The need for live-in care can arise at any given time, sometimes without any prior warning. Whether you are not as confident living on your own anymore, living with a progressive condition that requires more intensive support, or a you are caregiver for your partner and you’d like a helping hand to enable you to live your lives as a married couple instead of ‘patient and carer’ – live-in care offers constant, unintrusive support that still enables you to live independently.
Here at Helping Hands, it’s so important that you aren’t only receiving practical care, but you’re being supported by somebody who cares for the wellbeing of both your body and your mind. Your mental health is as important as your physical health, so we’ve put together a list of creative activities for you and your live-in carer to enjoy together not as carer and customer – but as friends. With this list, we hope that you’ll be able to have something to look forward to together, whether that’s a challenge to achieve or wonderful new memories made.
Create a feature wall
Creating a feature wall in your home is not only a perfect way for you and your carer to get to know each other and share all of the beautiful things that make you who you are, but it’s also a unique way to put your own stamp on your home. You could hang a row of polaroid prints on a piece of twine, write out the lyrics to your favourite song or create a mural that represents every colour of your personality; whatever it is you decide to do, it’s an activity that you can continue to enjoy even once it’s finished. A feature wall can also be really beneficial if you are living with dementia, as it allows you to easily create a personal record of your life that you can re-visit every day.
Prepare a meal inspired by every culture
Travel is an opportunity that is rapidly becoming more and more accessible, yet circumstances beyond our control sometimes means that we’re unable to go to all of the places we want to. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t embrace different cultures from home. Tasting the local cuisine is one of the most exciting parts about going away, so why not bring that excitement to your own kitchen? You could try an authentic Indian curry one week, a traditional Greek moussaka another week and a flavoursome Lebanese kofta the next. You and your carer can work your way through all the cultures of the world and enjoy creating and experiencing new flavours that you wouldn’t usually try.
Alphabet activity days
Set yourself a day each month where you and your carer take part in an activity that begins with each letter of the alphabet. One month could be a visit to an art gallery, the following month could be bowling and the next month could be a piece of cake in your local café. This could be a really fun way for you and your carer to get creative with your activities and have something unique to look forward to each month.
Complete a puzzle book
A perfect rainy-day activity, puzzle books are incredible tools for getting the cogs of your brain turning. According to a study by Alzheimer’s Research, brain games that challenge people on reasoning and problem-solving can also help the cognitive function of people over the age of 60, and help them to get on better with their daily activities. Working through a puzzle book with your carer can be a really great way to work together, keep your mind healthy and have some fun along the way!
Create your own art
Regardless of your circumstances, art therapy is renowned for the positive effects it has on mental health. If you’re living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that has affected your personality, relationships and independence, art can provide the blank canvas that you need to express your feelings and emotions. Whether you’re painting portraits, kitchen crockery or a wall in your garage, your carer can support you in expressing your creative flair.
Host your own Afternoon Tea
Cakes, sandwiches and a cup of tea from your finest teapot – and you can even have a theme! Whether it’s an Alice in Wonderland garden tea party or a morning of baking your favourite flavour of scones, you and your carer can indulge in the most quintessentially British treat – lots and lots of tea and cake!
Make a pin-board
You can create a pin-board for all of the keepsakes that you and your carer have collected from your days out together. Whether these are cinema tickets, theatre stubs or printed photographs from your day at the seaside, you can create a haven for these memories for you and your carer to look back on together.
Not only can jewellery-making be therapeutic and alleviate stress, but it’s also a really great way for you and your carer to bond. You can work together to create bracelets, earrings or necklaces that you both like and use them as a statement for your friendship.
Complete a colouring book
Colouring can be extremely beneficial for mental health, helping to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Not only this, but it’s a great way for you and your carer to create beautiful and colourful pictures together and display in your home. Adult colouring books are available in a variety of different structures, so if you’re a fan of Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes or detailed patterns where you can create your own rainbow of colour, you and your carer can create your own artwork with your favourite characters, scenes or colour palettes.
Spa day at home
Activities don’t always need to be action-packed and full of adventure and creativity. Sometimes, simplicity is best, and nothing can be simpler than relaxing at home. Together, you and your carer can enjoy the peace and serenity of your own home comforts and even enjoy some added treats such as face masks, scented candles and relaxing music. Everybody needs some time to unwind, and a spa day at home is a great way to do just that.