Five Stimulating Activities for Your Loved One with Dementia


AlmaVia of San Rafael residents exercising

More than 50 million people around the world live with dementia. These people require extra love and attention. To better connect with the people you love and encourage healthy brain activity, it’s vital to engage in fun, brain-stimulating activities with them regularly. Here are five ideas for stimulating dementia activities you can try today.

1. Exercise

Exercise and other forms of physical activity can be very stimulating for both the mind and body. Therefore, it is essential to make sure your loved one can engage in a workout before you begin. For example, seated exercises such as seated aerobics or stretches may be more appropriate for your loved one.

Some studies show a promising link between physical activity and improved cognition in people with dementia. More research on the subject still needs to be done. Still, the preliminary results are promising and provide a good reason to help your loved one stay physically active and fit.

2. Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts can give people with dementia an increased sense of purpose as they create. Projects such as painting, leatherworking, and beading can all be fun activities for your loved one to try. Make sure the projects you choose are safe and use non-toxic materials.

Remember that your loved one may not finish the craft. It’s more important for them to engage in the action of working on a project. Therefore, you should plan on providing clear cues throughout the activity to help your loved one understand what comes next.

3. Go Outdoors

Simply being outdoors can be highly stimulating. Sunshine and fresh air can also be therapeutic. If you aren’t sure what to do while you’re outside, try these fun and safe activities:

  • Visiting local parks and gardens
  • Exploring farmers’ markets in your area
  • Gardening
  • Bird watching
  • Attending appropriate outdoor events

Suppose your loved one is unable to safely leave the house. In that case, you can bring nature to them by turning on a nature documentary or television show. 

4. Look at Family Photos or Memory Books

People with dementia often love to reminisce about the things they can remember. Talking about memories is also a great way to keep those memories clear for as long as possible. Looking at family photos or talking about different items in a memory box can be a great way to connect on a deeper level with your loved one.

If your loved one doesn’t have a memory box, consider helping them make one. The box can double as a therapy and a keepsake to pass on to posterity.

5. Cook Together

Cooking meals with your loved one who has dementia can be a fun and rewarding process. Make sure the recipes you choose are simple and have minimal risk of injury. Easy ideas include making smoothies, threading fruit onto skewers to make fruit kebabs, and making simple sandwiches that fit your loved one’s favorite toppings.

Elder Care Alliance seeks to provide physical and mental stimulation to our residents with dementia every day. Their memory care services provide individuals with adapted environments and individualized learning approaches to help residents feel supported and engaged. You can schedule a tour to learn more.  

Home Office

Elder Care Alliance

1301 Marina Village Parkway
Suite 210
Alameda, CA 94501

Phone: (510) 630-2560

Fax: (510) 769-2735

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