Taking a trip with a dementia patient requires extra planning

Jasmine Phu

April 6, 2011

As the snow finally melts in many parts of the country, retirees are choosing to fly back to their summer homes or move to an even sunnier locale. Some older adults may have to take special care to accommodate the needs of a loved one with dementia, which means that extra planning is a necessity.

The News-Press reports that it all starts with a strategy. Start by planning all of the basic needs – particularly those that may prove to be obstacles on the journey. Caregivers should make sure that there’s no possibility a dementia patient could become confused or lost.

When it comes to airport bathrooms, try to find a handicapped or family space that allows more than one person into the area at a time. For car trips, caregivers should try to to get another family member or friend to accompany them. The extra pair of hands can be critical when a patient needs assistance or a caregiver needs a break.

After finally reaching the destination, families may want to consider installing a medical alert system at home. These medical alert systems can enable users to instantly request assistance through a medical alarm, which helps ensure a dementia patient’s safety.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.4 million Americans suffer from the condition and, as the baby boomer generation ages, this number will grow.

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