If you live with dementia or support someone who does, you may have to overcome some barriers in order to spend time outside and experience the health and wellbeing benefits that a connection with nature can bring.
Some common issues may be:
- Lack of confidence
- Fear of what could happen
- Lack of motivation
- A belief it must be safer inside
- Lack of support
- Lack of knowledge about where to go or what to do
- Physical accessibility
- Lack of transport
- Lack of time
Top tips for overcoming common issues:
Give the person you support a sense of purpose when going out. Try phrases like:
“I need to get a breath of fresh air, I would love your company”
“Shall we pop out and…”
“Can you keep me company while I...?”
If someone is resistant to going out, try to understand why. Consider:
Are they anxious? What might they need to know to be reassured?
Do they need some time to process what you’re asking them to do?
Use photos or pictures to help explain and ensure understanding about where they are going.
Choose the right time of day
Are you a morning or afternoon person?
Do you have natural energy dips at certain times of day?
We all have good days and bad days, so pick a good day for an adventure.
Find out where to park, whether you need tickets, will you need to take refreshments or if there will be toilets nearby.
If you are supporting another person, you might be able to get in for free.
Take someone with you
Could a friend or family member come with you to give you a confidence boost, and an extra pair of hands?
Book community transport
If you don’t drive or want to travel by bus or train, you can arrange for community transport to pick you up and return you home.
Contact your local tourist information centre
Find out about accessible gardens, parks and farms.
Book onto a free Understanding Dementia Better session
Build your confidence in understanding dementia and ways to connect to a person with the condition.