Feeling cooped up indoors? You aren’t alone! Research shows that physical isolation indoors can lead to anxiety, restlessness, and the desire to wander in individuals with dementia.¹ Find a trail in a nearby state or city park, or even just the patio at home, and take your loved one on an outdoor excursion.
Things to do:
- Collect leaves and small rocks to touch and feel, and flowers to smell – sensory stimulation is a valuable part of all dementia-friendly activities.
- Take a portable radio onto the patio and listen to music, or find a place with plenty of birds and wildlife and listen to the sounds of nature.
- Pack a lunch and have a picnic at an outdoor table, or find a nearby cafe with dementia-friendly services and outdoor seating.
- Go on a brief hike along a paved path, with plenty of rests along the way – if your loved one is immobile, wheelchair access is a must!
Tips & Strategies
- Always pack drinks, snacks, and essential toiletries for excursions, even if you’ll only be out for a little bit.
- Never leave your loved one alone when outside of the home, even for a moment – keep everything you need with you at all times.
- Take stock of nearby public restrooms and facilities if travelling to a city or state park.
- Make the excursion a group activity! Invite some friends or family members along, or coordinate a group trip with other caregivers.
- Keep a close eye on the fatigue of your loved one – if they start to look tired or restless, prepare to return home.
- Don’t venture too far from your vehicle – try to do short walking trails that loop back to the start, instead of venturing out too far from where you start.
- Most importantly – have fun and take in the outdoors!