Traveling for the holidays
Holidays are a time to spend with family and friends. This often means traveling to be with other loved ones. Here are some tips you may want to consider when traveling with a person with dementia.
- Stick to the familiar. Consider traveling in ways the person was accustomed to before the diagnosis. For example, if the person has never traveled by airplane, then it would probably be better to drive.
- Have realistic expectations. If you choose to travel with a person with dementia, you’ll have many of the same responsibilities you have at home. Plan for help. Advise airlines, hotels, etc… that you are traveling with a person with dementia. Inform them of any special needs such as reserving a wheelchair, special meals, or that your family member cannot be left alone.
- Avoid busy places and busy schedules. This may cause the person with dementia to feel over stimulated or anxious.
- Time your travel. Plan to travel at the time of day when the person with dementia does best.
- Anticipate and avoid delays. If you’re traveling by train, bus, or plane, have a friend drive you to relieve you of parking the car and handling the luggage. Bring along entertaining items that are relaxing to the person such as magazines, cards, or music.
- Maintain daily routines. Try to keep bath, meal, and relaxing times at the same time of the day.
- Prepare identification items such as an ID bracelet or clothing tags for the person, and never leave the person with dementia alone.
- Consider identifying the local Alzheimer’s Association office. Staff will be able to direct you to local services in case of an emergency. Please call us 1.800.272.3900