Isn’t it invigorating to take a walk outdoors and feel the sun on your shoulders and a gentle breeze on your face? When you come back indoors, don’t you feel more refreshed and energized? That’s because there is a heightened alertness that comes with activating all your senses through nature. This feeling of wellbeing can also be experienced by your loved one with dementia. And it can make a positive difference in their day-to-day quality of life.
Time spent outdoors on a nice day can reduce anxiety and the sense of isolation.
Numerous studies conducted over the last twenty years all point to the advantages of fresh air, sunlight and natural settings for those struggling with dementia. It may seem like common knowledge, but the advantages are very real. A few key benefits include:
- Improved oxygen and blood flow to the brain, which can increase awareness.
- Direct sunlight, which can improve mood and enable healthier sleep patterns.
- Natural stimulation of the senses, which can reduce anxiety and restlessness.
- Change in environmental surroundings, which can decrease the sense of isolation.
Having convenient access to the outdoors is so important for your loved one with dementia.
At Anthem Memory Care, our communities are designed to provide unlimited opportunities for our residents to explore the outdoors. Our outdoor areas have been strategically placed centrally, where residents can feel free to walk indoors and out without the fear of becoming lost or walking beyond safe boundaries. The families of our residents often remark on what a difference this makes to their health and sense of connectedness to those around them.
Without doubt, spending time outdoors on a beautiful day benefits all of us. Even if your mom or dad has never been known as an “outdoor person”, this is a time in their lives when walking or sitting in a garden setting can really make a difference. Try to find opportunities to take your loved one outdoors regularly. Find a safe place in the backyard for them to sit and enjoy the natural setting. And join them! The change in environment and gentle stimulation of the senses will lift both of your spirits.