Many people suffering from dementia are unable to do things they used to enjoy, which can dim the motivation they once felt. Their memories of these activities may even start to become fuzzy. But while the mind may forget the specifics of your experiences, your senses can be vivid reminders of things you enjoy and contribute to your increased happiness stemming from these activities. They can even help bring up old memories you thought you’d forgotten. Let’s take a look at human beings’ five senses and some things in Pasadena you and your loved ones can do to stimulate them.


Who doesn’t love having something delicious to eat? There are lots of ways to enjoy your sense of taste, such as working together to cook a meal or bake dessert. Put together a chocolate or ice cream tasting, or go out to eat at one of your favorite restaurants.

We recommend you try Amara Chocolate and Coffee, located downtown. Featuring a wide variety of drinks and desserts, they’re also known for their churros and their many breakfast options. Sounds amazing!


For someone suffering from dementia, visual stimuli can go a long way toward improving their site. Look through old photo albums, visit an art gallery, watch a movie, or try your hand at painting.

One fun idea is to create colorful pottery at Color Me Mine. Simply pick the pot or mug you want, paint your own design on it, and they bake it for you!

The Levitt Pavilion

The Levitt Pavilion — Photo courtesy of Daniel


Music is a part of just about every significant event in our lives; and it makes even the most mundane parts of our day more enjoyable. Attend a concert, listen to your loved one’s favorite music, or play the piano or sing together.

A great place to see a concert is the Levitt Pavilion. They have regular shows and events, including their free summer music festival featuring 50 different performances. There’s something for everyone!


Your sense of smell can be extremely evocative. It can instantly transport you back to another time and place and enhance your thoughts of fond memories. Visit a botanical garden, stop in at a candle shop, make scented sachets or potpourri, or go perfume shopping.

botanical gardens in San Marino

Huntington Library Botanical Gardens — Photo courtesy of Keith Evans

A great place to indulge your sense of smell is the Huntington Library Botanical Gardens in San Marino. More than 14,000 plants are on show on 120 acres of land. They have Chinese and Japanese gardens, a rose garden, an herb garden, a conservatory, and much more.


Our sense of touch is thought to be the first sense we develop as babies and the last we lose at the end of life. Touch is known to be essential to our physical and mental well-being, but many elderly people rarely have their sense of touch stimulated. Treat your loved one to a massage or a spa day, brush or comb their hair, or schedule a visit with a therapy pet.

If your loved one is an animal lover, there is a pet therapy program offered through the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA. Many care facilities don’t allow pets and they can be a challenge for seniors in their own homes to care for; so this program could be a welcomed addition to your loved one’s life.


Staying active and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle can make a huge difference in quality of life, especially for seniors. Find a light aerobics class or other group activity for seniors, take them out for walks, or even just involve them in doing housework such as dishes or laundry. Every little bit helps!

The Pasadena Senior Center, located in Memorial Park, is operated for and by Pasadena’s senior citizen population. They have a wide variety of activities that are planned, organized, and carried out by its own membership. In addition, Memorial Park has walking paths, a band shell, picnic facilities, and a large, open grass area to provide plenty of space to enjoy the outdoors.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a difficult task, but we’re here to help. We pride ourselves on providing the highest standard of care to seniors living in their own homes in Pasadena, ensuring they get the assistance they need. Call us today at (626) 799-4855 (office) or (888) 990-7353 (toll free) for more information.