Sensory Activities to Calm Seniors with Dementia

As our loved ones get older, especially if they have dementia, finding techniques to soothe and settle them down becomes more important. Agitation and anxiety are frequently the result of dementia, which can impair memory, cognition, and behavior. Senior home care providers can give vital instructions on sensory activities to relieve these sensations. These activities can arouse the senses—taste, smell, sight, sound, and touch—which can help seniors feel at ease and grounded in the here and now.

Some of the techniques senior home care or loved ones might use with seniors are explored further below.

Senior Home Care Canton MI - Sensory Activities to Calm Seniors with Dementia

Senior Home Care Canton MI – Sensory Activities to Calm Seniors with Dementia


Some smells have the power to evoke strong feelings and memories. For example, lavender is well-known for its relaxing effects. In the home, diffusers can be used to fill the space with the scent of oils, or seniors might be able to apply lotions or balms that are infused with oils as long as they don’t have skin sensitivities. Finally, seniors might also enjoy using aromatherapy sprays on their bedding for a more relaxing sleep or on their clothing to help maintain a sense of calm.


The brain responds profoundly to music. It has the power to arouse feelings, spark recollections, and enhance cognitive performance. Loved ones can make customized playlists with seniors’ all-time favorite music, particularly from their early years. At the same time, they can encourage seniors to go to events where live music is being played.


Touch is quite powerful and can often soothe and calm seniors. For example, they may enjoy pillows and blankets in a variety of textures, such as velvety or bumpy. They may also enjoy soothing massages or even devices that produce a gentle massage, such as handheld devices or pads they can sit on or lay against. For seniors who need to keep their hands occupied as a way to calm down, they can try fidget quilts, which come with a variety of attachments and textures.


Calming visual stimuli have the ability to stimulate the brain without becoming overwhelming. Images, lights, and colors can be examples of this. For instance, senior home care may turn on a YouTube video that focuses on meadows, beaches, or forests for seniors to enjoy. When the video also has soothing music, they benefit from that as well. Additionally, light therapy can be incorporated to subtly stimulate the eyes.

Taste and Smell

Memory and scent are intimately related. Seniors will feel calmer when comforting flavors and fragrances are introduced. Senior home care can assist with this by offering them their favorite snacks, baking with seniors, or even helping them maintain an herb garden. Each of these things can bring about memories and a sense of calm.

Physical Activity

Seniors who engage in mild physical activity can maintain a sense of awareness of their bodies and surroundings. One activity to try is encouraging seniors to gently sway or dance to their favorite music. Additionally, seniors might enjoy the repetitive movements of walking or Tai Chi, both of which have calming elements. Easy, guided stretches might also help ease stress and lift their spirits.

Seniors with dementia may live much better if they include sensory exercises in their everyday routine. In addition to having a relaxing impact, these activities offer a chance for meaningful participation. Senior home care can modify activities according to tastes and capacity to keep them lighthearted and pleasurable.


If you or an aging loved one is considering Senior Home Care Services in Canton MI, please contact the caring staff at No Place Like Home Health, LLC today. 734-259-4200

Connecting Families with Compassionate & Quality Home Health Care In Wayne, Oakland, Livingston & Washtenaw.

Kevin Sharples, Owner