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Free Dementia Friendly Activity: Creative Writing
August 4, 2022
Did you know that creative writing can help encourage memory recall for your loved one with dementia? Better yet, the engaging experience that creative writing offers can be an especially powerful tool in helping your loved one maintain their sense of independence and boost their self-esteem, as many studies have affirmed. The best part about creative writing activities is they are entirely customizable. Your loved one’s stories can be anything they want them to be – a love story, comedy, or even a reflection of their past. The beauty behind creative writing is its ability to tap into memories buried deep below the surface. 

Reigniting Your Loved One’s Memories Through Creative Writing

To start your creative writing journey, find a photograph to act as your focal point. You and your loved one will use this photograph to set the scene for the story you are about to tell. By using a photo as a reference point, you can help your loved one with dementia seize the opportunity to create a story all of their own that might even have some reflection on the memories that still live inside their heart.

Not sure how to get started? Let this example creative writing activity be your starting point! First, review the photo that is shown below. Then, as you and your loved one make your examinations, take the time to think about who you imagine these characters in the photo to be and what sort of adventure they are embarking on.

Creative Writing Prompt For Loved Ones With Dementia

Ask questions like:

Who are they?

What is their relationship?

How do you think they met?

Where are they going?

How do you think they are feeling? 

Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?

Where in the world would you want to travel to?

Thought-provoking and open-ended questions (questions that go beyond short “yes” or “no” answers) can help guide your loved one as they build their narrative. While they answer different questions and provide their examinations from the photo, write your loved one’s answers down to create a storyline. After every few questions, take a moment to pause and read aloud what you have written so far. 

During these rest periods, your conversations with your loved one might turn into new stories that stray from the original one you are writing together – and that is okay! You can learn so much about your loved one through the stories they tell. Even if old memories don’t come back to the surface, this can still be an opportune moment to create an engaging and inspiring experience for your loved one with dementia and spark new memories for the both of you to share.

Want More Creative Writing Activities Like This One?

Engaging at Home™ offers monthly at-home engagement activities that foster every opportunity for loved ones with dementia and their caregivers and families to hone in on their creativity. An Engaging at Home™ membership includes 24/7 online access to a built-in library with videos of intriguing topics, creative activities, and ways for the whole family to participate.

Creative Writing For Loved Ones With Dementia

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We're a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona with three senior day club locations (and a fourth on the way) which serve older adults with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and various other physical or cognitive challenges. Life does not end with a diagnosis. Our members continue to learn new skills, enjoy new discoveries, make friends, laugh, and live a joy-filled life. Our team of dementia experts lead support groups, events, classes, and private sessions with caregivers and families, guiding them on the best methods to care for their loved ones while also caring for themselves.


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