Caring for someone with dementia can be a challenging journey, but it's essential to prioritise their wellbeing and quality of life. As the warmer months approach, it's the perfect time to explore summer activities for people living with dementia - all of which can bring joy, engagement, and a sense of connection.
There are numerous ways that those living with dementia can enjoy summertime activities, and many of these will be very beneficial for their mental and physical health.
- Nature Walks: Taking a leisurely stroll in a local park or garden can provide a refreshing change of scenery and stimulate the senses. Encourage your loved one to engage with nature, whether it's admiring flowers, listening to the birds, or feeling the breeze on their skin.
- Picnics: Plan a picnic in a serene outdoor location. Pack their favourite snacks and beverages and enjoy a relaxed afternoon surrounded by nature. This activity promotes social interaction and allows for pleasant conversation and reminiscing.
- Gardening: Engaging in gardening activities can be incredibly therapeutic for individuals with dementia. Planting flowers or vegetables in pots or small raised beds can offer a sense of accomplishment, as well as the opportunity to connect with the natural world.
- Outdoor Music Concerts: Many communities organise outdoor concerts during the summer. Check local listings for events featuring live music that your loved one may enjoy. Nostalgic music has a powerful effect on individuals with dementia and can evoke memories, improve mood, and encourage movement.
- Arts and Crafts: Get creative with summer-themed arts and crafts projects. Simple activities like painting seashells, making sun catchers, or creating collages with colourful magazine cut-outs can provide a sense of accomplishment and engagement.
The Benefits of Engaging in Summer Activities for People Living with Dementia
Engaging in outdoor activities can have numerous benefits for individuals with dementia:
- Physical Wellbeing: Outdoor activities promote movement and exercise, which are vital for maintaining physical health. Walking, gardening, and other gentle exercises can help improve strength, balance, and overall wellbeing.
- Cognitive Stimulation: Being in nature and participating in outdoor activities can stimulate the brain and enhance cognitive function. The sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors can activate the senses and provide mental stimulation.
- Emotional Wellbeing: Spending time outdoors has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The tranquillity of nature and the positive experiences gained from engaging in enjoyable activities can uplift mood and enhance emotional wellbeing.
- Social Connection: Participating in dementia-friendly summer activities provides opportunities for social interaction. Shared experiences, conversations, and connections with others can enhance social wellbeing and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Person-centred activities provide a platform for engagement and communication.
- Preserving Identity and Autonomy: Person-centred care recognises the importance of preserving the person's individuality and autonomy. By involving them in decision-making, offering choices, and adapting activities to their preferences and abilities, we honour their unique identity and promote a sense of empowerment.
B&M Care's Summer Events & Activities
At B&M Care, we understand the importance of creating person-centred, dementia-friendly, environments, activities and events. We organise a range of summer activities for people living with dementia in our care, all designed to engage and support individuals living with the condition. From garden parties and barbecues in each of our care homes, to group-wide summer gatherings, our summertime schedules offer a safe and welcoming space for both caregivers and those with dementia to enjoy the summer season.
This year, we will hold two summer parties in our Memorial Garden, one with a barbeque and ice cream, and the other with a Hawaiian theme and mocktails. These events will utilise our onset, hand-made traditional cottage – a wonderful environment for those living with dementia to interact with.