Dementia Care | Exercise & activities

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activities for people with dementia

Exercise for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia

Exercise is an excellent way to improve well-being and reduce challenging behaviours in seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The important thing is to find exercises that are enjoyable and safe for their ability level.

Staying active also improves sleep, strength, and circulation. It’s also a great way to boost mood and self-esteem. 

12 ideas for physical activities for People with dementia

Simple activities

  1. Short walk – one of the best exercises around (and it is free!). Walking around the house, the garden or outside for any amount of time is wonderful for body and mind. You could even combine the walk by doing an errand together like walking the dog or going to the grocery store.
  2. The sit to stand exercise – strengthens muscles needed for essential activities like using the toilet.
  3. Stay balanced in a standing position (hold on to a Support when needed). This will improve balance and posture. It can be a standalone exercise or part of an everyday activity like washing dishes.
  4. Stretch while lying in bed – move various body parts and stretch muscles. This can be done with assistance or independently.
  5. Sit unsupported for a few minutes each day (with constant supervision to prevent falls) – strengthens the abdominal and back muscles which in turn improves posture.

Moderate activities

  1. Stretches and/or strength exercises – try this simple chair stretching routine or this easy strength to balance routine. 
  2. Gardening – something simple like raking or pulling weeds gives a sense of accomplishment and is a great workout.
  3. Tai chi style movement – slow movements that can be adapted for a variety of physical conditions.
  4. Household tasks – basic cleaning/tidying can be great exercise, like folding laundry, dusting, or light hoovering.

Advanced activities

  1. Dancing – this is a fun activity that does not feel like exercise. Play your older adult’s favourite dance music at home and lead them in a private dance party in the living room. 
  2. Exercise class – some senior centres or similar organizations offer classes specifically for people with dementia
  3. Brisk walk/jog – very much depending on ability, aerobic exercise for at least 15 mins a day

If you have any questions regarding your current situation or queries around activities for people with dementia, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’d be delighted to find a way to help. Also in our Dementia Care series, we have covered finding the right home and providing a healthy & balanced diet.

Get in touch:

Tel: 01276 31838


Useful links:

Alzheimers Society

NHS Dementia Guide