November 3, 2023

Tips for a Successful Outing with Someone Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Elizabeth Thompson, Regional Director of Memory Care

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 doesn’t go as planned?

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

When choosing a place for your loved one with dementia, it’s essential to consider their needs. What environment would be most comfortable for them? Avoid locations that might overwhelm them with excessive stimuli. If you plan to dine out, you can opt for quieter times at restaurants to reduce busyness. Steer clear of places that could lead to unnecessary confusion for them.

Without proper planning, you’re setting yourself up for failure. When meeting other family members, ensure they understand your loved one’s current condition. Empower them for successful interactions by briefing them on the changes and effective strategies. Consider making a reservation in a quieter section; most restaurants are accommodating if you inform them in advance. Avoid lengthy waits, as simplicity is key for individuals living with dementia. Keep outings straightforward and stress-free.

Ensure you bring along snacks and water within reach and pack an extra set of clothes. Consider bringing a fidget item to keep them engaged. Companion cards, available for free on, are invaluable. Share them with servers, hostesses, or anyone assisting you, including grocery store staff. Keep necessary medications and emergency contact numbers easily accessible for peace of mind.

If something unexpected happens, above all, remain calm.

Avoid escalating anxiety for your loved one with dementia; they pick up on the emotions around them. Maintain a positive and composed demeanor. If plans deviate, that’s alright. Remember, we’re stepping into their world, not the other way around.

Our aim is 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.

Saint Charles, Missouri-based Arrow Senior Living manages a portfolio of communities that offer varying levels of care, including independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Each and every senior living community supports residents by focusing on dignity, respect, and quality of life. The programs and amenities offered are selected to provide only the highest standard of quality and comfort.

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