The Most Meaningful Activities for Seniors with Dementia

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A study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that people with dementia had fewer issues with repetitive questioning, agitation, and other challenging behaviors when they were involved in activities that matched their interests and skill levels. The good news is there are many meaningful activities that can provide a healthy mix of engagement and stimulation for seniors with dementia. Here are some of the most commonly recommended ones. 

Mentally Stimulating Activities

Ongoing mental stimulation is important for seniors with dementia because it helps them maintain connections among nerves and cells in the parts of the brain that handle memory, perception, and emotion. Mental stimulation also boosts alertness and clarity. Meaningful, mentally stimulating activities that can provide the right amount of cognitive stimulation for your aging loved one include: 

  • Doing arts and crafts 
  • Playing musical instruments or singing 
  • Doing word searches and other types of puzzles 
  • Playing interactive online games that can be adjusted to match your loved one’s skill level 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Philadelphia seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Physical Activities

Not surprisingly, there’s plenty of research suggesting physical activities can be especially meaningful for older adults with dementia. Staying physically active also reduces the risk of developing other health-related problems, such as arthritis and joint pain, that could affect quality of life and complicate issues with dementia. Possibilities for physical activities include: 

  • Low-impact aerobics 
  • Seated exercises 
  • Indoor bowling 
  • Gardening
  • Dancing 
  • Yoga and similar activities that help with coordination and balance 
  • Water aerobics, swimming, and other activities that can be done in water 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Social Activities

Socialization is another important aspect of overall health and wellbeing for seniors with dementia. Social activities also minimize issues with depression, isolation, and loneliness that sometimes affect aging adults with cognitive difficulties. Additionally, being actively engaged with others reduces the tendency to default to certain problematic behaviors. Some of the many social activities that could be meaningful and beneficial for a loved one with dementia include: 

  • Playing board games or card games together 
  • Planning a cooking night when friends and family members come over to prepare a favorite meal 
  • Baking together for the holidays or a special occasion 
  • Having group singing sessions 
  • Visiting a local senior center 
  • Walking with family members or friends

Relaxation Activities

Some seniors with dementia, especially those with progressive forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, become easily agitated or overly anxious, which sometimes makes it difficult for them to enjoy meals or get a good night’s sleep. By encouraging your loved one to participate in relaxing activities, you’ll help him or her stay calm and focused, which could also make it easier for you to interact with him or her and offer assistance with daily routines. Activities that could provide relaxation for seniors with dementia include: 

  • Certain yoga poses 
  • Deep breathing 
  • Meditation 
  • Scrapbooking and similar activities that involve recalling fond memories 
  • Reading books specially designed for older adults with dementia 
  • Playing with pets 

A highly trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Philadelphia senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (215) 645-4663 today.


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