Activities for Elders with Dementia

by JoAnn
(Santa Fe, NM)

Activities for Elderly with Dementia

Activities for Elderly with Dementia

It's often not easy to encourage elders with dementia to engage in activities and crafts, but whenever possible, try to convince a loved one to get involved. When a person is diagnosed with dementia, they tend to want to back away from engaging in activities they used to like.


Convince your loved ones that they don't have to give up doing those activities. So many can be modified depending on cognitive ability, dexterity, and focus. As a matter of fact, activities are great in reducing a number of dementia-related behaviors such as agitation and wandering.

When choosing activities for elders with dementia, it's always important to cater the crafts or activity to your loved one’s abilities or skills. Make sure you're aware of what he or she likes to do, and always be aware of physical limitations, lack of coordination, or tremors that may make certain crafts or activities frustrating.

I've learned that by focusing on the joy that can be gained from a craft and not necessarily the result is beneficial. Whenever possible, choose an activity that will maintain and coincide with the current talents and skills that your loved one retains. Be willing to modify crafts, tools, and approaches based on limitations.

Remember that not everyone will react to physical or mental illnesses the same way. It's up to you to be aware of the limitations of your loved one. Choose crafts that will be fun and enjoyable, not frustrating and aggravating.

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Christmas Carols help My Mother
by: Anonymous

It's hard to realize that some activities are just going to be too overwhelming for someone with dementia.

My elderly mother always like to go Christmas caroling in our neighborhood with a group of friends, but she’s not mobile anymore, and she's forgotten the words to some of her favorite carols.

Still, last year I took her to a local mall where a group of carolers were gathered and sat with my mother, listening to them sing.

Her face lit up with joy and even though she couldn't participate, she did hum along. It was heartwarming!

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Christmas Cookies Fiasco
by: Anonymous

I made the mistake of suggesting to my elderly mother that we bake her favorite Christmas cookies for a cookie exchange.

While she seemed excited at first, by the time we got into the kitchen she had grown increasingly agitated. Finally, I realized that she had forgotten the ingredients. I felt horrible!

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