Travel for Alzheimer's Patients
Five Common Trouble Spots During the Holidays
Holiday Trouble Spot #1: Flying
- Realize that even someone with early dementia shouldn't travel alone.
- Stay together in the airport at all times.
- Remain calm and don't rush the person in security lines. Some airports offer family-friendly lanes -- they're not just for people traveling with children.
- Schedule flights early in the day, when the person may be in the best spirits and you're less likely to be marooned overnight in case of bad weather or other delays. It's worth the extra price to fly nonstop. Allow plenty of time for connections.
- Don't place medication in checked bags. Your carry-on should also contain everything the person would need if luggage is lost or a flight is delayed overnight: pajamas, toiletry items, change of clothing, medical contact information, and legal papers (power of attorney, insurance).
- Pack snacks and provide water, since dehydration is a risk for seniors. Use the bathroom just before the flight to help avoid the need for the person to do so on the airplane.
- Bring something for the person to do with his hands: a puzzle book, a photo album, knitting, a textured rubbery ball to hold, playing cards.
- Carry a blanket and small pillow for comfort's sake, as they may not be available on the flight.