Summer activities to engage someone with dementia
When it gets to the warmer months, it can be challenging to think of outdoor activities to do with your loved one who has dementia. Whether it's in your local area, or further afield, it's worthwhile to find activities that the both of you can enjoy, together. We've picked out some of the top things you can do with your loved one over the summer, scroll down to have a look!
1. Go for an early morning or late afternoon walk
Studies suggest that simple, routine exercise can help improve mood and decrease anxiety in Alzheimer’s patients [i]. By going out in the early morning or late afternoon, not only do you miss the midday heat, but it will be quieter than the middle of the day.
2. Go shopping at your local farmers’ market
The summer months will bring a bigger variety of fresh grown vegetables and fruits. This will also encourage healthier eating and nutritious habits for both you and your loved one.
3. Visit a local park or nature preserve
If you can, try visiting somewhere that your loved one has fond memories from to show them some familiarity. This can be a peaceful option and could become a weekly activity for you both to enjoy some outdoor time. Keeping a routine leads to familiarity for people with dementia.
4. Try birdwatching
Don't feel like leaving the house? Why not try doing some bird watching in your garden or local area. This could become a new hobby for your loved one and you can add bird feeders and birdbaths to your garden to attract more birds.
5. Go to the seaside and collect shells
The sound of the waves and texture of the sound can be a soothing, sensory experience for your loved one. You can then incorporate the shells into a craft project or display them to add a memory triggering object to their home.
6. Go for a picnic
Whether it’s in your own garden or at your local park, a picnic is a great way to spend time outside with your loved one. You can make their favourite types of food or childhood favourites to make the activity enjoyable for you both. Haven’t got the time to make a picnic? No problem, you can always pick up some premade snacks and sandwiches from the supermarket or local deli.