8 Engaging Activities for Those Living with Dementia Symptoms


Dementia is a progressive condition that affects cognitive functions, including memory, thinking, and reasoning. Engaging in activities can be beneficial for individuals with dementia, providing not only a sense of enjoyment but also opportunities to maintain or even improve cognitive and physical abilities. Here are several activities that are engaging and beneficial for those living with dementia.

Music and Dance

Music has a profound impact on individuals with dementia, often enhancing mood and providing a sense of comfort and familiarity. Listening to music, singing along, or even dancing can stimulate memories and encourage physical activity. Music from their youth or periods significant to them can be particularly effective.

Arts and Crafts

Engaging in arts and crafts allows individuals with dementia to express themselves creatively and can improve their mood and self-esteem. Simple projects like painting, coloring, or assembling crafts are not only enjoyable but can also help enhance fine motor skills and concentration.


Gardening is a wonderful activity for those with dementia, offering sensory stimulation through the feel of soil, the scent of flowers, and the beauty of the garden. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Even simple tasks like watering plants or potting flowers can be engaging and fulfilling.

Puzzle and Board Games

Puzzles and board games are excellent for stimulating cognitive functions. They can help improve problem-solving skills, memory, and focus. Choose games that are appropriate for the individual’s current cognitive abilities to ensure they are both challenging and achievable, thus avoiding frustration. Try to help them with the puzzle and encourage togetherness. 

Memory Boxes

Creating a memory box filled with items significant to the individual’s past can be a powerful activity. It can stimulate conversations about their life and memories, promoting a sense of identity and self. Items can include photographs, letters, or any mementos that are meaningful to them.

Cooking and Baking

Participating in cooking or baking simple recipes can be a rewarding activity for someone with dementia. It involves a series of steps that can help improve focus and memory, and the end product provides a sense of accomplishment. Plus, the sensory experience of tasting and smelling can be very enjoyable. Make sure someone is there with them to lead the way with cooking and they are not trying to cook on their own. 

Physical Exercise

Physical activities tailored to the individual’s ability level, such as walking, gentle stretching, or chair exercises, can improve overall well-being. Exercise can help maintain muscle strength, flexibility, and balance, which are crucial to physical health. Make sure someone is with them. 

Pet Therapy

Interacting with animals can have a calming effect on individuals with dementia. Pets can provide companionship, reduce stress, and encourage physical activity. Even if owning a pet is not feasible, visits from therapy animals can offer significant benefits.

Engaging in any or all of these activities can significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals with dementia. It’s important to choose activities that match their interests and abilities and to adapt them as needed to ensure they remain enjoyable and fulfilling. With patience, creativity, and empathy, caregivers can help make each day more meaningful for those with dementia.

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