Be active and Feel Good with dementia

Two people reading the Feel Good Folder
The Feel Good Folder is for anyone living with dementia wanting to make a change, add more movement into their lives and feel good.

What is the Feel Good Folder?

The Feel Good Folder is a new resource from Alzheimer's Society's Innovation team funded by Sport England.

The Feel Good Folder is a motivational resource co-created with people living with dementia to help you to be more active.  

This is designed for people with dementia to help you think about why you might like to become active, how to get started (including activities you might like to try), and ways to support you to stay active over time. 

The Feel Good Folder has been designed to be used independently or with the support of a carer or professional. 

What does the Feel Good Folder include?

  • Why be active: health information on the benefits of being active and the different ways people can be active   

  • Getting started: Behaviour change activities to help PLWD to think about why they’d like to become more active, how to get started and what they might like to try   

  • Tracking your progress: guidance to support personal goals and the Do It Diary to track progress over time   

  • Feel Good Activity Wallchart: a visual way to track progress with a chart that can be placed somewhere visible in people’s homes    

  • Movement Deck: a deck of cards which provide activity inspiration, quotes from PLWD and facts about physical activity. 

How do people with dementia benefit from the Feel Good Folder?

The Feel Good Folder has been tested by people living with dementia and health and social care professionals.

People living with dementia tested the Folder in their homes, some through their local services. Feedback was gathered over a 12-week period in the form of surveys, interviews and focus groups.  

  • 70% of people said it was a valuable resource for themselves or their loved one to improve physical activity levels 

  • 59% of people who tested the folder said it improved their motivation levels  

  • 52% say the Feel Good Folder has increased their physical levels  

  • 52% of all testers said it helped them to make plans to be active  

  • When asked how likely they were to recommend the Feel Good Folder, the average score was 8/10 

Image of Pete and other people engaged in physical activity. Pete is wearing a blue Alzheimer's Society t-shirt

Pete Middleton is living with Alzheimer’s Disease, and has been using the Feel Good Folder to help improve his physical activity levels.  Pete reflects on the impact the Folder has had for him, and how it can work for other people living with dementia.

The Feel Good Folder: helping people with dementia to move more 

What do we mean by physical activity? 

When we talk about ‘physical activity’ as part of the Feel Good Folder, we mean anything that gets you moving. It doesn’t have to be structured sport and exercise, it could be gardening, housework, taking a walk around the block or stretching from a seated position. 

Any movement counts! And doing something is better than nothing. Choose something you enjoy – that way you’re far more likely to keep doing it. Try different activities until you find what’s right for you.  

Why is it good to keep active?

Being physically active can make a big difference when you have dementia.

It can help you to live well and stay healthy, and can help with your mental as well as your physical health. Other benefits of keeping active can include improving your quality of life at all stages of the condition. 

People affected by dementia share the importance of physical activity:

Information for professionals  

People with long term health conditions such as dementia, are twice as likely to be inactive as those without a long-term condition. There are significant barriers to people with long term health conditions being physically active.

Often these are condition-related and compounded with common barriers of lack of motivation, time and social support. Being physically active can make a big difference to a person living with dementia. 

It can help them to live well and stay healthy and can help with their mental as well as physical health. Other benefits of keeping active can include improving quality of life at all stages of the condition. 

Health and Social Care Professionals were involved in implementing the testing the Feel Good Folder use in a range of services. They found that the Folder's contents can be used independently or in combination with each other, allowing the individual to choose the aspects of the Folder that work best for them.

This means it can be appropriate for a range of ages, abilities and diagnoses. It has been developed using behaviour change theory and the content is based on motivational interviewing principles to promote behaviour change. It can be used independently, with the support of a loved one, carer or professional.

The Feel Good Folder is available to purchase through our online shop in packs of 10, 25 and 50.

Discover resources, information and support to help you move more

Lavina Mehta MBE is passionate about supporting people living with dementia to move more and feel good whilst doing it! If you want more information about the work Lavina does or to join in with some of her free movement sessions, then you can visit:   

If you want to read more about our wonderful ambassador, Lavina check out her blog about why she wants to raise awareness of dementia.

Contact our team

If you have any questions or feedback about the Feel Good Folder please email [email protected]

Email the team