Benefits of Time Outdoors for Those Living with Dementia

Vicky Pitner   -  

There is growing interest and evidence that spending time outdoors can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, especially for those living with dementia. Exposure to daylight and fresh air can lift one’s mood, reduce anxiety and stress, and even give us a boost of vitamin D, often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin.”

Getting your family member outdoors is also good for your well-being! Below are 10 tips to setting a goal for spending more time outdoors:

1. It may require extra time and effort to get your family member outdoors, but as little as 10-15 minutes can be highly effective.

2. Getting fresh air and light exercise can reduce stress and agitation.

3. Being outdoors can boost your mental well-being.

4. The outdoors is a natural and highly relaxing environment.

5. As we age, our sensory system can decline and is particularly noticeable for someone living with dementia. Take in the sounds and smells. Feel the wind and watch the birds.

6. The outdoors can spark memories and can encourage great conversations.

7. Visiting familiar places such as the beach or a favorite park can also help your loved one recall events.

8. Light gardening is not only a great physical activity, but can offer opportunities for cognitive stimulation in choosing the types and colors of the flowers or vegetables.

9. Enjoying nature as a family can bring connections and make new memories.

10. Can’t be outside? Then bring the nature and the outdoors inside. Move the bed or chair near a window and place bird feeders in sight.

Spending time outdoors as a family can improve the overall wellbeing for everyone! Set a goal to go outdoors twice in the coming week. Then three times. It doesn’t take much to create a habit and being outside is a great habit to have!

If you would like more information about our Memory Ministry, our Monday morning Memory Cafe, or our new virtual Caregiver’s Support group please contact Vicky at

If you would like to join our virtual support group the meets on Tuesday evening at 7:00pm please follow the link below. There is no registration required.