Tips for Managing Dementia Outbursts in Public Spaces

A senior woman with a shopping cart in a grocery store.
Our caregivers share tips on managing dementia outbursts in public.

Dementia is unpredictable, to say the least. It can transform someone’s personality, mood, and behaviors quickly. When you’re at home caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, these changes can be difficult enough to manage. But what happens when you are at a grocery store, restaurant, or hair salon? Managing dementia outbursts in public isn’t easy, but there are steps you can take to help.

How to Change Cringeworthy to Calm

Anxiety about a public outburst may make you want to eliminate going out at all with someone with Alzheimer’s. However, being out in the community is very important. It provides someone with dementia a feeling of purpose, eases loneliness and isolation, offers opportunities to socialize, and more.

Knowing how to deal with an awkward situation before venturing out is key. These recommendations will help.

  1. Keep calm. Your demeanor and attitude are highly contagious to a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Take a breath and give yourself a pep talk before stepping out the door. Remind yourself to remain calm and patient, regardless of what occurs.
  2. Carry cards. If you are concerned 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. These are the result of Alzheimer’s disease.”
  3. Monitor triggers. Keep a journal to make note of details on challenging behaviors in public and then try to find commonalities. You may find, for instance, that the individual does well in a small restaurant or store, but becomes distraught when there are large crowds, too much noise, or bright lights. There could be a specific time of day that’s more distressing to be out, or physical needs might be an issue, such as hunger, thirst, pain, fatigue, or the need to use the restroom.

How In-Home Care Can Help

Our dementia care experts are available to help with managing dementia outbursts in public or at home 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 just 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 symptoms of dementia we can help manage include:

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

Whether you’re interested in just a couple 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 are here for you.

Contact us online or give us a call at 250.590.8098 for more tips and resources, and to learn more about our specialized in-home dementia care in Langford, Saanich, Sidney, and the surrounding areas.