Daphne and Michelle outside in a park enjoying light exercise

Dementia activity ideas: 5 ways our handbook for carers can help

If you’re caring for a person with dementia, our handbook is for you. Read how it can help you find activities suited to the person’s interests and abilities.

Taking part in activities, including everyday tasks, can have powerful benefits for the physical and mental wellbeing of a person with dementia. Activities can help them to stay healthy, active and independent. They can also help someone express their feelings, retain their skills and self-esteem, and stay motivated.  

Our free guide can help with this. The activities handbook: Supporting someone with dementia to stay active and involved will help you suggest enjoyable and engaging activities for the person you’re caring for. This can have several benefits, a few of which we’ve highlighted below. 

Five ways our handbook can help 

1. If the person enjoys spending time outdoors 

Spending time outside can improve a person’s wellbeing and help them feel less stressed. Outdoor activities give people the chance to be in contact with nature – plants, sunshine, birds and animals. The guide suggests physical activities a person can do outside, as well as other ways to spend time outdoors if they are less mobile. 

2. If the person is feeling lonely or isolated 

People with dementia can often feel cut off from other people. Group activities are a great way for people to socialise, try new things and have fun. The guide includes tips on finding local clubs that the person might like to join, as well as games and creative hobbies that can bring people together. 

3. If the person has memory problems 

Music can trigger powerful memories and emotions. Many people with dementia who have memory problems continue to remember tunes and lyrics as their condition progresses. The guide includes tips on musical activities the person may enjoy. 

4. If the person uses a computer or smartphone 

Doing activities online can help people feel they are keeping up with the world. It can also give people new ways to stay in touch with others. You’ll find information about websites, apps and tools that can help. 

5. If the person is in the later stages of dementia 

As the person’s condition progresses, they may find it more difficult to process information or communicate verbally. The guide suggests ways to support and encourage them to engage with the world through sight, touch, smell, hearing or taste. Sensory activities can be relaxing and enjoyable. 

Our handbook is now available

Throughout the guide you’ll also find information about lots of other types of activities, along with details on where to go for further advice or support.  

This guide has been written with input from carers, as well as health and social care professionals with specialist knowledge and experience. 

For activity ideas and inspiration, turn to this guide. 

Get your copy

The activities handbook: Supporting someone with dementia to stay active and involved is available to download as a PDF, or order a print copy in the post for free.

Find out more


I live in a care home named the beeches and we have a dementia unit named the woodlands. I occasionally visit to see the residents. To have a copy of your book will assist me in my understanding of dementia. They have wonderful characters.

So hard in lockdown no social activities very hard on the cater

I know what you mean!
It can be daunting and very frustrating for all in the care facility. As activity Co-ordinator i realise we are limited to what we can do now, as infection control is priority.
But please keep positive as we will get through this together. And that you are not alone. There are however certain activities that can still be of interest and able to do..mainly white board games or a list of others if required..
Difficult times means overcoming and adapting to every situation but mostly keeping our spirits up..
Please just ask, I'm here for anyone that needs a chat...any time night or day...
Kind Regards

How Wonderful of You ! I am sending from Perth, Western Australia -- ! See how far this has travelled !

Exactly. Caring for my husband who has currently lost his tabletennis club and other social things. Alzheimers Society, please adapt or rewrite this booklet for a COVID-19 world! It kind of reads as being out of touch as to how it is for us carers and those we care for with dementia at the moment.

I agree. I wish information was relevant for carers in tier 4 of the lockdown.
My Sister lives alone and needs a hip replacement. She has got worse through lack of visits from close family (Not allowed) and has no carers coming in to help her. She thinks she has to stay at home and rarely ventures out for exercise. Please keep up to date with the current problems. She has no facilities to visit due to lockdown and I would appreciate the rules of visiting someone at this time to be explained as we are all confused.

Hi there Joan,

Thank you for getting in touch. We are very grateful for your feedback.

We do have information specifically focused on activity ideas for people with dementia during coronavirus: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/coronavirus/activity-ideas-de…

We also have a page on providing support during coronavirus for a person with dementia who lives alone (https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/coronavirus/support-person-de…) as well as how to support a person who lives far away from you (https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/coronavirus/supporting-person…).

These are all part of our coronavirus support pages, which are kept up-to-date with the latest government guidelines: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/coronavirus

We also have a blog post about ways to exercise safely while staying at home - you may find this useful, too: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/blog/5-exercise-activities-dementia-coron… This includes a free, downloadable poster with tips for staying active at home (https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-05/Staying%20act…) as well as suggestions for seated exercises (https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-05/Seated%20exer…).

We would strongly recommend contacting our dementia advisers for further support regarding your sister. They will listen to the situation and provide relevant information and advice. Please call them on 0333 150 3456. Seasonal opening hours are specified here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementia-connect-support-line

We hope this is helpful.

Alzheimer's Society blog team

Would be wonderful if professional carers knew and used the information but they don’t.

I have a Cognitive Memory loss which I have had for about 8 to ten years now and is becoming worse.

Hi Carol, sorry to hear this. We'd be happy to talk to you and offer advice, if you'd like to get in touch.

Our Support Line is open Monday to Wednesday (9am-8pm), Thursday to Friday (9am–5pm) and Saturday to Sunday (10am-4pm), and can be reached on 0300 222 11 22.

Thank you

I have Alzheimer’s and need help also with my anxiety and depression

Hi Sue, thank you for your comment. We'd be happy to talk to you and offer advice and support.

If you call our Support Line one of our advisers will be able to speak to you.

Our Support Line is open Monday to Wednesday (9am-8pm), Thursday to Friday (9am–5pm) and Saturday to Sunday (10am-4pm), and can be reached on 0300 222 11 22.

Thank you

I have Alzheimer’s myself


~ tired care givers~

So sorry you are tired, I know how you feel, I'm tired everyday myself, no time for myself with my husband 24/7.