Dementia Services Social Engagement Activities

For those living with cognitive challenges

At Lutheran Community Services we offer a variety of programs aimed at making the lives of our senior population happier and heathier. One of the many ways is through our activities serving those living with dementia, traumatic brain injuries, and other cognitive challenges, as well as their care partners and loved ones, regardless of age.

All sessions provide a great opportunity for seniors to socialize in safe settings, make new friends, and enjoy activities that are free of charge.

  • Opening Minds through Art (OMA)
  • Music & Memories
  • Memory Cafés

To learn more about these activities please call 253-722-5682 or email us at [email protected].


Opening Minds through Art (OMA)

We pair people with dementia and other cognitive challenges with trained volunteers to create works of art. An art show with all participants is held on the last day of each session. OMA gives people living with dementia the opportunity to freely express themselves artistically and:

  • Helps those with dementia live more fully
  • Builds relationships between people with dementia and volunteers
  • Shows that those with dementia remain creative and can express themselves uniquely, even with memory issues

Register for OMA classes here


OMA Artists Recognized in International Art Show

We are excited that five of our OMA artists from the Tacoma area had artwork that was entered in the December 2023 OMA Virtual International Art Show that featured 70 artists representing 30 cities, 3 countries and 2 continents.

Two of the five Puget Sound artists received awards for their creative efforts. Sylvia from Tacoma was honored for Best Line Work and People’s Choice award. Nathan from Edgewood received the Fan Favorite award. In addition, Shelly from Tacoma, Mike from Gig Harbor and Martha from Edgewood contributed paintings to the show’s 450 submissions. Lutheran Community Services Northwest won the award for the most submissions–118 pieces of artwork!

Read more about our artists and the OMA Art Show or “take a stroll” through the OMA virtual art gallery


Watch this video from Q13 Fox “Driver on the Street: Opening Minds through Art”

To learn more about OMA, please call 253-722-5692 or email us at [email protected].



Here are some samples of artwork created by OMA participants:

12 Views by S.C.

Fourth of July by L.L.

Glitter Design by B.S.

Happiness by B.S.

Pretty Everything by L.L.

The Runway by B.H.

Unnamed by G.H.

Yikes by D.H.

Music & Memories

Music and Memories supports people living with dementia and their care partners to engage creatively and joyfully in musical activities. Participants will sing, play instruments and move to the music with a goal of improving quality of life and increasing social interaction. It will also give them a sense of empowerment, increasing their self-worth, confidence and identity.

  • Pre-registration for the FREE in-person sessions is required.
  • Sessions are one hour per week.

Register for Music and Memories classes here

To learn more about Music and Memories, please call 253-722-5692 or email us at [email protected].

Memory Walks

Memory Walks are designed for those living with early memory loss and their care partner to enjoy some outdoor fresh air and exercise while socializing. Walks are conducted in various Pierce County locations including some museums and are offered in four-week sessions. Registration is required.

For more information on our Memory Walks, call 253-722-5682 or email [email protected].



Memory Cafés

Memory Cafés are social gatherings for those with any stage of dementia and their friends, family and caregivers to connect and socialize. Cafés are free except for food items ordered. All are welcome. Currently our cafés are the third Wednesday of each month at 2 pm and held near Tacoma, at The Pine Cone Café, at 7912 27th St W, University Place, WA 98466.

Memory Cafés provide a valuable social outlet for those with dementia. They are a positive safe space where you can meet others in similar situations. We laugh, tell stories and share tips for caring for our loved ones. Many friendships have formed from our Memory Cafés.

For more information call 253-722-5682 or email [email protected].




Memory Cafés are currently held at:

The Pine Cone Café
7912 27th St W, University Place, WA 98466
Third Wednesday of the month, 2:00 p.m.

For more information, please call 253-722-5682 or email [email protected].

Volunteer Opportunities

Opening Minds through Art (OMA)

Volunteers (age 18 and over) will receive training in the Opening Minds through Art (OMA) method and philosophy and will be paired with an artist (person living with dementia), assisting them to create beautiful works of abstract art. These intergenerational relationships will increase your confidence and comfort level towards people with dementia. Classes are in person or virtual.

A one-hour training is required, and the commitment is for one hour per week.
Contact [email protected] or 253-722-5692 if you are interested.

“Volunteering with OMA has improved my perspective and interaction with patients with dementia.
Instead of avoiding them, I became more self-confident in communicating with dementia patients.
In addition, with this one-hour-a-week class, I can help alleviate stress from their caregivers and
provide more autonomy to the artists.
My favorite part of these OMA sessions is watching the artists
be utterly amazed with their artwork, which showcases their own creativity, individuality, and volition.”

~ From Allyson Garcia, OMA volunteer from PLU


Music and Memories

Research shows that music can evoke memories that have been lost to dementia and other cognitive challenges. This activity, which includes singing and instruments, allows people living with dementia to make music with others who have similar challenges without the fear of stigma.
Volunteers (age 18 and over) are needed to:

          • Help set up and put back the room
          • Hand out instruments
          • Encourage participation by being willing to join along and have fun with music

            No musical experience required.
            Contact [email protected] or 253-722-5692 if you are interested.
Frequently asked questions

How many people in Pierce County have dementia?
12,497 and this number is expected to grow to 19,757 in the next 10 years.

What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s?
Dementia is the umbrella term used for a spectrum of diagnosis regarding cognitive diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia and others.  So while Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, the term dementia encompasses much more.

How many family members are care partners to someone with Alzheimer’s?
In Washington State there are over 353,000 family caregivers providing over 402 million hours of care annually.

Is dementia fatal?
The diseases under the umbrella of dementia are fatal at some point, the length of time between diagnosis and death vary by individual.  There currently is no cure for Alzheimer’s, though much research is being done on this front.

 What can I do to lower my risk of getting dementia?
Studies have shown that healthy eating, moderate exercise and engaging in activities that stimulate the brain are helpful.

Where can I find out more about dementia?
You can contact the LCS Northwest Dementia Services department at [email protected].

Other resources include:
Washington State Alzheimer’s Association:
Pierce County ADRC:

Need more information?