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Activities with Meaning

​​​​​​​​Everyone benefits from having a purpose and a reason to get up in the morning. As dementia gets worse and your loved one has a harder time saying or showing what they need or want, caregivers can involve them in activities that give meaning and purpose. This can include activities based on:

  • their job and other things they did before they had dementia
  • music or shows they like
  • sports they play
  • their hobbies

These activities can change as the dementia gets worse. For example, if the person with dementia used to play hockey, they may enjoy going to hockey games. Over time, this may shift from going to live games to watching hockey on TV. If your loved one used to like baking, you can get them to help you bake, having them stir or knead ingredients. Over time, they may find it easier to watch you bake and give instructions.

Even though people with dementia may often act like children, they aren’t children. And it can lower their self-esteem (how they feel about themselves) if you try to get them to do children’s activities. Remember, people with dementia have had long rich lives and need meaningful activities. This can include dolls or stuffed animals, if there is a meaningful reason and purpose. For example, a doctor or nurse who cared for children or babies may like taking care of dolls but not playing with dolls.​

Current as of: June 21, 2019

Author: Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network™ (SCN), Alberta Health Services