Traveling with Alzheimer’s

Summer is one of the busiest travel times of the year. With summer vacations hitting full stride, families are embarking on road trips and flying to all four corners of the map. When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, families often feel they need to cancel their upcoming trips. While this might be needed if the disease has progressed far enough, it is possible to travel with a family member who has Alzheimer’s if you take the appropriate precautions.

Use as Many Routines as Possible

Traveling any considerable distance will necessitate breaking a few routines, but try to stick to routine when you can. Change can be strenuous for Alzheimer’s patients, so it might be best to travel to places they’ve been to before. Keep meals at the same time they're used to eating, and pick foods you know they enjoy.

Rest is Important

Vacationing can end up being surprisingly stressful when you try to cram in so many experiences in such a short time. This fast pace can really take its toll on Alzheimer’s patients, so be sure to budget for naps and plenty of rest.

Plan Your Packing

Medications should be the first item on your packing checklist. Plan enough medication to last the entire trip and bring enough for a few extra days just in case. You’ll also want to pack some snacks, and maybe a few puzzle books to keep them entertained for the drive or flight.  

Be Flexible

You never really know what might come up when traveling with a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Give them plenty of attention, and frequently ask how they’re doing. If you’re staying with family or friends, let everyone know about the condition and how they can help.

It’s always best to talk with your loved one’s doctor before taking a trip. Let the doctor know where you’re going and what you’re doing, and ask if they think your loved one is able to travel.