Tips for taking someone with dementia out for a meal

We’re big advocates of people with dementia being able to go about their normal lives, which is why it’s important to still take trips out and celebrate special occasions.

Visiting a busy place such as a restaurant can be disconcerting for your loved-one if they have dementia, thanks to the noise and lots of people being about, but we’ve put together some top tips so you can plan ahead and make the experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

Choose a restaurant with easy access

Even if your loved-one is perfectly mobile, navigating between tables can be confusing for someone with dementia, so wide walk ways are a big help. If there’s the option to sit outside on a nice day, take it, as an added dose of vitamin sunshine can work wonders and really improve everyone’s mood.

Select a private booth

If possible, and you can’t sit outside, select to sit in a private booth, as these can help separate you from other diners and the potentially confusing atmosphere of a restaurant. It keeps everyone close and can help your loved-one feel more secure.

Discuss the menu

Menu options can be overwhelming for someone with dementia, especially as there can be so many, so take time to discuss what’s on offer and don’t be afraid to ask for extra time to choose when the waiting staff approach. Answer any questions on any dishes they might be confused about and suggest dishes you think they might enjoy.

Call ahead

The best thing to do is to call ahead to book your table, explain your needs and if you feel it necessary, you can explain that you’ll be dining with someone with dementia. The restaurant should be helpful and understanding.