There are many activities someone living with dementia can do from home and many of which are free. Activities may be more or less appropriate for ‘early’ or ‘advanced’ stages of dementia but everyone with dementia has different capabilities, and it’s worth having a go at anything you think you might enjoy.
Types of Activities you can do from home
There are social groups you can access online such as The Zoomettes – a virtual social group for women with dementia.
A lot of people with dementia can benefit from art therapy of some kind. Arts-based activities can be cognitively simulating, provide a means of relaxation or simply allow the person with dementia to express themselves, particularly if it’s hard to do so verbally. Get stuck in with an art project and the time will fly by!
- Card-making has grown into a huge hobby in recent years, and these days you can buy a range of pre-made materials to produce professional-looking designs. You can buy stamps, paper shape cutters and stick-on words from hobby shops online to make the process easier – while still leaving room to be creative.
- This is an activity you can do together using odd materials from around the house and some glue. Sometimes it can be good to make use of old newspapers or photos to turn this into a reminiscence-based activity.
- Whether it’s a standard colouring book or “paint-by-number”, all you need is a set of coloured pencils.
- Jigsaw puzzles and virtual art galleries could all be fun and stimulating activities.
- Explore the arts and crafts section of our directory for more ideas and resources.
It’s well known that music is a brilliant way to communicate with someone with dementia and tap into distant memories. We’ve got more information on the benefits of music for dementia on our dedicated music page.
- Find music to listen to
- Sing with others
- Watch live music events
- Watch a musical
Film, Radio and Newspapers
It’s easier than ever to access newspapers, TV, film and radio online, and the range of publications is wider than ever. Many of these work well as reminiscence activities.
Search through our music, film, radio and newspaper listings in our directory for resources and inspiration.
Looking for games to play on the tablet that would be suitable for dementia? In the past it was a matter of downloading something and seeing what works, but now the organisation AcToDementia has produced a guide to recommended apps, based on evidence-based reviews.
Some of the games they recommend include:
- Board games – Draughts, Othello, Backgammon, Dominoes, Connect 4, Tic Tac Toe, Battleships
- Card games – Rummy (ipad), Rummy (Android tablet), Solitaire
- Puzzles & word games – Wordsearch, Hangman, Sudoku, Scrabble
- A Better Visit – an app featuring a range of two-player games that are suitable for someone with dementia
- My Reef 3D – a game where you can interact with several types of fish in a virtual aquarium.
- Flower Garden – a relaxing game that lets you grow a virtual garden and share it with family and friends
There are plenty of other activities someone living with dementia may enjoy.
- Tracing your family tree – This is a much more involved activity but it can be highly rewarding. The challenge is knowing where to start – so here is a guide from Age UK that can help.
- The StoryBox Project – this organisation is offering is programme of activities for free to families during the COVID-19 quarantine. The programme contains hundreds of creative activity plans laid out clearly in a “recipe” format. You can sign up to receive the resources here.
- The Best Seat in the House – a twice-weekly variety show that is available for free on Youtube, by The Not Forgotten. See all episodes here.
- ReMe – a software package designed to provide activites, with new activites added all the time and often centered around different world days. The software is usually paid-for but is being offered for free for six months at the moment. Sign up to get access here.
- Stay Connected – this is a comprehensive resource by the charity Guideposts which lists all of the different ways you can connect virtually with others online. Not everything will be suitable for people with dementia, but you may be interested in their guides on gardening, gentle exercises, nature webcams, or free drawing and painting challenges.
Details about activities you can do from home are located in our directory. Click on the button below to be taken to this page.