dementia care music

What are Good Activities for People with Dementia?

Many people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s struggle with a lack of brain stimulation. That’s why it’s so important to participate in activities that engage your loved one’s brain. Spending time together doesn’t have to be clinical! Many dementia therapy-related activities will actuallly provide your loved one with enjoyable pastimes.

In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s association, activities improve quality of life for dementia patients and also reduce certain associated behaviors. These behaviors include symptoms like agitation and wandering. At The Moments Memory Care, our specialized care approach follows the latest advances in dementia care.

Therapeutic Activities for Dementia Patients

Many people recommend a variety of new activities to dementia patients. However, a diagnosis of dementia certainly does not mean that one must abandon activities they enjoy. Many activities are modifiable, allowing your loved one to continue to participate and enjoy.

If your loved one isn’t enjoying an activity, don’t worry. Simply take a break and try again later, or choose another activity instead.

Exercise and Physical Activity

There are numerous benefits of exercise and physical activity for those with dementia. These benefits include regulating sleep and preventing sleeplessness at bedtime. Exercise also helps improve our moods, which lessens the chance of depression. Here are some ways to incorporate physical activities into your routine:

  • Takes walks around your neighborhood or a park
  • Try water aerobics classes (some fitness centers even have classes tailored for participants with dementia)
  • Fishing or swimming
  • Depending on the progression of your loved one’s dementia, you could try biking or tandem biking!

Reminisce About Your Loved One’s Life

For people with dementia, long-term memory is oftentimes stronger than short-term memory. You can engage your loved one by asking them questions about their life and their history. For example, you can try:

  • Watching family videos together
  • Looking through scrapbooks
  • Ask them about their favorite memories and stories

Cooking and Baking

Another fun activity to do with your loved one with dementia is to try cooking or baking together. You can let them participate as much as they are safely able. This provides a sense of independence and purpose. If they are advanced in their dementia, they can watch you cook and chat with you while you prepare their meal.

Animal Therapy

Animal therapy is an excellent interactive activity for people with dementia. Studies show that even the presence of animals can reduce the effects of dementia, like anxiety, agitation, and depression. There are other health benefits to being around animals. Pet therapy can lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce cortisol levels, and boost serotonin levels.

Even if your loved one doesn’t have a pet, there are other ways to visit animals:

  • Invite a family member or friend to visit with their pet
  • Take your loved one to an animal shelter or local farm
  • See if your area has any animal therapy organizations you can visit

Explore Nature

The perfect way to see some new things and enjoy fresh air together is to explore nature. This is especially true if your loved one has an affinity for the outdoors. Here are some activities to try:

  • Garden together
  • Visit a botanical garden
  • Go bird watching
  • Feed birds at a pond
  • Sit and relax in your yard
  • If you can’t make it outdoors, watch a nature documentary together.

Music Therapy

We all know that music helps soothe and stimulates people. Music also helps elicit memories and emotions for people with dementia. It does so by helping to provide a link to a person’s past.

Ideas to try include:

  • Listening to their favorite song, singer, or band together
  • Creating a Spotify playlist of their favorite genre
  • Watch videos of their favorite band or singer perform live
  • Be adventurous and go to a concert together! Many libraries offer live music regularly.

Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts are a wonderful self-expressive sensory activity for people with dementia. You can try activities like:

  • Painting
  • Knitting
  • Coloring

There are even arts and crafts products that are made specifically for patients with dementia that you can find online.

Activities for Residents at The Moments Memory Care

At The Moments, we know that each resident is unique. Our programming takes into account each resident’s needs, desires, and abilities. All our activities are designed specifically to engage and activate one or more of the human senses.

Dementia therapy activities are one of the highlights of our week. The Moments offers far more activities and events for our residents than many other memory care homes. To get an idea of what day-to-day life at The Moments is like, take a look at our Programming Calendar.

Published On: May 19, 2021