The seasons are beginning to change and it’s getting a little warmer, this means spending more time outside and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors! While spring usually puts a little pep in your step, it also has an array of health benefits for seniors with dementia! According to Unforgettable, getting outside can benefit seniors with dementia both physically and mentally by decreasing agitation and aggression, improving sleep, diet, activity levels and fitness, increasing memory and verbal expression, enhancing mood, spirit and sense of self, allowing feelings of greater self-control and more. Getting outside, according to the article, can also have many social benefits like increasing social interaction, improving your loved one’s sense of belonging and friendship and wards away depression. Robin Crum, Executive Director of YourLife™ of Pensacola, a Memory Care community in Pensacola, FL, states that too many caregivers are afraid to take their loved one with dementia outside. “It’s not uncommon to hear that caregivers would rather keep their loved one safe and indoors,” says Robin. “This is often because they fear their loved one will wander or become overwhelmed and agitated, but sometimes this fear also stems from fear of judgment. Caregivers may fear that others will not understand their loved one’s diagnosis or become afraid that their loved one will become difficult to care for in public. While these fears are absolutely valid, the benefits of getting outside far outweigh the consequences of keeping your loved one indoors.” If you are afraid to take your loved one with dementia outside this spring, start small and see how it goes. Try some of these activities and tailor them to fit your loved one’s needs. As you begin to understand how your loved one will react, you may find that you are able to do more of these activities.
Springtime Activities to Enhance Your Loved One’s Days
- Go for a walk in nature. There’s something about taking a walk in nature, hearing the birds sing and feeling the wind on your face that takes you back to the carefree days of your childhood. Take your loved one for a nice, calm walk outside and see how nature can perk them right up. Talk to them about childhood memories they may have and see if their behaviors decrease and their mood brightens.
- Attend an outdoor concert. Is there outdoor entertainment that your loved one might like? Music is particularly powerful for seniors with dementia and can help to connect a place in time with who they used to be. Go to an outdoor concert and see if there are any songs that improve your loved one’s spirit, encourage them to dance and just have fun!
- Play games in the backyard and have a picnic. Whether your loved one with dementia likes puzzles and word games or horseshoes, many activities can be modified to enjoy outside. Take some favorite daily activities outside and have a nice little picnic in the open air! This might help your loved one work off some energy, prevent napping and promote a better night of sleep!
- Host an outdoor movie. Watch one of your loved one’s favorite movies outside with the help of a projector and a lightly shaded area. Have some refreshing snacks, fruit-infused water and settle in for the show!
- Have a backup plan. If it’s just too hard to get outside, try to bring the outside in! Open all the windows and do some spring cleaning, put some flowers in vases and enjoy the natural light!
If your loved one has trouble getting outside or if you want them to have the benefit of getting outdoors in a secure environment, consider scheduling a Respite Stay at YourLife™ of Pensacola. Our caregivers are specially trained to care for those with dementia and we provide carefully planned programming and activities with YourStory to ensure your loved one with dementia can enjoy the sunshine and all its benefits. To learn more or see how we can help make caring for your loved one with dementia easier, contact our team today.
The Memory Care Your Loved One Deserves.
Offering the very best in Memory Care, YourLife™ of Pensacola was designed specifically with residents in mind. We’ve created a community where residents can define their own lifestyle, based on their preferences, needs and story, all while having the peace of mind of 24-hour support and the freedom to define their own lifestyles. Because we focus solely on Memory Care, all of our resources and attention are on catering to each resident’s needs while providing unequaled peace of mind for families. Our licensed nurses and YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists are on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide personally inspired care and support, no matter what your needs. With such dedicated care, our residents have the support they need to live as independently and engaged as possible. At YourLife™ of Pensacola, YourStory comes to life. Whether you want to enjoy our exclusive activities and YourStory programming, spend time exploring our services and amenities, relax in our easy-to-navigate Memory Care neighborhoods and living areas or try something new, the choice is entirely up to you. Contact us to learn more!