As your loved one’s dementia progresses, finding activities you can enjoy together may become more complex. For example, you might be interested in taking a trip to the beach or hiking through a nearby forest, but you’re afraid that it will be too stressful for your loved one.
The best way to keep your loved ones engaged and active is to get them outdoors.
We all know that the great outdoors is a wonderful place to be, but it can also be a great way to spend time with your loved ones experiencing dementia. Being outside has many benefits that include:
Relieving stress: Being outside is exciting and new every time. It’s calming yet invigorating at the same time.
Staying active: Outdoor activities help your loved ones stay active, improving their overall health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that being active improves memory, which can help slow down the symptoms of dementia.
Inspiring creativity: Being in the presence of nature in a calming environment can also improve creativity. The view may inspire your loved one to take up their paint brushes and recreate the scene, remember a song that reminds them of nature’s beauty or think of words to describe the surrounding beauty.
We all know that living with dementia can be challenging. It’s even tougher when trying to treat someone with dementia to a day out. But there are ways to make it work! Here are some ideas for outdoor trips you can try with your loved one that is stress-free, fun, and dementia friendly.
01. Visiting a Pet Store / Shelter
Take your loved one shopping for new toys for their kitty (or dog) at a local pet store or go on an adoption mission at a shelter together—either way, you’ll leave feeling good about helping animals in need. Pet stores are great because they have animals that are happy to see visitors but don’t require any training or special care—they’re just there waiting for you to visit them! Shelters get even more excited about visitors because they know how important it is for these animals to find homes.
02. A Picnic in the Park or Backyard
Even if it’s just a simple picnic in your backyard or a park nearby, having lunch outside can add extra fun to an otherwise typical day at home (or vice versa!).
03. Bird Watching
Bird watching is a great activity that anyone can do at any age! It’s easy enough for anyone to enjoy it without feeling overwhelmed by too much pressure or stress about doing something wrong (like cooking). The birds will always be there, waiting patiently for you to return next time.
04. Visiting an Art Museum or Gallery
Museums and galleries usually offer guided tours, allowing both parties to simultaneously engage with each other while learning something new.
Swimming is one of the best ways to stay cool during summer. Swimming also provides an opportunity for socialization and exercise in a relaxed environment–perfect for those who may have difficulty staying active otherwise.
When taking someone with dementia on an outdoor trip, there must be plenty of time set aside for rest periods, so they do not get tired out too quickly!
At Affinity Senior Care we also offer companion care for your senior loved ones. If you are looking for additional support to meet the changing needs of your family member, please reach out to us at: www.affinityseniorhelp.com or call Affinity at 248-363-8430.