Independent sector health and social care organisation, Care UK, asked family carers how they plan outings, what activities they enjoy and what they consider makes somewhere dementia-friendly. The survey complements Care UK’s recently published Good to Go guide, which aims to give family carers and people living with dementia the confidence to get out and about to enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of spending time outside in the fresh air.
Pauline Houchin, head of care and clinical services at Care UK, said: “Good to Go is a great source of advice and tips from professional and family carers. The survey we ran after publishing the guide has given us a fuller picture of their attitude to, and experiences of, taking trips with someone living with dementia.
“It’s clearly very worthwhile to make the effort to get out. More than half of respondents said their loved one felt happy after a trip out, and 30 per cent said their loved one felt relaxed. But the feedback we received also highlighted how carers lack the basic support they need to make it happen.
“Some 44 per cent of respondents said they would get out more if they had access to practical advice on how to do it. And over half said they’d get out more often if they had information on suitable places to go.”
When preparing for a trip, 46 per cent of carers do their research online and 58 per cent plan the day with the person they care for. The most popular trips were visiting friends and family, going to coffee shops, shopping, or spending time in the garden on a warm day. Short trips were felt to be the best.
And what did the respondents feel made a place dementia-friendly? Almost 80 per cent said good parking facilities, accessible toilets and friendly staff. These tips are backed up in Care UK’s Good to Go guide, which can be downloaded for free.
Pauline said: “We’re very grateful to everyone who contributed to our survey and would love people to continue sharing their suggestions for dementia-friendly days out. Simply tweet @careuk and remember to pick up your free copy of Good to Go from any of our 115 homes across the UK or download it from our website.”