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10 Calming Sensory Activities for Dementia Patients 

Hands of a person trying out calming sensory activities

Memory care is vital to senior living communities, especially for individuals with dementia. The sensory activities for elderly residents with dementia, such as touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight, offer positive stimulation for their cognitive abilities. Sensory stimulation is an effective technique for enhancing the quality of life of those who suffer from cognitive decline. At Calder Woods, we offer a variety of calming sensory activities for the elderly—including daytime and nighttime routines—that are designed to help them remain engaged and active. Contact our compassionate team at 409.407.7636 to learn more about our memory care program for seniors in Texas.

What Is Sensory Stimulation?

Sensory stimulation involves utilizing the senses, including touch, sound, smell, sight, and taste, to create an environment of comfort and support. Most sensory activities for elderly patients with dementia work by recreating experiences shared by seniors in their younger years.

At Calder Woods, we use sensory stimulation to support residents with dementia in engaging their bodies and minds. The effects of this type of activity can range from providing familiar comfort to stimulating cognitive abilities. In some cases, it can even help provide relaxation in times of heightened anxiety or agitation.

10 Calming Sensory Activities for the Elderly

Examples of calming sensory activities that are part of our approach to senior living at Calder Woods include the following:

  1. Aromatherapy – Using essential oils provides a calming and soothing atmosphere that promotes relaxation to connect with a person’s cognitive and emotional state. Common scents for aromatherapy include lavender, vanilla, and peppermint.
  2. Soft music therapy – Music therapy involves listening to calming or familiar sounds, such as classical music, spiritual hymns, or the person’s favorite playlist. Softly playing this calming music during nighttime routines for the elderly can help relieve agitation or restlessness.
  3. Painting – Painting is an excellent calming activity for dementia patients. Consider a color-by-number or paint-by-numbers kit for Alzheimer’s patients or people with dementia.
  4. Indoor gardening – Indoor gardening is an excellent way to connect Alzheimer’s patients or people with dementia with nature. It can also give them sensory experiences related to touch and smell and a sense of purpose and calm when caring for the plants.
  5. Craft making – Crafting is an excellent way to promote creativity and distract Alzheimer’s patients or people with dementia from anxiety and restlessness. Try crafting activities such as making cards or bookmarks.
  6. Gentle exercise – Diet and gentle exercise help keep Alzheimer’s patients and individuals with dementia healthy. They can take short walks, do light strength training, or participate in chair exercises.
  7. Massage – Hand or foot massage for dementia patients can help stimulate circulation and promote relaxation. They benefit from physical touch, and this kind of sensory experience can be calming. Aromatherapy blends can further enhance the effects of massage.
  8. Soft textures – Dementia patients find comfort in soft surfaces, such as plush blankets, stuffed animals, and soft scarves. These sensory experiences can be calming, especially during nighttime routines for the elderly.
  9. Reminiscence therapy – Reminiscence therapy utilizes the power of memory to connect and promote positive responses. Facilitate antique shows or image memory games to stimulate memories.
  10. Pet therapy – Residents with dementia benefit from having access to friendly pets. Visual and tangible contact with a cat or dog provides companionship, distraction, and stimulation. However, not all seniors enjoy animal interaction and should be assessed case-by-case.

At Calder Woods, we strive to provide an enriching environment for our residents tailored to their individual needs. We offer various calming sensory activities for the elderly that are designed to stimulate and engage them in meaningful ways.

Find Memory Care in a Senior Living Community in Texas at Calder Woods

Calming sensory activities, especially when integrated into nighttime routines for the elderly, can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. At Calder Woods, we provide memory care services to enhance the life of our residents. Contact us today at 409.407.7636 if you are exploring memory care options for your loved ones or want to learn more about our senior living community.