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Tips for planning activities for Seniors with Dementia

Activities for Mild
(early-stage) Dementia

In the early stages, individuals retain much of their independence and their cognitive abilities, though they may have trouble remembering recent events or managing complex tasks.


Good activities for this stage might include:

  • Reading or picture books with colourful large pictures of their favourite things, something that may trigger happy memories 

  • Solving large puzzles

  • Gardening – visiting the local garden shops and hardware stores that have a large garden section.

  • Cooking or baking

Activities for Moderate
(middle-stage) Dementia

As dementia progresses into the middle stage, your loved one may begin to have difficulty recognising familiar people and places, and they may struggle with tasks that require multiple steps.


Activities should be simplified and broken down into single steps during this stage. Simple tasks, creative arts, and craft activities like these may be suitable:

  • Water painting or making a scrapbook

  • Singing old songs or listening to their favourite music, eg: cultural, church, family songs.

  • Going on short walks 

  • Doing simple chores, eg; folding the tea towels, 

  • Assisted cooking

Activities for Severe
(late-stage) Dementia

In the late stages of dementia, your loved one will often have significant memory loss and may have difficulty communicating or recognising people. However, they can still benefit from sensory and emotional experiences.


Simple tactile activities like the following can be comforting and soothing for individuals with late-stage dementia:

  • Handling a soft blanket

  • Squishing clay

  • Listening to familiar music

  • Looking at family photos

  • Receiving gentle massages with a favourite lotion

  • Enjoying the outdoors in a safe and comfortable manner

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