Engaging Activities for Seniors with Alzheimer’s to Do at Home

Empowering seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia and promoting their independence is crucial. As daily activities become increasingly challenging, older adults may experience feelings of depression and detachment. By incorporating meaningful activities into their routine, you can help your aging loved one feel accomplished and positive, creating long-lasting emotions that transcend memory loss.

“Throughout life, we all seek to be purposeful and needed. Activities designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s to succeed can be very fulfilling for them.”

Emily Eckhardt, MA, CCC-SLP, CDP

Wellness Programming Specialist at EmpowerMe Wellness

Fun and Stimulating Activities for Seniors with Dementia

“Just like we were told to exercise our bodies to maintain strength and endurance, we have to exercise our brains to maintain our skills and abilities,” Emily says. It’s important to provide productive and respectful activities, avoiding condescending or childlike tasks. Focus on the process rather than the outcome, and consider the following ideas to add to a senior’s weekly schedule:

  • Sing along to music from their youth or young adulthood to evoke happy memories.
  • Assist with household chores that don’t require abstract thought, like laundry folding or sweeping the kitchen floor.
  • Create art, such as painting a wooden picture frame or decorating a birdhouse.
  • Engage in physical activities like chair yoga, walking, and stretching exercises.
  • Create a scrapbook using old photos and decorative borders.
  • Plant and tend to an herb or container flower garden.
  • Care for a family pet, especially a dog or cat.
  • Go birdwatching or take a nature hike at a local park.
  • Watch a favorite old movie or work on a puzzle with a grandchild or great-grandchild.
  • Organize old family photos into albums.


One effective approach to make older adults with dementia feel useful is by designing personalized activity boxes that reflect their life history and passions. By doing so, they can relive moments of productivity and fulfillment that they once experienced.

Crafting Enriching Activity Boxes for Senior Adults with Dementia

When putting together activity boxes for your senior loved ones, consider their past professions and hobbies. Did they once teach? Think about the tools and supplies they used and include them in the box, as long as they’re safe for those with dementia. And don’t limit yourself to just boxes — totes or plastic containers work just as well and make it easier to bring along to appointments.

What to Do When an Activity Isn’t Working

If you observe that your senior loved one is losing focus or getting more irritated, it’s an indication that you must modify the activity. Give these four steps a try.

  • Simplify the tasks by breaking it down into easy-to-follow steps. Encourage them to focus on completing one step at a time to prevent feeling overwhelmed.
  • Assist your l oved one in tackling the more challenging aspects of the task at hand. When it comes to cooking, take the lead, and let them handle simpler tasks such as stirring.
  • Infuse a sense of purpose into your creative activity. Not only does generosity bring us happiness, but it also gives our endeavors a deeper meaning. Why not transform your project into a heartfelt gift for a friend or family member experiencing hardship, such as a beautifully crafted card to uplift their spirit?
  • Avoid correcting them. Their approach may not be the conventional one, but as long as they are invested in the task, it’s acceptable.


If despite your best efforts, your senior l oved one isn’t showing interest or seems to be tiring or becoming upset, it’s okay to pause the activity and not feel obligated to continue. You can always try again another time or choose a different activity all together.

Our goal at EmpowerMe Wellness is to help seniors maintain their independence and best quality of life. Learn more about our Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy programs here.