Once a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, life feels incredibly different. Things you may have at one time taken for granted aren’t as easy as they used to be. Even something as simple as traveling in the car with your loved can now be trickier than ever.
This can make life as a caregiver incredibly difficult and frustrating – emotions that often result in both guilt and burnout.
To make life easier on both you and your loved one with Alzheimer’s, here are some travel tips. Putting these tips into practice will take some of the stress off of you and make your journey with your loved one much more enjoyable.
Atlanta Senior Care Guide to Car Travel
Here are five tips that will make traveling easier for caretakers and patients.
1. Visit Places That Are Familiar
The first tip for people to know about traveling is whenever possible, loved ones should only be taken to familiar places. This disease causes a lot of anxiety. Being in a new city with all of its distractions and mental stimuli can feel overwhelming for an Alzheimer’s patient.
If it’s possible, take the patient on trips that will bring back happy memories – like their hometown or a favorite city. Rural trips can be nice, too, as they provide an opportunity to travel at a slower, more relaxed pace.
2. Bring Along the Patient’s Medications and Important Documents
It’s difficult to say what tomorrow will bring. Therefore, it’s important to plan as much as possible for what could go wrong. This includes packing all pertinent paperwork on a trip.
This paperwork will inform doctors, nurses, and others of you’re loved one’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, needs, condition, and what should be done if there’s an emergency.
Whenever traveling, always include:
- Emergency contact information (the caretakers, the individual’s primary care physician, and an emergency contact back home)
- A list of current medications, as well as the doses of those medications
- Food allergies
- Travel itinerary
- Insurance information.
And of course, make sure to pack their medications for the trip!
3. Have a Support System in Place at Your Destination
While traveling, though, many caregivers forget to put a support system into place at their destination. If you travel to an area with friends and family – that’s great!
However, this isn’t always the case. Ask friends if they know of anyone in the city you can get in touch with if you need support. Or, find an Alzheimer’s support group or home care services that can provide assistance while you’re visiting.
4. Allow for Plenty of Rest
Alzheimer’s and the anxiety it causes are extremely exhausting . Add traveling on top of those things and the exhaustion will get even worse. Rest is vital for both the caregiver and the loved one with dementia. Make sure to rest when anyone is feeling tired or overwhelmed. Try not to be in a hurry.
5. Make Sure Your Loved One Is Wearing an ID Bracelet
One of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is wandering. You’ll obviously do all you can to prevent this from happening. But just in case it does, make sure your loved one is wearing an ID bracelet. These bracelets will provide the name of the patient, emergency contact information, and notification that the patient has Alzheimer’s. We recommend having these bracelets on at all times – even when not traveling.
In-Home Care Providers Can Make Caretakers’ Lives Easier
As our loved ones age, we want to spend as much time as possible with them. Even when our loved one is struggling with a disease like dementia or Alzheimer’s, we want to do all we can to help them remember the great times they had. Traveling can help stir old memories and emotions.
But with dementia, traveling isn’t always easy. Follow the tips provided and get extra assistance from your home care services team. With a little extra help and some practical planning, your time in the car with your loved one can be a beautiful experience.
Do you need assistance caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s? Please contact us to find out how we can help. Together, we can ease your stress and provide your loved one with optimal care.