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Your tips: how to encourage someone to get out and about

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
5,316
London
Every issue our magazine includes real life experiences, and they want to hear from you. For their April/May issue, they're asking: what advice would you give about dealing with things that discourage a person with dementia from getting out and about?

Examples of this can include:
  • Feeling such as anxiety or apathy
  • Physical difficulties (e.g. mobility issues) that make it hard to get out
Please feel free to add your comments below, and they may be featured in the next issue of the magazine.

Thanks everyone :)
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
6,554
Bristol
My partner does get a bit anxious about going out sometimes. Cars getting too close or playing loud music scare her easily. So far, a bit of gentle reassurance and humour get her out two or three times a week, but I know it will get harder.
For mobility issues which are also related to arthritis she accepted a wheelchair early last year. That makes life easier, as even getting on and off of chairs at cafes or restaurants was getting hard. She is slowly losing confidence getting in and out of the car and on and off the chair, so patience is needed. Once she is on the chair though life is so much easier for both of us.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,054
Nottinghamshire
My dad wasn’t keen to walk as it became more difficult for him but a wheeled walker helped with his mobility. I decided on getting the walker after seeing how fast he could disappear with a supermarket trolley!

Later on, as his confidence and mobility decreased, I found I could get him out for a short walk if lunch was included in the deal. My waistline suffered though...I’m still working on that!
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
For Aged Mother in her own words “I will leave this house in a box when they carry me out!”

no matter how much I cajole she’s not going to socialise - so I have sadly accepted that
& I’m now reconciled to her isolation

That’s why the carers going in 4 times a day, the cleaner/ window cleaner/gardener all doing a couple of hours once a week or fortnight are how I can feel comfortable with her choices. Sadly she finds processing conversations hard as she declines but that’s fluctuating from day to day.
it saddens me but I have done my very best & on the rare occasions winkle her out it now takes two people, the decline is obvious & that leads to my heart breaking all over again

Dementia is that unwanted gift that just keeps giving !!!

I struggled for a decade my lovely & now this last part of Mums life leaves me sometimes yearning for that spark of obtuse stubborn denial - damn those rose tinted glasses!
until I reread old posts & see how far we have progressed
Hindsight - what they say about you is so true....
X
 

Cdj0512

New member
Mar 4, 2020
7
This may be specific to my dad and not others but when his alxheimers worsened he became very apathetic and sedentary

Ironically howwver he developed an ability to hyper focus on small things. He became obsessed with bird watching and has remarkable vision, seeing a tiny pink house on a hillside 20 miles away, or identifying birds in distance that normal eye doesn't notice

I am convinced this is an alzheimers trait.. Eg, perhaps as the cognitive ability to grasp large concspts or complex intangible thoughts diminishes, a person becomes more able to hyper-focus on tangible simple things immediately around them.

Plwase comment if you are or kmow someone who took up detail intensive hobbies as alxheimers worsened such as bird watching etc

Anyway my advice on motivating your 'cared for' to get out and do things is to suggest an activity thAt engages their senses and is not demanding of any conversation or thinking

Recent days out my dad was ecstatic to. Leave tje house for-
Wildlife farm (visual sense is totally engaged)
Butterfly zoo ( visual sense is totally engaged)
Birds of prey show (eagles swooping etc visual)
Choir or classical music event (auditory fully engaged)
Swimming (tactile senses engaged)
In my opinkon based on my experience with my dad only... Anything thats too. Intellectually demanding is tiring and may also remind someone of how bad thwir memory etc is... So my dad will Disengage and dislike outings like:

Long lunches non stop talking
Loud places wjwre more than 1 sense is stimulated eg gym, mall, bar
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,204
cornwall
My dad used to love to go out but will only go out now once a month.. if that. He gets car sick now so it’s small journeys to the supermarket in a wheelchair and wheelchair taxi. He goes with a carer as I can no longer take him due to my own ill health. Alongside his declining heath is the mantra”I cannot be bothered “! He has now come to the apathetic stage and no longer cares. It is very difficult so I’m afraid he gets entertained at home with music etc.