7 Alzheimer’s Care Travel Tips

Sep 07, 2016
Stephen Bleeker

Fall is a heavy travel season. Whether it is a ride in the car to visit your in-laws for Thanksgiving, a tropical vacation down south to escape the early cold, or just a weekend getaway to the cottage before it’s time to close it up for the season, travel should be fun and relaxing. If Mom or Dad has Alzheimer’s, travel can turn quite stressful for you as a caregiver.

These caregiver tips should help ease some stress and make the trip enjoyable for the whole family:

Embrace the Familiar

Unfamiliar people and surroundings can be confusing and distressing for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Do what you can to make the environment familiar, such as bringing Mom’s pillow or favorite teddy, or packing Dad’s go-to breakfast cereal. Keep routines as consistent with daily life as possible.

Simplify Your Travel Itinerary

Travel can be exhausting and stressful, so do what you can to minimize the chance of a wrong turn or a missed flight. If you are travelling by car, plan out the route in advance and make note of places to stop for a bathroom/food/stretch break. If flying, book a direct flight, arrive early at the airport, and ask about pre-boarding procedures to give extra leeway. Try to keep your journeys to four hours or less.

Keep Important Documents and Medication Close at Hand

When travelling, you should always have easy access to all of Mom or Dad’s important documents like emergency contact information, food allergies, doctor contact information etc. Bring current medications and a list of doses, and make sure you supply more than needed in case you are delayed in your return.

Keep People Informed

Share all information with emergency contacts both at home and at your destination (if possible). This should include the travel itinerary, contact numbers, and medication information.

Stay in a Hotel

If you are going to visit relatives, consider staying in a hotel rather than staying with family. Which your relatives may be gracious hosts, they may not know how to deal with someone with Alzheimer’s and the arrangements could cause undue stress on all parties. Plus, staying in a hotel will make it easier to stick to routines.

Book a Transport Service

A medical transport service can make it easier to ensure safe arrival at the airport, at your destination, and back home.

Be Realistic

Though Mom or Dad may have previously loved that long drive to PEI, or that ambitious flight to Europe, it may no longer be possible. Though it may be easy to travel in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, as the disease progresses things may change. Consider offering to host Thanksgiving this year so your parents don’t have to travel far, or plan a fun “staycation.”

These Alzheimer’s care tips should make your fall travel plans a little easier for the whole family. Looking for more Alzheimer’s care tips? Contact Assurance Home Care at 613-706-1585; we’d be happy to talk.

  • Stephen Bleeker