How to Manage Challenging Dementia Behaviors in Public

An older woman pushes a grocery cart in the produce section of the store.

Our caregivers offer expert tips for managing challenging dementia behaviors when out in public with your loved one.

Dementia is unpredictable, to say the least. It can transform a person’s personality, mood, and behaviors in the blink of an eye. When you’re at home caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, these changes can be difficult enough to manage. But what happens when you are at a grocery store, restaurant, or hair salon?

Tips on how to Change Cringeworthy to Calm

Concerns about a public outburst can make you want to avoid venturing out at all with someone with dementia. However, being out in the community is important. It provides someone with dementia a sense of purpose, eases loneliness and isolation, offers opportunities to socialize, and much more.

Understanding how to manage an embarrassing situation before venturing out is key. These strategies can help.

  • Keep calm. Your demeanor and attitude are highly contagious to a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Take a deep breath and give yourself a pep talk before stepping out the door. Remind yourself to remain patient and unwaveringly calm, regardless of what occurs.
  • Carry cards. If you are worried about how an outburst may impact others around you, create some small cards that you can discreetly hand out. They can simply state, “Please forgive any rude behaviors or outbursts. They are the result of Alzheimer’s disease.”
  • Track triggers. Keep a journal to make note of information on challenging dementia behaviors in public and then look for commonalities. You may find, for example, that the person does well in a small restaurant or store but becomes distraught whenever there are large crowds, a lot of noise, or bright lights. There might be a specific time of day that is more distressing to be out, or physical needs may be an issue, such as hunger, thirst, pain, fatigue, or the need to use the restroom.
How Home Care Services Can Help

Our dementia care experts can help manage the effects of the disease with skill, patience, and creativity. As seasoned care professionals who are fully trained in a variety of dementia care needs, we have seen it all! We know how to restore calm to an individual who is distressed or agitated, ensuring dignity and respect throughout an outburst.

A few of the many challenging dementia behaviors we can help manage include:

  • Sundowning
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Wandering
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • And more

Whether you’re interested in just a couple of hours of respite care to allow time to take a break, overnight support or live-in care to ensure safety and wellbeing while you get much-needed rest, or anything in between, we’re here for you.

Contact us at (949) 859-4700 for lots more resources and tips, and to learn more about our specialized in-home dementia care in Seal Beach, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and the surrounding areas.