Planning is key for traveling with dementia.
Dementia travel is a key phrase used to mean extra special preparation. There is no getting around this. Your loved ones would love to go to family reunions and special events but you are hesitant. Needs answers? Read on. Can you plan for a one-day trip or is this going to be an overnight trip? Remember, dementia travel means there are a lot of unknowns. There are triggers and behaviors others may not understand. Can you protect your loved one while educating those around you?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is it that your loved one go with you? Are they going with you because you have no one else to take care of them? Are they going because they will truly enjoy time with others? While we like to keep them social, could stay social with someone while staying with them in their own environment? It’s just something to think about. See my free copy for the PROS and CONS and then decide if this is something you really want to do.
So let’s break this down to the final destination and then look at how we travel.
Destinations are very specific for dementia travel.
If you’re going to a family member’s home, can they have their own private bedroom and bathroom?
Are you staying in the bedroom right next to them?
Do your family members expect to help? Will you tell them exactly what they need to do ahead of time? Make a list of everyday tasks you do and give this list to them so they can volunteer to help.
You also want to let those people who will be sharing vacation time with you and your loved one know that certain activities are going to be out for you. Do not plan so much that your loved one does not get the rest that they need. If they take naps every afternoon, then they will need naps during this vacation.
If you are planning to have a large family reunion, it’s a good idea to have a special chair put in a special room so that your loved one will still be able to enjoy every one, but on a one on one basis. It might also be a good idea to put some slow music playing in that room to calm them while they’re talking to one member at a time.
Let everyone know that your loved one may not be able to sit at a holiday table as there may be too much noise and might need to sit in another room because of his or her disease.
If you’re planning on staying at a hotel or a resort of some kind, ask that you have a room in a quiet private area of the hotel. Do not have it near an elevator where the bell is always ringing. Do not have it overlooking a pool where families are making a lot of noise. Let the front desk know that you are dealing with a loved one who has dementia.
Car Transportation requires the dementia traveler to rest.
If you have several hours of driving ahead of you know where the rest stops are. Take your loved one on little walks frequently. Have them use the bathroom often.
Have things in the car available for your loved one to do or have, even if it is a soft animal or a blanket or object to keep them calm. Do they like soft music?
If you’re traveling in the car or van with other family members who do not understand this disease, let them know ahead of time what is expected of them. You would be shocked at the number of family members that have no clue what you are going through. The unexpected is worse. They do something totally off from what your loved one can handle. When you go to correct them, they get angry because they don’t understand. So do yourself a favor and explain the disease and the conditions in which you can travel with your loved one ahead of time.
Remember, loud toys and children can cause agitation in people with dementia.
Airplane Transportation may need assistance for the dementia passenger.
If you are traveling by air, you will need to let the airlines know that you are traveling with somebody with dementia. You have every right to board ahead with regular passengers.
Get pre-check and let TSA know 2 weeks ahead of time that you are traveling with someone who must dementia travel.
Make sure the flight attendants know about your loved one. Try sitting them in the window seat so they have only you next to them. It is best to sit at the front of the plane. If this is not a choice, then let everyone else off the plane first before you leave.
There are so many more tips you want to review in the FREE eBook available for you. Pick up a copy today, Traveling with Dementia. It’s full of ideas and solutions to problems you might encounter along the way. Click below.
If you have been worried about your loved one for some time and now you want to take the next step, then see my article on how to get your loved one diagnosed, The Dementia Diagnosis: How to Get the Correct Diagnosis Quickly