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How difficult can it be to draw a star?

I was introduced to this little exercise at a recent regional Dementia Action Alliance meeting, and thought others might also find it useful; care home managers may like to do it with their staff.

Click here to print a star on to both sides of enough sheets of paper to provide one to each person, and on one side invite them to draw an unbroken line between the two stars, thereby drawing a third star, without taking their pen off the paper. They are unlikely to find that too difficult. Then, ask them to turn it over, position a mirror (you’ll find suitable ones in Poundland apparently!) at the top of the paper on the table in front of them so that the star is in view in the mirror, and ask them to do the same thing, but this time only looking in the mirror.

The idea is to create a sense of what it must be like to live with dementia where you are unable to complete what seems like a simple task. Don’t be surprised to see people experience shame, embarrassment, frustration, irritation, impatience… exactly what people living with dementia experience every day.