Facilitating living

Type: Video 54 mins
Supporting Aged Care Quality Standard: 2 3

Using activities to enable and engage the person with dementia

Activities give our lives meaning and purpose, and structure our days. They provide opportunities for self-expression, creativity, connecting with others, experiencing success and reinforce our self-identity.

Dementia progressively impairs many abilities, making participation in daily activities increasingly challenging for the person, and adding to the losses they experience. Regardless of the severity of dementia, though, the person remains capable of participating in activities. However, to enable engagement, activities need to be carefully individually tailored to utilise the person’s abilities, remain congruent with their occupational history, roles, interests and motivations and seamlessly compensate for their deficits.


  • The benefits of activity engagement for people with dementia.
  • Principles for selecting and individually tailoring activities.


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Alissa Westphal

Alissa Westphal is a Lecturer in Dementia Care and Registered Occupational Therapist with extensive experience in aged psychiatry and dementia care.

She has special interests in: meaningful engagement for older people; understanding and responding to behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) using non-pharmacological approaches; the use of technology to support engagement; improving the skills of carers and health professionals to engage people living with dementia and more effectively understand and respond to BPSD using a person centered and holistic approach.



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