As we get closer to summer, many people now have the time to travel. If a loved one has Alzheimer’s, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make summer travel plans with them, it just requires you to do some extra planning to ensure the safety and enjoyment for everyone.
Deciding to Travel
Whether deciding to take a short trip to visit friends and family or traveling a farther distance, it is important to consider the difficulties and benefits of travel for a person with dementia. Consider the following after taking into account the needs and safety of your loved one:
- Choose an option that is more familiar. Maybe travel somewhere that the loved one has been before the onset of dementia.
- Go with a place that provides the best safety and the least anxiety.
- Keep in mind the challenges that come with traveling and be prepared for them.
To help with your traveling, here are some tips for a safe trip:
- Pack up-to-date medical information, necessary medications, a list of emergency contacts and photocopies of important legal documents.
- Changes in the environment can trigger wandering. Even if a person is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, new environments may be more difficult to navigate. Keep your loved one safe by taking precautions before you leave, such as enrolling in programs in MedicAlert + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return or Comfort Zone.
- Make sure to have a bag of essentials with you at all times that includes medications, your travel plans, water, snacks, a comfortable change of clothes, and activities.
- Create an itinerary that has details about each destination you plan on visiting. Give copies to your emergency contacts at home and keep a copy with you at all times.
- If you plan on staying at a hotel, speak with the staff ahead of time about any specific needs your loved one may have so they can be prepared to assist you.
- Travel during a time of day that is best for the person with Alzheimer’s to make traveling easier for them.