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November 3, 2023

Tips for a Successful Outing with Someone Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Brianna Wilson, 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?

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

Not every location is an excellent place to take someone living with dementia. Having an explicit knowledge of the layout of the venue is incredibly important. Overcrowded and noisy places are often stressful. Locations with plenty of places to sit to take a break are very beneficial.

It is important to inform everyone involved in the outing the person with dementia may not recognize them. Subtly introducing themselves provides control and confidence to the person with dementia. Avoid using phrases such as “Remember when you cooked us Sunday dinners?” Instead, make a statement such as, “I felt loved when you cooked us dinner every Sunday.” Be aware of your loved one’s emotional and physical state on the day of your outing. The outing will likely be unsuccessful if they aren’t in a good place.

Packing an emergency bag that includes snacks, a beverage, continence supplies (if necessary), comfort items, a medication list, and emergency contact information is always recommended.

If something unexpected happens, stay calm. Companion cards are a great tool you can use to inform someone of your loved one’s diagnosis without jeopardizing their dignity.

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. 

Cedar Trails Senior Living in Freeburg, IL 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 St. Elizabeth’s Hospital with convenient access to major shopping centers, including The Orchards Golf Club, Target, Eckerts Belleville Farm, Braeutigam Orchards, and the Belle Clair fairgrounds & Expo Center.

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