How to Travel With Dementia

Traveling With Dementia

Part of dealing with dementia or dealing with someone you know or love who has dementia is adjusting to “normal” life activities. One aspect that people may not often think of is travel. Is it possible for individuals with dementia to travel alone? Are they able to care for themselves enough to get on an airplane or boat? Research shows that there is a shift in people’s perspective of how to deal with dementia. Instead of conversations that center around curing the disease, there is more of a focus on how to help people live a full life when they have been diagnosed with the disease. In this article, we will explore how to successfully travel with someone who has dementia.

Successfully Traveling With Dementia

Below are listed several habits to maintain when traveling with someone who has dementia.

  • Travel often (at least twice a year)
  • Plan ahead
  • Keep the same routine
  • Have a set itinerary
  • Discuss the trip often before leaving

Airport’s and Dementia

Traveling itself will present a multitude of challenges, but navigating the airport can be particularly difficult for someone with dementia. The airport presents its own unique set of challenges, it’s crowded, busy and can be very confusing for someone who gets lost easily. After checking in, security checkpoints are a place of stress for individuals who do not have dementia. One thing to remember is that dementia presents issues with cognitive and language abilities. Because the security checkpoint is a concentrated place of communication (that can be confusing) it can be particularly difficult for someone with dementia. One way to make this process more smooth is to have an airport employee assist the individual with dementia through the process of checking in, security, and making it to the gate. This will help the entire process run smoothly. Once you or your loved one has check in to the gate, make sure that the flight staff is aware of the person traveling with dementia. This can be helpful should anything else go wrong.

Dementia Travel Tips

Here are several other tips to keep in mind when traveling with someone who has dementia.

  1. Arrive to the airport well before the flight leaves.
  2. Make airport personnel aware that someone you are traveling with has dementia.
  3. Don’t have too many hand bags.
  4. Allow the person with dementia to go through security first.
  5. Try to find quiet, less busy areas to sit and wait.
  6. For longer trips, have more than one companion
  7. Use headphones once the flight has begun.
  8. Bring familiar snacks
  9. Communicate with the flight attendants

While traveling can be very fun, for someone who has dementia, it can be stressful. Make sure you are the most prepared before, during and after your travel time. Orchard at Brookhaven is here to help our residents and their families. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and approach, please contact us and schedule a visit.