A dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean the end of all travel, but it does mean taking extra precautions and making extra preparations in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. For those seniors who are able, travel is part of a healthy balanced lifestyle in preventing and slowing the onset of dementia.
Griswold Home Care of Luzerne & Lackawanna Counties offers some tips for caregivers who are traveling with someone living with dementia: Determine If Travel Is Appropriate
Travel may simply be impossible for some, including those with Stage 6 or 7 Alzheimer’s. Signs that travel is impracticable include high fall risk, unstable medical conditions, severe mood swings, or agitation and aggression. Before you embark on the trip, evaluate whether travel is right for your loved one.Simplify the Trip
Look for ways to simplify travel, such as taking direct flights, avoiding unfamiliar modes of transportation, and keeping surroundings familiar to the largest extent possible. It’s also a good idea to cap total travel time to four hours.Stick with the Familiar
Unfamiliar circumstances can give rise to mood swings, fear, and anxiety. For example, if your loved one has never ridden a subway, it’s best to avoid that situation now. If they have an object that brings familiarity to them, make sure you have it while traveling.Travel During the Day
Daytime travel is often easier for seniors living with dementia, as it illuminates surroundings and allows for increased visibility. This, in turn, makes surroundings feel more familiar. Many seniors also have problems seeing and reading signs at night, which can increase the likelihood of wandering.Place an Info Card
Before you begin traveling, write out a note card with your loved one’s name and information and the name of the hotel or address where they will be staying. Place this card in their purse or pocket. It may be useful if they wander off or become lost.Keep Essentials Close By
Pack a bag with the essentials, including legal documents like identification cards and passports, a fresh change of clothes, itinerary, prescriptions and medical information, food allergies, and emergency contacts. Keep this bag close by at all times, whether in the car or on a plane.
For more information, visit www.griswoldhomecare.com
or call 570-338-4060.