How to Make Activities Meaningful for a Person Living with Dementia

August 15, 2022 | Memory Support
Senior Woman Gardening, Smiling

Doing things we enjoy adds happiness and purpose to our lives. But, beyond joy, staying engaged with meaningful activities is essential for a person’s health and well-being. If you know someone living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, stimulating memory care activity ideas are a great and productive way to spend time together.

As a memory care community in Franklin, Indiana, Astral at Franklin knows how important engagement and purposeful living is for those impacted by dementia. Through our Navigate Memory Care Program, we give memory care residents the respect, dignity and quality of life they deserve. 

To help you on your memory journey, our team is sharing ways to add meaningful engagement to your loved one’s life.

Finding the Right Activities

Meaningful activities should be connected to a person’s interests and hobbies. Think about what used to bring them the most happiness and pleasure and find a way to implement that into their daily routine. 

However, dementia can impact a person’s interests and abilities. For example, knitting or crocheting may have been Mom’s favorite pastime, but now it may be too challenging. In these cases, consider activities that better align with her abilities but still provide her with the same enjoyment. For example, if cooking was another one of her passions, safely include her while preparing dinner for the family. She is engaging in an activity she enjoys, and she’s once again helping create meals for her family. 

Adding Meaningful Activities to Your Routine

When providing dementia care, having a routine can provide structure and comfort. When considering memory care activity ideas, your routine should incorporate several of them into each day. 

For example, activities of daily living (ADLs) are activities that need to be completed every day in order to lead a safe and healthy lifestyle, including personal hygiene and grooming tasks. Involving and engaging your loved one during these tasks is important.

The way one dresses is a great way to express themselves and what they like. Instead of choosing an outfit for your loved one, involve them in the decision-making process. For example, giving them two options to choose from, so they can pick the one that fits their mood that day.

Let’s not forget about leisure and social activities. A person living with dementia should participate in different activities as much as possible to keep their days interesting and fun. Routine is important, but so is keeping things fresh and exciting. Some examples of leisure memory care activity ideas could include:

  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Taking a walk
  • Dancing
  • Playing with a pet

At Astral at Franklin, our Navigate Memory Care Program offers residents an opportunity to experience meaningful activities throughout the community. Our creative arts studio allows residents to connect with their artistic side with drawing or other crafts. Plus, our Franklin senior living community is pet-friendly with plenty of outdoor areas to go on walks or play with furry friends! 

Why It Matters

Purposeful living is important for everyone at every stage of life, and a dementia diagnosis shouldn’t stop someone you love from living a joyful and purposeful life. Memory care activities should not be about “passing the time” or “filling the day.” Instead, they should be about helping a person living with dementia find joy, engagement and growth.

Overall, what truly matters most about these daily activities is that they are meaningful to the individual living with dementia. Of course, activities become even more meaningful when family and friends are involved and participate with them because it creates an opportunity to connect and bond with one another.

Depending on the activity, it may be a good idea to check with their healthcare provider to ensure it is safe for your loved one to participate. 

Find Purposeful Living at Astral at Franklin

Our dementia care community is committed to providing purposeful senior living for individuals and families impacted by dementia. We offer meaningful experiences and compassionate support every day. Visit our website to learn more about our dedicated memory care community and how we support individuals and families impacted by dementia and memory loss.


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