If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, you may be apprehensive about bringing your family member with you when traveling. However, with a little bit of careful planning, you and your loved one can enjoy a safe trip.
Before deciding on travel details, consider what would be best for the safety and comfort of your loved one with Alzheimer’s. People in the early stages of the disease often enjoy travel, but for some the experience is overwhelming. Keep your family member’s preferences and limitations in mind when choosing your transportation method. The best journey is one that does not unduly disrupt your loved one’s daily routine. A person with dementia is likely to prefer a destination that is familiar or that involves visiting loved ones.
Navigating airport security can be difficult for someone with dementia; if you must travel by air, consider informing the airline of your needs ahead of time. Even if a wheelchair is not necessary, it may be a good idea for your family member’s comfort and because you will have an airline employee to help you get around the airport.
During the trip, be aware of the fact that a change in environment can be a trigger for wandering, and take precautions. Also be sure to keep essentials on hand such as a comfortable change of clothes, all prescribed medications, snacks and drinking water. You should also bring important documents such as copies of any living will or advanced health care directives, health insurance cards, and doctors’ names and contact information.
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