This page includes useful resources that I have come across for Alzheimers and Dementia Relief.
The Dragon Story
The Dragon Story is a short cartoon. It can be used in schools and clubs, or in a home setting with an individual child.
The 4 minute cartoon is about a young dragon called Simon, his mummy, and Grandpa Drake. As Grandpa Drake gets older he starts to show behaviour commonly associated with dementia. The cartoon can be used to discuss these issues.
In my own story The Forgetful Elephant, Mrs Trunk encourages Ellie to prepare an activity to share with her Grandpa, to help him to remember who she is.
Here, I share a selection of resources and further activities. They contain practical ways for children to interact in a helpful way with those who have dementia. Each kit comes supplied with an explanation and guidance. Living with dementia is challenging. These tips and kits can help to bring relief and improve the quality of life for all, since even very young children can engage in meaningful activities with the person with dementia. The time spent together doing these activities is an opportunity to enjoy fun and smiles.
After I had written The Forgetful Elephant story, and before publication, I consulted Professor June Andrews, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) in the School of Applied Social Science at the University of Stirling. I am very grateful for her guidance and support, and her confirmation that the content is a suitable explanation of dementia for young children.
Resources by EMDA: In the Armchair with Picasso
EMDA, the Israeli Alzheimer’s Association, launched the Hebrew version of In the Armchair with Picasso in 2008. Since then the kit has helped thousands of people with dementia in Israel, USA, Russia and elsewhere to experience the joy of interacting with others through art.
The Kit is now available in English, adapted for a general audience, without losing the original cultural context. Dementia is a progressive condition; the kit can be used for all stages of dementia, but is especially suitable for the primary and intermediate stages. It has the added bonus of introducing children to classic art works while they do the activities with their grandparent, or other family member affected by dementia.
Working Through Art
In the Armchair with Picasso works through art to provide activities which enhance communication and quality of life. The use of art opens a window onto the world of a person with dementia, allowing a direct, enjoyable and dynamic interaction between person and carer. It enriches the experience of all participants.
A visit to an art gallery is often impractical with someone who has dementia. This Kit brings 45 famous, and not-so-famous, works of art, printed on high quality cards, to be enjoyed in an armchair, in the comfort of familiar surroundings.
The kit has three aims:
1. To evoke long-term memories
2. To strengthen the connection between the person with dementia and their carer, by providing a positive experience for both
3. To improve the quality of life of the person with dementia
Contents of the Kit
- Work Cards. There are 45 full-colour work cards. Each card features a painting on the front. The back provides information about the painting, suggested questions for discussion and a recommended activity
- Booklet. The booklet explains the principle of communicating through art with those who have dementia. It also describes how the paintings are organised into twelve related themes, and suggests conversation topics for each theme. The booklet provides background information on each artist featured in the Kit
- CD-ROM. The CD-ROM can be used on a DVD player or a computer. All 45 images appear on it. The viewer can browse through the paintings easily. The viewer can choose a painting from the list of artists, or from the list of themes
To order this kit follow the link to Dementia Relief Resources.Com
Activities For Health Kit
EMDA also offers an Activities for Health Kit, designed to improve the quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. These activities can all be enjoyed with small children, to enhance their relationship with the person who has dementia.
EMDA’s comprehensive Activities for Health: Master Kit includes a wide range of activities related to everyday life skills. The kit is specially developed by an experienced team of occupational therapists and dementia care specialists.
EMDA Alzheimer’s expert and kit co-developer Michal Herz refers to this kit as ‘The Supermarket’ since it includes a wide range of varied activities, while the In the Armchair with Picasso Kit is ‘The Delicatessen’, focusing specifically on artwork.
For details of the kit’s contents, and to order the kit, follow the link to Dementia Relief Resources.Com
The In the Armchair with Picasso kit was featured in this article:
Resources by Randy Griffin
Randy Griffin is the author of the highly recommended Changing the Culture for Dementia Care and the developer of Bird Tales: A Program for Engaging People with Dementia through the Natural World of Birds
Follow this link to Dementia Relief Resources.Com for more about Randy, and to order her resources, including the plush birds used with her Bird Tales Kit
Resources by PKAVS
North Methven Street,
These resources can provide many hours of enjoyment and meaningful activity for children with grandparents or other family members!
Please share feedback about your experiences with these kits here.
Can you recommend any resources for dementia relief?
Please share details in the Comment Box.