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People with Alzheimer’s or other dementia deserve to be able to go outdoors.
This content is derived from one of 10 articles I’ve written based on the Best Friend’s Dementia Bill of Rights.
Visit TogetherInThis.com/Outdoors to get started learning about these rights.
I can’t imagine a world where I couldn’t enjoy these pleasures whenever I want. Like a caged bird unable to spread its wings and fly, to me, that would be hell.
While these pleasures will occur for most of us, millions of people with Alzheimer’s disease or another debilitating disease find themselves unable to enjoy such routine pleasures without assistance.
They are confined to the indoors because they have lost either their cognitive ability to choose or their physical ability to move about freely at will.
Many individuals with Alzheimer’s are confined for their own safety without much regard to their spirit.
It unnatural for a person to be restricted to the indoors.
Our own body and mind tells us this when we get cabin fever.
Not only does a person with dementia have a right to be outdoors on a regular basis but it’s a God-given freedom.
When possible, people should be encouraged and helped to go outside.
They should be allowed to go at their own pace and soak in the great outdoors.
The outdoors has a way of stimulating our senses; the wind on our face, the smell of a barbecue, the sound of neighbors laughing, the sight of a bird soaring, or the feel of the sun warming our skin.
The sun is a natural healer with its supply of vitamin D for healthy skin, bones, and immune system.
Sunshine even helps maintain our body’s natural circadian rhythm which generally leads to better sleep.
Depending on each person’s interests and abilities, there are many things you can do together including container gardening, picking up leaves, pulling weeds, going for a walk, bird watching, or simply relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.
Remember, it’s about creating moments of joy.
Being outdoors and enjoying nature is in our DNA. We must help everyone get outside and “visit” with Mother Nature because she cares for us and helps us heal in ways I just can’t explain.