10 Stimulating Activities for Alzheimer’s

Last Updated: July 23, 2018

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias can cause seniors to withdraw from activities, family and friends. It’s extremely important to maintain those interests and relationships, however, because it reduces the effects of memory impairment, leading to a better quality of life.10 Stimulating Activities for Alzheimer's

Learn more about how to stay engaged with parents and senior loved ones throughout the disease using these stimulating activities for Alzheimer’s.

How Stimulating Activities Impact People With Alzheimer’s

Keeping senior loved ones active in hobbies and interests that give them pleasure is important after a disease diagnosis.

Stimulating activities can help people with Alzheimer’s:

  • Encourage self-expression
  • Foster emotional connections with others
  • Lessen any anxiety and irritability that Alzheimer’s may bring
  • Make people with Alzheimer’s feel more engaged
  • Stir memories

As AARP.org describes, it is important to create meaningful activities for your parents and senior loved ones, not just ones that fill time. Consider interests they had in the past, knowing that some activities may need to be modified for practicality and safety. Keep in mind that Alzheimer’s affects behavior and senses in addition to memory. So, the activities that a person once enjoyed may become frustrating or overwhelming now.

Suggested Stimulating Activities for Alzheimer’s

Here are 10 stimulating activities for Alzheimer’s that you can try with your senior loved one:

  1. Bake or cook simple recipes together.
  2. Clean around the house. Sweep the patio, wipe the table, fold towels or try other household tasks that help the person feel a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Do arts and craftssuch as knitting and painting. Keep patterns and tools simple.
  4. Look at books the person used to enjoy.
  5. Organize household or office items, particularly if the person used to take pleasure in organizational tasks.
  6. Read the newspaper.
  7. Play music or sing songs.
  8. Tend the garden or visit a botanical garden.
  9. Watch family videos.
  10. Work on puzzles.

If your parent or senior loved one resists an activity, take a break. You can try again later, or ask your senior loved one how the activity can be changed to make it more enjoyable for them.

Remember to concentrate on the process of an activity and not the results. What matters is that your loved one enjoyed the time spent on it and felt useful.

Which stimulating activities does your senior loved one with Alzheimer’s enjoy? We’d like to hear from you in the comments below.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Another great article Jennifer. It’s also very important for family members to understand that creating or maintaining purpose is important even in the early days of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. So often the caregiver overcompensates and prematurely starts chipping away at their loved one’s independence.

  • coral

    My grandfather enjoys seek and find books. It has a list of 10 items to find in the picture, and he circles it.

  • jen

    Thank you for the information, my mother was diagnosed in June and life just seemed to stop, she stopped working and has become withdrawn from socializing. My father isn’t handling it with much patience, I’m trying to come up with activities around my work schedule that we could do that she would enjoy.

    • Debbie

      Hi Jen I have seen this before your mom is showing signs of depression she is worried about her future and is frustrated I’m sure with the early stages of forgetting. I would let her express what she feels and reassure her that no matter what happens that you will be there with her. I’m assuming your mom is in the early stages of alz. I would suggest outings for her I would take her grocery shopping don’t do a list just say we’re gonna get healthy mom and take her to the produce isle have her check the fruit for you and say that you are not a good fruit picker but you knew she was. She needs to feel good about still being useful I would also give her hope do things with her that slows down the disease tell her she seems to be her old self even if she is not she has to build her esteem again always keep fresh flowers in the house ask her to dog sit if you have a dog gossip about the neighbors. Ask her advice and don’t notice if its not well thought out or she says she dont know. Tell her you read a new recipie for baking a cake in 1 min online ( not a fib you are on line) try it out 321 cake mix a box of angel food cake with a box of any flavor cake mix in a ziplock bag get a coffee mug out take 3 tablespoons of the dry mix 2 tabelspoons of the water and mix in the mug microwave for 1 min. Top with cool whip. Best wishes to you I am a activity director at a nursing home and also was the sole caregiver of my grandfather who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and just recently passed away. I know how hard it is to work and care for a loved one with this disease I would take off my windshield wippers on my car and beg my grandpa to help me just so he would feel helpful he had Alzheimer’s but I acted like I wouldn’t make it without him so it gave him purpose. Just find that something that will give her a purpose you may have to fake the flu just so she will have to check your temp and look for blisters on your throat. Best of luck sweetie. I recomend you buy the book a best friends guide to Alzheimers.

      • Janet

        Debbie, Who is the author of the book you mentioned? There were several with titles like that. My Dad just died from malnutrition from dementia. This was 11 months after Mom died. He just wanted to be with her. Interesting he still knew all of us. It was heartbreaking to place him in a nursing home. All the children lived out of state but friends were there every week and my siblings were there every other weekend. I would go home and spend 2 to 7 weeks with my parents to help take care of them.

        Then I finally returned to find that my husband was having trouble wit his memory. After 9 months of testing it was determined he did not have dementia, but had a mini-stroke that has permanently affected his short term memory. He had developed atrial fibrillation and had thrown a small clot. It’s almost overwhelming. I spent 2 years taking care of my parents and now this. Any good ideas for helping with short term memory? Sometimes if I have him repeat it, then he will remember.

      • Della

        To Debbie, per your reply to Jen. I really enjoyed your suggestions, and I was not surprised when you later mentioned in your post that you have much experience with caregiving. I totally agree that it is so very important to give our loved ones a feeling of PURPOSE and BEING NEEDED AND USEFUL. That is something we all need, and it is no different with our memory impaired loved ones.
        I am an avid reader, and so I have read much on the subject when my father was diagnosed about 4 years ago. 2 books I have read that I highly recommend are :SINGING IN THE RAIN ( Weathering the Storm of Dementia with Humor, Love and Patience)
        WHILE I STILL CAN…( One Man’s Journey Through Early Onset

        Alzheimer’s Disease.)
        Thank you for sharing this valuable and very informative post. GOD BLESS YOU.

    • Della

      Jen, I truly relate to your situation. I particularly understood when you mentioned your father not handling your mother’s illness with much patience. My stepmother abandoned my father after 37 years of marriage and returned to Mexico. This wonderful, hard-working and dear man, who raised 4 children with patience, love and understanding, was refused this himself from the one person who should have remained at his side. Fortunately, GOD blessed him with children that have stepped up and given back to him what he has given his entire life. ALZHEIMER’S: THE CRUEL DISEASE! GOD BLESS YOU, and good luck with your difficult road ahead.

  • Snowhorse11

    Not sure what stage my Gramma us in now, but she 87 n dont move or talk much and dont remember anything past 20 seconds. However she likes word search, coloring, music and folding clothes. This disease is horrible, not only for her, but for us watching and living with her changing issues everyday:(. She was such an active ( sewing, alot ceramics, traveled to her mountain home every weekend) sweet lil lady 😉 <3 tomorow i am gonna try a 50-100 pc puzzle w her.

    • pam

      Sounds like stage 6

    • Della

      I feel your pain, sweetie. This is why the disease is referred to as “the cruel disease”. It is devastatingly CRUEL to all parties involved. GOD BLESS YOU.

  • Jennifer

    I am an Activity coordinator in a convent. This has been my first experience working in this kind of environment. I am used to folks who were eager to participate and have never had a problem before this. I work primarily in the infirmary and the nuns are not or will not get involved. I am asking here if you could suggest good one on one activities to help motivate these individuals. Feeling frustrated.

