Dementia Live - (Series 2 Episode 6) - How simple are simple things? 🧠

This is the Alzheimer's Society's tea activity from their Dementia Friends sessions of which I'm a trainer. Please do share the post.

We’re going to have a quick think about how dementia can effect simple tasks and also how simple tasks are not quite as simple as we think there are.

Have a think about the steps needed to make a nice cup of tea...

How many steps are there?

What’s the 1st step?

What was the last step? “drink the tea”

What about putting the milk back in the fridge, going to a chair to drink the tea, washing up the mug or putting it back in the right cupboard.

How about the middle steps. Carrying the kettle to the sink, turning on the tap, filling it to halfway and many, many more.

Everyday tasks are much more complex than we realise.

Everyone has slightly different ways of making tea and people living with dementia will prefer their tea in a certain way too.

Think back to the last week's fairy lights analogy (click here if you haven’t seen it) we talked about the fact that dementia can effect different functions of the brain not just memory.

Movement, vision, coordination and more can be effected by dementia.

What functions of the brain are required to make a cup of tea?

Lots of functions are needed.

• Movement – walking to the kitchen and picking up items.

• Vision – seeing where items are.

• Coordination – managing multiple steps to make tea.

• Logic – measuring temperature or volume of water.

• Sequencing – the order of steps to make tea.

• Memory – where items are kept.

If one of those functions was impaired, could we still make a nice cup of tea?

• It might be difficult to follow the instructions

• We might miss out a step

• We might mistake an ingredient

Dementia is not just about losing your memory. Any of the functions we’ve identified could be affected by dementia. This means that people living with dementia may struggle with everyday tasks like making a cup of tea.

Perhaps they may need support with part of the task that is difficult, for example pouring the kettle for them.

Perhaps tea could be made together, following the instructions of the person.

Perhaps the equipment and ingredients could be put together in a place that is easy to access and labelled.

Retaining independence is possible. Supporting the person to make the tea will help them to continue to live well. People living with dementia may struggle with everyday tasks but with support it is possible forhem to continue to perform these tasks.

It is possible to live well with dementia.

Share this with someone who needs to see it and watch out for the next video and post next week. 

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