Residents at two of Notting Hill Housing’s extra care schemes are helping make life a little brighter for people living with dementia by testing out special jigsaws and a bingo game.
Active Minds creates activity products aimed at people in different stages of dementia, and have been visiting Penfold Street and Turnberry Court with their latest prototypes.
One of the new products is a series of 24-piece jigsaws in a variety of images to keep minds active, maintain dexterity and on completion, stimulate conversation. The other is an Animal Bingo game where players can identify the bingo animals with illustrations and sounds.
Chloe Burrow, activities officer at Turnberry Court, heard about Active Minds via their Facebook page and invited them along, working with their head of design, Alice Osborne.
“I’m always looking for projects that will benefit our residents, especially if it can be led by someone external with my support," Chloe said.
"Alice would come and play games with the residents. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Animal Bingo, whether they are living with dementia or not, and the jigsaw sessions were very accessible and our residents found them more useful than regular jigsaws.
“Alice is a lovely, likeable person and it was a pleasure having her here. Active Minds also offered us some prototypes so we have a few freebies that are going to our shared units.
“The residents were able to give relevant feedback on the activities and it was a lot of fun, a real win-win and we hope to do more with Alice in the future. I was happy to help.”
Speaking about the importance of the products, Alice added: “We believe activity needs to be at the heart of care. People living with dementia often have their care needs met, and activity is an add-on - although activity is such an important part of what makes us human.
“We design these products to help activity co-ordinators and families to give people living with dementia stimulation and purpose, so that days don't become long and boring.
“We are also always thinking about someone who has grandchildren coming to visit who do not understand what it’s like to have dementia. We hope these products can bring them together and create better relationships with families."
“That’s why we choose the images in our jigsaws very carefully to connect them to lovely memories they may have had, like a day ay the seaside.
“Chloe has been incredible. She is very creative herself so she is good at coming up with other ways to use the products. She gave us amazing feedback and ideas, and because she knows the residents so well we could understand what we had to do differently to meet their needs.”
Active Minds are constantly looking for activity co-ordinators, or people who would be interested in testing out the products, to get in touch. They can be contacted on 020 3488 2001 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information see www.active-minds.co.uk.