If you’re caring for a friend or relative who is living with dementia, it’s likely you spend a lot of time helping them with everyday tasks, so the idea of a day of shopping or a meal in a restaurant can often seem impossible. However, it is worth remembering that getting out of the house for a change of scenery can bring huge satisfaction and emotional benefits to you and the person you’re caring for.
Take a trip down memory lane
Trips that relate to your loved one’s past jobs or hobbies are an excellent way to stimulate and motivate a person living with dementia.
The world-famous open air museum, tells the story of life in the North East during the 1820s, 1920s and 1940s and often holds a series of events during Dementia Awareness Week, including Dementia Friends workshops.
Choose a quiet spot
Jesmond Library – ‘Dementia Information Hub’
Reading has many benefits for people living with dementia and libraries provide a quiet and calming environment. Jesmond Library has created a hub within a section of the library to act as a one stop shop for all things dementia related. Other public libraries (including those across North Tyneside) also offer similar services so speak to your local librarian for more info.
If somebody used to enjoy playing golf regularly, but can no longer do so, ask a golf club if it is possible to walk around the course and watch others play, or arrange for a day when the people who they used to play golf with are at the club, so that they can have a drink in the bar with them after a round.
Swimming in Durham
Durham County Council offers a range of swimming sessions which have been developed to offer a safe and friendly swimming environment for people living with dementia.
Enjoy the great outdoors
Outdoor and nature-based activities appeal to many people and will help those living with dementia both emotionally and physically.
Get closer to nature with The Wildlife Trust and The RSPB. Visit www.wildlifetrusts.org or www.rspb.org.uk for dozens of ideas on places to visit and things to do.
Memory Café – Age UK North Tyneside
A dementia support social group which aims to help people who have dementia and their carers. Held in North Tyneside at dementia-friendly cafés in various locations and times across the year, visitors can share experiences and enjoy free refreshments alternate Wednesday in Whitley Bay and alternate Mondays in Killingworth.
North Tyneside Attractions:
Sedgedunum Roman Fort
A major site on Hadrian’s Wall. It is the most excavated fort along the Wall with surviving foundations of many buildings and part of the Wall itself. There is also a large interactive museum and the staff are Dementia Friends so will be more than welcoming.
The Playhouse, Whitley Bay:
The Playhouse hosts a series of nostalgic events throughout the year. Highlights for the remainder of 2016 include Father Ted, Celebrating Cilla, The Sinatra & Friends Holographic Concert and The Carpenters Story. Visit http://www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk/events/nostalgic-events
Outdoor spaces/ history
Tynemouth Castle and Priory
Overlooking the North Sea and the River Tyne, it dominates the headland. With its 2000 year history and beautiful views it is the perfect location for a fun day out.
Before your trip, remember the three Ts – Transport, Toilets and Time;
- Transport– lots of bus drivers are now Dementia Friends and it’s worth having a conversation with the taxi company to make them are aware you are caring for somebody with additional needs.
- Toilets – Find out where toilets are based wherever you are going so you can be prepared.
- Time – Build in short breaks so the person you’re caring for doesn’t get too tired.
Finally, remember it’s important to have time for yourself. It’s of equal importance that the carer has the chance to have a break and go out by themselves.