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Activities To Do With Elderly Dementia

Dementia Activities In The Early Stage

Top 5 Indoor Activities for Seniors with Dementia (For Free)

The early stage of dementia is usually marked by short-term memory loss issues. It rarely comes with severe cognitive or physical limitations. Emotional and behavioral changes also arent usually present in the early stage.

Instead, someone in the early stage of dementia can still be very active and independent. They may need help remembering things, like where they placed a particular item. Otherwise, they can more or less function normally.

Free activities for dementia patients that can be fun and enjoyable in the early stage of dementia include:

  • Exercise
  • Cooking meals
  • Playing their favorite card games
  • Doing puzzles, word games, or other mind-engaging activities
  • Gardening

Since individuals in the early stage arent severely hindered by dementia, you can also simply engage with them in their normal daily routine and hobbies.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is a chronic and progressive condition characterized by the decline of cognitive functions such as reasoning, remembering and planning. It affects people in different ways no two individuals will experience exactly the same progression of the disease. A person’s personality, health and social situation are all important factors that influence the impact of dementia.

Related: What is dementia? Alzheimer’s Disease vs Dementia

Engage Them In Their Favourite Topics

Everyone has different interests and hobbies. It can be hugely engaging to talk to your loved one about their favourite topics or sports teams. To facilitate this, you could even watch YouTube videos with them about their favourite singer, public figure, or sports team. This has many benefits, such as stimulating positive discussion, helping them to reconnect with their youth, and also making them feel like a valued person.

Also Check: Should You Remind Alzheimer Patients The Truth

What Type Of Art Is Best For Dementia Patients

Arts and crafts encompass a variety of activities ranging from crocheting to painting to making decorative objects to sewing and everything in between.

You dont want to saddle your senior with an activity thats outside of their wheelhouse. That might have you wondering what the best type of art for dementia patients is?

Here are some traits that the arts and crafts activities you recommend should possess.

Easy Crafts For Seniors With Limited Dexterity

Finding Activities For The Elderly With Alzheimer’s

Bean Bag Twister

Structured group activities very seldom work. Simple, brief activities offered several times a day are the most effective and beneficial types of activities for Alzheimer’s.

Activities such as housework and simple games can help to maintain motor skills. Listening to music is also a very calming and engaging activity.

The focus should be on the person and not the condition. Try to match people with activities that suit their background and experience.

Recommended Reading: Is Alzheimer’s A Type Of Dementia

Activity : Paint Rocks

Painting a blank canvas can be daunting for seniors, but a rock? Thats a smaller canvas thats much more manageable.

To paint rocks, you simply need a fairly flat rock about the size of your palm, plus some acrylic paints, colored markers or pencil crayons

We have a handy video tutorial for painting rocks that you should check out!

Take A Walk Outside To Sense Their Surroundings

Taking a walk outside for those with dementia is hugely beneficial to their physical and mental health. A daily routine of walking around the facility or neighborhood can help them feel good about themselves and stay healthy.

The list goes on for both reminiscent and therapeutic activities for people with dementia. But no matter what you do, make sure its something that wont trigger anxiety, fear, or pain for them.

Always take things slow and make sure they are engaging in the activity otherwise, you can quickly pivot if you notice them getting agitated or confused. The key is consistency and patience.

And if youre looking for an environment that facilitates therapy of all forms for dementia patients, reach out to Sunflower Communities today. Our calendar is full of activities and memory care for residents to ensure they get the attention and treatment they need. Contact us here to get started!

Read Also: Is Alzheimer’s The Most Common Form Of Dementia

Activities For Seniors With Dementia That Kids Can Do Too

Theres no substitute for the bond between a grandparent and grandchild. Many people spend their whole lives looking forward to spoiling grandchildren, so dementia in someone who has grandchildren can feel especially cruel.

Dementia doesnt have to harm grandparents relationships with their grandkids. By finding kid and dementia-friendly activities, caregivers can ensure grandkids have great relationships with their grandparents. Activities for seniors with dementia also help seniors lead happier and more fulfilling lives.

Helping kids understand dementia can help them feel less intimidated by the changes in their loved one. It may also make them more willing to spend time with their grandparents. The Ally Bally Bee project helps parents make personalized books about dementia featuring their kids. These gentle, supportive books are appropriate for all ages and are fun to read together.

Once your child has a better understanding of dementia, here are some great activities to try:

Sensory Activities For Dementia Patients

Purposeful activities for dementia: Alzheimer’s Australia VIC

#1: Get Cooking

There’s nothing quite like cooking to stimulate all five of your senses. Cooking is the perfect activity for dementia patients at home or in memory care.

Not only is cooking practical, but it also delivers a tasty treat as a reward.

Allow your loved one to do as much of the process as possible, always keeping safety at the forefront of your mind.

Depending on their abilities, your loved one may create the entire recipe from start to finish.

