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November 3, 2023

Tips for a Successful Outing with Someone Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Jessica Pope, Memory Care Director

Engaging in outings can evoke both excitement and trepidation for individuals living with dementia. 

It’s natural for caregivers to wonder:

  • Where should I take them? 
  • What preparations are necessary? 
  • What items should I bring? 
  • What if something goes differently than planned? 

Vitalia Mentor wants to address these concerns by offering valuable insights to transform your outings into enjoyable, stress-free experiences. 

Every location can be suitable for someone living with dementia. While there are no limitations, some things may be considered beforehand. When planning an outing, you must ensure safety is a priority. Ensure the outing is well thought out, and have conversations with the person about the outing. Talk about where they might like to go and what you will do. You want to ensure wherever you are going is a meaningful and enjoyable experience.

It is important to know the person with dementia well and understand what might trigger certain behaviors. Know how cognitively aware they are and plan to avoid any obstacles that might be present on the outing. If the person with dementia enjoys the adapted outing, you, as the caregiver or family member, will enjoy it as a wonderful experience. Planning outings around past or current interests is always great for creating conversation, excitement, and purposeful activities.

Other things to consider when planning an outing include the best time of day for the individual.

  • Will they become confused about traveling?
  • Are they more comfortable with certain people?
  • Will they become anxious about being away from home after a certain amount of time?

The location you select should be a calming experience without many people and noise.

Things to always have on hand:

  • Cell Phone with Emergency Contacts
  • A Comfort Tool or Item (Walker or Wheelchair)
  • Snacks and a Bottle of Water
  • Small First Aid Kit
  • Extra Disposable Undergarments
  • Cleaning Clothes and Gloves
  • Medical Information Card

Help by making sure your loved one has identification and one that shows as someone with dementia in the event they wander and get lost.

When something unexpected occurs, you should focus on staying calm. A person with dementia does not generally respond well to spontaneity, chaos, or negative excitement. If they are having an outburst, try to think about what might have triggered them and move to a more secluded and calm area. Give them time to relax.

Suppose it is more pressing, such as an elopement or fall. Please notify emergency officials as soon as possible. Time is precious in these cases. You want to make little of it if it is something as simple as an incontinence issue. Stay calm and move to a location where this can be addressed. Take care of the situation. Then, continue with the day. You do not want your loved one feeling upset, sad, or like they are a burden. 

We aim to provide you with valuable, practical information to support your journey in caring for someone with dementia through love and understanding. It’s crucial to acknowledge outings may only be suitable for some. Each person living with dementia is unique, emphasizing the importance of tailoring the experience to their individual needs and preferences. The goal should always prioritize the well-being and comfort of the individual. By practicing patience, understanding, and compassion, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable experience for them while also reducing stress for yourself.

The V Living Experience in Mentor, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Little Mountain Country Club, Pinecrest Shopping and Dining, Lake Metroparks, James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Headlands Beach State Park, and Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

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The V Living Experience

8180 Mentor Hills Drive

Mentor, OH 44060

Arrow Senior Living serves and employs individuals of all faiths, regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age or handicap, except as limited by state and federal law.

Mentor, OH

8140 Mentor Hills Drive,

Mentor, OH 44060

(440) 271-8777

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