    • Michelle Prater

      Jennifer, Music is a great tool. It bypasses the brain and goes straight to the heart. It is amazing how dementia patients can remember songs from childhood. Try an old praise cd or gospel music cd. Other than that you have to try to find something they like, something that motivates them. They love to talk about themselves, share memories from childhood. Other things are games like dominoes, checkers. Simple card games like Old Maid, Go Fish. Not sure if this is what you are looking for or not. Hope it helps.

    • Debbie

      Hi Jennifer I am a activity Director as well here are some of my best activity ideas for Alz. 1:1
      1. Make a picture album of old black and white photos printed off the Internet be sure to include lots of children at play photos as well as old cars and wedding photos this will prompt lots of discussions and story’s always agree with who they say the people in the pictures are. Make over the baby’s etc.
      2. Music is the only activity that stimulates all 4 parts of the brain play music they would have listened to in there early teens
      3 leave dolls around do not hand to them but just leave them nearby with blankets let them find them.
      4. Make a rummage basket put necklaces, ties, old sets of keys, hats kitchen accessories flashlights etc. take it in and set it between you and ask them to help you look for a set of keys you need in the box take your time pull out a hat act so happy put it on and say my I love this hat I didn’t know what happened to it take it off and hand it to them keep prowling threw box letting them also converse and look at items I throw in a bra or panties just to act embarrassed about it that always makes them laugh remember they won’t remember your looking. For the keys that is just something to get them started prowling.
      5. Painting or coloring.
      Try to get a subscription to [Link Removed] they have print off puzzles and games I use them all the time it’s a great resource. Remember to just do the best you can sing a lot and show love give hugs its never easy but it is so rewarding. Best wishes Debbie

      • Debra Harris Vinsant

        You are so right Debbie I’m a act. Director also and these are my top success act. As well. I would just add feeding the birds and flower aranging to this list as well as everyday things folding blankets stacking plastic plates and letting them peel and fry apples and potatoes to this list. They lose interest in most of the frequently listed act. Like puzzles very quickly. The photo albums are the best act. I’ve ever done with them I throw them in a box of junk and tell them I’m cleaning the attic the rummage with me and always always look thru the albums and show the photos. They’ll say these are my neighbors children or that’s my wedding photo it’s amazing.

  • Fiona Simpson

    I work in a facility and there is so much that we are not aloud to do as to them (hierarchies)its not classed as a activity??? Or residents are not interested i have tried 95p/c of these activities that are on all sough ts of sites for dementia,i am sooo frustrated I am at the stage when im ready to give up 🙁

  • Bonnie

    I care for a 92 y/o woman with advanced dementia; tried a 100 piece puzzle; she liked turning the pieces over but the puzzle itself was too much chaos & caused her anxiety.

    • Zo

      I started with a 36 large piece puzzle I ordered on line. Tried to find ones that had pictures she could relate too. It worked.

  • vicky houser

    My Husband is a 66 yr. old Vietnam vet who was diagnosed 3 yrs. ago with Dementia. this has been a very DIFFICULT disease to comprehend. I have tried games such as toss across, search word puzzles, kids jigsaw puzzles, etc… He’s now not as interested as he was 6 months ago. It seems everything’s getting old and I’m running out if ideas, We have traveled and been involved in different things but, as time goes by it seems he just dosen’t want to do anything or dosen’t know what he wants to do. Does anyone have any ideas ? thanks

    • caitlinburm

      Hi Vicky,

      You are completely right. This disease is difficult and can be extremely hard to comprehend.

      Have you tried singing songs or playing your husband’s favorite music for him?

      My family and I have always found that to be helpful when my grandmother (who is in the later stages of dementia) becomes disinterested in other activities. She is immediately stimulated by music, big band in particular.

      We at Alzheimers.net will be thinking of you and your husband and are wishing you the best during this time.

  • qwkfingers

    What bothers me is that there are no activities on the weekend because the Activities people at the memory care center where my mother lives are off on weekends. I can understand that, but come on, in health care, specifically Alzheimer’s/dementia related memory care centers, life for residents doesn’t stop on the weekends. It bothers me that there isn’t some type of activity going on during the weekends, too. I spend time with Mom and do activities with her, but a person can only watch just so much TV. The “TV” room is always jammed with people in recliners with an old movie on. My mom is sick of I Love Lucy and Andy Griffith reruns and old black and white movies. Her dementia is to the point where she can’t figure out how to use the TV remote in her room. We even bought her a VERY simple remote and she still can’t figure it out. We can’t be there all of the time, though we are there a lot. I feel just awful for her. She’s complaining of being bored, being lonely, doesn’t remember that we were just there. I’m sorry for venting like this. Like many of you, she can’t think of what she wants to do, she doesn’t seem to care about doing anything, oftentimes, she just sits and stares straight ahead with her mouth hanging open. She’s just “gone.” 🙁

    • caitlinburm

      Hi qwkfingers,

      My grandmother’s story sounds very similar to your mother’s. She is unable to use a remote or a phone now, and she often sits or stares or sleeps the day away.

      Fortunately, we tried singing songs like the list above recommended, and music seems to stimulate her when she is awake. Have you had any success with using music to stimulate your mother?

      Thank you for sharing your story, and please comment whenever you feel the need to vent. Alzheimers.net is a very supportive online community.

    • Shirley

      I am a memory care coordinator in my facility. We have planned activities on the weekend just as we have during the week. Talk to the executive director of your facility and voice ur concerns about week end activities.
      On the weekends I leave detailed plans for activities for Saturday and Sunday. The scheduled staff is to carry out the activities for the weekend.

    • Debra Harris Vinsant

      I am a Recreation director and I can tell you that TV is a most inappropriate activity for Alzheimer’s. There should be activity 7 days a week however this is normally the most understaffed dept. in a nursing home they usually rely on CNA to do act. On the weekends. I’m fortunate that I have a weekend staff were in at but as a director I showed a need for this and really stepped up my game to prove that need and get the $. They like to rely on volunteers a lot. But they are not always consistent or well trained. I would speak to the act. Director and ask her to talk to her admin. About getting a weekend staff member. they should also have things for the CNA’s to do with the residents left out if all the residents are in the day room then the CNA’s should be in there doing something with them. Maybe the director needs to do some training with them. I’m very saddened by your post it breaks my heart that these patients are left to dwindle away for hours like this. You must speak up for the ones who no longer have a voice. Best wishes to you. Thank you for being a caring daughter.

  • Kitty Mason

    I appreciate what others have written about activities for family members with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. I think it’s worthwhile to try modifying (simplifying) activities that the person enjoyed when s/he was cognitively intact. For example, my dad has always enjoyed feeding birds, and I saw an activity on stringing Cheerios to hang up for wild birds to eat. We bought 48 piece puzzles for him to do and find that it’s easier if you can provide part of the puzzle at a time — like all the pieces that form the edge of the puzzle first. It helps if the scene is a picture that the person would find interesting.

    A small white board might be fun for playing word games — fill in the missing letter, Hangman, etc.

    Other activities mentioned on other websites: playing Dominoes, identifying states in a map of the United States, using Play-Doh to give the hands some exercise, playing a simple card game, tossing a high density foam ball (like a Nerf ball).

  • karen s

    I am a dementia/alzheimers carer in a care home, i am looking for tips on understanding dementia/alzheimers also looking for ideas on hobbies & activities for our residents

    • Karen

      Karen S. I suggest your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s association! And AARP has some excellent information also! Good luck! And thank you for being a Alzheimer’s Caregiver! It means everything to them and you!

