Holiday Activities for Seniors with Dementia

Grandmother and kids bake Christmas cookies.

The holidays are often referred to as “the most wonderful time of the year.” But for those living with dementia, as well as their families and caregivers, the holidays can pose unique challenges. How can you ensure that your loved one with dementia still feels included during the holiday season? What are some traditions or activities that they can easily take part in with the rest of the family? If you need a little help, here are some holiday-themed activities your loved one can enjoy this season.

Watch the classics. Classic holiday movies like Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, and Scrooge can bring back past childhood memories for your loved one. Remember that people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often have an easier time recalling long-term memories than short-term. This holiday activity is also ideal if your loved one has mobility issues. Gather your senior loved one and other family members and make a night out of it – complete with movie theater popcorn and signature holiday treats!

Listen to holiday music. Similar to watching old movies, listening to classic, familiar music can engage seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Music is proven to be closely linked to memories and emotions. Seniors who may have trouble remembering what they ate for breakfast that day, may still remember all the words to “Happy Xmas” or “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” perfectly. This may be a great opportunity to host a holiday karaoke party for the whole family to enjoy.

Craft holiday decorations. Artistic projects can help your loved one with dementia get more in touch with their inner self. Giving them an outlet to be creative can also help them to better express their feelings to you. Not to mention, crafting is just plain fun around this time of year! Create decorations like ornaments, wreaths, lanterns, and more with your family this holiday season. After your crafting session, you could go around the house and dress it up with your homemade decorations.

Bake holiday treats. Tis’ the season to be sweet! Cooking and baking are always great ways to reminisce and connect with your loved ones. While you’re baking signature treats like sugar cookies and holiday pies, talk to your loved one with dementia about your favorite childhood memories from Christmas like waking up on Christmas morning, or setting out cookies for Santa the night before. Reliving happy long-term memories can put anyone in the holiday spirit. If you need a little help jogging their memory, pull out some old photo albums or old Christmas decorations for some mental stimulation.

Tapestries memory care services in Pitman, NJ

All of the fun, holiday activities mentioned above can be incorporated or modified for our memory care residents at Pitman. If mom or dad are more comfortable staying put at UMC this holiday season, don’t worry! We have a ton of festive events and activities planned to get them into the holiday spirit. Your senior loved one can enjoy the comforts of home and the security of professional memory care during the holidays with services such as:

  • Fully furnished, dementia-safe apartments
  • Licensed nurses, memory specialists, and caregivers available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Assistance with ADL’s (activities of daily living) including personal care and hygiene, medication management, health monitoring, and more
  • Nutritious home-cooked meals that adhere to dietary preferences
  • Activities to promote cognitive function such as music therapy, word games, and painting classes
  • Seasonal activities like Christmas PJ Parties, Movie Nights, and Door Decorating Contests

For more information about our advanced memory care services for seniors at Pitman in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at:

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