Embrace Spring to Increase Quality of Life for People with Dementia

April 07, 2021

Spring is here! In no year has it been more welcome than this one, after a long, quarantined winter. If you’re a caregiver for someone with dementia, you might have felt even more isolated than most. This warmer weather brings opportunities to get a change of scenery, and depending on your comfort level, see friends at distance outdoors.

Studies show time spent outside improves the quality of life for someone with dementia. Other studies have looked at the effect of engaging in the arts, which also benefits those with dementia. Even though the pandemic continues, there are increasingly more opportunities to explore art events and the great outdoors as the weather gets nicer. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Experience a show in the streets of New York - New York’s cultural indoor events may still be limited, but NYC has recently started an Open Culture initiative, allowing artists to use outdoor open spaces for their performances. Keep an eye out for these events, and also for over 300 surprise pop-up outdoor performances around the city from the NY PopsUp initiative. You can find more details here:
  • Explore a new island - Little Island, opening this spring, is a new outdoor space at Hudson River Park! It looks to be a gorgeous natural setting with various spaces to explore. Little Island is programming artists for outdoor performances as the weather gets warmer, so keep your eye on their website for announcements.
  • Watch Broadway stars perform outdoors - While we wait for Broadway to reopen, you can experience the stars of Broadway at live outdoor concerts. Schedule and information here.
  • Hunt for flowers in Central Park - Central Park Conservancy has put together a map of the most beautiful flowers currently blooming in Central Park. Take a walk together to see what you can find! 
  • Window shop outside - Explore a new outdoor flea market with the Hester Flea 
  • Find your nearest cherry blossoms - While Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival is a well-known celebration of cherry blossoms, these beautiful blooms are actually all around the city! This map shows you where you can see your closest cherry blossoms.
  • Enjoy art - Explore new art installations in Riverside Park, starting June 5th. 

Or, if you're unable to get outside right now, you can still experience the great outdoors through your computer! The Central Park Conservancy puts out regular videos of the park on their YouTube channel, or you could start your own window sill garden

For indoor arts-based programming, you can watch full Broadway shows or explore Google's Arts and Culture programs for unique ways to interact with art, experience virtual museum tours, and more. For other ideas about pandemic-approved activities to do with your loved one, our previous blog posts offer some suggestions: Reconnecting with a Loved One with Dementia and How to Stay in Touch While Social Distancing.

We hope spring brings fun and safe opportunities for you and your family to explore what the city has to offer. We'd love to hear what you've discovered! 

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