Stimulating Easter activities for those living with dementia

Stimulating Easter activities for those living with dementia

Easter can be a special time to spend with family members who are living with dementia. Many families have Easter traditions that they enjoy every year, such as egg hunts or decorating eggs. These traditions can be especially important for people with dementia, as they can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort. Spending time with family members can also provide opportunities for socialization and engagement, which can be important for people with dementia. Socialization can help stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function, as well as provide emotional support.

Participating in activities such as Easter egg hunts, Easter-themed crafts, or special meals with family members can be a fun and meaningful way to spend time together. Easter can also be a time to connect with family members on a deeper level, as it is a holiday that is often associated with renewal, hope, and new beginnings. Taking time to reflect on the holiday’s significance and sharing meaningful moments with loved ones can help strengthen connections and foster a sense of togetherness.

Easter activities for people with dementia

If you’re spending Easter with a loved one who is living with dementia, there are plenty of ways to make sure you both enjoy yourselves. Make an Easter bonnet, organise an egg hunt, or eat hot crossed buns together, but whatever you do, just make sure your loved one with dementia feels included. Here are simple ways to make Easter enjoyable for everyone.

Make an Easter bonnet
This very traditional craft activity is something the whole family can get involved in. It can be very simple to get started – just dig out an old hat with a brim then start adding pieces of ribbon, cardboard cut-outs of eggs, chicks, and bunnies and tie in some spring flowers.

Go on an egg hunt
Another great family activity, if your loved one is able to move around easily, you can enlist them to either help hide the eggs or be part of the egg hunting group, helping grandchildren. If they have mobility troubles, they may still enjoy watching the hunt progress around the garden (just make sure to keep talking to them and including them in conversation).

Make hot cross buns
Hot cross buns are a family favourite during Easter, everyone no doubt enjoys getting involved in the making, baking and decorating of the hot cross buns. Even if it’s just helping to knead the dough, or glazing the buns, it all provides activity and a sense of purpose for someone living with dementia.

Prepare the Easter lunch together
Whether you go for traditional roast lamb or opt for chicken, pork or beef, sitting down for a family lunch is all part of Easter. Your loved one with dementia may enjoy helping to prepare the lunch, so if they’re able, give them some tasks to be getting on with, whether that’s peeling carrots or stirring the sauce. Remember, it may take someone with dementia longer to eat food, especially if they struggle with chewing and swallowing, so keep the portions small and consider serving it on an insulated plate so it keeps warm.

Decorate an Easter tree
Creating an Easter tree is a lovely activity and makes a great focal point on the day. Take some branch cuttings, arrange them in a vase of water and then decorate with painted eggs, cardboard Easter decorations and ribbons.

Spend time outdoors
Go for walk in the park, take a stroll through the gardens or why not visit an animal farm? Farm visits can be a great activity for people with dementia because they’re so interactive.

Go to church
If your loved one enjoyed going to church at Easter in the past, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t enjoy it now they have dementia. Often, hymns, prayers and religious events can stir deeper memories that are actually easier to access, and so more comforting for someone living with dementia, than the general day-to-day.