If you have a loved one with dementia, reminiscing activities can be a comforting way to bring joy to a loved one. Remember that every person who has dementia is unique, and their needs may change as the condition progresses.

Whether your loved one lives in a residential care centre or receives home care, these activities can be a lovely way to spend time together.


Look through photo albums


Spending some time going through photo albums and scrapbooks together with your loved one can be a great reminiscing activity. It gives you and your friend or relative the opportunity to talk about the memories associated with each picture. 

Reminiscing is not the same as asking your loved one to recall a memory from the past, as often this can make someone with dementia confused, angry, or upset. In contrast, gentle reminiscing can allow your loved one to share a pleasant memory with you when they feel able to. 


Watch home videos together


Similarly, watching home videos can help a dementia patient by providing them with familiar and positive memories from their past. This can help to improve their mood, reduce feelings of confusion and anxiety, and increase their overall sense of well-being.

This reminiscing activity can also help stimulate your loved one’s memory and cognitive functioning, which can also help to slow down the progression of dementia. It also helps connect them with their family and loved ones – providing both comfort and familiarity.


Listen to music from their past


Music is an evocative art form that can spark joyful memories, and listening to music can help a loved one with dementia in several ways. It can provide a source of comfort, reduce agitation, and improve mood. Music can also help to stimulate memories and emotions and can be used as a tool for communication and social interaction.

Music as therapy has also been shown as a beneficial, non-pharmacological approach for managing behavioural and psychological symptoms associated with dementia. 

Music therapy sessions can also provide an opportunity for elderly home care providers and loved ones to bond with the person with dementia. It’s important to choose music that the person with dementia is familiar with, as it can have a greater impact on their emotional wellbeing. 


Cook or bake a favourite recipe


Cooking often conjures up pleasant, comforting memories of cooking with our loved ones, or a favourite recipe that reminds you of a specific time in childhood.

Baking and cooking are helpful reminiscing activities to do with a loved one with dementia. Cooking a favourite recipe can be beneficial for a person with dementia as it can provide a sense of familiarity and routine, which can be comforting. 

Cooking can also help to stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function by engaging the person in tasks such as measuring ingredients, following a recipe, and performing simple cooking steps. Another great thing about this activity is that it can provide a sense of accomplishment and independence for the individual, which can improve their overall mood and wellbeing.


Play a board or card game


Playing board or card games can also help people with dementia in several ways. It can help to improve their memory, as they must remember the rules of the game and the positions of the pieces or cards. 

Games can also improve your loved one’s problem-solving skills, as it prompts them to strategise and make decisions during the game. This is a great activity to involve a loved one with dementia, especially as these skills can help those who are struggling with feelings of disorientation and confusion.

Playing games, in general, is highly beneficial for a loved one with dementia as it can be a fun and enjoyable social activity for them, helping them feel less isolated and greatly improve their quality of life. 


Visit places that hold special memories for them


Visiting special places, such as places with personal significance to the person or places that elicit positive memories, can help to stimulate their mind and improve their overall well-being.

It can also provide an opportunity for them to reminisce and share memories with loved ones, which can be a comforting and enjoyable experience. Being in different environments can also provide a refreshing change of pace and routine.

However, it’s important to be aware of the person’s current cognitive, physical and emotional status before your visit so you can ensure the place is safe and suitable for them.


Home care services from Caremark


Round-the-clock, quality home care is beneficial for people with dementia, and if you are taking care of a loved one with dementia – it’s important that you also get the care and attention you need too. That’s where home care services can help.

If you feel like your loved one needs more support, here at Caremark we can help. We provide quality home care across Ireland, and can support your friend or family member in their own home. 

We’re proud to hold a reputation for an exceptional, considerate service, providing respectful home care 24/7 for your loved one. Contact us today to find out how we can best help.