Traveling with someone suffering from dementia can be a challenging process. Fear and anxiety can surface for you both, and it can become a scary experience that can lead to panic for those with dementia. That’s why preparing in advance is crucial so that you can prevent avoidable mishaps. Before you head off on your trip, go over these five tips to travel safely with dementia. They can help guide you in what to plan for and consider before you depart.
Consider Their Abilities
Plan for a trip that will provide someone with dementia with the most comfort and cause the least amount of stress. For example, they may feel more relaxed if you take them somewhere they are familiar with and have travelled to in the past. This has less impact on the long-term memory. They may also be more calm with daylight, so you should book flights and plan for your departure travelling during the day and avoid the “sundown effect.”
Prepare Medications and Documents
The last thing you want is to leave behind important medications, so pack these in advance. Clearly, label all medications and carry the instructions with you on how they must be taken, along with a list of emergency contacts, and copies of their legal documents. You should also ensure that they have a copy of this information on them as well, in case of separation or emergencies.
Give Medical Clearance
Many airlines and hotels will need to know about special needs to better accommodate passengers. Have medical information ready to present to the travel agent, airline, and hotel with you in case you ever need assistance.
Ensure Hotel Safety
Look for hotels that have an easy layout and lock down areas at night, such as the pool area or entranceways. You can call and discuss your needs and requirements with the hotel before booking to ensure the hotel is equipped for your needs and are willing to help. This way when arrive you can provide a photo of the person with dementia and details on how to contact you in case the front desk staff notice any wandering.
By creating detailed itineraries about each destination, you can help your travel partner with dementia know where they should be in case you’re separated. And by providing the itinerary to emergency contacts at home and the hotel staff, they know how to contact you during your travels.
It’s important to prepare well in advance to travel safely with dementia. By taking these proactive steps now, you can have peace of mind during your travels and get to relax and enjoy the trip.
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