Being prepared is one of the best ways to help ensure an individual with Alzheimer’s disease has what he or she needs for a stress-free experience in the community. Keep it simple.
Something to hold
It can be helpful for someone with a dementia illness to have something to grasp to keep his or her hands occupied. A water bottle, for instance, “kills two birds with one stone”. Water keeps an individual hydrated and helps prevent fidgeting.
Take along a hat, baseball cap or umbrella. Think about the weather as those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia can be especially sensitive to outside conditions, such as extreme heat or cold.
Keep healthy snacks on hand both for the individual with Alzheimer’s as well as you, the caregiver. Caregivers can find themselves too busy to eat if food is not readily available.
Bags or totes
Keeping track of belongings when you’re going out can be a challenge for anyone, but especially so for someone with dementia. Totes can come in handy for a variety of items including snacks, sun screen, books and magazines, and provide an easy way to help a loved one keep track of everything.
A notebook and a pen or pencil
Individuals with a dementia illness sometimes like to make lists. That’s why it’s good to have something to write on and with. A notebook is also a great place for the family caregiver to write down questions for or comments from the doctor.
Emergency contact information
Wandering is one potential behavioral symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Be sure that both you and a loved one has contact and medical information on you or in an easily accessible location at all times. This can be critical, for example, if one of you is in an accident and unable to speak for himself or herself.