Activities and things to do for people with Dementia

There are many ways you can find activities and things to do for someone with Dementia, including local groups, ways to keep active and online activities. And there are specialist music websites as it is well recognised how important music can be for people with Dementia.

Local groups and activities.

Activities ideas at home.

Keeping active.

Online activities.

Music and Dementia.

Local groups and activities

Your local Dementia trained community organisation runs regular activities and events for people with Dementia and their family and carers.

You’ll receive a warm welcome from the dementia workers at the People Keeping Well organisations listed below. They’re all Dementia Friends and have attended Dementia Stars training. They offer:

  • Dementia information and a friendly listening ear.
  • a 6-monthly telephone check-in call to see how you are.
  • regular Dementia-specific and Dementia-friendly:
    • Memory Cafés (with activities, entertainment and information).
    • Dementia carers groups (including online).
    • singing groups and choirs.
    • allotment, gardening and farming sessions.
    • chairobics, bowling and exercise classes.
    • online Memory Cafés and dementia-friendly groups via Zoom.
    • Social Dining.
    • Sporting Memories.
    • coffee mornings.
    • culturally sensitive groups for men and groups for women.

You can be put in touch via the Dementia Advice Sheffield Service.

Age UK Sheffield: Dementia Advice Sheffield.

Call: 0114 250 2875.


There's also a full list of all the organisations on the main Dementia Support in Sheffield page.

Activities ideas at home

Alzheimer’s Society: activity ideas at home

Ideas, links and tips for keeping purposeful when staying at home, to help fight off boredom and frustration.

Alzheimer's Society: Activity ideas for people with dementia.

Create it, share it

The University of Hertfordshire has a Create it, share it Art Pack with ideas for creative projects and fun activities.

University of Hertfordshire Arts: Create it, share it Art Pack (PDF, 4.9 MB).

Dementia Together

Ideas of ways to live well with Dementia. Topics include routine, music, memory book, photos, sleep, weaving, relaxation, art, physical activity and poetry (new resources are added every week).

Dementia Together.

Dementia Meeting Centres

This website has resources and ideas for activities at home including activity kits, puzzles, quizzes, practical ‘making’ activities and nature-based activities.

Dementia Meeting Centres: Useful resources.

Reading Well Books on Prescription: Dementia

The Reading Well Books on Prescription website has a section for Dementia recommending books you might find helpful if you have Dementia, are caring for someone with Dementia or want to find out more. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals and supported by public libraries. If you're not already a member of Sheffield Libraries you can join for free to borrow physical books and e-books from the Dementia reading list.

Sheffield City Council: Sheffield libraries and archives.

Sheffield City Council: Join the library.

Reading Well: Books on prescription for Dementia.

Keeping active

NHS activities

Home workouts. 10 minute videos to help you keep fit at home.

NHS: exercise.

Take part in a Dementia Friendly Tea Dance

Sheffield Theatres run a regular free Dementia Friendly Tea Dance that anyone can come along for an hour of live singing, dancing, and refreshments. On Tuesdays 11:15 am to 1:30 pm at the Crucible Theatre. Find out more.

Sheffield Theatres: Dementia Friendly Tea Dances.

Sitting exercises. These gentle, easy-to-follow sitting exercises will help improve mobility and prevent falls, and can even be done at home with just a chair.  The instructions (including photos) can be downloaded as a PDF.

NHS: sitting exercises.

More More Sheffield: staying active at home

A booklet you can download and print about staying active at home, especially for older people.

Move More Sheffield: Active at home (PDF, 3.6 MB).

Joe Wicks exercise videos for seniors

Joe Wicks is also known as The Body Coach. Joe has exercise videos on Youtube, including a 10 minute workout for seniors, and a home chair workout for seniors.

Joe Wicks Youtube: 10 minute work out for seniors. 10 minute home chair workout for seniors.

Breathing exercises

Suggestions of daily breathing exercises from Rachel Halsey, a Peak District physiotherapist.  A helpful preventative measure for anyone with respiratory problems or who is prone to getting chest infections.

Rachel Halsey Youtube: Breathing exercises.

Love to Move: seated exercise videos

The British Gymnastics Foundation’s Love to Move programme is an age-friendly and dementia-friendly seated gymnastics programme.  You can now try the programme in the comfort of your own home using their online videos.

British Gymnastic Foundation: Love to Move.

Chair-based ballet exercise

English National Ballet have a range of exercise videos of chair-based exercises for ballet lovers with restricted mobility or limited space. They offer a 7 day free trial to try out the videos.

English National Ballet: BalletActive Playlists.

BBC Sounds: 10 Today – Physical Activity for older people

10 Today is an exercise audio programme from Sport England and Demos, designed for older people to protect against poor health, improve mental health and maintain independence.

BBC Sounds: 10 Today Physical activity for older people.

Sport England: Stay In, Work Out

How to stay active at home includes a section focused on ‘older adults’, as well as plenty of varied ideas for all ages and abilities. 

Sport England: Get active at home.

Dementia Adventure

Helps people with Dementia to retain a sense of adventure by getting outdoors and connecting with nature.

Dementia Adventure.

