Giving loved ones with dementia the opportunity to get out and about is a great idea. They can get some exercise and fresh air while doing some of their favorite activities or even just to take a walk.
Naturally, though, bringing someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia to a public outing has a unique set of challenges. They may engage in odd behavior that others won’t understand and can embarrass you, and businesses you visit may not be aware of your loved one’s special needs.
That said, more businesses are becoming dementia-friendly by the day. Additionally, you can take a few simple steps beforehand to minimize the stresses of an outing with your loved one and enjoy your time.
1. Keep Your Loved One’s Normal Routine Before Your Outing
Routine can be a lifeline for loved ones with dementia. It makes things more predictable, which can be a great help in dealing with memory loss.
Thus, avoid making any changes to your loved one’s routine on the day of the outing. Arrange things so that they can wake up at their normal time and have their usual breakfast.
Don’t forget to remind them of the outing. There’s a good chance that they don’t remember you planning it.
2. Stock a Bag With the Essentials
A successful outing is all about preparation. Bring a bag packed with snacks, books, sunscreen, water, appropriate clothing, and anything else you might need while out and about.
3. Visit Dementia-Friendly Locations That You Both Love
As mentioned earlier, not all businesses are aware of the challenges that people with dementia and their caregivers or relatives face.
Senior care company Home Instead started the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business initiative to raise awareness in the business community about Alzheimer’s and dementia and to help businesses signal that they are happy to accommodate people with dementia and their loved ones.
Look for businesses with the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business decal on their window — this decal indicates the business has undergone the program’s training.
Another idea would be to visit locations your loved one enjoyed or frequented before developing dementia. These can jog dormant, pleasant memories and create a beautiful bonding experience for both of you.
4. Prepare For Any Misbehavior
Odd or agitated behavior can be a natural part of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, but you’ll need to be prepared to act.
For one, that means preparing explanations for those around you. Having some explanation cards prepared can help you inform strangers discreetly and not harm your loved one’s feelings.
Additionally, you should know how to handle misbehavior. For example, if your loved one tries to remove clothing, they may actually be uncomfortably warm.
If you’re looking for top-quality care for your loved one in Philadelphia, trust Angels on Call. Reach out to us today to see how we can help your loved one continue to live an enjoyable and fun life.