If you care for a loved one who has dementia or Alzheimer’s, getting out and about can really benefit their physical and mental health. In order to make any outing a success, we recommend you undertake some planning in advance.
If you are nervous about an outing with your loved one who has dementia, why not start by visiting a local memory café or dementia café? Here, you can meet other people with dementia and their Carers in an informal setting, which gives you the opportunity to share your experiences, tips and advice. Keeping in touch with other people and meeting up with friends and family is a great way to remain sociable, build confidence and improve mental wellbeing. Once you feel confident enough to venture further afield, there are lots of places you can visit.
Deciding where to go
There are many places that are listed as ‘dementia friendly’. This means that their staff and volunteers have had dementia awareness training, to ensure they are understanding and supportive. Dementia friendly venues should be designed in a way that makes it easier for people with dementia to navigate by using clear signs and having a simple layout. Look out for ‘dementia friendly’ events or activities, designed specifically for people living with dementia. You could choose from theatre performances, film screenings, or museum exhibitions.
Try visiting places that have meaning to your loved one so they can enjoy a trip down memory lane. You could visit their favourite beach, country house or park. Visiting the places they grew up in may trigger memories and the retelling of life stories could help to provide reassurance to your loved one of their past.
People with dementia tend to prefer and cope better in quiet environments as opposed to boisterous ones. Therefore, by taking them to places that are calm, such as a museum or a gallery, can be an ideal day out.
The English Heritage website lists all of their places to visit and informs you of the access, parking, facilities, and important information for each of their buildings and sites. They offer a Carer’s discount so that you can enter for free at locations which usually require an entry fee.
Dementia Adventure provide supported holidays for people who have dementia along with their family and friends. As a charity, their aim is to enable people living with dementia to get outdoors and connect with nature.
Activities to try
Taking part in an activity can provide the person living with dementia a sense of purpose and routine. It also helps them to use their skills and life experiences, which can increase self-esteem, be an emotionally nurturing experience and help them to feel valued.
Some venues offer dementia-friendly swimming or gym sessions, and arts-based activities such as drawing or painting classes. Singing is known to improve mood and wellbeing; the Alzheimer’s Society offers nationwide ‘Singing for the Brain’ groups. Or you could take part in tai chi, yoga or dancing, join a walking group, drama group or book club. All these activities can help your loved one to stay involved and by joining others, you can help them stay active and sociable.
Our top tips for carers for dementia
- Be prepared by planning your trip in advance, think about transport, facilities, time of day, where to eat, any required medication, a change of clothes and suitable footwear.
- If you need support, ask a family member or friend to go with you.
- Choose the right venue, check if they are ‘dementia friendly’.
- Go outdoors and connect with nature.
- Manage your expectations, don’t try to fit too much in, take your time, have fun and make memories.
Useful links and resources for Carers for dementia patients
- We have compiled a list of days out for the elderly to help inspire you.
- If you are struggling for ideas on what activities to do with your loved one, visit Relish for lots of free activities for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- The Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) offers digital resources for Carers, such as toolkits, handouts and helpful hints.
- If you would like to know more about preparing for an outing as a family Carer, this course could be helpful.
Why choose Bright Care
Bright Care are well placed to provide Carers for dementia patients. All our Bright Care Carers are fully trained in providing high quality care for those with dementia and will keep your loved one’s body and mind active and engaged.
As experts in dementia care, we are committed to providing companionship-based care which includes a focus on going out and about, exercising and getting fresh air. Our style of companionship care promotes good quality social stimulation, which is widely acknowledged to reduce or delay the onset of dementia and significantly improves the standards of living for those with this disease.
Get in touch
If you would like to join our team providing specialist in-home and fully trained Carers for dementia, please get in touch.
If you would like to know more about the specialist dementia companionship style of care we offer, our team would be delighted to talk you through the options available, so please get in touch.