Like other people, people with dementia need social interactions. However, people with dementia and their companions sometimes feel uncomfortable going to restaurants, stores or other public places.
Public interactions can be more positive if the person with dementia:
Helps decide what to do and when
Is not rushed
Avoids very busy or loud places
Goes to familiar places and does familiar activities
Writes down what groceries, food, drink or other items they want before leaving home
Has someone who knows them help with challenging interactions
Can find a quiet place or leave if they become overwhelmed or tired
Companions can help staff and others in public places communicate with people with dementia by:
Encouraging others to make eye contact with the person with dementia
Asking others to share one piece of information or ask one question at a time
Rephrasing what others say, so it's easier for the person with dementia to understand
Telling others you need a little more time
Explaining to others that the person has dementia
Dementia advocacy and support groups can offer advice for public outings. Some groups have business cards, which can be shared quickly to explain that someone has dementia and may behave differently. In some communities, there are "dementia friendly" efforts that help businesses and organizations better serve people with dementia.