Dementia-friendly activities to try in Spring
Spring is such a wonderful time of year! The days grow just that little bit longer, the weather warms up, and flowers start to bloom. Spring is also a great opportunity to enjoy nature and get creative with some fun and easy activities. Being outdoors also has plenty of health benefits, as research shows that spending time out in nature boosts wellbeing, encourages exercise, reduces stress, engages the senses, and promotes socialising.
If you’re living with dementia, here are some mood-boosting activities to try as the Spring season begins.
Do some gardening
Enjoy a dose of vitamin D while the weather is still mild and not too hot with some gardening. Looking after a garden has plenty of wonderful activities for people with dementia, such as planting seedlings, light weeding, and watering plants. It’s also a great way to get light exercise and enjoy sensory stimulation outdoors.
Get stuck into spring cleaning
Doing a (manageable) spring clean together can be a great way to spend time with someone living with dementia while making sure that their space is safe and tidy. Dusting shelves can be an opportunity to chat about old photos or mementoes, while small tasks can provide a sense of purpose and achievement.
Visit your local park
Now that the weather is warm, spend some time in a nearby park or recreation space soaking up the natural surroundings. Do some research to see if there are any safe, accessible nature walking tracks in your area, or have your usual morning cup of tea outdoors, where you can enjoy the morning sun.
Pack a picnic
Speaking of eating and drinking outdoors, why not make a day of it and pack a picnic? Eating food with loved ones is a great way to socialise while enjoying nature. If you are organising a picnic with a loved one who has dementia, think about the environment and whether it is too busy or overwhelming. An easy way to enjoy the outdoors is spreading a blanket in the backyard!
Enjoy some nature-themed art
Art can help people with dementia express themselves without words, and when it comes to inspiration, there’s nothing better than the beauty of nature itself. Flowering plants and beautiful blooms can form the basis of colourful paintings or water colours, or you could get creative and paint pots for the garden.
Continuing the art theme, a simple and enjoyable way to be creative is with an adult colouring book. Pick a floral spring-themed picture and have fun picking colours and creating your very own artwork. Colouring books provide a structure to be creative, while creating a sense of satisfaction when you complete a picture.
Grow some herbs indoors
Growing herbs in the kitchen is an easy way to try some gardening without too much work. Plants like basil, parsley, thyme, chives, coriander, and oregano grow well indoors, are easy to take care of, and can be added to cooking for extra flavour.
Try a new cooking recipe
With spring and summer approaching, get creative in the kitchen and try a new dish based on which fruits and vegetables are seasonably available. Cook with a friend or loved one, and try recipes with simple steps and techniques. Putting together pizzas can be fun, or a simple no bake dessert with fresh fruit.
Try watching birds by taking a walk amongst natural surroundings (for example, an accessible bushwalk trail with a friend) or put a bird bath and feeder in your garden and have them come to you! You can look up species that you see in a bird watching guide, and see how many different birds you can spot.
Stop and smell the roses
From flower arranging to still life drawing, water painting, growing flowers on your windowsill, spending time in the garden or visiting the park, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the many colours that spring flowers bring. Studies also show that being around flowers can boost your wellbeing, improve mood, and reduce the risk of anxiety.
Spend some time with an animal
Spending time with an animal like a beloved pet has great benefits for people living with dementia. It can help reduce anxiety, agitation, and depression. Animals are also excellent company. They freely express affection, and give people a chance to communicate and show love in non-verbal ways that may be more difficult with other people.
Dementia Caring supports people living with dementia with exceptional care services that promote quality of life. Our experienced carers and health professionals provide individualised care that meets each person’s unique needs. For more information, please get in touch.