If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, you may feel like outings are impossible. You’re not alone. Going out in public with your loved ones with dementia can be difficult. However, this isn’t a reason to never take them out in public.
Outings can be beneficial for your loved ones. It can improve their mood, lower stress levels, and help them feel more orientated with reality.
Here are a few tips to help you combat the stress and turn outings into a smooth, enjoyable process for everyone.
Pack a bag of essentials
You know your loved one better than anyone. Always have on-hand items that would make them feel more comfortable and at ease. With a bag full of must-have essentials, you can help them feel comfortable and help you combat any mishaps. Consider items that could help make the experience more pleasant, where you’ll be going, and what you can expect from the outing.
Consider items such as:
- Water bottle
- Tissues and wipes
- Medical and contact information
- Any necessary legal documents
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Extra clothing
If you’re going somewhere like a park or the beach, you may want to also include items like an umbrella, books, magazines, or extra snacks.
Choose the right location
Since your loved one is prone to having displays of socially unaccepted behavior, you’ll want to be mindful of the location you choose.
For example, places like restaurants, movie theaters, or amusement parks can be overwhelming for your loved one. It can cause them to feel anxious and uneasy in their surroundings. Think about calm, familiar places that don’t have too many distractions, like a park or a coffee shop.
Keep your loved one in the know
As you know, changes in their schedule can upset their routine. Before you take your loved one out for an outing, prepare them for what they can expect from their day. Let them know where you will go, what you’ll do, and who you’ll see.
Whatever you do, try to keep it as close to their daily routine as possible to ensure they feel calm and in control of the situation.
Have an explanation
Always have a plan for the unexpected. Anything can happen when you have a loved one with advanced dementia. With an explanation prepared, you can help business owners or bystanders understand.
You can also forewarn or prepare individuals in the area as well. Let them know they have dementia or Alzheimer’s and have unpredictable behavior.
Consider the timing
Individuals with dementia tend to favor certain times of the day and week more than others. Know their schedule and plan an outing during a time when their spirits are high, and they feel comfortable enough to do something outside of their daily routine. This will help prevent them from feeling overwhelmed throughout the trip.
Stay calm and have fun!
It’s not always easy to take your loved ones out into public. It can be a stressful experience, but it’s always important to remain calm. Taking the time out of your day to improve your loved one’s quality of life is a great thing you’re doing. Always remember why you’re doing it, and try your best to remain calm, have fun, and cherish the moment you have with him.
Lean on the help of a caregiver
The good news is: You don’t need to do all this alone. The right caregivers are there to help you prepare for outings and give you the reassurance you need to have a good day out with your loved one.
The caregivers at Senior Care Companions, are here to help you with your daily tasks and give you the additional support you need to care for your loved ones. Our well-trained senior companions understand the challenges you face bringing your loved one on an outing and are here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about our services.