      • Heike Howe

        I am also an Alzheimer’s caregiver and work in a Memory Care Unit with 15 residents. We are continually trying to find new activities we can do with most of our residents in a larger group. Any suggestions ?

  • Kevin H

    My father has dementia and has never been much of a joiner, so he won’t do any of the activities at the memory care facility he is staying in. My mom and all of his siblings and friends are dead, so there is no one left that he can connect with who has been around most of his life. He still knows who I am so he will talk to me for a little bit, but we have never had a close buddy type father-son relationship where we did a lot together. I was a late “oops” baby when he was almost 50, so he didn’t end up doing as many things with me as my older brothers (16 – 22 years older than me). I have desperately tried to engage him in activities. He used to play golf, bowl and fish a lot. But he is in a wheelchair now so those don’t go so well…and he doesn’t want to be at a golf course or bowling alley if he can’t do it the way he used to. I tried taking him fishing 3 times and he won’t participate and then demands to leave after 3-5 minutes. I bought a Nintendo Wii to play the golf, fishing and bowling games…he hates it. Tried puzzles…he barely tolerated that for 3 minutes. Doesn’t want to play cards. Listening to music from his era…he turns off the mp3 player in a matter of minutes….he still can work out how to use newer electronics…so I guess that’s something.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything I have tried. I try not concern myself with success any longer. I figure I just have to keep trying.

    • RebeccaP

      Try tabletop bowling without telling him it’s bowling. Stack a pyramid of 3-6 upside down cups on the table while you make dinner, and let him try to knock them down with a tennis ball. The other thing a lot of people enjoy is the ‘potty golf’ because it’s meant to be played in seated position.

      • Kevin H

        Thank you for the ideas. Not a success I am afraid. He got really angry and threw the tennis ball at me and told me not to treat him like he was retarded. So I left the room for 10 minutes to give him time to reset (forget what just happened) and then he was fine again. At least that is one benefit I get these days. If I do something that gets him mad, I just have to wait 10 minutes and he forget about it.

    • Karen

      Kevin, What you have given your Father already is very honorable! The love and thought that you have put into trying to engage him is more than many people would even try! Since you didn’t know him as a young man and have no reference to go by, your task is difficult! I can only encourage you to continue to try! Every moment you give of yourself will ease your mind letting you know that you did the best you could for your father!

      • Kevin H

        For a sad reason, things are actually a little better when I try to engage him in activities. As I mentioned in original post, I am late child, born when he was almost 50…so I was a late add in life. And now he does not remember having a third child anymore. He remember my brothers since they have been around 16 and 22 years longer than me…but not me anymore. Adamantly insists now that he only has 2 children. So when when I visit, he thinks that I work in the care facility or I am from his church or something he comes up with (different all the time)…and he is on his best behavior. When he knew I was his son he would treat me terribly (which in his mind I guess is permissible with family), but he retains enough social protocol to not treat a stranger like that. He will do some activities with me now that he would refuse when he knew who I was….I think because he doesn’t want to act improperly or be rude in front of a stranger.

        • Lorna

          My Dad has just very recently forgotten my brother and I are his second and third children, he only remembers having his first, but he knows my name and currently thinks I’m his niece. He clearly loves me which is lovely. He can no longer do most of his previous hobbies but likes singing along to his favourite music, especially as part of his local Alzheimer’s group. His tastes in humour have changed, he suddenly
          likes Dad’s army and has switched from whisky to brandy!

        • Debra Harris Vinsant

          I am so sorry Kevin alzheimers robs so many people not just the one with the disease. You are a fantastic son if your father were in his right mind he would tell you that himself. keep your head up. Wish I could say more to you to help you. Best wishes to you and your father.

  • Jane

    I care for my 95 yr old mother who still lives alone. Finding things to entertain her is challenging. She can’t remember things past a minute and has lost interest in most everything. She does enjoy humor, music and children. We sing songs and laugh at silly stuff. I wish there were more little children around because she loves to watch them play. I’m thinking of pulling out old family albums to look at and reminisce, even if she forgets who they are…I can fill in some of the blanks. She still enjoys eating out and thrift shops, but there is only so much you can eat and purchase. I love her dearly but I wish my brothers lived closer and could help out. I could use a vacation but have not been able to leave longer than a day. It’s hard.

    • Amy Johns

      Oh my goodness you sound so familiar. You described my life with my Mom. So frustrating. All she wants to do is eat out and shop. And complain about everything in the house. She hates everything…

    • Karen

      Jane, I hope your Mother is still as active as when you posted this! One of the most common problems of caregiving is burnout! I’m hoping that where you live there are Social Service programs available to you! Many of them would be free to your mother! These programs would allow you to be able to get those much needed and deserved days away to rest and renew! I’m sure like the rest of us you also have a life to tend to! And there’s a lot of stress that comes with this disease for caregivers! If you have difficulty finding service’s, reach out to your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s association! And they have many recourses for you!

  • Lori

    What saddens me the most is the majority of caregiver advise is focusing on the elder patient; my husband is 56 years old and I don’t think he would like to participate in “sing along sessions”. It’s so frustrating for find information for the early onset patient care.

    • Corinne

      I feel the same way. Finding advice or tips for someone at the start of the disease is so difficult. I had to dig up some old hobbies my mom used to have and revive them. She loves photography, so I bought her an easy to use but decent camera that was under 100 dollars. I made a list of places I could take her around to that are affordable, so she can experience it and take pictures. We’re slowly making our way down that list. Eventually, I’d like to get some of the photos made into prints and hang them up in her house, so she can see all the cool places she’s been. So perhaps you can try thinking of things your husband enjoys doing now and expand them, or maybe things he did when he was younger and try to get him back into them? Or if he can’t do it any more, get him involved in something that revolves around the activity. Like say he loved to play baseball, but can’t anymore. Maybe start taking him to local school games every chance you get. Or start helping him restart a baseball card collection (this would be a cool way to push him to learn the computer, if he doesn’t already use it). It’s tough trying to find activities or hobbies… But just keep in mind, the whole point of it is to get him to use and exercise his brain as much as possible, or as long as possible. Anything is better than letting him dissolve in front of the television – which my mom used to do a lot, too. Best of luck to both you and your husband.

    • RebeccaP

      Would he be interested in something more manly? Like soap carving with a dull knife? Or painting and sanding wood for a shelf? Tabletop sports like table bowling and table hockey? Balloon tennis? They make golf for the potty that could be used from a chair. They also have excellent games on the WII, and on a touch tablet.

    • Debra Harris Vinsant

      Hi Lori my name is Debbie I’ve been a activity director for 10 years and was also the sole caregiver of my grandfather who had Alzheimer’s disease am proud to say he lived at home till his death never forgetting how to walk. Use the bathroom or cook his own breakfast. The trick to alzheimers that no one will tell you is to maintain they cannot relearn so you have to try to maintain the skills they have as long as possiable. Make a list of what he can still do everything you can think of trust me you will need a list because we overlook things that are considered everyday things. Buy lots of posty notes write notes for everything set alarms post weather clocks everywhere that tell time date and weather month etc. don’t listen to expert who say posty notes are bad there not write notes for bathroom mirror make them fun like hi hubby brush your teeth then come find me for a kiss! Always sign your name and write you love them on good days my grandpa would leave me a note back. Activity so that help are caranium crunches word search puzzles get easy word searchable but make it a game you all race doing them always let him win. Cook togeather this is a great activity the best really do not do everything for him I know you will want to but don’t this is where your list will come in handy save the times for the great caregiving till later when he can no longer do the task. A few more ideas paint the house rolling paint on walls togeather is something he can do I promise. And he will think he is doing it for you. Redo a dresser sand it down togeather make a scrapbook togeather put names on every picture. Since this is your hubby be flirty always you don’t want to fall into the caregiver roll just yet write love notes like sweetie will you bag the trash for me etc. let him still be a man. There is a necklace you can record messages in he can wear around his neck for when your not there it’s a great tool he can push the button and hear your voice leave one thing on there when your not there make it something he can do multiple times such as giving the dog water or racking leaves etc. I wish you all the luck in the world. Take care of yourself it can weigh heavy being a caregiver acknowledge your feelings as well don’t feel guilty for them you didn’t create Alzheimer’s disease so it’s ok to be mad depressed or sad. Get lots of rest and eat good foods lots of Berries. I hope this helps a little bit my heart and thoughts are with you.

