Living with dementia does not mean that this person cannot travel or live a life seeing family and friends.
You want to keep them social, but at the same time, you want to keep them safe.
It does require some planning and asking yourself if this person is capable of traveling.
Most of the time, folks that are in the late stage of dementia cannot travel, but there are other ways to look at whether they should travel or not.
Think about these when they travel with dementia.
If your loved one does require assistance in bathing, changing clothing, dressing or toilet training, you will have significant difficulty with even day trips. Think about trying to change clothing in an airport or airplane bathroom.
Also, if your loved one has any behavioral problems, such as paranoia or delusions. And they have difficulty handling a lot of people and a lot of noise, then you might reconsider.
Does your loved one have difficulty with small, confined places for a lengthy period of time?
Does your loved one like to wander and might get lost in a crowd on a train or in a park?
Does your loved one need frequent stops to the bathroom?
Will your loved one get confused and scared if too many strangers come at them?
Is nocturnal or night walking an issue?
Are you concerned that they may soil someone else’s bed?
For a complete list of questions, preparations, and decisions get my FREE guide Traveling with Dementia.
Keep you and your loved one safe, happy, and enjoying time together. CLICK HERE
People who travel with dementia often need rest stops and extended periods of rest.
If you’re booking an airplane flight, try to book it with no stops. However, if you must have a layover, remember to wait at least an hour to two hours in between flights. If you have any priority passes to stay in an airline club, go ahead and stay there. This will cut down on the noise and chaos your loved one is feeling with these crowds.
Other unfamiliar places can cause confusion, anxiety, and fear. This also includes if you are staying at another family member’s home. Can your loved one stay in a strange place, or will you need to stay with them?
If you are staying at a family member’s home, are they providing a private bedroom and bath for your loved one?
Does your loved one in strange places or strange noises or strange people become agitated? If this is the case, then you will need to take your loved one to his or her primary care physician to see if there’s any medication they can get for agitation should it come on.
Don’t get removed from the plane due to their restless behavior.
Another point to consider is the airline. If your loved one becomes irritated or restless and cannot be calmed down, every captain of the airplane has the right to kick you and your loved one off the plane. Is there a possibility that they could become out of control?
No, these statistics.: One out of four loved ones with dementia can become anxious in a crowded place. And this will trigger unexpected behavior. If you are worried about this, it would be an innovative idea to take your loved one out for the day to a crowded place, either a shopping center or a loud restaurant. See how they handle this for several hours. It might be even better if you decide to go that you take them to a crowded loud place several days in a row before your day of travel.
So to recap dementia travel.
For an enjoyable experience, make sure you recognize the signs of restlessness and agitation. Know how to treat it ahead of time. If your loved one. Shows signs of this.
- Plan ahead, letting everyone know, including the airline employees, that your loved one has dementia.
- Your loved one’s ability to handle a crowd of people, loud noises, and a new place. Take them out 3-4 days in a row ahead of the travel plans to be sure they can handle this.
- One word of caution. If your loved one’s doctor has placed them on any new medications or any antibiotics because of an infection, it is not a good idea to travel at this time. Wait until you see how the medication affects your loved one, or if the infection goes away before you travel. Unfortunately, you will need to cancel your plans.
For more ideas, especially those you didn’t think of, get my FREE GUIDE, Traveling with Dementia. It’s full of great ideas as well as mistakes to avoid. CLICK BELOW.
After their trip.
Oftentimes, patients will come into the doctor’s office after a trip and ask the doctor to start the workup for dementia in their senior. This is common when trips can be exhausting and events did not turn out well. To find out how you can prepare for a diagnosis of dementia, see my article, Could her Odd Behavior be Dementia or Common Aging?