Traveling with family soon? Here are some tips for taking a trip if your loved one has dementia

Health News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– The Southwest Missouri chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is giving advice before one of the biggest travel days of the year.

First of all, the Alzheimer’s Association says not all cases are the same. The AA says while symptoms can sometimes make travel difficult, it doesn’t mean travel is out of the question for all people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. That being said, as the disease progresses it is important to consider what level of travel would be too overwhelming.

“When you take into account the needs, abilities, safety, and preferences of the person with dementia,” the Association prompts, “What’s the best mode of travel.”

Here are some tips for figuring out how the best way to get from A to B, given to OzarksFirst by the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Go with the option that provides the most comfort and least anxiety.
  • Stick with the familiar. Travel to known destinations that involve as few changes in daily routine as possible. Try to visit places that were familiar before the onset of dementia.
  • Keep in mind that there may come a time when traveling is too disorienting or stressful for the person with dementia.

Once you’ve figured out HOW you’re getting to your destination, the Alzheimer’s Association says it’s best to plan ahead for your actual voyage.

The Alzheimer’s Association suggests the following:

  • Changes in environment can trigger wandering. Even for a person in the early stages, new environments may be more difficult to navigate.
  • Have a bag of essentials with you at all times that includes medications, your travel itinerary, a comfortable change of clothes, water, snacks, and activities.
  • Pack necessary medications, up-to-date medical information, a list of emergency contacts and photocopies of important legal documents.
  • Create an itinerary that includes details about each destination. Give copies to emergency contacts at home. Keep a copy of your itinerary with you at all times.
  • If you will be staying in a hotel, inform the staff ahead of time of your specific needs so they can be prepared to assist you.
  • Travel during the time of day that is best for the person with dementia.

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