Traveling with Someone Who Has Alzheimer’s Can be a Good Thing

As the weather warms and schools are let out for summer vacation, the urge to travel creeps up. For a someone caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s, this urge is often dismissed and deemed impossible.

 

But traveling with a someone who has Alzheimer’s is not so far fetched. Yes, it takes more consideration and planning, but it can be done! Furthermore, in the early stages, Alzheimer patients enjoy travel and the change of pace can benefit the caregiver immensely.

Considerations for Traveling with Someone Who Has Alzheimer’s

  • Prior to the trip register your loved one with Medic Alert and Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program.  
    • If your loved one wanders and is lost, caregviers can call the response line to report it.
    • They will engage a community support network.
      • This includes local Alzheimer Association chapters and law enforcement agencies.
      • Medical information will be provided to emergency responders to help them assist appropriately.
    • The person with dementia wears MedicAlert + Safe Return ID jewelry. If anyone finds him or her, they can call the number and the person will be returned to loved ones.
   
  • Choose a location where routine can be maintained.
    • Deciding on a location that is not too unfamiliar is important so the individual with dementia does not become overly confused and disoriented.
    • Be sure accommodations booked lend themselves to regular and familiar daily routine or meals, activities, and bedtime routine.
 
  • Detail an itinerary with each specific activity and location at each hour and disperse those itineraries among family at home.
 
  • Plan the travel days, such as time of travel and mode, around what’s best for loved one and their best times of day.
 
  • Air travel requires additional planning.
    • Several days before, contact TSA to obtain information on exact screening process.
    • At least 48 hours prior to flight make arrangement for wheelchair. This can be helpful in arriving at the gate in a timely manner.
    • Prepare loved one at the airport with what’s expected at the security checkpoint
    • Notify TSA workers an individual affected by dementia.
 
  • At the destination, secure place of stay so loved one isn’t able to wander out of the room or house.
 
  • Each morning of trip, prepare a large backpack filled with necessary and emergency supplies.
    • Include plenty of water, snacks, change of weather appropriate clothes, first aid kit, and medications.
    • Carrying supplies like this everywhere you go make you and your travel companion much more comfortable and reduce the risk of emergencies.
 
  • To be safe, alz.org recommends taking these documents when traveling for an extended trip:
    • Primary care physician contact information
    • A list of current medications and dosages
    • Phone numbers and addresses of the local police, fire departments, and hospitals
    • Poison control number
    • A list of food or drug allergies
    • Copies of legal papers (living will, advanced directives, power of attorney, etc.)
    • Emergency contacts’ information
    • Insurance information
      Don’t be too quick to forgo travel! Trips can be adjusted to fit the needs of the individual with Alzheimer’s and many times are worth all the extra effort and planning.

For more information on senior care contact 1776 Senior Care in Glen Ellyn.

By | 2017-05-28T15:45:46+00:00 May 28th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |