Alzheimer’s and Traveling

Traveling with Alzheimer’s

Handling Behavioral Changes with Dementia: Dealing With Traveling

When it comes to caring for a loved one with Alzheimers disease there are certain activities or situations that tend to present more of a challenge than others. One of the most difficult things for those with Alzheimers to deal with is change. A change in routine or surroundings can be extremely overwhelming to an individual with dementia and it can put them in a state of great confusion, anxiety and disorientation and leave them feeling quite upset. Here are a few tips that can help family members and caregivers handle many of the issues associated with traveling with individuals with dementia:

  • Always remember that traveling is overwhelming and difficult for individuals with dementia. With this is mind, always talk in a calm and soothing voice when its time to travel whether its for the entire day or just a trip down the street to the doctor. Always be there to reassure the person and work to help them feel safe.
  • Never try to negotiate a trip or an outing with the person or ask them if they want to go somewhere, when they want to leave or if they are ready. Instead by firm and assertive yet still kind and let them know that you are leaving and going somewhere so they dont have time to argue or to get overly anxious for their outing.
  • Plan ahead. Make sure that you are leaving in plenty of time to arrive at your destination. If you have to rush, it will only make the individual with Alzheimers more anxious or uncomfortable. Make sure that you plan out your route and that you are ready to handle situations with parking, stairs and other potential obstacles. The less stressful the route is the less likely the individual with Alzheimers will react negatively to the situation.
  • Consider bringing someone else along with you to help you when traveling and make sure that you are bringing things to occupy your loved one if you will have to be sitting in a waiting room or if there will be downtime in the car or in an office building. Things like snacks, photos, magazines and other items are all great distractors that can help keep your loved one calm during travel.

 

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