Tips for Creative Dementia Care

A woman practices creative dementia care solutions while caring for her elderly mother.
These creative dementia care ideas can help you think outside the box and provide an enriching experience for your loved one.

Caring for a person with dementia is unlike all other responsibilities. It calls for you to dig deep down into your reserves of patience, flexibility, and perhaps most importantly, creativity. You have to be able to pivot at a moment’s notice from one strategy to another to foster a fulfilling and enriching life for the person you love, all while dealing with the more challenging components of the condition.

Our highly trained dementia care team is here to offer support with some creative dementia care tips you can easily implement to help make each day the very best it can be for someone with dementia.

  • Reminiscence boxes: Create personalized boxes full of meaningful objects or photos from the individual’s past to spark memories and facilitate reminiscing.
  • Sensory stimulation: Engage the senses with tactile activities like folding clothes or working in the garden, which could soothe and ground those with dementia.
  • The magic of music: Music is an incredibly effective tool you will likely want to turn to time and time again. This might involve creating a playlist of the person’s favorite songs to sing and dance to together, playing instruments, attending concerts (in person or online), etc.
  • Light therapy: Exposure to sunlight or specialized light therapy devices may help regulate sleep patterns and improve mood in people with dementia.
  • Adaptive games: Adjust simple games like memory matching, puzzles, and bingo to allow for cognitive changes. For instance, use larger, easy-to-handle pieces for puzzles or vibrant colored cards for bingo to enhance visibility and ease of use.
  • Virtual reality (VR): VR experiences tailored to the individual’s interests and abilities can provide immersive and therapeutic experiences, triggering memories and improving mood.
  • Soothing scents: Aromatherapy can work wonders in providing a calming effect to reduce anxiety and agitation. Try scents like lavender, peppermint, or vanilla.
  • Biophilic design: Incorporate aspects of nature, like plants or nature-inspired artwork, into the living environment to create a relaxing and familiar atmosphere.
  • Customized exercise routines: Incorporate gentle, guided exercises that match the person’s current physical abilities and help maintain mobility. Check with the person’s doctor for recommendations.
  • Individualized storytelling: Customize familiar stories to feature specifics from the individual’s past. For example, if the person loved fishing at a particular lake, weave the name of the lake into a story you are telling to spark memories and conversations.
  • Montessori methods: Adapt Montessori principles to create meaningful and engaging activities that stimulate cognitive function and encourage independence.
  • Red tableware: Studies indicate that using red plates and cups may increase intake of food in people who have dementia by increasing contrast and visibility of food.
  • The hand-under-hand technique: When helping with tasks, carefully place your hand underneath the person’s hand to steer them, promoting a feeling of control and dignity.

Partner with our dementia care specialists for additional socialization opportunities, creative dementia care ideas specific to the person’s interests, and the chance for you to step away for some well-earned time to yourself. Serving Victoria, Oak Bay, Langford, and the surrounding areas, you can reach us any time at 250.590.8098 or via our online contact form.