Senior Resources » 10 Easy, Stimulating Activities for Seniors With Memory Loss

10 Easy, Stimulating Activities for Seniors With Memory Loss

Image Credit: Canva Pro

Did you know that over 16 million people aged 65 or older in the United States have some form of memory loss? And while only 1% of them will progress to dementia each year, it’s still important to train your brain like any other muscle! Staying mentally and physically active can slow the progression of dementia. If you’re an older adult who wants to prevent memory loss or keep it from progressing any further, you’re in the right place. Here are the 10 BEST stimulating activities for seniors with memory loss.


1. Going on a Nature Walk

sunlit walking
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Going on a nature walk is healthy for both your body and your mind. According to Dementia Adventure, a mere 20 minutes of movement outside can stimulate the brain and release hormones that provide the right environment for the growth of new cells. Additionally, being outside in nature can release endorphins, the chemicals associated with happiness. However, they do more than make us happy. They can also reduce depression and anxiety in addition to assisting with learning and memory function. Additionally, individuals who walk around 3,800 steps per day (two miles) are 25% less likely to develop dementia.

2. Arts and Crafts

Image Credit: Unsplash

We tend to think of kids as the most creative demographic, but creativity isn’t locked to one specific age group! Anyone can be creative if they open their mind—including seniors! Additionally, creative activities may be particularly beneficial for older adults with memory loss. Not only can they challenge different areas of the brain and enhance cognitive function, but they can help older adults maintain manual dexterity! If you need some easy craft ideas, check out the video below for some artistic inspiration!


3. Puzzles

friends doing a puzzle
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Puzzles are an easy, inexpensive way to keep your brain on its toes. They have a wide range of cognitive benefits, from improved memory to stress relief to better problem-solving skills. Additionally, puzzles can be turned into a social activity! Invite your friends and loved ones to join you. Jigsaw puzzles are especially good for the brain, as they work both the right and left halves. According to one study: “Lifestyle factors [such as jigsaw puzzling] found in individuals with high cognitive engagement may prevent or slow deposition of β-amyloid [harmful plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease], perhaps influencing the onset and progression of AD.” Plus, puzzles are fun! It’s a win-win!

4. Gardening

senior man gardening
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Gardening is a relaxing and yet, highly fulfilling activity. It’s also a free therapy session, a way to lighten your mood and lower levels of anxiety and stress. You don’t have to be an expert gardener or even have a green thumb to get started. All you need is a small plot, some gardening tools, and a little determination. Make sure that you research what plants grow best in your area. Also, don’t be discouraged if your plants don’t grow the way you hoped. Gardeners need to have patience and be willing to fail. Above all, make sure that you have fun and keep a positive attitude!

5. Cleaning

hand cleaning kitchen sink
Image Credit: Unsplash

Believe it or not, cleaning is great for your mental health. Decluttering can boost your mood and improve your focus. Not only that, but it can improve your working memory and executive function skills! You don’t have to do a complete overhaul or take on more chores than you can handle. Simply organizing a shelf or your shoes can do a world of good for your cognitive health. So, roll up your sleeves, put on some old clothes, and get cleaning! Your brain and home will feel better afterward.

6. Listening to Music

senior woman sitting on couching listening to headphones and beathing deep
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Did you know that listening to music reactivates areas of the brain associated with memory, reasoning, speech, emotion, and reward? But wait! There’s more! Music can also help restore memories and build new ones. That’s why experts consider music therapy to be so helpful for dementia patients! If you want to maximize the benefits of music, put on some of your favorite tunes from your childhood or teenage years. Nostalgia is a powerful tool that can help you get in touch with your lost years.


7. Looking at Scrapbooks

scrapbook of memories of grandparents
Image Credit: Pexels

Speaking of nostalgia, scrapbooks are practically nostalgia in a small, leather-bound form. What better way to fight memory loss and promote mental acuity than through some scrapbooks? If you don’t have any scrapbooks pre-made, then make one! The best type of scrapbook is one that includes key memories, and pictures, and preserves your family’s special moments for future generations. Leaf through old photos and try to recall all the stories attached to them. Even pieces of fabric may help you recall a memory that you might’ve forgotten. It doesn’t have to be super fancy. After all, the most valuable part of a scrapbook is all the memories it holds.

8. Reading

senior man reading on the couch
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Knowledge is power, and books are an easy way to gain knowledge. Plus, reading is an activity that anyone can do! All you need is either a book or a tablet, and you can read to your heart’s content. Studies show that reading can delay the onset of dementia by 5 years. Additionally, some experts also believe that reading every day can help someone preserve memory and languages. Consider joining a book club, either in-person or online, to connect with other book lovers for recommendations and accountability.

9. Watching Classic Movies and TV Shows

Laughing older couple relax on sofa spend carefree weekend together at home, hold remote control switch channels enjoy movie, watch favourite funny TV show use online stream services. Leisure concept
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Classic movies and TV shows can help spark memory recall, especially if you’ve seen them before. Great movies and TV can be enjoyed countless times. Who can forget classic I Love Lucy moments, like when she stuffs chocolate in her mouth or gets into an all-out-fruit war with a fellow grape-stomper? Or how about movies like the tear-jerking It’s a Wonderful Life or the irrepressibly charming Sound of Music? Whatever classic movie or TV show you decide to watch, we’re sure it’ll help you unlock some memories and put a smile on your face!

10. Socializing

senior women friends in a retirement community setting, active adult community, having a picnic
Image Credit: Shutterstock

That’s right—the simple act of socializing can help boost your memory. In fact, social interaction can protect your memory. Those who’ve kept in touch with their old friends might even have a cognitive advantage over their peers who didn’t, maintaining their working memory for longer. Regular socializing can improve your quality of life and even help delay the decline of memories associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia. So, if you want to keep your mind sharp, call up some old friends and plan a hang-out session! Do something fun and make memories together. Not only will it improve your memory, but we’re certain it’ll also improve your mood.


adult day care memory game
Image Credit: Shutterstock

While the stats we quoted at the beginning of the article are certainly daunting, you can do things to improve your memory and boost cognitive function. Who knew that gardening, hanging out with friends, or even watching a movie could be so beneficial to your brain? Whatever you do, don’t let a little memory loss stop you from living life to the fullest. Keep laughing, smiling, and enjoying every day.


If you liked this article and want more dementia resources, click HERE.

Popular Articles About Alzheimer's and Dementia

Originally published May 01, 2024


Free Senior Resources

Ultimate Guide to Retirement Communities

The Ultimate Guide to Retirement Communities

Get The Guide
5 Health conditions e-book cover

5 Health Conditions That Affect Baby Boomers and 5 Ways to Avoid Them

Get The Guide
ultimate estate planning checklist and guide

Ultimate Estate Planning Checklist & Guide

Get The Guide

Guide to Adult Day Care

Get The Guide
Show this content while the ad loads.