If you’re a family caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you likely know firsthand the challenges of going into the community with your loved one. Misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease persist. But, thanks to broader education efforts, more people are understanding what it means to have Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia illness. Be sure to tell the businesses you frequent, from your favorite restaurant to the local grocery store to the neighborhood bank, about the Home Instead Senior Care® network’s Alzheimer’s Friendly Business℠ program.

A woman escorts her father to the bank.

The 30-minute training *** LINK TO TRAINING *** is designed to help a business’ employees understand the disease and provide simple techniques to help ensure customers with Alzheimer’s are treated with compassion and respect.

Beyond the training, here are some signs to look for that indicate a business may be easier to navigate for an individual with a dementia illness such as Alzheimer’s disease:

Gender neutral bathrooms

Someone with Alzheimer’s may need help with using the restroom, and that can be difficult if a daughter is with her father (or a son is with his mother). As gender neutral restrooms could be difficult to find, consider enlisting a Home Instead® CAREGiver℠ of the same sex as your loved one to assist on an outing.

Restaurants that have quiet places

Loud noises can cause agitation for those with Alzheimer’s disease. Restaurants with meeting rooms or secluded corners that are available for dining use may work best.

Down times

Aim to visit a business when you know it will not be as busy or you won’t have to wait in line.

Polite staff

Even if they aren’t formally trained to recognize and deal with those who have Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, frequent businesses where the staff is known to be polite, honest, patient and congenial.

Simplicity

Look for businesses that have simple processes and procedures. If it’s a restaurant, make sure it’s a place where you can offer an individual with a dementia illness simple menu choices.

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