Good morning and welcome to today’s Wednesday Workshop! It’s common for those with dementia to experience increased confusion when traveling. This could cause the person with Alzheimer’s disease to become frightened and agitated but taking the time to prepare well in advance of your vacation is the key for a trip that is both enjoyable and safe!
Here are 8 tips on Traveling with an Alzheimer’s Patient to help you get started:
- Plan your itinerary well in advance. If you’ll be attending a family reunion or other large gathering, let your family know the symptoms your loved one might display and give them some helpful tips on how to communicate with her.
- Try to limit the number of flight connections you have to make, as well as the length of time you’ll be spending on lay-overs.
- Changes in environment can trigger wandering. Even for a person in the early stages, new environments may be more difficult to navigate. Keep your loved one safe by taking precautions, such as enrolling in MedicAlert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®
- On the day that you travel, allow extra time for everything! Make sure you both wear comfortable clothes and bring along your loved one’s favorite pillow or blanket.
- Pack a small bag to take on-board that contains an iPod loaded with your loved one’s favorite music; a few magazines; and a small photo album with pictures of the people you’ll be visiting or the places that you’ll go. Include medications; important phone numbers and some of your wife’s favorite snacks. If your loved one is incontinent, be sure to include extra supplies and a change of clothes, just in case.
- When you arrive at your destination, stick to your loved one’s routine as much as you can. Try to keep meal times and bedtime as close to normal as possible. If he eats cereal every morning at 7:00 a.m., having brunch at 11:00 a.m. will be a challenge.
- Have a back-up plan every day. When you arrive at your daily destination, watch your loved one for clues that he’s becoming anxious or upset. If you have a back-up plan in place, it will be easier on you both if you have to leave quickly.
- Enjoy yourselves! Spend time with your family and friends and be sure to include some activities that your loved one will enjoy! Keep in mind that for your loved one, it will be in the doing of the activity, not in the completing of the activity, which will make the day special for him!
To speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center, feel free to call us at 561-588-4545. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!