Some assisted living facilities in Chicago offer tips for traveling with an Alzheimer patient or loved one with dementia. Make your loved one comfortable and keep things calm amid your hectic holiday schedule- that likely includes travel. As the holidays approach, traveling may be necessary to visit family or friends away from home. When bringing your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, make some accommodations and prepare to ensure everyone’s comfort during this festive time of year. If you need additional caregiver support, visit Senior Living Experts for a comprehensive list of resources in your region.
assisted living facilities in the area know the obstacles and hurdles to smooth-travel during the holidays- and anytime. Take advantage of their experience in caregiving for those with dementia and use their recommended strategies for a joyous journey:
Make sure to always carry medical records and medications with you; don’t trust them to checked-luggage or leave them behind. Also, buy an ID bracelet for your senior and make them wear it; have it inscribed with their name and contact information in the event they wander or become separated from you. Don’t rely on a drug store, pharmacy, or grocery on the road- instead, stock up before leaving home with the items your loved one needs and enjoys, such as snacks, drinks, bottled water, and hygiene products.
Keep travel at no more than four hours before stopping. Take frequent, lengthy breaks if possible. Also, try to keep visits with family or friends brief and frequent, and don’t plan too much. Take your time and try to maintain a calm, laid-back attitude. It may be best to keep seniors with advanced dementia symptoms closer to home, in familiar surroundings, and near trusted providers in the event of an emergency or crisis.
Plan-ahead and take time to explain to your loved one about the journey and reiterate as needed to avoid anxiety later. If you are planning on visiting family or dear friends, let them know that your senior struggles at times with dementia, in the event you need to change plans or shorten visits. Keep communication open, honest, and use humor in situations that may seem awkward or uncomfortable for anyone. Remember to enjoy spending this time with your senior and that they cannot help exhibiting symptoms associated with their condition, whether it be forgetfulness or aphasia during conversations.
Remember to give your loved one with dementia some space during travel and trips away from home. Provide privacy and a place to decompress after busy days on the road; opt for a quiet hotel rather than the hectic home of a friend, for instance. Don’t leave your loved one unassisted in unfamiliar surroundings, however, as it can be disorienting to those with dementia symptoms. It may make sense to assign a buddy to your loved one to keep an eye and lend a hand as needed during the journey.
Bring some familiar items to distract and calm an anxious senior during travel; carry snacks, water, and any other items that will make your senior comfortable during the journey. It may also be helpful to bring some things that can help to ground and orient your senior, such as old photos, books, or plush toys. These items will be recognizable to your loved one and can provide some comfort during times of stress or anxiety.
It is critical to take care of yourself when caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, especially during travel or on trips. It can help to make sure that you are your best self with adequate rest, good nutrition, and a clear head. Choose not to over-imbibe in holiday cheer when traveling with your loved one or caregiving for someone with dementia. Enlist the help of others traveling along in caregiving and assisting your loved one during events, family gatherings, or visits. This will give you some time to rest and recharge during a busy schedule and many responsibilities.
Use these tips to keep your journey safe and enjoyable- for all. Use the expertise of Chicago’s finest assisted living facilities to create a calm and comfortable environment for your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, which equates to less stress and fewer symptoms during the trip.If you are looking for a practitioner to help your loved one with dementia, visit Senior Living Experts online resource to find providers and supports in the area. Enjoy traveling this holiday season with your senior, and use these tips to create fond memories for later.