The holidays are high stress for most anyone, but adding travel to the mix can make things even more complicated. For the five million people in the U.S. living with Alzheimer’s and their families, enjoying holiday travel requires careful planning.
African Americans are at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Monica Moreno, Director of Early-Stage Initiatives for the Alzheimer’s Association, recently shared with BlackDoctor.org some of the Association’s easy tips to to help ensure a safe and smooth trip when traveling with a person living with dementia.
1. Stick with the familiar.
Travel to known destinations. Try to visit places that are familiar. “I recommend traveling to places that the person living with Alzheimer’s is familiar with as this can provide the most comfort and least anxiety. Also stick as close as possible to your loved one’s normal routine, like maintaining consistent eating and bed times.”
2. Be prepared.
Create an itinerary that includes details. Give copies to family members or friends. Keep a copy with you. “It’s very helpful to prepare a detailed itinerary that outlines all the logistics of the trip in one document. The itinerary should be shared with family and friends and include information about each destination, as well as emergency contacts. It’s also important to have on you copies of important legal documents and a bag of all essential medications in case there are unexpected delays or a sudden change in plans.”
3. Pick the right time.
Travel during the time of day that is best for the person with Alzheimer’s.“To help ensure a positive experience, try to avoid travel during peak hours when the level of activity can be distracting and overwhelming for the person living with dementia.”