      • Nicole

        Hello i work for assisting place i have been there foe almost two weeks and they are bored with the same activty. What other type of games . they love puzzles and cards and bingo. I’m just a caregiver but i think that need something fresh because they will go to thier rooms and what type of movies are great for them to watch ?

        • kimmie

          Don’t ever say JUST a caregiver honey!!!! You are an important role in these people’s lives. I too am a caregiver, and worked in a memory care unit. Most of the time we, caregivers, are these little people’s family. As a caregiver on memory units you are a activity director too sometimes. So don’t ever say “I’m just a caregiver” you are so much more!

          • Della

            AMEN! The caregivers we have been BLESSED with during my dad’s ALZHEIMER’S journey have been a GODSEND! It takes a VERY SPECIAL type of person to do this kind of work, and I also believe it requires a lot of SACRIFICE on a person’s part. GOD BLESS THE CAREGIVER! YOU ARE ALL ANGELS SENT FROM ABOVE!

        • Annette CNA

          *On the discovery channel, there is a show called “How It’s Made” … a calm, entertaining and eye catching show. For anyone who use to tinker and try to fix things or who liked since , also “Myth Busters” . And on the animal planet channel, there is a show called “Tanked”.. They make really neat fish tanks. Also , there’s always the cooking net work channels and painting shows. Then the old Westerns like ” The Big Valley”, Little House On The Prairie” , and “The Walton’s”.
          I hope this helps,
          CNA/Hospice Nurse Aide

        • cindy Groger

          Hi Nicole… I just got a promotion from caregiver to memory care activities director… We play beach ball, trivia, they love old songs, reading the newspaper to them. You may think they aren’t listening to you but believe me they will love it. I hope this helps. If you have any ideas email me… [Link Removed]
          I also will be researching for more ideas.

          • Jazz


        • Karen

          Thought I would fine a list of and instructions for 100s of activities for pts with dementia. Alzheimer’s association seem to have a group of products you can purchase. Group of neighbours have another neighbour who has frontal dementia over for 4 hrs a day/once or twice per week and have high tea, she drinks clayton’s champagne, play Chinese whispers, origami fortune paper folding game (which she would have played at school) and requires writing folding, making up messages and some fine motor skills, snap, fish, sing and all tell a story after a topic is selected (often make it funny).Also massage hands, arms and feet.

          • Trish Elker

            You might find this website very helpful. I found it some time ago. I work as an activities assistant in a nursing home and I go to this list (many, many ideas) weekly.

            There may even be activities for the younger person with dementia.

        • Suzanna Brown

          Parachute games, beach ball toss, pool noodle games, music bingo, poker keeno, sewing club (we sew bags for wheelchairs, walkers, catheter bag covers, potholders, etc.), reminisce (choose a topic: school, chores, siblings, etc. and see what stories you get), picture talk (take old calendars- choose a picture and see who can tell a story about that picture.) What’s in the bag- (put one item at a time in a bag, let several people feel it, to see if they can guess what it is) pet therapy visits, visits from children, hangman, crossword puzzles (you can buy big puzzles, and do them as a group

        • Pat Horne-Brine

          I think the caregivers at my sister’s place are the most patient and caring people I know. One thing I notice about her floor is that some women go “shopping”, taking things from other people’s rooms! Shows you how habits done over the years are the last to go. They need more to do there, though, so I’m thinking of taking over a laundry basket to see if anyone likes folding still. Hope to find some fishing magazines too, to see if the men might be interested, and some kind of easy painting. Thanks for all the ideas here, folks!

        • Debra Harris Vinsant

          Hi Nicole don’t know why I’m just now getting an alert for this thread but I do hope you are still doing what you have a gift for. If you still need some help here are a few of my recommendations that’s I have been doing with some residents at a new company I’ve been hired for. This is alz. Suggestions- buy the book imagination vacation, I’m very impressed with how well this is for building trigger activities after I read a story from there say it’s the kitchen one I can build on that by asking who they saw at stove then we can talk about plate patterns come prepared with say depression pattern photos or a real piece if you have it then play music about kitchen such as hey hey good lookin this is called a building activity it stimulates a small part from all parts of the brain to hopefully trigger joy notice I said joy not memories have you ever went into the kitchen for something when you get there you can’t remember what it was but when you remember there is a spark of relief and joy that is what you are trying to achieve with the residents without asking them flat out to remember don’t use the word remember just keep building if someone says I saw my mom at the stove during the story say something like I bet she was happy to see you. You have to get this short book and practice leading activity. Also get all the residents story’s where did they work what did they do for fun how many kids did they have etc. also ask a family member if there is one thing your mom would want the staff to know about her what would it be. We have to turn the residents into people again for our staff it’s a powerful question that when related to staff may help them provide more sympathetic care. As far as games go I like to play old movie songs and let them guess or you can make it multiple choice such as the love Boat, gunsmoke etc. 3 letter word hangman. Tasting games close your eyes I’m gonna put a piece of candy in your mouth you see if you can guess it. You can also do this with soda. If there higher functioning you could do the price is right go to dollar store call 3 people down let them guess price of item without going over person closest wins the item. Auctions with Monopoly money have staff bring in stuff from house pictures, purses, hats, animated stuff animals etc. you stand on a chair and let them bid on them serve snow cones hot dogs and popcorn they will love it. I hope this helps a bit just know that what you are trying to do with your residents is commendable don’t over think it just love them truly love them with hugs kisses and complements that is all any of us want really is just someone to accept, connect and love us those wants don’t ever change despite our age or illness.

      • Ehelle Lord, DM

        Now that we have discovered remission in Alzheimer’s and dementia, care plans are much improved and the quality of life, as you describe with your grandfather living at home until his death, is possible for those achieving remission. Activities are more interesting and valuable once the person is in remission. More information about the Good Shepherd Healing System (GSHS) which was used in a recent study to achieve remission by emailing me at [Link Removed] or visiting [Link Removed]

      • Siale

        thats awesome advice

      • Annette Angelique Nager

        Debra, you are a Saint

    • Ann W.

      I am an Activities Worker at a Memory Care facility. I have been facing this problem with one of our newer residents. I sing Bicycle Built for Two, & songs like that, with the residents and he is very quiet. It shocked me when he spontaneously started singing “Monday, Monday” one Monday. I have found that he needs 1to1 interactions focusing on his interests – fishing and hunting. We also have taken short runs together. He does better when he feels engaged and purposeful.

      • caitlinburm

        That is great to hear. Thank you for sharing that with us, Ann!

