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Young onset Dementia

My Son was 46 when diagnosed with the above. Now at 51 and after lockdown and uti infection is hospitalised and boarded. Ideas for useful activities. Majority of patients in their seventies need age appropriate activities.


  • Blanka_CBlanka_C Posts: 406 Community Admin

    Hi @Shelagh Higgins,welcome to the Q&A Hub! I'm so sorry to hear about your son. My uncle was diagnosed with the same condition last year. The family got him a tablet full of memory games / apps on it. We got his favourite reads as audio books as well (plus a pair of headphones) and he loves it.

    We have a list of activities & products recommended by our community, feel free to have a look:

    We also have a lovely Dementia Advisor on board @Danine Irwin who'll be able to help you further! She has extensive experience in working with people living with dementia and she regularly facilitates wellbeing workshops! I tagged her in this discussion so she'll be able to see it. Danine, would you be able to share some expert advice on activity ideas please?

    Hope this helps a little Shelagh, please don't hesitate to post again if you have any more questions.

    Take care,


  • Danine IrwinDanine Irwin Posts: 9 Dementia Advisor
    edited November 2020

    @Shelagh Higgins

    Hi Shelagh, I am so sorry to hear that your son is living with young onset dementia and presently in hospital. Under the current Covid-19 restrictions I can imagine it is also very hard for you and other relatives and his friends to spend time with him - which I am sure adds to the distress.

    It can be tricky to find (and think of) age-appropriate activities but try to think of things that your son likes at home and if you can at all reproduce those whilst he is in hospital that would be good. So if he enjoys film, maybe get him signed up top Netflix on an iPad or similar device. If he likes puzzles, you could send him in a Rubik's Cube and other cognitively-stimulating puzzles. How about a personalised music playlist, that you could upload to a mini device (or the tablet) with his own headphones - music that resonates with him - maybe this will encourage him to try and exercise a little if he is mobile, or in a chair, by tapping his feet, moving his arms etc. Keeping as mobile as possible is so important for stimulation, muscles, blood flow and releasing those feel good endorphins.

    Magazines that are topical are always handy to flick through and offer good visual stimulation and of course are good for reading.

    Oversized or regular playing cards can be engaging, although, like many games, not so enjoyable when social interaction is limited (if no visitors are allowed).

    Try to keep games to those that are not so strategy-based, or time restricted so as not to cause stress.

    Many games like Scrabble and other puzzles can be played on tablets now too and can be assisted by a virtual teacher on some Apps.

    Colouring, painting and magic painting and jigsaw puzzles are other suggestions.

    Another good way for him to feel connected is if he can join a forum or social media, if he is happy to use technology, where he could stay in touch with other young people living with dementia and share experiences. He could always initiate chat here - there are other users on these forums who are living with young onset dementia. Some other national organisations also run them.

    Hope this helps, let me know how you and your son get on.

    Best wishes


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