This page brings together a variety of resources used by Meeting Centres to support their members and family carers, plus other useful information and advice. While many were developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic when support was provided remotely, they may still be useful when support is provided face-to-face.
As well as being resources in their own right, they can provide inspiration for you to try with a group or suggestions for families and members to have a go at together.
Further resources will be added as we hear about them.
The following two short videos illustrate what Meeting Centres are, focusing on different audiences.
To find out more about the free online Meeting Centre training course please visit the Association for Dementia Studies website.
- Guidelines for setting up and running a successful Meeting Centre, plus associated appendices and evidence
- The Essential Features of a Meeting Centre
- A booklet for carers, by carers
- Information sheets
- Alive activities has adapted some of the information from the guidelines to create their own checklist to help when considering different potential Meeting Centre venues
- The free tools on this website may also be useful for assessing whether a venue is dementia friendly – Link to website
Online session guidance
- A series of tips and advice that we’ve pulled together to help you run online support sessions, incorporating feedback from existing Meeting Centres – Tips for running online support sessions
General activity kits and ideas
- Active Minds sell activity kits for people of all abilities and designed with infection control in mind.
- The Health Innovation Network has a guide to online resources for activities for older people.
- Remind Me Care is offering its ‘ReMe’ activity software free for six months.
- The TAnDem doctoral training centre has two arts and sensory activity resources
- Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies have updated their Soothing Pack to support positive mental health.
A collection of advice relating to activities is also available:
Singing and music activities
- Blue Skies Singing Group – YouTube video clips for singing warm-ups and a playlist of familiar songs. A song sheet of lyrics is also available.
- Arts Uplift Dementia Choir – See this poster for how to join an online choir.
- Arts Uplift also have videos to sing along to on Vimeo.
- Sing 4 Health and Happiness – YouTube video clips to sing along to.
- If you just want some music to listen to, try the Music for Dementia m4dradio which has different channels playing era-specific music and mixed music 24 hours a day. The Music for Dementia website also has a wider range of advice and resources which you can access for free.
- Orchestra of the Swan – 45-minute sessions offering a relaxed and friendly musical experience, which have song sheets and guidance notes for carers.
- Everybody dance – YouTube video clips of gentle and seated dance sessions. Filmed outdoors in lovely surroundings.
- Printable sheets for exercise at home from the NHS and British Gymnastics
- The NHS also has some seated exercises for older adults
Quizzes, puzzles and similar activities
- A series of short quizzes with a family focus – Quiz Questions (and answers)
- Crosswords with picture clues – Crosswords
- Themes word searches – Word searches
- Pictures to colour in – Pictures
Practical ‘making’ activities
- How to make a bird feeder – YouTube video clip, but a bird feeder can help to attract wildlife and provide engagement and stimulation.
- The self isolating bird club on twitter and Facebook
- Our Connected Neighbourhoods has some nature-related resources
Resources for carers
- Dementia Adventure are offering free online Dementia Skills Sessions for carers.
- The Association for Dementia Studies has produced a guide for family carers and friends on supporting people living with dementia at home.
- Worcestershire Association of Carers is running a series on webinars for carers.
- If carers want to make their home and/or garden more dementia friendly, the booklets in the ‘Related resources’ section on this website may be of interest.
Response to COVID-19
- The National Dementia Action Alliance ‘Stay Connected Campaign’ brings together examples of how NDAA members are responding to COVID-19 and supporting people affected by dementia.
- The Association for Dementia Studies has produced a guide for community groups such as Meeting Centres on supporting people living with dementia and their families during COVID-19.
Reopening Meeting Centres
- Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) have advice on Delivering safe, face-to-face adult day care, which may help you when considering how to reopen your Meeting Centre.
- King’s College London have produced Helping adult day centres to ‘unlock lockdown’ and are open to feedback to help develop the resource further.
Making your venue dementia friendly
You may find some of these free assessment tools useful. On the same web page, in the ‘Related resources’ section there is also a link to a guide for dementia friendly village halls which may be useful. There are also links to booklets for making your home and garden dementia friendly, which your members and carers may be interested in.
One idea from us is to have small, contained goals. Rather than trying to raise a large amount in one go for ‘The Meeting Centre’, it can be easier to have multiple smaller targets for specific items. For example, £500 to buy a couple of tablets to support online work, £200 for some new crockery or activity equipment. Many people prefer to know where their money is going and how it’s helping, and who knows, if you make amounts relatively small you may find an individual or business who will give you the whole amount.
It could also give you more presence on social media/in the community with a launch, update, nearly there/last push, made it!! sequence. Don’t forget to make sure you share photos of the items in use too so people can be reassured that they’ve made a difference. Just be careful not to have too many things on the go or do a new request too soon after the previous one as it could put people off!
Some of the Meeting Centres have kindly shared examples of their own newsletters as inspiration for others looking to do similar – or for those looking for new content for their own existing newsletters maybe?