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  • Writer's pictureThe Care Company

Managing Challenging Dementia Behaviors in Public


A senior woman pushes a grocery cart in a store, a public place where challenging dementia behaviors may occur.
Coping with challenging dementia behaviors in a loved one is extra challenging when in a public place.

Dementia is unpredictable, to say the least. It can transform someone’s mood, personality, and behaviors quickly. When you are at home caring for a loved one with dementia, these challenging dementia behaviors can be hard enough to manage. But what occurs when you’re at a restaurant, grocery store, or hair salon?


Tips on How to Change Cringeworthy to Calm

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


Learning how to deal with an uncomfortable situation before venturing out is key. These tips can help.

  1. Keep calm. Your demeanor and attitude are highly contagious to a loved one with dementia. Take a breath and give yourself a pep talk before stepping out of the door. Remind yourself to remain calm and patient, regardless of what occurs.

  2. Carry cards. If you are worried 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. Track triggers. Keep a journal to remember details on difficult behaviors in public, and then look for commonalities. You may find, for example, that the individual does well in a small store or restaurant but becomes distraught whenever there are large crowds, an excessive amount of noise, or bright lights. There may be a certain time of day that is more distressing to be out, or physical needs could be a factor, such as fatigue, thirst, hunger, pain, or the need to use the restroom.

How Home Care Can Help With Challenging Dementia Behaviors

Our dementia care experts are available to help manage the effects of the disease with patience, skill, and creativity. As seasoned care experts who are fully trained in a wide range of dementia care needs, we have seen it all! We understand just how to restore calm to someone who is distressed or agitated, ensuring respect and dignity throughout an outburst.


Some of the many challenging symptoms of dementia we can help manage include:

  • Sundowning

  • Wandering

  • Hallucinations and delusions

  • Anxiety

  • Confusion and disorientation

  • Aggression

  • And more

Whether you are looking for just a couple hours of respite care to allow time for you 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’re here for you.


Contact us online, or give us a call at 416-422-2273 for more resources and tips and to get additional information on our specialized in-home dementia care in Etobicoke, Markham, Toronto, and the surrounding areas.

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