Dementia is when a person may have memory loss, difficulties with thinking, and problem-solving or language deterioration. More often than not this happens with older adults.
When helping someone who may have dementia, most importantly remember WALL (Watch, Ask, Listen, Learn). Here are some other tips:
When your passenger appears:
- Use your body and facial expressions to convey how welcome they are and introduce yourself.
- Don’t assume they know or don’t know where they are going - say something like: “My understanding is that we are driving to __________.”
- Ask them if they need help getting settled into the car.
- Speak clearly.
On the drive:
- Keep conversation light. To make them feel comfortable, don’t ask questions that require them to use their memory.
- Keep background noise to a minimum.
- Let them know when arrival is about 5 min away.
- Ensure the rider arrives safely to the exact place of appointment. Even if the rider says they know the way make sure to escort them appropriately.
If the passenger becomes confused or disoriented: stay calm, offer corrections as suggestions (e.g. I thought you were going to King Street not Bloor), and likely keep going to the destination that the passenger originally entered. If you do not feel that a passenger is fit for future Uber travel without a companion please let us know by email firstname.lastname@example.org.