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Dementia brings with it memory loss, difficulties with thinking and language issues. If a loved one is suffering with dementia, then the nostalgia-inducing activities below are sure to help them remember the good ‘old days and bring a glint back in their eyes in no time.

Experiencing nostalgia is not only sentimental for those feeling it but also those around them. “Nostalgia is sentimentality for the past, typically for a particular period or place with positive associations” according to Psychology Today. So if you or a loved one is wanting to relive parts of the past, then why not?

For those suffering with dementia, nostalgia activities can bring about a sense of being, happiness and also mentally stimulates them. As a great way of encouraging well-being and giving them something to focus on, it can create meaningful conversations that encourage connection through family members and carers alike.

Brief Dementia History

Dementia is common in around 800,000 people within the UK, with one in three over 65 suffering from the disease. The memory loss symptoms are most common in women and the numbers are rapidly increasing as the human race lives longer.

Other common symptoms that come with dementia include depression, periods of mental confusion, language difficulties and changes in personality.

Getting Started

One sure fire way of finding out what your loved one is passionate about is discussing their past lives and periods of time they can associate with. Within these conversations, mention key parts of their lives you know about and take note on their reactions. If they are sticking with one theme or period of time, this is great to pick up on and create nostalgia activities based on that.

Helping someone discover themselves again can really make a person feel valued and loved with a sense of belonging.

Nostalgia Activities

Horizon Care have created a few activities that can be great for people suffering with dementia. These include varied music genres, images, period items and more. Below are a few ideas to take away and hopefully try with your loved ones.


Music can be a great way of reminiscing and bringing about nostalgia for anyone, let alone those with dementia. Once you have gathered which period of time they enjoy the most, you can take the time to source songs from that era and play them to your loved ones either in times of distress or when you are feeling sentimental.

Some sources of music are the obvious YouTube and also The UK 1940’s Radio Station also playing 1950’s music. As a non-drug treatment and support system as “many people with dementia enjoy reminiscence and life story work (in which the person is encouraged to share their life experiences and memories)”.

Images and Scrapbooks

Making scrapbooks with your loved ones can be a great interaction activity that keeps them busy with something to focus on. Using old photographs of them, their family members, friends and even pictures of the area from that time period can jog their memories and bring round feelings of happiness and sentiment.

Combine stock photos with real photos and see if they can point themselves out to you or family members. As well as making them think of the good ‘old times, it’s a great point of communication to get them to tell you all about it.

Household Items

Many household items from some time ago are coming back into fashion. Although fashion is that last thing on your mind for your loved ones, bringing these back into their home can make them feel comfortable and remind them of happier times.

Vintage items such as kettles, toasters, radios and even phot frames can jog their memories of previous times and can help with their sense of well-being.

You can find second-hand and vintage items on the highstreets and in charity shops like Oxfam.

Get in Touch

If you need more support with your loved ones or are looking to find out more about dementia, give us a call on 01392 426 340.