Top tips for organising dementia-friendly day trips this summer

1. Choose the right venue
Take the time to research where you would like to go on your day trip and which location is best suited for your loved one. Most restaurants and cafes are dementia-friendly, but it is always worth speaking to a staff member beforehand to check you can be given a table in a quiet area. Some may even be able to prioritise your order etc.

2. Take it slow
Some people living with dementia may find it difficult to process information, so simple and quiet places make good destinations for outings. Places like local museums are often favourable options, as people can approach them at their own pace. Avoiding crowds and noise is important too. Dementia can also affect concentration, so it’s worth doing activities in short bursts. There’s no need to plan a jam-packed day of different experiences.

3. Enjoy the great outdoors
Outdoor and nature-based activities appeal to many people and it has been proven they help those living with dementia, both emotionally and physically. Activities can range from visiting your local park to a woodland walk. It doesn’t have to be over complicated, just taking in some fresh air will create many benefits.

4. Plan the journey
People with dementia can often become bored or uncomfortable on longer car journeys so it is best to take shorter trips close to home. If longer journeys are necessary, look into how many places there are to safely stop on the way for a break and factor this into your journey time.

5. Do a recce
Invest the time into checking out a new venue in advance of your trip, as it’ll help you to relax and put your mind at ease ahead of your outing. You will be the best judge of what your loved one can and can’t manage. But here are some things you may want to consider when looking at visiting a new venue:
  • Is there disabled parking close to the entrance?
  • Are there accessible toilets?
  • Are there accessible footpaths?
  • Are there suitable cafe or restaurant facilities?
  • Will there be quiet places to eat or rest if necessary?

6. Be prepared
Every person’s needs are different, and you know your loved one best of all. However, when you’re packing for a trip, it can be useful to have a checklist of things to take to ensure nothing is forgotten.