6 Sensory Activities for Dementia Calm and Soothe

Sensory activities for dementia patients are a non-drug way to calm and soothe their anxiety, agitation, or anger

Sensory activities for dementia reduces agitation, calms, and soothes

It’s difficult to stand by and watch your older adult with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia live with anxiety, agitation, or anger.

Sensory therapy is a helpful way to calm and soothe without using medication. It’s an effective way to reduce anxiety, calm nerves, and provide comfort.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia can use these simple touch-based activities to occupy their hands and minds in safe, soothing ways.

We found 6 simple, fun, and inexpensive sensory activities for dementia that your older adult will love.


6 sensory activities for dementia

Alzheimer's sensory activities

1. DIY aquarium sensory bag
Blossom created a video for their Facebook page showing how to quickly and easily create a sensory bag with an aquarium theme.

It’s essentially a sealed plastic bag with water beads and ocean animals inside

You could also replace the ocean animals with mini items that are appealing to your older adult, like a variety of animals, some flowers, or tiny food and drink.

Or, check out these additional sensory bag examples for more ideas.

See the sensory bag video here


Alzheimer's sensory activities

2. Scented sensory cards
Smells are a powerful way to trigger memories and emotions. A Little Learning for Two shows us how to create simple scented cards with a winter theme.

These are universally comforting scents, but you could also substitute other smells that your older adult would associate with positive feelings.

Get the sensory card instructions


Alzheimer's sensory activities

3. Homemade non-toxic finger paint
These non-toxic, homemade finger paints are a fun way for your older adult to express themselves through art.

To keep the mess to a minimum, tape a giant piece of butcher paper to the table and let them paint on that.

Get the non-toxic finger paint recipe

Alzheimer's sensory activities

4. Coin sorting
Sorting coins into small glass or ceramic bowls is fun and soothing. It might also give your older adult a sense of purpose if you ask them to help you sort your loose change.

See a coin sorting example


Alzheimer's sensory activities

5. Pop bubble wrap or pop-it fidget toys
Everyone loves popping bubble wrap! This is one of the simplest activities around, but surprisingly satisfying.

If you haven’t gotten any packages lately, bubble wrap is inexpensive and easily found at office supply or shipping stores.

Or, a simple alternative is to buy an inexpensive pop it fidget toy. They come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and designs.

Buy some bubble wrap or pop it fidget toys


Alzheimer's sensory activities

6. Loop board
Create a simple threading activity with a board, screw eyes, and some cord or a shoelace.

See how to create a DIY loop board


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team


Images: First Media Blossom, A Little Learning for Two, At the Butterfly Ball, Rhythms of Play, Google Images, Your Therapy Source


This article wasn’t sponsored, but does contain affiliate links. We never link to products for the sole purpose of making a commission. Product recommendations are based on our honest opinions. For more information, see How We Make Money.


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