With summer coming to an end, we’re all looking to take a last-minute excursion before the cold nights set in. Traveling with someone that suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or any form of life-altering condition can be difficult. If you’re a dementia caregiver and you’re planning a vacation, view our 6 travel tips to alleviate stress and aggravation on the trip.
How to Travel With a Family Member Living With Dementia
Discuss the Schedule of the Trip
To alleviate stress and confusion, a tip for caregivers is to discuss the schedule of the trip prior to leaving. Talk with your family member about why he or she is stressed about the trip. In addition, it’s important to organize special accommodations that your mom, dad, or relative might need before the vacation. Remember to pack the proper medications and personal items.
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Traveling to a different city or state can be extremely stressful for an individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia. A useful tip a caregiver should consider using is to explain the importance of conducting a single conversation at a time. Conducting multiple conversations at the same time may make your family member nervous or stressed. To avoid confusion, do not play music or movies at an excessively loud volume. It could be ideal to designate a ‘quiet space’ for a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Reduce Strenuous Activities
Older people often have a difficult time walking for a long time. A useful caregiver tip includes minimizing walking or standing time. Consider parking the car close to the airport or bringing a wheelchair to ensure your family member does not become tired. A majority of airports offer wheelchairs to seniors to prevent mobility issues. Talk with your mom, dad, or relative about these options a couple of days prior to arriving at the airport to ensure they are comfortable with the plans.
Stay at a Hotel
While it may seem tempting to stay at a relative’s house while you’re on vacation, renting a hotel room will help alleviate stress and provide downtime for your family member. A hotel is a calm and quiet place for your mom or dad to recover after a long day of tours and walking. In addition, it will also be easier for your loved one to abide by their daily routine at a hotel. If you decide to stay at a relative’s house, your mom or dad with dementia may struggle with a different eating and sleeping schedule.
Travel With Paperwork & Medications
Prior to leaving for your trip, it is essential to pack the proper medications and medical documents. These documents may include allergies and the phone number of your family member’s physician. In addition, bring a list of emergency contacts that can be utilized in emergency situations.
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Book a Direct Flight
Nothing is more stressful than rushing from one flight to another. If your family member is not able to walk a long distance, you should consider booking a direct flight to your destination. This will reduce the probability of you missing your flight and alleviate aggravation. Do not schedule connections or layovers on your trip.