Travelling can still be enjoyable for seniors with dementia, especially in the early stages. If you are a senior caregiver, you could probably use a change in scenery. But before you hit the road, below are some tips to keep in mind if you are travelling by car with your mom and/or dad or another loved one with dementia.
- Include Your Loved One in Making the Travel Plans
Perhaps there is somewhere that gives your loved one fond memories that he/she would like to visit. Be sure to discuss the plans and you can even give your loved one a copy of the itinerary.
- Consider Bringing Another Travelling Companion
Another travelling companion can attend to your loved one’s needs so that you can remain focused on driving. You won’t enjoy your destination if you don’t arrive safely.
- Let Others Know What to Expect and How They Can Help You
If you are going to visit family or friends, it is a good idea to advise them of any changes in your loved one’s mental state. Let them know what to expect and how they can help you. This will ward off any shock that can come if they are caught off guard.
- Talk to Hotels in Advance About Your Needs
If you are staying at a hotel, talk to them about your needs and any potential difficulties. Have them inform you if they see your loved one walking around the hotel without you. You may even speak with them discreetly to avoid upsetting your loved one.
- Bring Important Documents
Be sure to carry, and have your loved one carry, identification and copies of important documents, such as doctor’s information, current medications, insurance information and food and drug allergies.
- Consider Respite Care
Respite care is short term care for a senior, whether in a community or at home. Care is provided on a temporary basis while a caretaker is on vacation or indisposed due to surgery or illness. If you can’t take your loved one travelling with you, or if they can’t go, then consider respite (temporary) care.
Make sure not to worry so much about problems because you want to enjoy yourself. May there be happy travels and many more trips to come!