Activity Corner for Caregivers

Activity Corner: Solo Activities

It’s mid-day and your busily trying to getting your spring cleaning done…are you looking for something your loved one can do while you finish up the days activities? If you’re a caregiver for someone with dementia this example may sound very familiar. Below are a couple of solo activities – activities created to keep your loved one occupied while you attend to other tasks. Supervision is still needed, but it will give a little relief so that you may be able to handle another task in the same room. Remember that people with dementia tend to have short attention spans, so you may have to do a little continual prompting to keep them engaged. Also using the words, “I need your help” is always a great way to get the person started!


If your loved one is still able to read, try giving them large print books and magazines. The subject matter should not be long or complex. Another idea is using large picture books. Simple pictures books can provide hours of satisfaction from scanning the pictures.

Winding a ball of yarn:

Winding a ball of yarn or a spool of thread is an activity most dementia patients can do. Another take on this activity is unraveling old knitted garments.


Shelling nuts can sometimes be a great and inexpensive activity for the dementia patient. Just provide a bowl for the shelled nuts and a bowl for the shells and let them go. Don’t be surprised though if some nuts end up in the shells.


There are all kinds of things dementia patients can sort and different ways they can be sorted. Trying getting your loved one to sort: coins, old keys, poker chips, playing cards, clothing, buttons, and thread.


If your loved one enjoyed sewing then this activity may be a good replacement. Simple lacing kits are available in the children’s section of most fabric stores. Kits usually have a felt “puppet” that has holes around the side and usually include safety needles and yarn.


Use large wooden beads or blocks and have your loved one string the beads on a piece of yarn.


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