    • shannon fitzpatrick

      i totally agree i work in assisted living facility with a memory care unit i am currently about to be transferred to activities in memory care and see it all to much just like children as adults we still have different ideas of entertainment as adults and plan to try and change that at our facility a big reason most places i see are limted in activities is income we as employees are given little to work with they never want to buy or spend money on activities could you give me some ideas on something your husband likes to do you can email at [Link Removed]

      • Sandra Elkins Christian

        With memory care, it is important to let them feel productive at any stage. if they are able to, sing alongs are great, so is trivia like finish the phrase(an apple a day…) and name that tune(play the beginning of a song on a cd, and stop it and see if they can tell you what it is, or read the first verse of a song and see if they can name it), or if they can identify pictures of celebrity photos/famous couples. Mid stages, more things like folding washclothes, untying men’s ties or ladies scarves(we have some mischievous person who ties them into simple knots…thank goodness the residents help me untie them!! 😉 ) maybe matching socks or mittens, folding baby clothes. “helping”with planting seeds or plants, feeding birds, dog visits, tying knots on fleece to make small blankets for animal shelters, Futher along, listening to music, looking at pictures in large books(which, when the book is ripped or stained, we take the pictures, cut them out, and glue them to card stock and cut them into 2 or 3 piece puzzles. something they can do and feel productive) ball toss, and balloon toss are also a favorite as they lose other abilities…hope this helps!

        • Wendy Robey

          Ask them identity colours of the rainbow ? colour in the ? identity where varies items go such as belt ⌚ glasses ? allow them to place them where belong doing dot to dots identifying where ? are

    • anita cooney

      Art! Painting is so great for anyone and everyone can do it ! And if a mess is a concern.. Water Color pencils work wonderfully, just a touch of water on a paint brush, blends color. You will be surprised at the talent that lies just under the surface.. no pressure to stay in the lines.. he will find his style. I work full time 12 hour shifts with a 85 client/friend.. The family said she never painted or was interested.. but I am a Artist. so I wanted to try.. She loves it , we paint birdhouses as gifts, Watercolor note cards.. photo frames .. our serving tray.. each project calls for different type of paint. But this is just some ideas. And as far as singing.. it is fun! My family said.. My Mom does not like singing.. never did ..but as she is losing the ability of speech I knew it would help.. She loved it! We sing every night.. old songs while getting ready for bed, and end it with You are my Sunshine! A family memory, The daughter came in and just cried .. My Mom sung that to me when I was little! It is a gift .. what ever you can find. keep searching for a new “interest”.. plants, Birding !

      • P.

        Not everyone loves art

        • stacy

          wow you’re a downer!

          • Painter Péintéir

            hey, i’m an artist, and i agree, not everyone loves art. i’d love to engage my dad in art, but straight up? he doesn’t dig it. that’s not a bad thing to say, it’s just real. engaging people involves actually paying attention to them and what the actually like. sometimes, that’s not art.

          • badspotteddog

            My Mom is in stage 6. She complains because she thinks she never does anything (which she does, she just doesn’t remember). We moved her to Thailand so we could afford GOOD care. We rented a house completely walled in with a garden and a pool, so she can’t wander. We have a private caretaker that comes to sit with her, because we still have to work (online at home).
            There is NOTHING she likes to do except go out and eat. She won’t swim. She will not participate in craft day. She doesn’t want to organize at home. She says she wants to watch TV, but doesn’t even look at it once, nor does she listen to it.
            We have taken her to Malaysia, Bangkok, walking streets in Thailand, to see her granddaughter sing and play, grocery shopping, on walks, swimming, local craft days, and she complains about all of it, or just refuses it altogether. Alzheimer’s sucks bad. This is not my Mom. I mourn her death every day.

          • Lisa

            That is so true, my mother gets no enjoyment out of it at all. But she loves music she plays the guitar and piano. And anytime there’s a group that comes in it sends her to heaven. But I also encouraged her to play her guitar and the piano and the activity room.

          • P.

            Can you tell me why you think so please?

          • P.

            And you don’t understand the topic. ????

        • IMSiegfried

          Not everyone may enjoy art but everyone is creative. That’s the trick. Finding a way for them to be creative.

      • Anne-Maire

        Great ideas! Thank you!

      • kristinvalgards

        Hi Anita 🙂

        I work at a nursing home for elderly in Iceland but there are few young men here at the age of 41-59 years old who either got head injury that resulted in dementia or they got MS-disease. I work as the Supervisor of Social Affairs which basically means I manage the social life. It really difficult to activate these young men to do the things I do with the older people so I formed a group just for them. The activity I see the most results is our music group. I sat them down and had screen projector and asked them all to tell me what was their favorite band, musician and so on. Then I created a special playlist for each on of them on Youtube and later on Spotify. Then every week I take of one the band or musician they loved and had a little presentation of the band’s life or maybe a documentary. This created such good discussions afterwards and left them all smiling when they remembered when they were younger. So my recommendations for you is to show him Youtube videos of his band or just listen to song than try to talk about it and see if he remembers!

        • Patricia

          So smart!

    • Jan

      Hi Lori My husband was in his early 60s when diagnosed with dementia. He was always a sporting person on the go very physically fit and had good balance and coordination. If you husband is still fit and active try a tandem bike most towns have cycle paths (you do the steering) take up dancing or Tia Chi, fishing of a safe river bank, or wharf. join a Walking for pleasure group but keep him at home and as active as possible

    • S.

      It doesn’t have to be a sing a long like children do. It can be a classic they were once into and they don’t have to sing only listen. It has been shown that when you play music to someone it triggers memories that were lost.

      • Annie Whyte

        My dad is in a care home. . I’m in a wee band + we went in to play for the residents last Monday night 13/03/17. . The response to the music was amazing ! . . We had feedback from 2 residents family members telling us their loved ones who are almost unresponsive started keeping time by tapping their hands on their legs in exact time with the bass drum. . !!! . . The atmosphere in the “Day room” was buzzing ! . . The carers commented on it too !!! . . Residents were more responsive + engaging singing + clapping to the music/hymns etc. . My dad played his tin whistle with us too. . He was into music all his life so it was great to “have him back ” . . I saw it in his eyes ! . Precious x

    • Wendy

      Maybe look at what his interests were in the past and give him things to bring back those memories. Just looking at old pictures or memorabilia can spark conversation and stories. All the best.

  • Louise

    I coordinated a project called Storykeepers where community volunteers recorded & transcribed life stories of people with alzheimers. We put their life histories in book form and I made hand bound book covers to bind them in. Scrapbooking is basically the same thing. You sometimes have to get information from family and friends but putting a book together gives the patient purpose and helps them share the stories that might otherwise be lost to loved ones. I currently care for an elderly lady with alzheimers and we spend many hours talking about her life…i love hearing all her stories and her mood is so much better…her family is so pleased.

  • Anna McIntyre

    When i visit my grandma she becomes bored easily especially if neither of us are saying much TV doesn’t stimulate her, apart from watching the news and although still lives in her own house she is on her own and that plays on her mind a lot. I become frustrated at what i can amuse her with as when she’s bored she will make hum hum style noises to fill the short silence.
    I tried scrabble as she managed to play it at the beginning of last year but last week when i got it out again, she couldn’t manage to unscramble the letters before her to make even the simplest of words so i don’t think it would be suitable to play again but dominoes seemed to amuse her a lot. We played for almost 2 hours where my younger brother and sister joined in too and it was quite stimulating! She goes to bingo night at a local pub once a week with her younger sister and has recently started doing word searches.
    I just wonder what else would be suitable and fun to do.

