Below are links to many of the activities that my mum and I enjoyed together.
Over the years that I cared for mum, I shared our creative activities on my facebook page and also on this blog-site. My hope was that others on a similar dementia-journey may find some inspiration.
Mum gained her angel wings on the 20th December 2021 so in this, my final post, I am giving links to all my previous blogs. Simply click on the title of the blogs below.
Making Paper Flowers - 11/06/2016
Making crepe paper flowers was one of my mum's favourite hobbies. Through the early and mid stages of her dementia she created hundreds of beautiful blooms. She enjoyed cutting out the brightly coloured petals & leaves and was very good at assembling them onto the stem. As her dementia progressed I simplified the activity by cutting out the petals and leaves for her and applying the glue ... by adapting the craft she was able to enjoy this hobby almost until the end of her life. My paper flower blog shows photos and gives instructions on how to make a simple flower. You can also see a video tutorial we made for 'Together in This' on how to make crepe-paper daffodils.
Crafty Containers - 26/06/2016
Another one of mum's favourite hobbies was covering boxes and containers … anything from margarine tubs to Pringles tubes, tea caddies & chocolate boxes!
She made some beautiful (and very useful) vases and pencil holders which I now have displayed in my craft room.
Creative Colouring - 10/07/2016
My mum was an amazing artist and had exhibited her work at exhibitions over the years. Sadly dementia caused her to lose confidence in her ability but she enjoyed colouring books for several years after her diagnosis. When her hands became too shaky for her to colour neatly, she stopped colouring. Fortunately I found "velvet pictures" which have raised velvet that kept her within the lines and immediately she began to enjoy this activity again. If you would like to know more about these pictures you can read about them and see photos here on this Face Book post on Creative Carer.
Stone and Shell Craft - 30/07/2016
My mum had always loved to collect shells from the seaside and pretty stones from rivers so this was a lovely way to use her collections and it became a very meaningful activity for her. She made some beautiful gifts which she was very proud of.
Jigsaw Puzzles - 07/08/2016
Jigsaw puzzles had been a hobby that my mum had always enjoyed. As her dementia progressed 1000 piece puzzles became impossible and quite quickly she was only able to manage 100 piece puzzles. Sadly even 100 pieces soon became too much of a challenge for her and we went on to 35 piece dementia jigsaws. When these puzzles became too frustrating for mum I created 2 new types of puzzles that you can read about in my Alternative Puzzles blog. The "alternative puzzles" gave mum this hobby back again and amazingly she was able to continue with 100 piece puzzles almost until the end of her life.
Handmade cards - 28/09/2016
My mum absolutely loved making cards and thoroughly enjoyed cutting out cat and dog shapes from patterned paper. I would give her a template to cut around and she cut out literally thousands of animal shapes over the years! She enjoyed decorating the cards with glitter or stick-on jewels.
Seasonal Crafts - 30/12/2016
I believe meaningful activities are very important for those living with dementia. As my mum was no longer aware of the time of year, I liked to introduce seasonal crafts to help her recognise the different seasons. We made paper daffodil flowers in the spring, pressed autumn leaves in the fall and made Christmas decorations and Christmas cards in the winter months.
Online Activities - 17/04/2017
I used technology to bring new challenges and variety to the creative and stimulating activities mum & I enjoyed. I found websites for jigsaw puzzles, colour-by-number, card games and much more! We also watched lots of YouTube videos on funny animals as well as music videos with the words on the screen.
Shell Craft - 04/09/17
My mum loved painting and decorating seashells. We coloured them with felt tip pens and glitter and made beautiful windchimes and decorative hangings. Over the years we sold many of her shell crafts in her Etsy shop.
Making Use of Old Christmas Cards - 23/10/17
My mum saved all the greeting cards she received and loved to cut out the pictures on them to create what she called "re-makes". She used pinking shears to cut around the pictures to make gift tags or glued the pictures on to blank cards to create new cards. She spent hours happily looking through her old cards and cutting out shapes for her "remakes".
Cutting Sticking & Gluing - 16/02/2018
One of my mum's favourite hobbies was cutting out cat and dog shapes. I would give her templates and sheets of pretty patterned paper. Between 2014 and 2021 she cut out literally thousands of animal shapes! She carefully drew on the animal faces and decorated their collars with stick on jewels. We used her animal designs in our card-making and in collages.
Alternative Puzzles - 14/11/2020
When mum's dementia reached the stage where she was no longer able to complete even 35 piece dementia puzzles, I devised two ways for her to continue enjoying this hobby. Numbering the puzzle pieces revolutionised our jigsaws! On days when even her 'numbered puzzles' were too challenging she could manage the velcro puzzles I made.
Beading & Lacing - 25/08/2021
Beading was a simple hobby that mum enjoyed almost until the end of her life. We used brightly coloured 'pony beads' (which have a large hole) to make beautiful hangings and suncatchers that we sold on Etsy.
Lacing uses a similar action to sewing and mum took to it straight away!
I hope you will find our ideas and activities helpful and that your journey
will be as full of love, laughter and creativity as ours was.
Please visit my website creative-carer.com and my facebook page for more ideas and photos of my beautiful mum.
My "In Memory of Mum" Etsy shop has forget-me-not suncatchers, Alzheimer's art & poems as well as other crafts. I continue to support the Alzheimer's Society and so far I have donated over £2,000
Heather this is an absolutely amazing resource. Thank you for sharing all your incredible ideas. Thank you for this post providing easy access to all your previous blog posts. You and your beautiful mum are such an inspiration. I have learned so much from you over these past years, and your mum's courage and sweet nature were a constant source of encouragement and food for the soul.ReplyDelete
Awww thank you so much for your very kind comment Lisa. I'm so happy you have been able to use some of our activities with your own mum xReplyDelete