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Outing at Cascade Creek Memory Care in Rochester Minnesota

Outdoor Activities Bring Many Benefits to Those with Dementia

Whether we’re visiting a park, planting in our gardens, taking a walk or just sitting on the sunny patio, outdoor activities are back in season at our Anthem communities and residents are loving it.

Outdoor activities connect individuals living with dementia to the natural world around them, providing an abundance of physical and emotional benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Sunshine provides a natural source of vitamin D, which can improve mood and enable healthier sleep patterns.
  • Fresh air brings increased oxygen and blood flow to the brain, which can increase awareness.
  • Interacting with nature can reduce anxiety and restlessness.
  • The change in scenery heightens the senses and refreshes body and mind.

There are many more benefits enjoyed by our residents as they some of the following outdoor activities:

Outdoor concerts. As the weather warms our concerts move outdoors! Residents, staff and families enjoy the sounds of the different bands and groups featuring local musicians. Many play old favorites which have been known to spark the occasional impromptu dance party.

Local musician plays favorite tunes on Family and Friends Day at Vineyard Place Memory Care in Murrieta, California.

Nature field trips. Our residents love visits to the local nature centers and parks. Learning about local wildlife and seeing flowers in bloom is a delight to the senses and helps connect them with nature.

Chelsea Place Memory Care residents and staff enjoy a day at local Cherry Creek Park in Aurora, Colorado.

Planting. This is more than simply pushing seeds into dirt. Our residents participate in trips to local nurseries where they help select flowers and vegetable plants to fill the many planters on the grounds of our communities. They water and weed the beds to keep the plants healthy.

Residents of Harvester Place Memory Care in Burr Ridge, Illinois enjoy filling up the planter with a variety of blooms.

Harvesting, cooking, and eating. Residents also help harvest their vegetable crops. Cooking classes introduce residents to new, delicious recipes. It all comes full circle with a fresh cooked meal for the ultimate “farm to table” dining experience!

Outdoor decorating. Residents take pride in helping to make the patios and other outdoor areas appealing in special ways. Whether it takes the form of building bird houses or crafting hand painted stones to scatter among the plants and flowers, residents enjoy the fruits of their labor every time they step outside.  

Residents of Emerald Place Memory Care in Glenview, Illinois join family members to create an assortment of colorful hand painted stones for their garden.

If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, try to make an effort to get them outdoors more often. Whether you take a short walk, visit the local park, or simply sit out in the backyard or garden, the change in environment is therapeutic and can make a big difference in both physical and emotional well-being. That goes for your well-being too!

Remember too that we have resources available to you on our Anthem website. You will find seminars, books, articles, and links to more information on a wide range of topics. We are here to help!

(Our header image shows a resident of Vineyard Place Memory Care on a field trip to a local vineyard. Beautiful surroundings and lots of sunshine!)