Monday, 17 April 2017

Online Activities - Art Therapy for those with Alzheimer's

I am using technology to bring new challenges and variety to the creative and stimulating activities I enjoy with my mum.
The internet is wonderful ... it can help us see, hear and communicate better and I'm pleased to say I have found some great new activities and ways to keep my mum happy and engaged. Along with all the traditional arts & crafts we enjoy, I have been using my touch screen laptop for some online fun ... we now enjoy internet puzzles, colouring and card games!

Jigsaw puzzles have been proved to stimulate memory and improve brain function in people with dementia.  My mum has always loved doing puzzles but as the disease has progressed I have had to find puzzles with large pieces for her and no more than 100 pieces. I have struggled to find a good selection of suitable puzzles as most jigsaws with this number of pieces are for children ... fortunately I discovered JIGIDI a wonderful site for online jigsaws ... thousands to choose from - all free and categories include nature, animals, buildings, machines and sizes from 12 pcs to 400+ pieces!!

Here is my mum enjoying JIGIDI ,using my touch screen laptop ...

One of the best things about JIGIDI is that you can quickly and easily upload your own photos ... so the puzzles can be personalised with family members to make the activity even more stimulating and an important memory aid.

With JIGIDI the puzzle pieces are all the right way up and jump in like magic when they are in the correct position. Mum is currently managing 24 pieces all on her own ... but its good to know that if needs be in the future, we can go down to 12 piece puzzles. You can also zoom in and out to make the activity easier. JIGIDI is wonderful for my mum ... something she is happy and able to do on her own while I am in the kitchen. I use this activity to keep her happy and occupied while I am making lunch ... she gives me a running commentary and is so, so pleased when that final piece of the puzzle is placed all by herself!!

Online colouring - this is another great activity that we enjoy!
The website we use is THE COLOUR . There's a wonderful choice of colourings ... from animals, flowers, vehicles, circus, trains ... the list is endless and once you have coloured the picture you can print it off or share it with friends and family as there is also an email option.

Here's a photo of one of mum's beautiful flower colourings.

Colouring with this website is so much fun ... any mistakes made just add to the enjoyment. I think mum and I laugh more with this activity than any other!

Here is a video of my mum colouring :)

YOUTUBE is another great source of entertainment for my mum. I use my laptop to show her funny animal videos ... its is a great way to keep her entertained and happy. Again I find this such a help while I am in the kitchen. Its wonderful to hear her laughter and I can just pop my head round to check on her.

Whereas with traditional arts and crafts I need to sit with my mum and help her, with online activities she can just about manage on her own so I can get on with the chores ... happy in the knowledge that she is content and stimulated.

Here's my mum is enjoying some funny animal videos 

Card Games are good fun too! I have recently started playing SOLITAIR with my mum ... this is definitely an activity that requires my input but it certainly gets my mum thinking and is a very stimulating and fun activity!

Here's a video of my mum enjoying a game ...

My mum's condition is sadly declining. I will need to adapt and change our activities to suit ... but I will continue to find ways to keep her happy and engaged and use whatever media works!

Meaningful activities not only stimulate the mind but keep my mum happy and content ... and most importantly proud of what she can still achieve.

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