Constructive activities in Day Centres

I help out at a memory cafe and they pick a theme each week like transport or colour and generally chat around it. Sometimes they sing old war time songs or traditional things or old things I don’t even know.
They serve tea and biscuits and once had a half hearted art session and again half hearted quizes.
If you have carees going to Day Centre or Memory Cafes what constructive creative pastimes do they engage in?
Are thh groups split up by capability, mixed or one project fits all?

When Mum used to go to the Day Centre there was one activity that most of the “visitors” seemed to enjoy.

The staff used an overhead projector to project a crossword puzzle onto a large whiteboard and then they took it in turns to answer the clues and the staff member would write in the answers till the puzzle was finished.

Even after Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she was still able to do crossword puzzles and take part in a game of Scrabble for a couple of years until the dementia got a lot worse.

This has cropped up in the past. I couldn’t find the thread I was looking for (some old links don’t work,) but I did find these whilst searching:

The thread I was looking for was by someone (Audrey?) who used to take activities into a care/nursing home to stimulate the residents. I recall something about homemade musical instruments???


Hi Henrietta,
No experience with ‘Memory Cafes’ and very little with dementia, Sorry. A few ideas. May be useless.
My Mum used to do jigsaws. The size of them both diminished and grew as she got older. From 1000 down to 250 pieces and the size of each piece bigger and thicker. She stopped when her sight deteriorated too far.
There are also giant games available which aren’t too expensive. Giant snakes and ladders, giant dominoes, giant playing cards.
I’m suggesting a ‘games day’ or maybe just a games table or corner. There’s always bingo of course with large number cross off cards.
Is there a clothes shop nearby who would do a bit of a fashion show? I know of one in my locality who take racks of clothes to local Homes.
Any budding or establish musicians who would come and play their guitar for an hour?
You could contact the local schools and see if their music teachers have a little group of musicians or a choir who would come along and play/sing.
Would the local amateur dram group come and do a scene from their current performance? Is there a local ‘Gilbert and Sullivan’ group who would come and sing some songs from ’The Mikado’ for example?
A giant group memory book? Starting with the oldest member? What happened in 19?? Who was born in19??.
More people are becoming aware of the devastation dementia etc causes and might be willing to ‘do their bit’ (for free). Perhaps the ‘café’ needs to be pro-active on the grounds that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Reach out and see what comes back.


the member you are looking for is dancedintherain (previously known as dancingintherain !)

Note to Melly … a mere 1,013 posts … ?

Down to 5 … when adding ACTIVITIES to said search.

My monies are on THE CHARLESTON :

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