Perspectives of People with Dementia About Meaningful Activities: A Synthesis

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2016 Mar;31(2):115-23. doi: 10.1177/1533317515598857.


Qualitative studies were synthesized to describe perspectives of people with dementia regarding meaningful activities. Themes of connectedness were identified using a meta-ethnography approach. The theme of being connected with self encompasses engagement for continuity, health promotion, and personal time. The theme of being connected with others includes being with others not to feel alone, doing an activity with others, and meaningful relationships. The theme of being connected with the environment encompasses being connected to one’s familiar environment, community, and nature. This synthesis suggests that connectedness is an important motivation for engagement in daily activities. Findings indicate that identifying the underlying motivation for an individual with dementia to engage in different activities is important for matching a person with activities that will be satisfying. This review may inform the development of interventions for engaging people with dementia in meaningful, daily activities and creating connectedness to self, others, and the environment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Support