5 Ways to Ensure Better Travels With Someone Who Has Dementia

Traveling with someone who has mild dementia can still be a pleasant experience if you take care to minimize the stress for everyone involved. Five things that help:

1. Because it can be disorienting to wake up in a new place every day, plan to go to just one place and stay put for a while, rather than awakening in a new location every night or two.

2. Pace the trip with plenty of rest and downtime breaks between activities (such as naps or TV time between sightseeing or meals out).

3. Make sure someone is with and watching the person with dementia at all times. The changes can intensify confusion. Even in early-stage dementia, an air traveler will need a companion.

4. Consider going by car. Some people find driving trips less stressful, since fewer new faces and new scenes are involved. (The scenery changes, but the interior of the car stays the same.)

5. Bring along self-soothers. These vary by person but might include favorite music (for the car or to play over a headset), an amusement such as puzzle books, and something to do with the hands (worry beads, knitting, a favorite textured blanket to hold).

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio