Traveling with Dementia

After spending significant time in social distancing and isolation, this summer may lead you more than normal to want to go to visit family and friends, or simply just to encounter a change of scenery and some pleasurable activities. And if you provide care for a member of the family with Alzheimer’s or dementia, having your loved one accompany you can be a viable option, with a little preplanning.

These tips, from the professional Alzheimer’s care team at At-Home Care Company, are an excellent starting point when a loved one is traveling with dementia.

  • Don’t rush. Pack lots of additional time in your agenda to let you move at the pace that is most comfortable for your senior loved one, and also to provide plenty of downtime once you reach your destination in order to permit him or her to relax and adjust to the change.
  • Bring paperwork. If you don’t already have a document in place that outlines each of your loved one’s medications, physician and emergency contact info, allergies, etc., now is a great time to create one, and bring a copy along with you.
  • Include identification. Ensure that your loved one wears an ID bracelet, or that his or her clothing, shoes, luggage, etc. are marked clearly with his or her name and an emergency phone number. A list of the senior’s medical conditions should always be tucked into his / her wallet as well.
  • Stay near home. It is best for someone with Alzheimer’s to limit travel time to ideally no more than 4 hours. In the event your journey will require a longer time in transit, bring along another dependable family member, or a qualified professional caregiver from At-Home Care Company, to assist.
  • Strive for familiarity. Unfamiliar surroundings can be particularly unsettling for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s. Bringing along items from home that bring comfort, such as his or her bed quilt, pajamas, pillow, etc. might help. Keeping a schedule that’s close to the senior’s normal routine can be an excellent idea, such as maintaining set times for meals and bed.
  • Be reasonable. Match your expectations to the reality of the senior’s current stage of the disease. If he or she is experiencing hallucinations, aggressive behavior, wandering, and confusion, it might be better to keep the individual at home.

At-Home Care Company is happy to provide a highly skilled professional respite caregiver to let you travel while your senior loved one remains safe at home, or even to provide accompaniment for the senior so you can fully enjoy your time away while knowing his or her needs will be met away from home.

Reach out to us at (515) 292-2650 and let us help both you and the senior you love with dementia to enjoy new and satisfying experiences this summer. Contact us today to learn more about our superior Des Moines dementia care and the nearby communities we serve.