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10 Easy Crafts for Seniors with Dementia: Inexpensive DIY Ideas

Get inexpensive DIY ideas for easy crafts for seniors with dementia

Seniors with dementia need engagement and fun

Even if someone has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, they still need to feel engaged in life and have fun.

Activities that have no right or wrong way to do them are ideal because they’re always fun, satisfying, and a boost to self-esteem. 

Engaging activities can also be an alternative to medication because they can reduce agitation, distract from challenging behavior, and increase quality of life for seniors with dementia.

And with a little creativity, you can turn simple household objects into easy crafts for seniors with dementia.

Here, we share 10 fun DIY (do it yourself) craft and activity ideas.


Keep safety in mind

It’s important to create activities that won’t cause injury to your older adult or anyone else. 

You know them best and should choose what will work best and be safest for them.

For example, some people tend to put things in their mouth and try to eat them. If that’s the case, avoid objects that could damage teeth or be a choking hazard.

Another example is that some people may like to tie strings around fingers (or necks!) and cut off circulation.

10 easy crafts for seniors with dementia that you can make at home

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

1. Clip colorful clothespins

Get brightly colored full size or mini clothespins and let your older adult attach them to something like a wire basket or rack.

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

2. Arrange flowers

Flower arranging is a perfect activity for older adults who enjoy flowers or gardening. 

Get some inexpensive artificial flowers, a plastic vase, and florist foam (optional). Your older adult can have fun creating their own arrangements.

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

3. Attach pipes and fittings

Many older adults used to enjoy being handy around the house. Remind them of those pleasant memories with an activity where they can put together and take apart pipes.

Get varying lengths of inexpensive PVC pipe and some fittings like these elbows or these T-joints (the hardware store can usually cut the pipe for you).

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

4. Sort inexpensive hardware parts or coins

Another way to enjoy handy activities is to have your older adult sort inexpensive hardware parts like these nuts, washers, or bolts.

Some older adults might also enjoy sorting a big pile of coins as a reminder of when they used to manage household finances.

If safety is an issue, you might consider these large plastic nuts and bolts instead.

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

5. Play with play dough

Making shapes and kneading play dough or modeling clay is a fun and relaxing activity for all ages. 

Get some fun cookie cutters and play dough and watch your older adult have a ball.

You can also try this homemade play dough recipe. To make it even more relaxing, add a few drops of calming lavender essential oil.

Important: The homemade play dough recipe is non-toxic, but still shouldn’t be considered edible. Flour that’s not cooked thoroughly can contain bacteria that can make older adults very sick. 

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

6. Keep the beat with a homemaker shaker

Take a clean plastic container or bottle with a tight fitting top and put some dry beans or pasta inside. This makes a fun music shaker for almost no cost.

Play their favorite music and encourage them to shake along with the beat.

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

7. Match and sort picture cards

Print two copies of various photos or images that your older adult likes. It could be photos of favorite animals, beautiful flowers, or family members.

Cut them into equal sized cards and laminate using some clear packing tape or contact paper.

The cards can be used for a simple sorting game, a matching game, or just nice images to flip through and admire.

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

8. Make a scrapbook

Get an inexpensive notebook, some old magazines or catalogs, glue stick, and safety scissors.

Your older adult can flip through the magazines, tear or cut out things they like and stick them into their scrapbook.

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

9. Stack up plastic cups

Get some inexpensive plastic party cups in bright colors. Ask your older adult to help you clean up by sorting or stacking the cups.

activities for seniors with Alzheimer's

10. Create a spelling tray

Sticking colorful magnetic letters on a clean metal tray is a fun way to spell familiar words or just play with the shapes and colors. Use a simple baking sheet (with raised sides) as the tray

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team

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