Traveling as a Caregiver

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. What can you do to ensure that the trip will involve low stress?

Talk about It
You and the patient should be sure to plan ahead of time and discuss in detail (multiple times) the schedule that you plan to follow on the trip. Be sure to find out what sorts of stresses the patient feels about travel or any other issues that they think could arise when they are out of their comfort zone. Be sure to note any special accommodations that the patient might need and to pack all important medications and personal items.

Rid of Distractions
Usually travel involves a lot of family and a lot of commotion. Be sure to warn family members of the sensitivity of the patient to avoid any breakdowns. Try to explain to family the importance of only one conversation happening at a time and people aren’t speaking over each other. So long as the patient is in the room, they should avoid loud televisions or music. It could be ideal to designate a ‘quiet space’ for family members to interact with the patient in smaller groups.

Stay Close
Older people often have a difficult time walking for a long time. Be sure that when you are arriving at an airport, parking the car or waiting in line, that you try to minimize the walking or standing time. Oftentimes in airports, they offer wheelchair services for these exact situations. Include this option a couple of days before you arrive at the airport so you know that the patient is comfortable with it.

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