Monthly Archives: May 2016

5 tips on organising a rewarding trip out with someone with dementia

For anyone living with dementia a good trip out with family or friends can lift the spirits and provide a rewarding day for all involved.

Emotional memories tend to linger and although someone living with dementia may not remember the details of a day out for long, the feelings of wellbeing and contentment that stem from happy times spent with family and friends are likely to last.

Adjustments will have to be made, but with a little forethought a happy day that proves rewarding for all, can be achieved. Planning is the key to a happy trip.

Here, Tiffany​ Smith, Dementia Specialist at national home-care provider Helping Hands, recommends her 5 top tips ....

Research your destination

Before planning any day out with a loved one with Dementia, research your destination to ensure that it is Dementia friendly. As a general rule, you should look for quieter, more scenic places to visit as opposed to cities. Cities can be quite loud and the long walking distances can be tiresome.

Consider a trip down memory lane

Consider taking a trip to somewhere that will evoke fond memories for your loved one, whether it’s somewhere they lived previously or somewhere they played as a child. This is great activity for all generations of the family as they can share memories and learn about their family history.​

Remember you don't need to travel far

Look out locally for activities that are dementia-friendly if your loved one is unable to travel long distances. There are plenty of local activities, such as a picnic in the park, that make great days out.

Plan meals carefully in advance

If you’re planning a meal out, make sure you find a quieter pub or restaurant, as increased noise can be disorientating. Make sure the pub or restaurant has plenty of room to allow your loved one to walk about while waiting for the meal – we can all become restless whilst waiting. You could even notify the pub in advance, so you don’t have as long to wait for your meals.

Stay within the comfort zone

It is sometimes best to avoid any activities that take your loved one out of their comfort zone, such as shopping, or activities that require them to remain stationary for a long period of time, like the cinema. These activities may increase anxiety, and therefore will not be enjoyable for your loved one.

“Meeting family at busy restaurants and other activities you associate as days out can be stressful for a person living with Dementia.

It’s important to make sure your loved one feels fully included in the celebrations of the day and be prepared to make some adjustments to make the day as calm and stress-free as possible.”

Tiffany Smith 
Helping Hands dementia specialist

Helping Hands is a long established, national home care provider that enables people to stay in their own home and live as independently as possible, by providing live-in care or hourly visits. Visit their website which provides helpful advice and a dementia toolkit, by clicking the link here -


Art therapy sessions extended to help more people with dementia across Wiltshire

Popular art therapy sessions set up to support people living with dementia have been expanded in Wiltshire thanks to support from the Trowbridge based charity, Alzheimer's Support.

A weekly art group has been running successfully in Pewsey for the past 3 years, but now due to popular demand, a new group has been started in Holt, near Bradford on Avon, to allow more people to benefit.

Dementia art therapy

The Art Therapy Group in Holt

Art provides an enjoyable and uplifting activity for people to express themselves creatively and can help reduce tension and stress. The groups provide a social opportunity for people with early to mid stage dementia and their carers to get together and enjoy a stimulating couple of hours that can really enhance relaxation and promote a sense of wellbeing.

Art can be therapeutic for people with dementia, who are still able to be creative and enjoy colour, texture and form when other skills may be lost. It’s also very beneficial for people to get together socially and have an enjoyable time together in a group. All our groups are very friendly and people can work at their own pace or just do their own thing in the company of others.
Babs Harris
Alzheimer's Support Chief Executive                 

The Pewsey group takes place on Wednesday mornings at Bouverie Hall, and
the Holt group at Firlawns Care Home in Holt, Melksham on Thursday mornings. 

No previous artistic experience is needed to enjoy the groups. Everyone works at their own pace and the emphasis is on enjoyment, with fun and laughter along the way.

Both groups are led by art therapist Sarah Weeks who provides inspiration and ideas, though people can work on their own projects if they prefer. The groups are funded by the Wiltshire and Swindon Community Foundation and Morrisons Foundation and everything needed is provided, though a small charge is made to help cover the cost of materials.

“Our art group at Pewsey has been so successful that we were asked for some time to provide a similar group in the west of the county, so we were delighted to get the funding in place and to have found such a good venue. It’s a joint venture with Firlawns and the first time we have run a group for people living in the community in a care home environment. It’s a lovely room and it’s working out very well” added Ms Harris.

For more information, and to view a brochure on the art therapy groups, click on the link here to visit the Alzheimer's Support website, or telephone their office on 01225 776481.