Patient Referral

Santa Paintbrush Ornament: Activities for Dementia Patients

santa paintbrush ornament dementia craft

The holidays are a beautiful time for families to gather together to celebrate their past and their present. When a loved one has dementia, they may struggle with the recent past, but they can often share stories of their youth. Take the time to listen.

Of course the holidays are also a time for gift giving. In our holiday gift guide, we offer a variety of ideas for gifts that are good for a loved one with dementia. But your loved one can also create gifts for family members that will be cherished in years to come.

Easy crafts like the Santa Paintbrush Ornament below are an engaging activity for your loved one with dementia. It helps them get involved in the holiday decorating and the results can be gifted to friends and family.

As always when doing activities with a loved one with dementia, focus on the time spent together, not the end result. Ask them about their memories of holiday celebrations from their childhood like the best gift they ever received. Ask what their traditions were when they were growing up. Play the holiday songs they like best in the background. Make this time special.

Santa Paintbrush Ornament

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 inch paintbrush with white nylon bristles
  • Red acrylic paint
  • Green acrylic paint
  • Googly eyes
  • Red pom pom
  • White Felt
  • Clear Glue
  • Ribbon



  1. Paint the handle of the paintbrush red. Let it dry completely.
  2. Add green dots to the handle of the paintbrush.
  3. Glue white felt to the silver part of the paintbrush handle.
  4. Glue two eyes to the bristles.
  5. Add a pom pom nose below the eyes.
  6. Tie a ribbon to the handle for hanging.

See more activities for dementia patients.

Caregiver Tips

  1. While doing activities with a loved one with dementia, engage them in conversation. Play music they enjoy softly in the background to create a positive mood.
  2. Even though your loved one may not remember names or things that happened in recent days, they may still remember their childhood.
  3. Activities for people with dementia have the best chance of success early in the day when your loved one is well rested. If they don’t want to participate or get frustrated, don’t force it. Try again another time.

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to support patients with dementia and their families. Please call us at 1-888-564-3405 to learn more about how our unique care programs help provide a higher quality of life for dementia patients while helping caregivers avoid burnout.

If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.
Copyright © 2018 Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. All rights reserved.


Related Content
Heart Icon

Want to give back?