Stimulating Activities for Those Living with Dementia

Jun 5, 2024

If you’re caring for a loved one who is living with dementia, it’s important to find engaging and stimulating activities, especially ones that are meaningful to them. It’s even better to find activities you can do together, because as someone’s cognitive abilities decline, they may need a little more assistance. If you already enjoy these activities together, it won’t be as distressing for your loved one when they need a bit more help.

Engaging in activities can significantly improve a person’s quality of life when living with dementia. The best type of support you can give is to help your loved one enjoy each moment according to their unique needs each day. So, by planning plenty of fun and engaging activities, you’re creating an environment where your loved one can flourish. Here are some great activities for people with dementia.

Keep in mind that everyone’s journey with dementia will look different, and every day will be different. 


Most people find gardening to be a relaxing and even therapeutic pastime. The great thing about gardening is that it’s a varied task, so you can help your loved one enjoy whatever jobs they want on any given day. It’s important to remember that people’s motivation and capabilities can vary throughout their dementia journey. One day, they may be able to prepare and plant a new vegetable patch, while other days, they may only be up for watering some plants. Sometimes, you may need to adapt the activity in order for it to be meaningful.  

Any gardening activities are great for providing a sense of purpose and connection with nature, and importantly, it’s something that family and friends can get involved in, too.

Cooking and baking

Preparing meals and baking together is a good way to keep your loved one engaged in everyday tasks. Much like gardening, it provides a sense of purpose, but it’s also fun, relaxing and something you can do together.

People living with dementia may appreciate having regular cooking tasks, for example, it’s always their job to decorate the cupcakes. This type of routine can be beneficial, but it also gives you flexibility to share tasks differently as required. Cooking your loved ones favourite meal together can also bring a sense of comfort through familiar routine, smells and tastes. 

Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts aren’t for everybody, but they’re a good way to keep the mind active and stimulated. If your loved one enjoyed these activities before their diagnosis, there’s no reason to stop now. In fact, when a person engages in hobbies they enjoy, it can help them to reminisce and share memories with you. Even as a person’s physical capabilities for arts and crafts decline, they can still enjoy their hobby with a little more assistance.

If arts and crafts aren’t of interest, puzzles and games are a great alternative. You can always adjust the complexity of games and puzzles to align with your loved one’s needs. But the important part is that your loved one feels stimulated and engaged and that you’re sharing a fun activity together.  

Walking and other light exercise

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for people living with dementia, and that includes regular exercise. Everybody’s dementia journey is different, so the level of exercise should always be comfortable. But even something like taking a stroll around a local park can be extremely beneficial for a person’s physical and mental well-being.

Always remember to tailor exercise according to your loved one’s needs. Familiar places are often best, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and see new things with them. Even if a person may have trouble remembering these experiences, the important thing is gaining enjoyment from them in the moment.

Household chores

While many of us resent having to do those chores like washing dishes, vacuuming and dusting, completing them often comes with a sense of pride and purpose. If it makes your loved one feel productive and valued, you should always encourage these activities.

The other benefit of household chores is their routine nature. Whether it’s sweeping the floor once a week or wiping the kitchen benches each evening, scheduled tasks are usually easier to manage than sporadic ones.

Creating memory books

The idea of scrapbooking has been around for a long time, and creating memory books is a pretty similar pastime. There are no set rules for how you should approach a memory book, but the basic idea is to use photos with some captions to help evoke positive memories. Helping your loved one create memory books is an engaging and rewarding experience, but the books can later be used to facilitate discussions and help people remember happy moments.

Need more activities for people with dementia?

Group Homes Australia offers a range of care and support services to assist people living with dementia and their families. Whether you’re in the early stages of planning ahead for life with dementia, or you’re closer to considering permanent care, we have several resources and support for you to rely on. To find out more about how we can help, contact the team at Group Homes Australia today.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *