Regular outdoor exercise for older people with dementia is multifaceted, it provides benefits that are physical, cognitive, emotional, and social and can significantly enhance the quality of life, offering improvements in various areas
Regular outdoor exercise for older people with dementia is multifaceted, it provides benefits that are physical, cognitive, emotional, and social and can significantly enhance the quality of life, offering improvements in various areas such as these below:
1. Improve Physical Fitness:
Outdoor exercise, such as walking, can help maintain muscle strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health, which are crucial for overall physical well-being.
2. Better Sleep Patterns:
Physical activity, especially when done outdoors, can help regulate sleep patterns, which older people can suffer with, leading to better sleep quality and duration.
3. Reduced Risk of Falls:
Exercise strengthens muscles and improves balance, reducing the risk of falls, which as we know, are a significant concern for individuals with dementia.
1. Slowed Cognitive Decline:
Regular physical activity has been associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline in people with dementia. It can help maintain brain function for a longer period of time.
2. Enhanced Brain Health:
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and may encourage the growth of new brain cells, potentially delaying the progression of dementia.
1. Reduced Depression and Anxiety:
The natural setting and physical activity can help lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, which are common in people with dementia.
2. Increased Sense of Well-being:
Being outdoors, especially in green spaces, can enhance mood and provide a sense of peace and tranquillity.
1. Opportunities for Social Interaction:
Outdoor activities can be a social event, providing an opportunity for individuals with dementia to interact with others, which is vital for their emotional well-being.
2. Connection with Nature: Engagement with the outdoors can help individuals with dementia feel more connected to their environment, which is beneficial for their mental health and emotional well-being.
1. Safety First:
Ensure the environment is safe and accessible for the individual's mobility level. Consider using walking aids if necessary.
2. Regular Short Sessions:
Short, frequent sessions are more beneficial and manageable than occasional long sessions.
3. Incorporate Interests:
Activities should be tailored to the individual's interests and abilities to increase enjoyment and participation.
4. Supervision and Support:
Depending on the stage of dementia, supervision or the presence of a caregiver may be necessary to ensure safety and provide encouragement.
In summary, the benefits of regular outdoor exercise for individuals with dementia are comprehensive, addressing physical health, cognitive function, emotional well-being, and social interaction. It's important for caregivers and for us as healthcare providers, and this is why we encourage and facilitate outdoor activities as part of a comprehensive care plan for individuals with dementia.
At Belmont Healthcare, we understand the challenges faced by older people living with dementia and their families. Our dedicated team is committed to supporting you every way we can, providing expert guidance and compassionate care. We strive to ensure that our residents receive the highest quality care and support, whilst also helping their families understand and manage the financial aspects of care home living, or living with care within one’s own home.