Visit a Planetarium


A visit to a planetarium is a fun way to observe the stars (and learn about them, of course) without having to stay up late or get eaten up by mosquitos. The comfy indoor seating certainly beats an old lawn chair, too! You might be surprised at how close your nearest planetarium is–I know I was when I visited and searched near my home.

Depending on where you choose to visit, you may be able to watch a recorded show highlighting a certain astronomical event or place in time and learn all about what makes it unique. Or, you may find that it simply shows the stars and you are allowed to look at them at your leisure and see what constellations you can find on your own.

This activity is great for people in all stages of dementia. THose in the early stages will likely be able to pick out various constellations. Those in the moderate stages will likely be able to follow the course of a presentation (often the constellation you’re supposed to look at pulses or glows brighter to help the audience find it) or follow your finger as you point. Those in the late stages can enjoy just looking up at the sky and listening to a presentation, if any.

Of course, this is an opportunity for everyone to reminisce. Other trips star-gazing, such as camping trips, are a great conversation starter. You could also ask if they have ever “wished upon a star”. If so, ask what they wished for, and if it came true. You can also ask about astrology, if they know what their “sign” is, and if they know what their constellation is.

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