Or, they may only be able to help with a step or two. And if they are unable to perform any of the processes but are interested and engaged, they may benefit from simply watching you cook.

Keep it simple with recipes such as:

  • Garlic bread or

  • Fruit salad

  • Flavors

#2: Look at Scrapbooks

Looking through photo albums is a wonderful way to bring back favorite memories and spark meaningful conversation.

Lend a listening ear as the senior reminisces over their photos.

Ask questions to help them remember, or encourage them to create simple stories about what they see.

#3: Do Pasta Threading

Threading pasta is not only a fun activity, but your loved one can wear the end product as evidence of their success.

Simply use colorful yarn and plenty of dry pasta with big holes, such as:

  • Penne

  • Wheels or

  • Ziti

You can easily make a needle by wrapping masking tape around the end of the yarn .

Your patient can even create patterns by using different colors of pasta or varying the types of pasta.

#4: Work in the Garden

  • Strawberries

Also Check: What Is Vascular Dementia Life Expectancy

Activity Ideas For People With Dementia Outside The Home

Being outside can benefit your health in many ways, including lowering stress, increasing your mood and improving your overall wellbeing.

Outside activities range from walking in nature to shopping or attending community events. Its important to choose what you enjoy and there is lots of support available to help you to do this.

You may feel less confident about going out after your diagnosis. However, there are things that can help you feel prepared and supported. For example:

You could also speak with your GP about social prescribing. This is a way for health professionals to refer people to community-based support and activities.

Things To Keep Elderly Hands Busy

Doing things with our hands is a huge part of keeping our minds active and connected with our bodies. When we get older and stop engaging in many of the projects we once did, we can feel more disconnected from our world.

Activities that keep seniors busy not only help them pass the time, they can also help them stay cognitively sharp and boost their confidence. Tasks do not have to be complex or challenging basic tasks may be difficult enough.

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Activities To Do Around The House

  • Make a memory book look through old pictures together and create a scrapbook.
  • Water house and garden plants.
  • Listen to their favorite music.
  • Watch their favorite show or movie.
  • Do an arts and craft project such as painting or drawing.
  • Knit or crochet together.
  • Cuddle, feed, or brush a household pet.
  • Present an instrument the person used to play such as a piano or guitar. Play, whistle, or sing along.
  • Sweep or vacuum.

Cognitive Activities For Dementia Patients

10 Fun, No

#1: Play Games

Games come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, such as:

  • Shoots and Ladders

  • Yahtzee

  • Solitaire

Just remember to keep your loved one’s ability in mind and have another game on hand just in case you need to change the plan.

#2: Work Puzzles

Like games, puzzles are a go-to when youre looking for activities for dementia patients.

Not only do puzzles help stimulate the brain, but they also provide social interactions that can help patients and caregivers create positive emotional connections.

In fact, a recent study found that the onset of accelerated memory decline among dementia patients who regularly worked crossword puzzles was delayed by nearly two and a half years compared to those who did not.

Puzzles appropriate for dementia patients include:

  • Jigsaw puzzles

  • Brain-teasers

Recommended Reading: How Do You Say Alzheimer’s

Ideas On Social Activities For Seniors

  • Ice cream socials whose to say that every time you get together with others it has to be a full meal or just coffee and cake? Ice cream socials are great social events especially if you create an ice cream bar where everyone can choose their ice cream and toppings!
  • Group nature walks taking a walk in the park or out in the country with others is a great activity that not only provides physical exercise, but to do so safely. Your grandparents may be fearful of walking alone so doing it with others can help to get them up and out.
  • Theme dinners pick their favorite movie and create a meal around it. I once hosted a dinner featuring the original movie The Blob which was released in 1958. My entire dinner was from recipes from 1958!

It Is An Important Source Of Socialisation And Interaction

Regular socialisation with fellow peers and participating in engaging activities can help seniors keep their minds sharp as they go through this vital transition in their lives. Many persons with dementia experience loneliness and social isolation, which can damage ones health as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

The interaction through playing games with friends strengthens a persons sense of belonging and reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness. The process of interacting with other seniors, regardless of whether they have dementia or not, can stimulate a sense of personal worth and improve the overall quality of life of an elderly.

Also Check: Can Vascular Dementia Be Prevented

Handling A Reluctant Or Resistant Elder

A major concern for dementia caregivers is that their loved ones often become withdrawn and resistant to participating in any activities at some point. In these situations, it is important to do some creative probem-solving. Elders often push back against their family members ideas because they feel theyre being told what to do and wish to exert some control over their daily life. Sometimes the solution is as simple as recruiting a new or different person to initiate and participate in activities with your loved one. Friends, extended family and even paid companions can help draw a resistant senior out of their shell.

