Just because you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia doesn’t mean you can never go anywhere or travel (of course, this depends on how far along the Alzheimer’s is, and should always be discussed with a doctor). But if you decide to do some traveling and get the okay from your doctor, here are some tips for traveling with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Bring all of your medical documents and medicines. It’s important to have a list of emergency contacts, doctor information, and doses/times of medicines written out. Make sure these are easily accessible and in a place where they can’t go missing.
- Wear an identification bracelet. If anything happens or goes wrong, this will help people know what is going on and identify you in an emergency. Make sure the bracelet has all of your important information on it.
- Try to keep as many surroundings familiar as possible. When traveling to a new place with so many new sights and amenities, it’s important to keep some things familiar. Bring a favorite blanket or pillow. Maybe bring a favorite mug that you drink out of every morning. The small things that remind you of home or your routine will help ground you when traveling can be overwhelming.
- Limit connections and layovers. If you are traveling by plane, direct flights are the best option as it is less to worry about or get confused over. If it’s not possible to book direct flights, notify the flight crew of the situation and any extra help that may be needed.
- Keep travel time to four hours or less. The longer you are out traveling, the more likely it is that you will get agitated or confused. Keep flights or car trips as short as possible.
- Be early. Allowing extra time is always a good idea when traveling. This allows for mistakes, rerouting, etc.
- Consider hiring a medical transport. If you are feeling very uncertain about traveling with dementia or Alzheimer’s, hiring a medical transport can put you at ease and assure that you get to your destination safely.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is get out in the world and explore a little. But you want to make sure that you do it safely and peacefully! Maybe ask a friend to join you. Traveling with a friend or family member can add some extra peace of mind, as well as make for a memorable experience with a loved one.
As long as you have a doctor’s approval, don’t let your Alzheimer’s or dementia stop you from doing something you want to do.