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Fun and easy activities for people in Dementia Care

Living with dementia doesn’t have to mean giving up things that bring purpose and enjoyment. In fact, people with dementia can lead completely normal lives and never need special care. The level to which a person can participate in certain activities will vary based on their particular physical and cognitive capabilities and how they are feeling on any given day. However, providing opportunities and support for people living with dementia to engage in activities that make them feel useful, connected, and happy is key to ensuring a high quality of life. TriCare Aged Care communities have extensive experience providing this support. Below are some of the ways that we engage and involve your loved one living with dementia in activities that will enhance their life – and you can use these too!


Physical activity is an important part of maintaining mobility, independence, and confidence at any stage of life, but it is particularly important for older adults. Many people who lived an active lifestyle before receiving a diagnosis of dementia may enjoy continuing physical activities that bring them pleasure. This is to be encouraged, if the person can safely participate in physical activity. This is why it is vital that before starting any new exercise regime, the person’s treating medical professionals are consulted. Some physical activities that may provide purpose and enjoyment for a person in dementia care include:

  • Group exercise such as Yoga and Zumba can help improve flexibility and balance
  • Puzzles, word games and other mentally stimulating activities
  • Walking and cycling
  • Book clubs help maintaining a healthy mental state
  • Art and craft for creative expression
  • Pet and music therapies
  • Beauty services to help promote a sense of well-being

Household activities

People living with dementia may desire to feel useful and that their activities contribute to the household. Involving your loved one in day-to-day tasks can provide meaningful participation and allow the person to practice and maintain important motor skills and behaviour patterns. While some of these tasks may need to be supervised or supported depending on the abilities of the person, some essential household tasks that could provide purpose for a person living with dementia include:

  • folding laundry
  • setting or clearing the table
  • light housework such as sweeping or vacuuming
  • washing up
  • assisting with preparing meals
  • gardening


One of the most important ways you can assist people in dementia care to experience feelings of purpose and pleasure is to support them participating in activities that provide opportunities for self-expression. Encourage your loved one to continue with hobbies and activities that they have always enjoyed and in which they have found meaning. While they may not be able to participate with the same intensity or level of concentration that they used to, these activities will still provide similar feelings of pleasure and relaxation, while also allowing the person to demonstrate skills in an area that is significant to them. Some activities that encourage self-expression include:

  • singing, dancing or playing or listening to, a musical instrument or musical style
  • crafting, such as scrapbooking, needlework, woodwork or model-building
  • artistic pursuits such as drawing or painting
  • activities that engage the mind, such as word puzzles, jigsaws or card games
  • looking at photographs, mementos, or talking with others about past achievements or significant events
  • looking at books or watching films or documentaries based around their particular interests
  • participating in social groups based around an area of interest

Engage the senses

As people with dementia start to lose the capacity they once had in certain physical and cognitive areas, it is important to maintain those that they still have by engaging in activities that stimulate the senses and allow the person to feel comfortable and relaxed. These types of activities can enhance the person’s quality of life by supporting them to feel enjoyment in the moment, even if they don’t remember the specifics later on. Activities that can engage the senses and provide immediate relief and enjoyment include:

  • being outdoors, and enjoying the scenery
  • gentle massage of the hands or scalp
  • using essential oils
  • brushing their hair or painting their nails
  • playing music or listening to audiobooks
  • engaging in social interactions
  • growing fragrant flowers or cooking with herbs
  • spending time with pets or babies, or if these aren’t accessible, a soft toy of a favourite animal or a baby doll

Another key consideration when engaging a person living with dementia in activities, is to provide purpose. If that person has lived a life with particular interests, roles or preferences, these can be used to uncover the kind of activities that might provide the most stimulation or enjoyment. Similarly, involve the person in the choice of activity as much as possible, to ensure the experience is enjoyable.

An Aged Care Community that cares

TriCare’s Aged Care Residences are staffed by caring professionals that understand your loved one’s individual requirements and needs. It is our priority to maintain safety and maximise fulfilment with all our residents. Our staff understands the range of differing needs required by residents in dementia care, and have extensive experience providing gentle, patient, informed support to residents. If you have any questions, contact us here or book a free consultation of one of our residences.