Seeds blown from a dandelion seedhead by the wind

Ideas to help a person with dementia enjoy nature

Contact with nature can improve our wellbeing and help us feel less stressed. It also stimulates our senses, whether listening to birdsong, watching wildlife or feeling leaves.

Many people enjoy fresh air and the smell of grass. For some, the scent of herbs such as rosemary, mint and sage or flowers such as roses, lavender and jasmine are associated with meaningful memories.

Going for a walk or visiting a park can be great ways to spend time outdoors.

Guidebooks and apps can help identify different types of plants, flowers and trees. Active Minds Nature Walkers and Nature Explorer packs contain prompts with objects and textures to look for.

The Wildlife Trusts can provide information about nature reserves. They also organise events, with opportunities to volunteer.

Ideas for enjoying nature at home

Keen gardeners may enjoy mowing the lawn (yes, some people do!), watering plants, planting seeds, weeding or pruning.

The Royal Horticultural Society has lots of information about garden plants and wildlife.

Even without a garden, you can plant a window box, take care of a house plant or grow herbs on a windowsill. 

A birdfeeder could be placed so that someone can watch birds from a window. They might like looking at wildlife pictures in books or online.

Themed colouring books and puzzles are available from our online shop, as are ‘Garden’ and ‘Seaside’ scent and CD sets – another way to evoke natural environments at home.

What you said...

nae sporran, on Talking Point, says,

‘My partner grew up in the forest and knew all the Latin names for plants before all this. She is not really mobile, but I like nature walks with my camera. I have a photo of a snowdrop on the wall which she thought was real, but she was always happy to see it as a reminder of better days.’ 

LynneMcV says,

‘During the warmer months my husband developed a huge passion and interest in the importance of bees, so we made sure to always seek out areas where they were busiest, as well growing things to encourage them into our own garden. The important thing was to take time to stand or sit and observe – what would be a 10-minute walk for others might take us 30 minutes or more – but we saw and shared so much during that time.’ 

A close-up photo of a snowdrop

nae sporran’s photo of a snowdrop.

Dementia together magazine

Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
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Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now