    • Debra Harris Vinsant

      Dress up box sounds like it would be just the thing to do with your Grammie! Make a large tote of hats me laces colorful wigs shawls boa feathers glasses etc. you will have to start sit it between you and start digging in and putting the items on yourself be very animated then put some feathers around her neck do selfie photos with her get up and dance really be silly and have fun with it. Your Grammy will laugh and have a great time with this and so will you. I do this a lot to just bring some fun into the day. Plus the pictures are a memory you will cherish.

  • Sheryl

    Three weeks ago I had to move my mom to a memory care facility. It’s been very stressful as she hates it and continually tells me to take her home. She gets very angry with me; hits me etc and its very hard to have a meaningful visit with her. She doesn’t understand how long she’s been there and just keeps telling me she’s been there all day and is ready to go home. If I tell her she needs to stay she is very agitated. I’m clearly the bad person and it breaks my heart. Im not sure she even recognizes me as her daughter; I get the feeling in her mind I may be her sister. I feel extremely guilty and think maybe I should be looking for a different facility that she might like better. I’m confused and stressed.

    • Karen

      Sheryl, This is a terrible disease on everyone who it touches! I have no miracle answers for you but I wanted to try to let you know that the guilt you feel is also part of this disease! And as bad as it is, it shows how much you love your mommy! There is no timeline or correct answer! I may suggest that you reach out to your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s association to find a caregiver support group to help you validate your feeling so you can be at peace with the decisions you have made and guidance for the future!
      I hope this eases some of your worries!

    • Debra Harris Vinsant

      Hi dear my heart breaks for you I see family’s like you every day. I hate to tell you this but you need to lie to your mother terrible I know but it’s to save your relationship and still enjoy each other’s company. Tell her there is work being done to the house right now may be a month before it is done then do her room at the facility in her personal things. Her own bed clothes her pictures on the wall etc. change the subject when you visit as soon as possiable video one of the grandchildren doing something and show her the videos. Hopefully they have a good act. Program there talk to the activity director she needs to be busy and meet others like herself. Stay on top of this if the director says she refuses activity then ask her to not ask just say it’s time and escort her to the activity this dept. can be understaffed and they may not be persistent but stress to her that your mothers success depends on her most of the time they are very kindhearted individuals and will take her under there wing and help her. With Alzheimer’s. Activity is the most important thing even more important than her general health at this point. She can also give you ideas and simple crafts or puzzles you and your mom can do togeather when you visit. My heart just really goes out to you I wish your mom were in my facility but am confident in the people who share my profession and know that she will help you. Best wishes to you take care of yourself dear.

    • Linda B

      Sheryl, You probably found a solution by now, but thought I’d share this idea for others- when faced with moving our mother to memory care, my siblings and I typed and printed out a paper that started out with the words, Mom, because we love you so deeply, we will be sharing this with you frequently. This will help you build a memory so you can know and understand these very important things. We explained in very blunt, short, clear statements what was happening: she was ill. She needed more care than we could provide. The care costs money – and we wrote the options and costs: full care plus nursing at her home (10 miles from the nearest small town), vs full care plus nursing at a senior center in that small town. The obvious choice was moving her to the small town. We wrote that it saddened us to make that decision, and we wrote out the math that we had done to discover that selling her house and land was the only way to pay for her care. Each line item had a blank next to it for her to initial, and at the bottom was a line for her to sign. My sister was the first to introduce the paper to her, having her initial each line. At the bottom she actually had her write the words, “I understand” and then sign. Mom added an exclamation mark after the words, “I understand” on the third time she saw the paper, as she realized then that she had no memory (yet) of having seen that paper. For several days we re-visited that paper with her every two hours. When it was time for the move she knew what was happening, but we spared her as much of the process as possible. We had her choose the items she wanted to keep in her dresser, the items she wanted to keep on her shelves, and so on, then I took her out to lunch while my siblings did the moving. When she was done eating I took her to her new appartment. We pointed out all the things she still had, one by one, and let her tell us some history of some of them. Then, we went back to the paper that explained why she was there, but she said she understood and didn’t need it. Nonetheless, we posted it on the inside of her door at the center so she would be able to see it as she came and went. It was a cruel reality, but I have to say that she seemed to resign herself to it, and when I was crying about it one day she said, “Stop sniveling, Dear, it is what it is and crying isn’t going to change it.” I have seen many people in the memory care center who, like your Mom, are confused and expect to go home. They stop me in the hall, desperate to know why nobody has come to get them. Every time I ask them, “Do you have an apartment here?” They say, “Yes” and I say, “Well, that’s good, because you are ill; you need help, right?” and they say, “Yes” so I say, “That’s why you have your new apartment. Your apartment is here, where you can get the help you need.” They always seem to feel much better then. Sometimes they ask, “well, where is my daughter/son/husband/wife? and I say, do they work? (yes) well, they are at work, and when they get done they will probably come see you. But they do not live in your apartment, so they will not be here all the time. That usually does it for them, for a few minutes. Sometimes I see them frequently and tell them the same thing again and again. Over time, a few have stopped me to say, “I understand! … I live HERE now. Thanks for telling me.” the funny thing is that when the staff simply edit the message to, “you live here now” they were angry, whereas when I gave the explanation, they weren’t.

      • susankl

        great idea – – thank you sheryl

  • Cathy Masters

    Most of the activities that I see are not for men. My father is in a memory care unit with 11 women. Prior to his stroke he was vert active in crib and shuffleboard. Now he can’t remember how to play. He went from an outgoing person to a passive participant. He has difficulty communicating. These activities are available for assisted or independent. I am thinking of working with the recreational director to see if the staff will take him to the activities to sit in and watch. I’m hoping this will give him the male interaction and mental stimulation that I think he wants and perhaps eventually develop friendships where some of these men may take him under their wing.

  • Missy Sophie

    I purchased 8 piece puzzles for my mother in law. She used to do large puzzles when younger. She loves them and is so happy when she can put them together herself. Thinking about some wooden paper dolls. The cloths are magnetic, should be easy for her to use.

  • Pam

    I think what my husband is missing most is male company and conversation but how do I organise that for him and how do I stop him feeling frustrated when he loses the thread of the conversation?

  • Andrea

    New to this journey with my husband who is 10 years younger than me, and as well as Alzheimers (early onset) he suffers from chronic neuropathic pain for which there seems to be no help or relief. Recently as he was spending a lot of time just sitting we have joined a gym and work out 3x week and go to aquafit. He is loving it and follows his own program with a helpful trainer. I believe the physical activity stimulates all the senses and also lifts depression! It is also something we can do together.

  • Christine

    I am a dementia day care coordinator, I have had a massive influx of younger onset referrals lately. The need for carers to still work is so hard, there should be much more financial support for them, they stand to loose so much, and I wish I could provide the amount of respite they need to reduce the risks of them loosing their homes, and much more. How many of us could cope financially if we had to reduced to one income.

