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Traveling With a Person Who Has Alzheimerís
By Joyce Simard
Being a caregiver doesnít mean you have to give up lifeís
pleasures. You can still enjoy traveling with someone who is in the early
stages of Alzheimerís disease; it simply requires planning well in
advance. Safety should be the number one consideration in traveling with a
person with Alzheimerís. Wandering and becoming anxious may be more
likely because youíre leaving the familiar routine and environment.
The first thing to do is call your local Alzheimerís Association and
register with their Safe Return Program or Wandererís Program. Both are
moderately priced. The entire registration process should be completed
before leaving for your vacation. It is also important to remember to
never leave your loved-one alone during the trip because they are more
likely to wander in an unfamiliar environment. If a situation does present
itself, have a crisis plan ready and donít be hesitant to seek
assistance from local authorities or emergency services.
When preparing for bedtime during a hotel stay, secure the hotel
During your trip, maintain a daily routine as much as possible. This
will help lessen confusion.
Wake up at the same time each morning and go to bed at the same time
Keep regular meal times.
Have comfort items such as pillows, snacks and water readily
available when you travel. This includes any kind of transportation
including bus, train, car or airplane.
If you feel travel will be too difficult with your loved-one consider
respite care at an assisted living facility. Many facilities offer this
form of short-term care. A great way to approach respite care with your
loved-one is to tell them they are going on vacation too. Respite care
will provide quality care and meaningful activities, which will make their
stay very enjoyable and safe, just as a vacation should be. You can even
call the facility frequently while on your trip to make sure everything is
Keep in mind that taking a break from your care giving responsibilities
can be vital for your own mental and physical health. In the end, itís a
tremendous benefit to both caregiver and care recipient. Bon voyage!