Quality of Life Model

The SCAMPI quality of life model was developed as a general model that describes the types of goals that would hold for most people living with dementia. The model defines five top level goals, derived from Lawton’s definition of quality of life with Alzheimer’s disease [1]:

  • Ability to perfom activities of daily living
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Physical wellbeing
  • Cognitive health
  • Social life

These five areas of quality of life are further refined into more specific goals that we have associated with different types of meaningful activities. For example, goals such as:

  • Relaxation
  • Physical fitness
  • Active mind
  • Social support network
  • Meaningful relationships
  • Making a contribution
  • Independent living
  • Personal identity
  • Connection to nature
  • Connection to neighbourhood

A full version of the SCAMPI quality of life model can be viewed here:


Meaningful activities

Meaningful activities of people with dementia have been synthesised and categorized into themes related to connectedness [2]. The 3 themes describe how a person with dementia might seek to connect:

  1. to oneself (for example through maintenance of personal routines, engaging in activities to benefit health and having personal time and rest);
  2. to others (for example having social contact, doing activities with others and maintaining meaningful relationships) and;
  3. to one’s environment (for example being settled at home, being involved in the community and getting out into nature).

The SCAMPI taxonomy of meaningful activities contains close to 900 entries, some of which are presented below as examples.

(Click on the heading to expand the section)

Eating out

These activities can help social contact and participation.

  • Go cheese tasting
  • Go out for a coffee
  • Go out for a meal
  • Go out for a picnic
  • Go out for a snack
  • Go out for afternoon tea
  • Go out for an ice cream
  • Go out for fish and chips
  • Go to a cafe
  • Go to a tea dance
  • Go to the pub
  • Have a barbecue
  • Visit a cafe in supermarket
  • Visit a restaurant

These activities can help achieve physical wellbeing, in particular physical fitness

  • Aerobic exergaming
  • Balance exergaming
  • High intensity exergaming
  • Do seated exercises
  • Do stretching exercises
  • Go for a jog-walk combined
  • Go Nordic walking with a group
  • Go on a health walk
  • Jog on a mini trampoline
  • Train with resistance bands
  • Use a pedal exerciser
  • Use an exercise ball
  • Use an exercise bike
  • Use elliptical trainer or cross trainer
  • Walk with a walking group
  • Workout on gym machines
Going out - cultural

These activities can help social contact and participation and to keep an active mind.

  • Attend a musical
  • Attend jazz music night
  • Attend movie club
  • Go on local group sightseeing tour
  • Go out to watch sport
  • Go sightseeing
  • Go to a concert
  • Go to an art fair
  • Go to gallery
  • Go to local place of interest
  • Go to museum
  • Go to opera
  • Go to the cinema
  • Go to the theatre
  • Visit historic places
Going out - general

These activities can help social contact and participation.

  • Go into town
  • Go on a boat trip
  • Go on outing
  • Go out for a drive (with someone)
  • Go to shops
  • Go to the DIY store
  • Go to the library
  • Go to the post office
  • Go to the post box
  • Run an errand for someone
  • Visit a craft demonstration

These activities can help achieve a positive sense of wellbeing, in particular being connected to nature.

  • Visit a boating lake
  • Watch wildlife through window
  • Go to a horticultural show
  • Visit a sensory garden
  • Visit the countryside
  • Walk in the woods
  • Go in garden
  • Keep houseplants
  • Visit public gardens
  • Go on barge trip
  • Harvest fruit and vegetables
  • Go horse riding
  • Go to garden centre
  • Visit wildlife
  • Feed birds in the outdoors
  • Visit a nature reserve
  • Visit a local park
  • Go hang gliding
  • Water the plants
  • Go to bird watching group
  • Drive through the countryside
  • Go orienteering
  • Visit the seaside
  • Go fishing
  • Go rambling with group
  • Visit a farm
Physical activities

These activities can help achieve physical wellbeing

  • Canoeing
  • Climbing
  • Do a bungee jump
  • Do a skydive
  • Juggling
  • Skateboarding
  • Trampolining
  • Go fishing
  • Hang gliding
  • Go hunting
  • Ice skating
  • Paddle boarding
  • Roller skating
  • Go sailing
  • Go shooting
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Martial arts
  • Skiing

These activities can help achieve a positive sense of wellbeing, in particular relaxation.

  • Be read to by someone
  • Listen to relaxation recording
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Perform breathing exercises
  • Relax in the garden

These activities can help achieve a positive sense of wellbeing, in particular a sense of spirituality.

  • Explore memory box (or room)
  • Explore memorabilia
  • Listen to historic radio recordings
  • Look at photographs
  • Journey through life history
  • Look through old postcards
  • Reflect on the history of a place
  • Reminisce about holidays you went on
  • Reminisce about where you used to live
  • Reminisce about your working life
  • Reminisce through music
  • Reminisce about your childhood
  • Visit a family grave (or shrine)
Singing and playing an instrument

These activities can help keeping an active mind.

  • Attend a singing group
  • Attend Karaoke evening
  • Attend local choir
  • Attend a music group
  • Perform music to others
  • Learn musical instrument
  • Play in marching band
  • Play musical instrument

These activities can help achieve a positive sense of wellbeing, fulfilling a a sense of spirituality and in some cases faith.

  • Attend art therapy
  • Attend drama therapy
  • Attend music therapy
  • Do group meditation
  • Do Qigong
  • Do Tai Chi
  • Do yoga for relaxation
  • Meditate
  • Spend time alone to contemplate
  • Attend religious choir
  • Go to place of worship
  • Home visit from religious leader
Time with partner

These activities can help social life, in particular for a meaningful relationship with a partner.

  • Date night with partner
  • Have a meal out with partner
  • Go somewhere romantic with partner
  • Go on outing with partner
Vocational activities

These activities can help achieve a positive sense of wellbeing, and in many cases can fulfil making a contribution.

  • Decorate the home interior
  • Do car maintenance
  • Fill the car with petrol
  • Fix the fence
  • Paint the home exterior
  • Repair an appliance
  • Wash the car
  • Wash the windows at home
  • Conduct an orchestra
  • Go on a business trip
  • Pack for a holiday
  • Care for pet
  • Keep a horse
  • Train a pet
  • Breed animals
  • Attend a men in sheds group
  • Drive a tractor
  • Make accommodation homely
  • Organise a room at home
  • Coach sports
  • Teach a craft
  • Teach exercise class
  • Be a befriender
  • Participate in film project
  • Participate in research
  • Raise awareness of medical condition
  • Run a support group
  • Take someone out in a wheelchair


  1. Lawton M.: Quality of Life in Alzheimer Disease. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders 8(3), Raven Press Ltd., New York, pp. 138-50 (1994).
  2. Han A., Radel J., McDowd J. Sabata D.; Perspectives of People with Dementia About Meaningful Activities: A Synthesis. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias 31(2), pp. 115-123 (2016).