We look at how someone living with dementia can stay involved in sports and exercise.
Please note, this article mentions Side by Side, a service that is no longer operated by Alzheimer’s Society. Dementia Connect is our personalised service that can put you in touch with the right support, from local help to phone and online advice. If you are interested in volunteering for us, please take a look at our volunteering opportunities.
- Noted in March 2022
Many people enjoy sports, and regular physical activity is important for us all to keep fit and well. Taking part in a sport or other exercise can often also provide opportunities to stay in touch with friends or meet new people.
A dementia diagnosis may be isolating, but continuing to socialise and be active can make a big difference. Adults are recommended to do both aerobic and strength exercises regularly to maintain health and wellbeing – see NHS guidance – and the right sport or session can offer an enjoyable way to do this.
Side by Side volunteers can also support a person to carry on doing the sports and activities they love or to discover new ones.
Some people are used to regular exercise, but if not then it’s worth checking what kinds could be suitable with a healthcare professional first, especially if you have other health problems. If you feel pain while exercising then you should stop, and exercise isn’t recommended if you’re tired or ill.
As dementia progresses, there are many gentler or seated exercises that could continue to provide activity and enjoyment.