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Hobbies and dementia

Many people with dementia still enjoy the hobbies or interests they had before being diagnosed with the disease. Maintaining these hobbies helps to ensure the best quality of life, which is important to overall health. For example, if you care for someone with dementia who liked cooking, they may be able to help you prepare a meal.

Going for a walk or gardening can provide exercise and fresh air. Or they may prefer listening to music or playing a board game.

Caring for a pet can also bring a lot of pleasure to some people. If the person you care for was very sociable and outgoing, or if they have a large family, they may really enjoy visits from one or two family members or friends. They may, however, struggle to keep up with conversations if they have a lot of visitors at the same time.

When planning an activity, consider the time of day at which the person you care for is at their best. For example, if they are calm in the morning and restless in the afternoon, then plan your activity for the morning.

Whatever hobbies and interests you both choose, try not to let the person you care for feel like they have failed at them. Adapt any activities to their current level of skill so they can still have a purpose and get pleasure from their life.

Last reviewed: February 2017

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