Another source of frustration is when an elder complains of boredom yet shows little interest in a caregivers ideas for shaking things up. With dementia, seniors often lose their sense of initiative when it comes to beginning and completing tasks or activities. In some cases, the caregiver may have to provide clear direction and supervision to get their loved one involved in something they truly enjoy but were inexplicably opposed to doing before.

Its important to understand that agitation, anxiety and/or depression can also prevent a senior with dementia from fully engaging in life. Consider taking your loved one for a check-up to rule out a mood disorder that may be treatable with medication. Many patients benefit from a low-dose anti-depressant at some point during the course of the disease.

Gardening Or Being Outside

3 Activities for Dementia Patients that Stop “I Want to Go Home”

Does your loved one have a green thumb? They may not be able to mow the lawn or till a field like they used to, but there are still ways to bring the great outdoors to them.

Buy a small pot and seeds for your loved one to plant. Fill their space with plants and work together to water them every day. If youd rather, spend the day in a community garden or courtyard and enjoy the sunshine together. Being outside has numerous benefits for seniors and is a great activity for patients with dementia.

Also Check: Frontal Lobe Dementia Vs Alzheimer’s

How Shopping Helps Seniors Stay Active

An early morning trip to the grocery store or local shopping mall may be just what the doctor ordered. If shopping trips are taken during the off times, there is less of a chance of the senior getting overwhelmed and frustrated with crowds of other shoppers, many of whom are typically in much more of a hurry than they are.

Another benefit of taking a weekly or bi-weekly shopping trips extends into your grandparents having the responsibility of keeping a running list .

Seniors who no longer drive can join shopping trips through their local senior center or could arrange to go shopping with a neighbor or family member. After all, its not the driving that delivers the exercise, anyway!

Singing And Listening To Music

Music can be very beneficial as well. Old songs can remind them of their past, and learning new songs can connect them to the wider world of today. Singing is an activity that can help older adults store memories, and it can also be a community activity when performed alongside friends and family members. As dementia progresses, people with dementia might eventually prefer to simply listen.

Read Also: What Sense Is Most Affected By Alzheimer’s Disease

How To Lower Your Dementia Risk

Although getting older is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to dementia, research has shown there are a number of things a person can do to help reduce their risk

Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of progressive conditions that affect the brain.

The condition occurs when a persons brain cells stop working properly in specific areas, which affects their ability to remember, think and speak.

Common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech or understanding. This gets progressively worse over time.

Dementia can affect a person at any age but its more common in people over the age of 65.

Researchers are working to figure out who is more at risk and what factors could help lower their chances of developing the disease.

A Healthy Body At Any Age

Sensory Pouches for Dementia Care

In order to keep our elderly loved ones active, we must make sure that they are eating properly and feeling their best. When they are consuming foods with little to no nutritional value, their energy will be low, and they wont want to be active.

Other things may contribute to their lack of interest in being active. These can include something like physical discomfort or pain, their cognitive ability, or mental health issues, such as dementia and depression.

A regular exercise program for the mind and body can help to preserve and better their health.

Here are some tips on how you can help your elderly grandparents to be as active as possible.

Also Check: How To Get Someone With Dementia To Sleep At Night

My Father Lives With Me And He Can Skype My Sister The Extra Visual Dimension Adds A Lot For Him

– Daughter of a person living with dementia


Watching videos, films and TV shows, or listening to music or podcasts, can be enjoyable ways to explore your personal interests. They can also help you to remember things that you have enjoyed in the past. For example, you can:

  • watch films or television shows old and new
  • listen to your favourite songs or find new ones
  • find video clips on of places that you have visited or hobbies you enjoy
  • find podcasts about subjects, places and pastimes that you like
  • read short stories and articles that interest you.

Smart devices and virtual assistants

Smart devices and virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Siri can also help you to stay active and involved at home.

You can use your voice to give commands and ask questions. For example, you can tell them to:

  • play music or a particular radio station
  • check the weather or the news
  • remind you to take medication or go to an appointment.

If you have or would like a device but are not sure how to set it up, try asking a friend or family member to help you.

It Delays The Decline Of Ones Memory

Keeping seniors busy through games and activities helps to delay the onset of memory decline and other cognitive abilities. Since there are currently no medicinal drugs that can treat dementia, there has been a growing interest in lifestyle factors that can slow down the ageing process in the brain, which is linked to memory and thinking problems.

Playing games that have a strong focus on memory and cognitive associations can support the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus found in the brain, which are the first two areas affected in the early stages of dementia.

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Meaningful Activities For Dementia Patients: 15 Ways To Keep Your Loved One Engaged

Are you searching for enjoyable, stimulating activities for your loved one who is suffering from dementia?

You want to do all you can to enhance their quality of life, bring them joy, and reduce harmful behaviors but where do you start?

If youre looking for ways to engage your loved one with dementia, youre in the right place.

Here, we will discuss a wide variety of therapeutic activities for dementia patients, so you can choose the activities that best meet your loved one’s needs.


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