Elder Care Cornelius NC
One of the best parts of being a family caregiver for your elderly parent is the ability to spend quality time with them enjoying memorable experiences that bring meaning to your care relationship and ensure that you stay connected with your parent-child relationship as well. One of the activities that many families enjoy together is going out to eat. This is a fantastic way for you to make any day of your routine more special, enjoy a delicious meal, and experience sharing and conversation with your elder. If your elderly parent is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, however, this type of outing can carry with it more challenges and demands than would exist with seniors who are not dealing with these types of symptoms. Preparing ahead of time and using some simple techniques can allow you to make eating out with your elder parent an enjoyable experience even with their Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Try some of these ideas to help you enjoy your special meal out with your loved one:
- Talk about it. Before you go out to eat, take some time to talk to your elder parent about it. Explain that you will not be eating the meal at home like they usually do and that you will be going to a restaurant. Try to choose a restaurant that is familiar to them so that you can tell them which one you are going to and remind them of other times that you have visited that specific restaurant. Tell them what they should expect, including that someone will seat them, they will get a menu, and that someone else will bring them their food. Go through each detail of the process of eating out for them so that they feel more secure and confident about the experience.
- Make a reservation. If at all possible, make a reservation for your meal rather than just walking into the restaurant. This can help limit the time that you have to wait for a table, which can be stressful for your aging parent and lead to anxiety and negative behaviors. Try to make a reservation for as close to the time that they usually eat as possible so that their schedule can remain intact. This will help to prevent hunger and confusion that can be stressful to your parent.
- Prepare a card. If your elderly parent has particularly marked symptoms, it can be beneficial to warn the wait staff in advance and ask for help that will make the situation easier for everyone involved. Consider printing up a card that explains that your parent has Alzheimer’s disease and that they may need extra time and patience during the meal. Request any special accommodations such as having the chefs cut up their food before sending it out or not bringing your parent any type of knife or glass. Hand this to the hostess when first being sat and ask them to give it to the waitress, or bring it directly to the waitress so that your parent is not embarrassed.