Dementia Activities Must be Catered to Capabilities

by Dana
(Salt Lake City, UT)

Activities for Elderly with Dementia

Activities for Elderly with Dementia

Many of us deal with elderly loved ones who have been diagnosed with some type of dementia.


Finding activities for dementia that promote stimulation without over stimulation can be challenging, depending on the type of dementia as well as the severity or stage that your loved one has been diagnosed with.

In the facility where I work, I have found that many of the dementia patients I work with feel useless. In order to boost their morale and restore their sense of belonging and usefulness, I often have our laundry person bring the towels and washcloths used by the bathhouse so they can sort and fold on one of the activity tables. It's amazing how much fun they have, and it serves to keep them engaged and active.

Another favorite with my residence is button sorting. Over a period of days or weeks, I have staff, family, and visitors bring buttons. After I've gathered about a gallon’s worth, I place the buttons in a basket.

Many people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia are very tactile, so I ask them, one at a time or as a small group, to pull out buttons of a specific color.

This keeps them actively engaged and focused for up to half an hour or more, and the look of pride on their faces when they've emptied the basket of that color always brings them a smile and a sense of accomplishment.

These are just two relatively simple activities for people with dementia can do. When finding ways to keep Mom or Dad engaged, use the imagination and whenever possible, couple that activity with something that makes them feel a sense of accomplishment.

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Feb 22, 2017
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Sewing Cards
by: Elaine

Remember those wonderful colorful sewing cards we had as children, that used wool laces?

I brought a box into a senior residence for people with dementia, and it was a GREAT hit!! Even I was surprised. :) I originally found them in a charity shop. The other craft was a lunchroom tray (found at the charity shop as well) with colored strips of paper glued to the base.

I used neon strips, each about 3 inches wide, overlapping each other. It wasn't called for, but I mod podged over the top as well. Then sprinkle a thin layer of salt (or sand ) over the paper.

Hand the senior a brush and watch how thrilled they are to "paint" designs! Even a straight line looks great. :)

Dec 30, 2014
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Easy Activities for Moderate Dementia
by: Lori

My mom has trouble getting around, and with moderate dementia, has found that completing some tasks at home is overwhelming.

When I know she's up to it, I have her help wash or dry dishes, fold laundry, or even dust. The smile on her face when she helps with such activities is priceless.

Dec 30, 2014
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Fun Activities for the Elderly
by: Phyllis

Very good advice! I also found that as my mom’s dementia advanced, that she grew increasingly frustrated because she felt so useless. Even the smallest task can help a senior with dementia feel useful.

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