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How to Travel with Someone who had Dementia [5 tips]

Uncategorized Jul 05, 2022

Hey there Careblazer! Are you thinking about traveling?


Traveling can be fun and energizing for a lot of people and other times it is simply a necessity but I have heard so many Careblazers say that they cannot travel or are fearful of traveling with their LOWD. Planning when traveling can be very important but when it comes to traveling with your LOWD the need to plan becomes even more noticeable.  Planning is important for both you and your loved one: it can help reduce overall stress associated with travel and it can also help reduce the likelihood of creating frustrating situations for your LOWD. Today, I want to share with you my top 5 tips for preparing to travel. 


If you would rather watch a video on this topic, click here. 


Several years ago I did a video on things to consider when thinking about traveling with your LOWD. Head over to that video for discussion of how to make sure you are being realistic or have your mind right for travel, how to find out if traveling with you LOWD is a good idea, and how to decide the best type of travel and how to get there. You can find the link to that video here: Dementia Travel Tips: Make your next trip as smooth as possible


Ok let’s jump in. 


Prior to leaving for your trip make sure you have considered the following things in your packing and your hotel arrangements: 

  1. Maintain familiarity: Are there items you can take with you that will remind your LOWD of home? Is there a specific pillow, picture, or blanket you could bring? Do you have various things in the house labeled such as the bathroom and bedroom doors? If so, bring those signs with you. Even if you don’t use signs at home, if your LOWD’s vision will allow for them to see signs, this can be helpful as new environments can be confusing. Similarly try to maintain your routine as much as possible. If there are certain activities your LOWD does daily or certain times they eat or use the bathroom, try to stick with those routines. 
  2. Pack food: while food will likely be available where you are going, remember that familiarity is important. Bring favorite foods and snacks. Consider if your LOWD benefits from using certain silverware or dishes. Would it be beneficial to bring a dignity bib?
  3. Consider incontinence concerns and bathing. Have a change of clothes readily accessible and have a bag prepared to store soiled clothing. Bring wet wipes and any other incontinence products you would typically use at home. If you LOWD require a shower chair or uses a handheld shower head, consider calling the hotel you are staying at to determine if they have a handicap accessible room. Many hotels have accommodations such as shower chairs, grab bars, shower mats, and handheld shower heads that they can provide.  
  4. Prepare for medical problems: Prior to traveling, speak with your LOWD’s provider and see what concerns, if any, they may have about your LOWD traveling. See if they have any suggestions specific to your LOWD’s medical conditions. Bring your LOWD’s medical information, medication list, and provider’s names and phone numbers. If you chose to create a medical binder, that information will all be easily stored and travel ready. If you need more information on how to create a medical binder, I have put the link to that video here. Bring all and extra medications in the event that the trip takes longer than expected.
  5. Consider safety: Are there aspects of the travel or destination that you can prepare ahead for to improve safety? Would it be beneficial to bring a nightlight to help your LOWD see at night? Ensure your LOWD has an ID bracelet or consider labeling their clothing. Consider what exits there are from the hotel. You may want to consider a location where there is only one main entrance/exit and consider alerting the front desk staff to contact you if they see your LOWD without you. 


Ok Careblazer, that is all for today. Let me know in the comments below, what tips/tricks to you have for traveling!


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