People with dementia often find it difficult to express themselves or do things that they could before. For their friends and family, it can be challenging to always find a connection and enjoy shared experiences together with their loved ones. Sometimes, the changes that come about can put strain on family relationships.
Ben Atkinson-Willes, the founder and CEO of Relish, understands this all too well. Ben started his company in 2010 after trying and failing to find something that he could do with his grandfather when he developed Alzheimer’s. The only thing available on the market suitable for his grandad’s abilities were children’s toys and puzzles, so Ben set out to create Relish. He wanted to make products that would not only be functional and engaging but also create joyful experiences for people with dementia, their friends and family.
Relish products are developed using the Pool Activity Level (PAL) criteria, to help to identify the different stages of dementia and decide which games are right for individual needs – whether that is to bring joy, spark memories, install calm, comfort or reassure. The team also works with the Alzheimer’s Society to trial new activities and games and understand more about the benefits activities can bring to people living with dementia.
Relish recently conducted research through the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, to measure the impact of engaging with Relish activity kits on care home residents’ wellbeing. Researchers found that the largest change on residents was in social interest – such as interest in others, initiative and engaging with conversation. They also found positive changes in engagement and pleasure. 100% of professional carers felt the activities improved the quality of life of people with dementia.
Jackie Berritt, Group Lifestyle and Community Support, Carebase says: “We love the Relish products. As we ensure our cherished residents continue to have lots of lovely things to engage with, these have made a really positive difference to their lives. The products not only work in a group activity but also individually, so they have been perfect for residents to use in their rooms too.”
Relish products will be available on www.relish-life.com from October. New products will include:
Home Album Reminiscence Cards – £11.99 (£9.99 with VAT relief)
Reminiscence Cards provide the perfect cue to sit and relax together and tell the stories of your life. The evocative series of pictures and conversation prompts help you reminisce and smile about joys and memories.
Top 3 Benefits: Unlocks personal stories, Reassures comfort and calm, Strengthens connections
Musical Bingo – £24.98 (£20.82 with VAT relief)
Music is such an important influence for people with dementia, and we’ve brought it to life through our take on this classic game. New to market in October 2020 it is perfect for groups of up to 8 players – simply listen to the recognisable pieces of music and match up with the instruments on your card before shouting that winning word ‘Bingo’.
Top 3 Benefits: Sparks smiles and joy, Unlocks personal stories, Strengthens connections
Puppy Playtime 13 Piece Puzzle – £14.99 (£12.49 with VAT relief)
13 piece puzzles provide just the right balance of challenge, interest and engagement for people with dementia. They are designed for the mid stages of dementia, with large pieces that are easy to handle and fit in the box perfectly, creating a picture that brings happy memories.
Top 3 Benefits: Reassures comfort and calm, Sparks smiles and joy, Builds pride and purpose
Farm Memories Aquapaint – £17.99 (£14.99 with VAT relief)
Aquapaints give a lovely balance of creative touch, sense of achievement and pure joy for people with dementia. Simply brush the ‘white’ sheets of paper with water and watch as the beautiful pictures magically appear. Once finished, leave the sheets to dry to use them time and time again. Farm Memories is our newest Aquapaint, designed for people in the latter stages of dementia.
Top 3 Benefits: Boosts independence, Sparks smiles and joy, Nurtures minds and body
Animal Snap – £7.99 (£6.66 with VAT relief)
We’ve adapted this timeless classic card game to be just right for people. Play three lively games with different difficulty levels – Snap, Pairs or Full House. The aim of the game is to match up the family of cards before your opponent. The bold contrasting colours and easily recognisable images help people with dementia to have fun together or independently.
Top 3 Benefits: Boosts independence, Sparks smiles and joy, Strengthens connections
Please visit Relish-Life for more info.