Planning and completing a long distance holiday trip can be stressful for the 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and their families. While the symptoms can make travel more difficult, it doesn’t mean families can’t travel with a loved one with dementia and participate in holiday festivities.
The Alzheimer’s Association Oklahoma Chapter offers a number of easy tips to help ensure a safe and smooth trip when traveling with a person living with dementia. More tips and information are also available 24/7 at alz.org/travel or 800.272.3900.
Key points to keep in mind:
•Stick with the familiar. Travel to known destinations. Try to visit places that are familiar.
•Be prepared. Create an itinerary that includes details. Give copies to family members or friends. Keep a copy with you.
•Pick the right time. Travel during the time of day that is best for the person with Alzheimer’s.
•Avoid layovers. If unavoidable, ask about airport escort services.
•Ask for help. For example, request airline personnel to help you navigate through the airport.
•Ensure a Safe Return. Changes in environment can trigger wandering. Enroll in MedicAlert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®.
•Find local support. Before you go, contact the Alzheimer’s Association chapter at your destination.