also can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes, and thereby protect against those risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
  • Social activity not only makes physical and mental activity more enjoyable, it can reduce stress levels, which helps maintain healthy connections among brain cells.
  • Mentally stimulating activities strengthen brain cells and the connections between them, and may even create new nerve cells.
  • In order to stay healthy it is important to:
    • eat balanced meals,
    • drink plenty of fluids, 
    • sleep well
    • take regular physical exercise.
    • visit primary care regularly, meaning that other health problems or those that could make dementia appear worse can be recognised and treated at an early stage so avoiding complications and risk of admission to hospital.
The Devon Dementia Roadmap website covers a variety of topics to help a person to maintain their independence.  Please click on the link.