Mood boosting activities for people with dementia
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you may feel overwhelmed and confused about how best to move forward. You’ll undoubtedly have many questions about providing the best care, how to keep them engaged and interested in mental and physical activities, and how to keep them comfortable and safe.
Staying mentally and physically active is important for people of all ages, but for older adults with dementia it’s especially important. Certain things like music, exercise, outdoor activities, and games have been proven helpful for those with memory loss. The effects of dementia can cause anxiety, moodiness, and loss of interest in regular interests, so our teams throughout the Tapestries memory care neighborhoods put together a guide of mood-boosting activities you can do with your older loved one.
Memory games for dementia
Having a regular game night is a great way to get your loved one mentally engaged and thinking about new things. Perhaps you can do jigsaw, crossword or sudoku puzzles together, or maybe the whole family can enjoy a night of boardgames. If your loved one enjoys card games, you can start with simple games like Go Fish or Uno.
There may also be some trivia nights or bingo nights you can attend together at a local bar or restaurant, or you can host one of your own with family and friends at home.
Exercise and outdoor activities for seniors with dementia conditions
We’ve all had times where we’ve felt stressed out and frustrated, only to take a short walk to get some fresh air and instantly feel better. Seniors with dementia often feel frustrated, anxious, and agitated, so exercise and outdoor activities are a wonderful way to mitigate those feelings. Additionally, there are many outdoor activities you can enjoy together, allowing you to spend valuable quality time with each other.
Your loved one’s doctor or memory care advisor will be able to give you more information about recommended levels of exercise, but short walks, gentle stretching, and practices like tai chi are easier on the body while still providing many health benefits. Getting outdoors for some exercise is great for everyone, not only for those with dementia, so we recommend starting a daily exercise ritual that the two of you can do together.
Music and art activities for those with memory loss
People of all ages have a passion for music and art, and music can dramatically alter our mood and our emotions. If your loved one is often feeling agitated, put on a calming playlist and see if it has a positive effect on their mood. You may also want to try playing some songs from their childhood or younger years, since people with dementia can sometimes better recall song lyrics from decades ago.
Arts and crafts are also a great way to stimulate the brain, and it’s a fun way to let creativity shine. You can find inspiration from hundreds of crafty YouTube videos tailored to skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced. To start, we recommend some simple art activities like making a family photo album or collage to hang on the wall, or creating a scrapbook together.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be frustrating and challenging at times, but finding things you can enjoy together like games, music, and art is hugely rewarding and helps strengthen your emotional connection. We hope this guide has been helpful and has given you some inspiration for new activities to try with your loved one.