Planning an unforgettable day out for care home residents and day care centre visitors, especially those living with dementia, can feel like a daunting challenge. However, canal boat trips offer a serene escape, offering tranquil settings that are uniquely suited to the needs of individuals with dementia, fostering relaxation and a deep connection with nature.

Navigating the waters of canal boating holds numerous benefits specifically tailored to individuals living with dementia:

  1. Sensory Stimulation: The gentle rocking of the boat, the sound of water lapping against the hull, and the fresh breeze create a rich sensory experience. These stimuli can evoke memories and promote relaxation, reducing agitation and anxiety often associated with dementia.
  2. Connection with Nature: Canal boat trips offer a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural world. Surrounded by serene landscapes, wildlife, and the changing scenery along the waterway, individuals with dementia can reconnect with nature, fostering a sense of calm and well-being.
  3. Social Engagement: Sharing a canal boat journey with fellow passengers, caregivers, and crew members encourages social interaction and meaningful connections. Conversations, laughter, and shared experiences onboard promote a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  4. Cognitive Stimulation: Participating in activities such as steering the boat or observing landmarks along the route provides gentle cognitive stimulation. These activities can help maintain cognitive function, improve concentration, and boost confidence and self-esteem.
  5. Enjoyment of the Moment: Canal boat trips offer a leisurely pace, allowing individuals with dementia to savor the present moment without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Whether lounging on deck or watching the world go by from the comfort of the cabin, each moment aboard provides an opportunity for relaxation and enjoyment.

Discover the tranquility of canal boating for dementia care, find out more about CanalAbility to start your journey with us:

CanalAbility offer two specially adapted canal boats which could be the perfect option for Activity Organisers looking for an accessible, fun and stimulating trip. Our wide beam boats can accommodate up to 10 or 12 people and are so spacious that this number may include 6 wheelchair users, so everyone can enjoy a spending time together in a calm and safe environment.  If you need to accommodate more than 12 passengers, you could hire 2 of our canal boats (subject to availability).

For those residents with mobility issues, our specially adapted canal boats have ramps & lifts to enable access via wheelchair and for people with impaired mobility. Unlike the majority of canal boats, our boats also have accessible toilet facilities.

We steer, and you decide where to go!  Our crew can involve residents and carers in steering the boat – See what our clients have to say, including 92 year old Moya, who enjoyed steering the boat as part of her birthday celebrations.  

What have our previous Care Home customers had to say? 

“The Residents, some of their relatives and the staff at Cuffley Manor CanalAbility boat and Parndon MillCare Home had two lovely trips on The Stort. a huge thank you to the excellent crews especially our skipper today Ken with help from Mary and John. Very informative, kind and caring people. We would recommend Canalability for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Well done to all these volunteers you do a great job.”  Pauline from Cuffley Manor Care Home, Potter Bar

“Had an amazing four hours spent on the boat. Amongst our group of ten we had some lovely people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, mobility issues. Have to say the volunteers working on the boat were brilliant. Took time to make sure everyone was safe and that we all had an enjoyable time. This is such a lovely calm relaxing way to spend a few hours on the canal. Even tried our hands at the locks. Would thoroughly recommend this trip for all ages and all mobility issues. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff to ensure we had a great time.” Paula, Tripadvisor review

 “I took a group of residents on a day trip yesterday and we all had the most fabulous day..thank you so much to all your team” Nicola from Snowdrop House Care Home in Ware, Hertfordshire. 

Our canal boat mooring is on the outskirts of Harlow on the Essex / Hertfordshire border and is easily accessible by road using the M11, or by mainline rail to Harlow Town railway station. We are only 12 miles from London Stansted Airport, 35 miles from Central London and 40 miles from Cambridge. 

If you are a Care Home or Day Care Centre Activity Organiser and would like to find out more about creating the perfect day out for your Care Home Residents, get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.