Dementia Friendly Days Out
Though summer may seem a long way away, this is the perfect time of year to start planning holidays and trips for the year ahead. When a loved one is living with dementia, however, there are many more considerations that must be taken into account. Not all day trips and destinations are well-suited to those affected by dementia, but there are plenty of alternatives still available to you. Here are just a few of them.
Travel to the Past
Stimulating a loved one’s memories of the past can make for a rewarding and enjoyable day out for you and your family. Visit familiar haunts from yesteryear, or museums with displays on local history. The UK has a number of open-air museums which recreate what life was like in the early 20th Century and beyond, including the Beamish Museum in County Durham, Chiltern Open-Air Museum in the Cotswolds, St Fagans National History Museum in South Wales and the Highland Folk Museum in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
Take it Easy
There’s a temptation, while on a day out, to try and cram in as many activities as possible, but for someone living with dementia this is often the last thing they want. Dementia affects concentration, and so there is only so much you can take in in a short space of time. Avoid destinations and attractions where you’ll be bombarded with information, noise and spectacle. Choose somewhere quieter and where you can take things at your own pace, such as museums, parks or libraries.
Get Some Fresh Air
Those affected by dementia and their loved ones can often feel cooped up and constrained by the daily care routine, so (weather permitting) why not take to the great outdoors? This needn’t mean climbing every mountain nor fording every stream; it can be something as simple as a woodland walk or a stroll along a favourite beach. If you’re looking for something a little more action-packed, organisations such as Dementia Adventure (www.dementiaadventure.co.uk) can help you organise more active excursions, such as dementia-friendly boat cruises and walking holidays.
Go to the Movies
Many cinemas now offer dementia-friendly screenings of popular films, removing trailers and adverts from before the screening, having brighter lighting throughout the auditorium during the film itself, and providing a relaxed and friendly environment for keen film fans living with dementia.
“Sing, Sing a Song…”
Even when dementia has begun to seriously affect the memory, many of those affected by it still remember the lyrics to well-loved songs from their younger years. There’s nothing to stop you having a sing-a-long in your own home, but if the neighbours complain or you feel like going out and meeting new people, you might also consider joining a singing group. The Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Singing for the Brain’ service operates across the whole of the UK, and there are many similar groups and organisations throughout the country.
For advice on the services we provide for those living with dementia, go to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care tab on our Home Care Services page, or contact us directly using our online form, or by phoning us on 01179 586 235