Being Together When You’re Apart

The Storybox Walk of Fame as part of one of our Zoom creative sessions

Similar to many other people Covid 19 has meant that we are unable to work face to face with the people that we support. As a result of this we are currently running all of our workshops online – something that we would not have thought possible a matter of months ago! We are also working with people on the phone, on paper amd ia our new YouTube channel. We’ve had to learn alot quickly, so we wanted to share some suggestions of what has worked for us. Whether you are working with a group on Zoom, or unable to visit a family member in a carehome, we hope that you find our ideas useful.

  1. Create Shared Experiences: The feel or form of your “meeting” may be totally different so it can help to focus upon how to create an experience that you share. What can you do together that you will enjoy and that will benefit you all?
  2. Connect however you can: Connecting with somebody when you can’t be with them in person can be really difficult, especially for somebody living with dementia. For this reason it can be good to think about specfic things you can do to connect. Maybe play a game? Or read something together? Being apart can be strange but even a short moment of connection can make the strangeness of a Skype call or chat through a window feel worthwhile.
  3. Quality not quantity: Accept that sometimes those precious moments of quality connection may be really fleeting, and that that’s fine. Even short periods of quality engagement can be hugely beneficial.

And to give you some ideas of activities that you could try here are some that have worked well for us:

  • Look at a picture together and talk about the things that you can see in it.
  • Look at the view from your windows and talk about what you can each see.
  • Read a poem together then talk about it, or listen to a piece of music.
  • Play a game together – for example hold something out of sight and see if people can guess what you are holding based upon your description.
  • Do a sensory activity together – for example both eat a piece of fruit then talk about it.
  • Sing a song together then add actions.