Good to go: A guide to dementia-friendly days outApril 28 2015
This handbook published by Care UK aims to support carers relatives and friends who want to enjoy a variety of outings and trips with someone living with dementia.
‘Good to go’ has lots of tips on things to do, places to go, what to take with you, how to tackle issues that might arise and making the most of your outing.
The top tips include:
- Start small: Do things in short periods or go somewhere local to start with.
- Find a day centre: Your local day centre will get your loved one used to being out and about, meeting new people and having different experiences.
- Involve your loved one: Involving the person you care for in planning the outing helps them to retain a sense of independence and self esteem.
- Go with the moment: If the person you care for says they’d like to go for a walk, try and do it there and then.
- Enjoy the great outdoors: Outdoor activities, from walking to gardening or even more adventurous and energetic pastimes, can bring huge emotional and physical benefits to people who are living with dementia.
- Choose the right venue: Is it accessible? Will staff help you? Talk to staff when you arrive (or ideally, in advance of your visit) to help them to understand how they can assist.
- Plan the journey: People who are living with dementia can become anxious in traffic jams or during a long journey. If your destination is a distance away, are there places to stop for a break? Can you travel outside of rush hours?
- Venue inspiration: Look in your local paper or visit your local tourist information centre for ideas of places to go that will help to bring back memories for your loved one. Is there a tea dance in your area? What museums are around?
- Take plenty of photographs: An activity you could do after the outing could be to create a mini album together with photos and keepsakes of the day.
- Identify yourself: Make sure you and your loved one have identity cards on you. Include emergency numbers and your photo on your loved one’s card, and theirs on yours.