It’s very important to remember that engaging frequently with words and small gestures can provide immense comfort to your loved ones who have dementia. Here are a few ideas for short activities 'in-between' programmed activities.
1. Greet the person by name and make eye contact
2. Try on a couple of hats in front of a mirror with the person
3. Tell the person she/he looks 'Beautiful!' today
4. Show the person vivid colors in a garment/magazine and talk about it
5. Hold hands and step outdoors for some fresh air
6. Pick flowers in the garden together
7. Help the person to try on a new shade of lipstick
8. Give the person an impromptu shoulder massage
9. Play a quick game of ball catch
10. Evoke memories: e.g. "Tell more about your grandmother's farm!"
11. Tease: "I saw your boyfriend/girlfriend today!"
12. Tell the person you love her/him
13. Give spontaneous bear hugs
14. Try a new scented hand lotion on the person
15. If the background music is good, take the person for a dance
16. Blow bubbles together
17. Look at a landscape or animal calendar together
18. Ask for help: sorting books on a shelf, hanging clothes out to dry
19. Water plants together
20. Listen to the sound of a large shell
21. Wrap herbs/spices individually in fabric and ask the person to identify the smell
22. Comb, french braid or curl the person's hair
23. Read a few funny limericks
24. Remind the person about fruit and vegetables in season
25. Sing a Nursery Rhyme together
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