At our Anthem Memory Care communities, few things are as exciting as outings, for both our residents and our staff. Yes, they require some planning and organization, but it’s well worth the effort.
For individuals living with dementia, activities that stimulate the five senses do more than simply make for an enjoyable experience. They have tangible physical and emotional benefits. And, more often than not, they jog an old memory or two.
Of course “outings” need to be modified for those with dementia. Not everyone is up for a bus ride to the snow or a long walk to the local park. So It’s important to understand limits as well as personal preferences.
If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, here are some outdoor activities you might want to consider adding to his or her daily calendar:
- Take a short walk together.
- Drive to a local park. Find a bench in a shady spot and relax and enjoy the sounds and sights.
- Rake leaves, sweep the porch or water the garden plants.
- Feed the birds.
- Visit a dog park.
- Play an outdoor game. Consider corn-hole or horseshoes. Or simply toss a ball back and forth.
- Go to the beach. This isn’t for everyone as you need to contend with lots of variables as well as
- Have a picnic on the lawn.
Below are some great photos of our residents enjoying the outdoors. Whether it’s a bus ride through one of the many wonderful local reserves and parks or a donut run, we are always seeking opportunities to get our residents and staff out and about:
Residents of Emerald Place in Glenview, Illinois, hit the driving range for some practice!
Residents of Highline Place, in Littleton, Colorado, enjoy a trip to the local ice cream parlor.
Residents of Vineyard Place, in Murietta, California, love taking rides through the hills and valleys of local park lands.A visit to the local war memorial was especially meaningful to residents of Chelsea Place in Aurora, Colorado.
Remember that an “outing” may, for some, be as simple as finding a comfortable chair and sitting on the porch. Even a few moments of feeling a gentle breeze and watching nature at work can be enough to relieve stress and create a bit of an oasis in an otherwise hectic day.
(The top image is of a resident of Harvester Place in Burr Ridge, Illinois, visiting the local nature center.)