Practical tips for planning an outing for a loved one with dementia

Taking a loved one with dementia on an outing can be a beautiful opportunity to create lasting memories together and encourage active ageing in seniors. However, such excursions require careful planning and consideration to ensure their comfort and safety throughout. iKare, a provider of caregiver services in Singapore has compiled these practical tips to make the outing an enjoyable one for both you and your loved one. Keep reading to learn more.

Pack your bag with essentials

Image of a woman filling a glass with some tap water at the kitchen

When getting ready for an outing with seniors, it’s crucial to pack your bag with items that cater specifically to their needs. Among these essentials are snacks, water, and any necessary medication. Opt for snacks that are easily accessible and align with their dietary preferences, such as finger foods or non-perishable options. It’s also important to prioritise hydration, so having a water bottle on hand and encouraging regular sips is key. 

Additionally, don’t overlook their prescribed medications; ensure you’ve packed an adequate supply in their original packaging to cover the duration of the outing. This thoughtful preparation helps maintain their comfort and safety throughout the trip, significantly enhancing the overall experience for both you and your loved one.

Have explanations prepared

When an adult, especially a senior, exhibits unusual behaviour such as shouting inappropriately due to dementia, bystanders might feel uncomfortable or stare. Anticipating these situations and preparing a strategy to handle them is crucial. 

One effective approach is to create small printed cards explaining the situation. These cards can be discreetly handed out to bystanders if necessary, politely informing them about your loved one’s condition and requesting understanding for any unexpected behaviour. This simple gesture not only helps manage potentially awkward situations but also preserves the dignity of your loved one, fostering a more compassionate environment.

Inform your loved one in advance

An old woman uses a walker and walking in the backyard with her daughter

Informing your loved one with dementia about the outing well in advance can significantly ease their apprehension. Choose a calm and relaxed time to communicate the plan, ensuring they are receptive. Reinforce this information as the day approaches, gently reminding them about the outing to solidify the plan in their mind. By involving them in the planning process, you offer a sense of control and allow them to contribute to the planning in a way that feels comfortable for them.

Engage professional caregiver help

A caregiver in blue scrubs holding hand of senior woman with smile while walking

Caregivers for dementia patients are trained to handle diverse scenarios and can offer assistance in managing unexpected behaviours, ensuring both the safety and dignity of your loved one. Moreover, having a caregiver alongside allows you to focus on the outing, ensuring it remains enjoyable and stress-free for everyone involved. They can help divert attention discreetly, provide immediate support in case of any distress, and assist in communicating with bystanders if needed. With an extra pair of hands, the outing can be a relaxed and pleasant experience, alleviating any concerns you might have about managing unforeseen situations in public settings.

Learn more: Benefits of Open Communication Between Families and Care Providers 

Planning an outing for a loved one with dementia demands thoughtful preparation and a considerate approach. By doing so, you can enhance the emotional well being of your elderly loved ones, creating cherished moments that bring joy and connection, as well as opportunities to create beautiful memories together.

Interested to find out more about options available for dementia support? Contact iKare for more information on our caregiver services to ensure the family has an enjoyable time.