Spending time with a loved one with dementia isn’t just about rehashing old memories—it can also be about living in the moment and experiencing something new together. While it might be easier to keep him or her safe in the confines of their home, there can be many benefits to getting out of the house too. Of course, this comes with special considerations. We hope these few tips will make your outing go more smoothly:
It’s very common for dementia symptoms to get worse as the day goes on. People suffering from dementia tend to be at their best in the morning, so if you have the option, start by going out then, when they might have an easier time.
Choose an appropriate activity
Your loved one may not be able to participate in everything you like to do, such as hiking, or extensive socializing. Keep their abilities and preferences in mind when selecting what activity to take on. An activity that they can get excited about will also help the overall outing go more smoothly.
Don’t forget the essentials
These may include an emergency kit, snacks, water, hand sanitizer, something that your loved one finds comforting in times of distress, and something to keep them busy if they need to be occupied for a bit, such as a magazine or puzzle book of their choice.
Let them experience things fully
While it might be tempting to design things to go as smoothly as possible for your loved one, remember that engagement comes from interaction with the world — so, when possible, let your loved one do things for themselves. They’ll appreciate the extra bit of independence and control.
Look for Dementia Friendly Businesses
You may feel like the world doesn’t understand your loved one and his/her situation and that others may judge him or her. To help him or her feel more comfortable, look for a Dementia Friendly Business near you. These establishments have taken special training to treat those with dementia with the care and respect they deserve. By searching the web and typing in Dementia Friendly communities or businesses in my area you can locate these places.
We hope our next outing with your loved one is a great one! And if you need some help figuring out how he or she is doing overall, take our 5 Minute Home Care Quiz, which will help you score your loved one’s well-being on 6 different parameters!