Holiday Traveling with a Dementia or Alzheimer’s Patient


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By: Shawn Turcotte

Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Edmonton, CPCA

Family traveling with grandfatherWith the holiday season comes additional travel to see family or just to go someplace warm. It can be a joyous time full of laughter, fun, and adventure. Traveling does have its own set of challenges, and when you travel during the holiday season, it can become very stressful. Adding the extra responsibilities of taking a trip with someone in the family who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease quickly adds a whole new level of problems to work through. To compound the issue, airlines and airports are not the easiest to navigate when you are solo, let alone when you want to take your elderly family member with you.

Part of efficient senior care is maintaining routines. That is not always possible when you take a trip away from home. However, with a little bit of preparation, you can ease some of your frustration and keep your aging parent calm during the stress of holiday travel.

Tips to Ease Travel with Your Loved One Suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s

At Home Instead Senior Care, we provide elder care that helps patients remain independent and in their own homes. Life does not have to stop because of growing old and having health issues. If you are traveling by air with a senior that requires dementia or Alzheimer’s care, these tips can help you have a smoother trip:

  1. Arrive at the airport early. A lot is going on in an airport, including having to go through security. When you arrive early, you can avoid any unnecessary stress of rushing through the airport.
  2. Let your senior companion go first through security. They may need your assistance to understand and know what is expected. You can help them better handle the transition through security checks if you are on the same side of the gate.
  3. Give your senior a copy of your name and phone number to carry. With all the confusion that can occur in an airport, this tip can be a lifesaver if you get separated.
  4. Carry a photograph of your loved one. If you get separated, it will be easier to get help looking for your loved one if you can show a picture.
  5. Speak with the airport and airline staff. Clearly explain the situation and what your elderly parent is capable of understanding and complying with.
  6. Find quiet spaces to unwind. Seek out those quiet areas that let your senior calm down and relax. If you cannot find a designated quiet room, ask for a prayer room.
  7. Think light when traveling. Keep your luggage to a minimum, so you are easily able to stay within touching distance and provide care to your loved one.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s does not have to stop you and your family from holiday travel. Use these tips to keep your family safe and excited for their next adventure. Home Instead Senior Care serves families with loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia with the right respite care and support. Our caregivers are highly trained and ready to help your family enjoy what can otherwise be a stressful and exhausting time.

Call us at (780) 439-9990 to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care we deliver each day to families in our community.


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