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November 3, 2023

Tips for a Successful Outing with Someone Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Hannah Dannewitz, 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? 

Rock Creek Senior Living wants to address these concerns by offering valuable insights to transform your outings into enjoyable, stress-free experiences.

Not every location is a good place to take someone living with dementia. Unfamiliar, noisy, or crowded places may overwhelm them. Every outing has the potential to be stressful for an individual living with dementia. When planning can turn a trip from stressful to successful. 

You can do many things to help plan for a successful outing. First, pay attention to the emotional state of our loved ones with dementia. For example, you may want to take them to a family reunion. Because if they are already feeling emotional or anxious, changing their routine that day would probably not be a good idea. 

For your outing, pack necessary supplies such as water, snacks, continence supplies, and a change of clothes. You may also want to bring a fidget item along. 

Life is unexpected, especially for someone living with dementia. Prepare yourself that something unexpected could happen. Your loved one may do or say something you could never anticipate. If you are nervous about how others may react, I recommend getting companion cards to carry with you. These cards are a discreet communication tool. Caregivers can use it to let others know their loved one has dementia and may need extra grace. Offering a card to a checker at a grocery store, a restaurant waiter, or a doctor’s office nurse can ease your visit there.

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.

Rock Creek Senior Living in Ankeny, IA offers senior villas, 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 Mercy One Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Briarwood Golf, The District Shopping Center, Saylorville Lake Marina, Big Creek State Park, and Ankeny Community Theater.

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