Social Activities

There are many activities family, friends, and caregivers can do to stimulate memory, focus attention, and provide social interaction for people with advanced dementia.

Caregivers who are new and unfamiliar with the patient should learn as much as possible about the patient’s daily routine, preferences, and life experiences. The more the caregivers know, the better they will be able to respond to the patient’s needs. Everyone involved with the patient should try to respect the patient’s preferences, even if the patient prefers to be left alone.

No matter what activity you plan to do with the patient, keep in mind the communication suggestions in this care guide. Here are just a few of the many activities you can do with patients:

  • Look at old family photos together.
  • Read simple poems or nursery rhymes to the patient.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Sing simple songs that the patient may recall from childhood or early adulthood.
  • If there is a birdcage or aquarium, have the patient watch and talk about the animals.
  • Some patients enjoy holding a plush toy, doll, squishy ball, purse, or other familiar object. This may also help keep hands flexible.
  • Some patients enjoy and are calmed by prayer. A hospice spiritual care counselor can help you with this if you wish.
  • Favorite foods, such as ice cream or chocolate, may bring pleasure.
  • Brush the patient’s hair or give a hand or foot massage.
  • Bring a flower to look at or smell.
  • Bring a portable stereo and music CDs to the patient. Listening to songs from one’s younger days may help recall happy times from the past.
  • Provide aromatherapy, using pleasant scents and aromas to stimulate the patient’s sense of smell and help them relive pleasant memories.
  • Read stories to them, especially stories relating to people and events from the patient’s childhood or young adulthood.
  • Use dolls or puppets to help patients express themselves.
  • Massage can provide relaxation and social interaction.
Our Hearts go out to those victims and their families affected by the fires. For our patients and families, please remember to stay in contact with Pathways for your needs.