Are you looking for activities to do when visiting your loved one with dementia in a skilled nursing facility? You’ve come to the right place! Cadia Healthcare has gathered some ideas to help make your visits enjoyable for both of you. Whether you’re looking for things to do together or ways to keep them occupied, we have you covered. Our activity suggestions are tailored specifically for those living with dementia, so they are easy and fun for everyone involved!


Music is a powerful tool that can be used to combat the symptoms of dementia. Research has shown that the human brain can remember music even when it is suffering from cognitive decline. Introducing familiar songs may help someone with dementia recall their past. Music has been shown to provide emotional benefits such as relieving stress, reducing anxiety or depression – all while making dementia patients more comfortable during their illness; in some cases it even helps reduce agitation!


Art can be a great way for people with dementia to continue enjoying their lives. It helps them communicate and interact more easily, as well as enhancing brain function! The best thing you could do is find something they’re familiar with that isn’t overwhelming or dangerous – like painting pictures or working with clay. It may be helpful to limit the colors and help them with their first brush stroke to get them started.

If your loved one liked to knit or crochet, you could put a skein of yarn or knitted blanket in their hands. The simple act of feeling the yarn may bring back happy memories.


Puzzles are a great way to keep your loved one engaged and challenged. The best puzzles for dementia patients have large pieces that can be felt, as well as simple designs with few symbols or letters on each page of the puzzle itself so they do not get frustrated.


Pick an old show they grew up watching or a musical they enjoy and watch it with them. Now that it’s really easy to stream movies and television shows online you can pretty much find anything. Put an old show on for them that brings a sense of familiarity and joy to them.


If your loved one always had a knack for getting things done around the house, you could try stimulating them with an easy task. Something as simple as folding a small pile of laundry might bring them some sense that they are useful, which is extremely important for those who have dementia! You could give them PVC pipes, so they have the opportunity to construct something. For more advanced dementia patients you can use wooden or plastic tools in order for it to be a similar experience as well!


When you spend time with a loved one who has dementia, it is important to keep in mind that they may become unpredictable and difficult at times. As the disease progresses some tasks may become more challenging for them which could lead your loved one into an unstable emotional state if not dealt properly! Here are some additional things to consider when picking something to do with your loved one:

Avoid sensory overload: Avoid competing noises such as the television or side conversation. These competing noises can make dementia patients feel quite disoriented. Believe it or not, the effects of dementia on hearing are profound. Dementia can worsen the symptoms experienced due to sensory changes, such as noise and light sensitivity which will make it difficult for someone with these issues to understand why they’re experiencing discomfort; this leads them into feelings that there’s nothing they could do about their situation leading to anxiety.

Choose something familiar: You may be astounded to know, but it has been scientifically proven that people with dementia often retain memories of their favorite songs and TV shows from when they were younger. So choosing an activity or song which is familiar will help bring a sense of calm for them. Introducing new tasks, however, can often be very frustrating because of their inability and decreased cognitive functions which causes confusion when there’s sudden change.

Pay attention to their response: When caring for a loved one with dementia, it is important that you note what they seem to enjoy and try not mess with these preferences. Sometimes patients might react negatively or strongly when hearing new songs or sounds so keep an eye out! Change the song or activity if you notice any irritability.

Visiting a loved one in a skilled nursing facility can be difficult, but it’s also incredibly important. You may feel anxious or stressed out, but by keeping the following things in mind, you can make your visits more positive and productive. First, remember that visiting is about caring and connection. Take the time to relax and talk with your loved one – don’t just rush in and out. Second, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, speak up! The staff at our skilled nursing facility are dedicated to providing the best possible care for your loved one, but they need your help to do so. Finally, always remember that you are not alone in this process. We are here to help!