  • ClaireS

    Activities: around here I have just discovered a Men in Sheds for men with dementia. Near Stoke on Trent. There must be others. My husband is 75 and not practical but maybe he can go and watch and give support…ideal I should think for your 56 year old husband if he likes diy, gardening, carpentry etc. Also the thought: everyone is different. Keep your activities relating to what he/she was interested in. Not all can do things. Apathy is a key part of Lewy Bodies dementia, so interest is hard to generate. Best surround them with or offer things they enjoy: music, tv, people, walks. Mine would create havoc in the kitchen as his sense of logic is gone: things go upside down, instructions are heard often opposite to what is said. It’s not easy. He has no interests, but likes to talk – all the time. That’s wearying so doing activities would be easier. i have post its but he does not read them accurately and can’t decipher their meaning. I have found a day care, but he calls it: that old peoples place ! where some are younger than he is! Help is welcome but some advice makes you feel a failure, and other advice is too prescriptive. Best be inventive and tuned in – or tune out if necessary! good luck all. x

  • Dee

    I have been a caregiver for a year for my mom with Alzheimer’s. Keeping her active and engaged has been and continues to be a challenge. She loves to cook but she is unable to taste or smell. She refused to have help from me and would end up burning the food or using spoiled ingredients. She would leave stove on. Keeping her from cooking was tanamount to punishment in her mind. I go through the fridge daily and toss spoiled food without her seeing it. I put red tape on burners to indicate off position so I could see if stove is off from afar so she doesn’t feel like she is being “watched”. I slowly convinced her to share her kitchen with me so we could cook together. Once she no longer felt I was taking over, she became more open to the offer of assistance. My mom has always been in control and the idea of needing constant help threw her into instant depression. She puts notes on everything but gets confused when trying to read them. She must have everything “planned” and written on a large calendar because it is her security blanket. Every outing and activity gets written on there and she uses it like a bible. We have scheduled outings and activities planned every day of the week. An outing may be going to a doctor or to a grocery store. Any stimulation is better than sitting home crying and worrying. We go shopping together because if she went alone, she would buy the same item over and over. I have to pretend I need to go out and run errands and we can stop at grocery store on “the way”so I can assist her. She goes up and down the aisles staring at items as if there is a whole world of new products she is learning about for the first time. We go to try on clothes in the department stores, not to buy them, but to have her practice dressing herself. She still prefers to wear her same clothes, but trying on different types of clothing items allows her to practice with zippers and buttons. Gardening is very therapeutic for me. My mom always wants to “help” me. She doesn’t remember what to do, but she can follow one step directions still. I can also demo what to do and then hand her the tool. Music is another tool tat works wonders. I bought a few CDs from her favorite era and play them when she starts to get weepy or when she is seeming bored. We have game time as often as possible. Checkers, Scrabble, Memory, Connect 4, Perfection,Mancala and Puzzles with 100 pieces or less are part of our routine. Basically, it’s a crap shoot of hit and miss with what works. It can change daily. Just keep trying different things and be sure to do something for yourself daily as well.

    • caitlinburm


      Thank you for sharing your story with us. “Just keep trying different things and be sure to do something for yourself daily as well.” That is incredibly helpful advice that we can all benefit from.

      Thank you again!

  • Laurie Almoslino

    my mom used to be a first grade teacher, and loved to read to the kids. unfortunately, I lived in another state. But one day when I was visiting my parents, I asked my mom if she would read to me, and picked out a book she bought for me years ago “The Little House”. My mom read almost the entire book, slowly to be sure, but with interest and emphasis – she still had those skills despite her dementia/Alzheimers. After dinner, I asked her to finish it, but by then, it was too late in the evening, and she was reduced to looking at the pictures and trying to guess the story. She passed away a couple of months later, but having her read to me that day is a good memory.

    • caitlinburm


      We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother, but thank you for sharing such a personal story with us about her. That is an incredible memory to have had with her in the midst of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

      Thank you again, for sharing.

  • Jennifer

    I am a chaplain who offers Bible study to patients. I am trying to find creative ideas for things to do that will go along with a bible story or parable. Thanks

    • Mary

      Jennifer, do you have any familiarity with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd? It is a hands-on way (for children) to relate to the Bible stories. She whether you can find a Catechesis “atrium” or program at a church near you — often Catholic or Episcopal ones, but not exclusively so. There you will be able to observe and find many ideas, some of which can be adapted to your setting.

  • Pat Cervantes

    I am a CNA and a activities aid I am very frustrated cause I can’t find anything to do with my residents all they want to do is walk around please help I really love my job

    • Juany

      I have the same problem with my aunt. I think she is in the second stage and am desperate to find an activity that she can focus on at least for a little while but she mostly walks and walks

    • Karen

      Would not be disheartened. We come from a farm and until my mother (now 90 but has no physical limitations) was accepted into a nursing home she walked from the farmhouse to the gate twice a day – looking at crops, trees flowers and birds – perhaps 2 kms each way – she was never a sitter and has always been active. Now she loves to walk around the park which borders onto the home and down the corridors and out in the gardens – BUT they do not like her to do this for could fall and break a leg – they would prefer her to sit whilst people come to sing or play the piano. No matter what we suggest the activity coordinators do not think that walking and talking with residents about the flowers, trees, weather is better than them sitting and listening to someone else doing.
      We have provided signed permission that she can go to the park and we will accept responsibility. Naturally when we are with her she walks in parks, beaches forests etc and her entire outlook brightens.

  • Candy

    My dad loves to look at old coins. I found a large red book-like coin holder when you opened it, it was the map of the U.S. Each state had a space for a quarter. There is a series of quarters that have states on the back that go into them. He has enjoyed this quite a bit. I found others but they needed silver dollars that we couldn’t seem to find. Still looking for coin related activities at this time.

  • P.

    My dad is 77 and never had many, if any hobbies in his life. And this makes things worse for him. I know if he had he would probably have a slight interest now.. Instead he just sits and sits. And waits for death.

  • Lisa Barnes

    Some of your activity suggestions are valid, but what I have to point out is that :
    6, 7, & 8 are not really readily feasible if you are really aware of a lot of the actual characteristics of someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
    They generally do not read the newspaper any more, they are incapable of engaging with books they used to read. Small print and complex reading materials are generally not what they connect with anymore. Perhaps that maybe the case with some that are younger patients….Recipes–hmmm, maybe a task can be given them like, here are the potatoes in a strainer and wash, scrub them with the veggie brush & water…They need smaller activities that will give them a sense of accomplishment and not failure or disinterest . In turn the care giver will see positive in their side of the equation too. You want to take “baby steps” and then all parties involved are left with a sense of peace and encouragement NOT frustration and disappointment.

  • Darrel

    Playing simple board games and domino games can be fun for both caregiver and person with impairment.

  • Darrel

    If the person with dementia can still walk, you may want to walk the dog together. Hook 2 leashes to your pet and give one to the person with dementia to hold. Keep the dog in the middle. It keeps your dog safe, and the person with dementia thinks he is actively walking the dog, but you have control of the speed, duration, and route with your own leash. You are able to keep both the person and dog safe because both are “attached to you” with the leashes. It allows the person you are caring for to feel useful, and you all get some exercise at the same time.

  • Mrs. Washington

    i have a question about my grandmother..she is 74 and she is starting to be forgetful but i want to know how can i determine if it is dementia or the side effects of anti depressant

  • Raminitta Roberson

    I’m taking care of my Mother and she is 55. She lose interest in a lot except music. There are some helpful tips in here however! I think I should go by some paint and we will paint pictures! Everything else didn’t work. Folding towels only worked for a few mins! Good luck to everyone.

  • Debbie McLean

    My nanny is 86years young and used to love icing cakes especially wedding cakes and was amazing at it very clever lady but now suffers from arthritis so can’t manage creative activities any suggestions?

  • annette

    Has anybody any ideas for what maybe toys etc to get for dementia patients in hospital that are usually bed bound I make the fiddle/twiddle muffs and have taken in dolls for the lady patients but it is so hard trying find something for male patients that are bed bound and with dementia if anyone could suggest anything will be very gratefull

    • Sandra Elkins Christian

      activity mats are great…if you have time or a volunteer that sews, it will be alot cheaper than buying them.

