Whistle while you work!

Whistle while you work!

  • 10
  • 30
  • 60


  • Embrace Identity
  • Stay Independent
  • Find Calm

What you need

  1. A selection of items to bring their job to life


Work plays such a big part in our lives, so it’s no wonder why people living with dementia often think they need to be working. Instead of struggling to explain that they don’t need to be at the office, workshop or school anymore – you can turn it into an activity and engage their enthusiasm practically.

In a 1-to-1 activity, find out what job the person had and create activities around it. For example, get them to sand a block of wood if they’re a carpenter, or encourage them to make notes if they’re a teacher. It’s a nice way to maintain a sense of job role identity.

Have your props at the ready, so you can bring them out at a moment’s notice for as long as they’re engaged

Top tip

Keep an eye on the items to make sure they’re suitable, safe and in good working order for each stage of their journey, as things will change over time

The Activity

  1. Recognise when someone feels like they need to be working, and introduce them to this activity
  2. If possible, keep their work items in the same place, so it can become familiar and even part of a routine
  3. Allow the person as much time as they wish to sit, stand and work
  4. Check in with them at regular intervals, to encourage them to have a coffee or lunch break
  5. Show interest in what they are doing and ask them if they are working on a particular project
  6. Let the person know when it is time to go home – as everyone needs a rest at some stage