Online activities

BBC Reminiscence Archive

A selection of content from the BBC Archives, designed to support reminiscence therapy. Choose from photos, videos or sound clips and select by theme or decade to prompt conversations.

BBC Archives: Reminiscence Archive.

Arts4Dementia: online activities

Arts4Dementia has interactive arts opportunities to empower people affected by Dementia in the community, including ‘Chatty Wednesdays’ online Zoom gatherings, online music, theatre, visual arts, museums and heritage. 

Arts4Dementia: Daily arts medicine.

Museums Sheffield from home

An online database with over 1,000 objects from across the city's collections. Their Our Museums Stories section will tell you more about the artworks and objects they care for, and give insights into the artists, makers and industries at work in the city today.

Museums Sheffield: Collections & Stories.

Museum of Brands

Offers an online nostalgic journey through 200 years of brands in the UK. Their Living Brands section helps with reminiscing through creative online activities, games and challenges.

Museum of Brands: Brands at home.

National History Museum online

Take a tour of the National History Museum without having to travel to London.

National History Museum: virtual tour.

Sheffield Theatres online backstage tours

Sheffield Theatres have lots of backstage films including Kiss Me Kate and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Sheffield Theatres: backstage films.

National Gallery virtual tour

Three virtual tours allow you to step inside the National Gallery and explore one of the greatest collections of paintings, from the comfort of your home.

National Gallery: virtual tours.

The Louvre art gallery

Go on a virtual tour of the Louvre in France.

The Louvre: virtual tour.

Explore the natural world

If you find it hard to get out and about you can use these resources to explore the natural world from your own home.

Heeley City Farm. Watch videos and see photos of the animals at Sheffield’s Heeley City Farm, including lambs, piglets, goats, chinchillas, bees, cows, horses, guinea pigs and more.

Heeley City Farm: Facebook photos and videos.

Graves Park Animal Farm. Meet shire horses, Shetland ponies, hens, goats, donkeys, sheep and more in video updates from Sheffield’s Graves Park Animal Farm.

Graves Park Animal Farm: Facebook photos and videos.

Kew Gardens. Roam the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Wakehurst from the comfort of your home.  Travel to the tropics, the desert and the mountains with their seasonal footage and take a sneak peek at their glasshouses.

Kew Gardens: Virtual Kew.

National Garden Scheme. The National Garden Scheme’s website features virtual garden visits.

National Garden Scheme: virtual visits.

Lake District webcams. Visit the Lake District without leaving Sheffield by touring these 50 webcams.

Lake District: 50 live webcams.

Edinburgh Zoo. Watch some of the animals at Edinburgh Zoo on live webcams 24/7.  Featuring panda cam, penguin cam, tiger cam and koala cam.

Edinburgh Zoo: webcams.

Monterey Bay Aquarium. View the inhabitants of the Monterey Bay aquarium on their relaxing live and pre-recorded webcams.  Featuring fish, otters, penguins, jelly fish and more.

Monterey Bay: Aquarium webcams.

Music and Dementia

Music To Your Door is a project in Sheffield bringing music and songs straight to the doorsteps of people living with dementia.

Watch this short video showing Nick and Sophie from District Musicians visiting someone at home.

District Musicians: Music To Your Door video.

A session usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes. Often this is an outside location at your home such as your doorstep or the garden. Musicians can come inside, if appropriate, and always maintain a Covid-safe practice to reduce risk to everyone.

The project has full Disclosure and Barring Service checks and Public Liability Insurance.

Musicians play guitar and percussion instruments sing a wide range of familiar songs. They also have simple instruments so that people can join in if they want. They can also play soothing music to help people relax.

You can refer yourself, or someone you know, from their website.

District Musicians: Music To Your Door.

Playlist for Life

Create a unique, personalised playlist which will help to improve the wellbeing of a person with dementia.  You can also get support so that everyone who loves or cares for them knows how to use their playlist.

Playlist for Life: A playlist of personally meaningful music.

BBC Music Memories

Use music and create a personal playlist to help people reconnect with their most powerful memories.

BBC: Music Memories playlist.

M4d Radio: Music for Dementia radio

‘m4d Radio’ is a free internet radio station for people living with Dementia and their carers. It's available 24/7 with no adverts. The music is designed to provide an instant source of meaningful and appropriate music schedules designed to follow the rhythm of the day from waking to bedtime and right through the night.  This includes soothing tracks for evenings and night-time, music to move to and music from musical shows.  Listeners can tune into the mix station or 1 of 4 stations playing music by decade from the 1930s to the 1970s.

m4d radio.

Deepness Dementia Radio

Radio shows and online education courses to encourage living well with dementia, to help those going through dementia maintain their freedom and get the most out of life. 

Deepness Dementia Media: Deepness Dementia Radio.

Music for Dementia: How to use music

Music for Dementia has advice on how important music can be for people living with dementia and their carers. They explain how music can help throughout the person's dementia journey and ideas at your first steps in using music to reduce agitation, depression and anxiety for people with dementia.

Music for Dementia: How to use music.

A journey through music with Dementia (PDF, 6.9 MB).

Orchestra of the Swan

This website has 5 sing-a-longs videos of several familiar songs/tunes, with notes to help a conversation about the music played and the lyrics of the songs.

Orchestra of the Swan: Dementia music videos

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