  • Jules

    A reborn doll was the best thing I could do for my 91 year old, totally death dad with Dementia.. I just wish I knew what else I could do for him.. it’s so emotionally draining, I just hope and pray that he doesn’t suffer.. pardon my English.. love Jullie-Ann x

  • Caroline

    I have no personal experiences of dementia although I have worked with individuals with dementia for 3 years now. An activity I have found to be fantastic is chair aerobics , u don’t necessarily need to be qualified in this , sitting on a chair with some motivational music encouraging clients to raise there arm and legs. When carrying this out i have found it to be very enjoyable for the clients! It’s encouraging participation even if the clients are no longer able to mobilise ! Great results and really fun for everyone !

  • Carlinda

    I’m so frustrated there’s always groups and advice for seniors. I’m only 43 and I have Frontal Lobe Dementia.

    I have support by family and my long term boyfriend. But I don’t have a support group with others like me.

    I hate that I feel like I’m becoming a burden.

  • Bobbie

    My husband is 70, dx was 5years ago. He’s a guys guy- guns, tractor, plow, a garage full of tools and equipment. He built our house. He can only do activities with 2-4 steps on a good day- but he thinks he can do what he used to. I have had a really hard time keeping him safe- and finding activities that fit his abilities. The other day, I left him raking- and came home and he was burning! All ideas welcom!

  • Cynthia Kennedy


  • Cynthia Kennedy

    My father is showing signs of extreme agitation and aggression. He is confused and just wants to break out of the facility he is in. Can anyone suggest activities that I might do with him or bring to him to do. He is constantly trying to take things apart. Wheelchair, light in his room, any kind of thing. He has always been very hands on and he (in my opinion, needs something to be useful). The medication they have him on is affecting his liver and is adding to his aggression and agitation. His lower extremities are swelling and I am afraid he will go into liver failure. I understand that when a medication is prescribed they have to let it work for a bit to see if it will “work” but the side effects warned are happening and I am so very worried and not sure where/ what to do.
    Any advise or guidance would most certainly be appreciated… Just feel like crying all the time…

  • DezygnHer Originalz Moskovitz

    How do I gently push Mom to go, do, and see regarding activities?
    Her response to suggestions is “That does not interest me anymore.”

  • Maddi

    The age of the patient doesn’t necessarily matter with this suggestion, but as an aide working in an assisted living/memory care facility, there is nothing that confuses and frustrates a patient with Alzheimer’s more than treating them like a little child, or like they’re slow. The patients that decline the most rapidly at the place I work are the ones whose family speaks to them on a preschool level and doesn’t allow them to make any decisions for themselves. The ones that become the most independent and are able to remember more are the ones who are spoken to with respect, are allowed to make their own everyday decisions, and are involved in the discussions with their family concerning their future or financial situation.

    • Le Green

      My Mother improved so much after moving in with us, and a lot of this is because we did this. it was because we did this.

    • Equinox

      Fantastic advice Maddi.

  • Dawn

    I am a caregiver to a lady with Alzheimers. What type of board games would you recommend that is easy to follow? Also, would you recommend adult coloring books?

  • Equinox

    If anyone hasn’t seen the doco Alive Inside I can’t stress enough the need to see it if you know someone living with Dementia. As stated below by caregivers working hands-on within the field the most positive results appear to come from music that is personally relevant to the dementia sufferer. Don’t take my word for it, watch the doco for yourself. It’s literally life altering. [Link Removed]

  • Aunt Les Hulsey

    Looking for suggestions please. I have a friend that 93 and is bedridden with dementia/alzheimer’s. Thought about ear buds with music, gospel or preaching. He is hard of hearing by the way. What do you all recommend?

  • One of the most common causes of Dementia is Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s patient will feel difficulty in remembering recent activity which is also term as “Short-term Memory Loss”. It’s also one common early symptoms which be seen in Alzheimer’s patient. Ten point which you have mentioned in the post is really helpful for the elder one. These memory stimulating activities will keep Alzheimer’s patients busy and involvement in different activities will keep their mind sharp and focused.

    • Maggie

      Dear Persons in charge of Newport Home Care,
      Sorry to say that I cannot agree with your ideas, briefly based on the following:
      (1) Alzheimer’s disease is not “one of the most common causes of Dementia”, and neither is short-term memory loss.
      (2) People with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are not “patients”.
      For further information (or clarification or general knowledge, whatever), you may like to google the official announcement from the World Health Organization.

  • erkskindl

    One of the best activities I’ve seen is balloon volleyball. With or without a net. It’s kind of volleyball in slow motion. Everyone loves it and the laughs come frequently. The key is the balloon. Balloons are the greatest to toss around. They’re slow and super lightweight. You can’t hurt anyone with a balloon. (As long as everyone is seated although they can get excited and start standing up. Gotta be careful with that as some topple easy.) It’s pretty magical how they all come alive, united in play and fun, and spontaneity. Interacting with each other and laughing, truly having a good time. This is all something they need so much.

    I’ve done both balloon volleyball and just free form balloon play where the goal is to keep it in the air, gently bouncing it around the room. Great when there are visitors and caregivers all playing together. Everyone has a superb time and lots of laughter. Experiment with different sized balloons. They all have different characteristics. A little bigger than the standard size party balloon. Try it. You’ll have a ball.

    You know, now that I think of it, combining this with singing would probably be a riot!

    If there’s anything these people need, it’s a good laugh. Playing kind of brings them back to childhood and allows them to be in a beautiful moment.

  • erkskindl

    When I go to visit my mom in memorycare, singing is without a doubt her absolute most greatest joy. A few bars of “My Bonnie” and she’s off! Others often join us. We have a rousing great time and lots of laughs. She remembers many of the lyrics too. It’s like in her DNA.

    Sing-a-long time at the facility is always a great time for most everyone. But my mom loves singing and is ready to go anytime. My sister joins in often and then we really get going. It’s important of course to make sure you’re singing songs they know and love. It amazes me how damn near everyone knows songs like “My Bonnie”, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”, “Home On The Range” etc.

  • Teresa Howse

    My client use to paint I have tried to engage her in several activities, but she just likes to watch me do these things. When I ask or encourage her to join in she refuses, I am going to try to use books and pictures. I am there for 4 hours and it is the longest 4 hours. Her husband does not want me to do any folding or cleaning I am there to keep her safe, showered, and engaged.

  • orchard House is arrange activity for the people living in home with dementia. this activities they enjoyed such as crafting some cooking, flower decorating etc. they get interested to do this.

  • Tiffany

    In September my grandma passed away. She took care of her sister who has Alzheimer’s. For the most part this page helps a lot but as I am now her care taker there is something I just don’t know how to respond to. My great aunt often ask where my grandmother is. I don’t tell her she passed away though I’m not sure if that’s best? I tell her she’s on a trip visiting her son or traveling somewhere. It just seems less sad because when my grandma came home and was on hospice my great aunt would often ask what would happen to her or what she was going to do we all told her we would take care of her. Her and my gran did everything together. Is there a better approach than the one I’m taking. Thanks in advance!

  • Ali J

    Looking for ideas for a senior man . The article suggests stuff to do that would interest more homebodies and homemakers. Need ideas for a former outdoorsman, businessman, he did recreational golfing, boating and sailing. At home liked yardwork, jogging, and playing various musical instruments. Not sure if many of those ideas suggested in the article are for him but he is curious and humble and does have a sense of humor!

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