Summer Traveling With Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Summer traveling with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Summer Traveling With Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Summer means vacations for many families.  But for those who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, traveling can be very stressful.  Here are some tips to help ease anxiety about the process.

  • Understand their schedule.  Don’t rush to get a 5:00am flight if you know they cannot get up before 9:00am.  Lack of sleep can lead to increased confusion, making traveling even more hectic.  If you’re driving, schedule in rest stops for a quick walk and restroom breaks.  Limit traveling time to under four hours.
  • Get an identification necklace and obtain a non-driver’s ID for their wallet.  Additionally, bring emergency medical information and history, as well as a list of medications.  More information can be found by calling Medic Alert + Safe Return Enrollment Line – 1-888-572-8566.
  • Notify staff at your lodgings.  While it is not the staff’s responsibility to keep an eye on your loved one, notifying them of the disease and risk for wandering can help.  Keep a RECENT picture (taken no longer than 4 months ago) handy, as well as copies.  Show them to the front desk as well.  A card explaining your situation can also be kept handy to show waiters or staff to decrease embarrassment for the loved one.
  • Bring a night-light.  Sleeping in an unfamiliar place can be confusing for anyone, let alone someone with Alzheimer’s.  Bring a night-light to help should they get up in the middle of the night.  Also, bring something familiar to them, such as a photo or favorite plush item to help ease anxiety.
  • Schedule breaks into your trip.  Booking activity after activity can be exhausting for not only the loved one, but the caregiver as well.

By: Lindsay Knudsen

About the Author Lindsay Knudsen

A three-year LIAF veteran, Lindsay is the go-to person for volunteers and interns. She also runs the Moderate-Stage Programs, putting fun twists on bingo and exercise for our clientele. Lindsay, a former Wheel of Fortune contestant and workout enthusiast, channels her energy into making our day program a fun and safe place for our friends. When not competing in mud-runs or 5ks, Lindsay can be found hanging with her two dogs. As an avid animal lover, Lindsay is the right person to head up our dog therapy program, which comes to LIAF three times per month.

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease?