Planning on travelling with your loved one with dementia this long weekend? Whether it's a short trip or a long trip, we are sharing some tips on how to make it the most comfortable experience for everyone.
It is important to remain patient during your trip or tensions might be high during your trip. Give yourself extra time whether you are driving or flying. Giving yourself more time to get to where you need to be will reduce stress and keep everyone in a better mood as there is not as much of a rush to get there on time.
If you notice that you or your loved one is becoming stressed, recognize this and practice coping methods to reduce this stress. Taking a few deep breaths or pausing for a minute or so will help to feel refreshed and a bit calmer. Perhaps listen to your favourite music for a bit and boost your mood.
Go with the Flow
This is much easier said than done. If things aren't going quite your way, take a deep breath and let things happen how they might continue to happen. Try to maintain composure if the trip might not be going your way and keep your focus on keeping your loved one with dementia relaxed and comfortable. Becoming frustrated and short will only worsen the situation and make a person with dementia feel that much worse. Brush it off, laugh it off, and make the most out of your trip.
Stay Organized and Be Prepared
Preparing for the trip is of utmost importance to have a trip go smoothly. Think of the unthinkable and ensure everything is organized prior to leaving. Be prepared and pack activities to do, such as a Marlena Book, music, word games, or anything that might bring your loved one comfort. Pack some snacks and drinks for the journey. Ensure to have medications, an extra change of clothes, and any other health related items easily accessible.
Continue to check in on your loved one, are they thirsty? Hungry? In need of a restroom break? Check in and ensure their comfort. This will lead to a better trip and might help reduce any negative experiences.
Ensure to stay together and do not separate too far from one another. Places that are unfamiliar to persons with dementia might cause frustration and be overwhelming. Having a familiar person alongside them for the journey will help them feel relaxed and comforted.
If you are flying, there are some important things to remember. If walking might be challenging, arrange for a wheelchair on the flight and have an attendant assist you and your loved one on and off the plane. Keep all important documents with you and easy to access to reduce the stress of losing items. Arrange a flight that will be comfortable for a person with dementia, whether that be at a good time of day for them, no layovers, or extra leg room, there are many considerations to be made before flying to ensure comfort. Speak to a travel agent prior and disclose their dementia journey to review options that might be available to make for an even better trip.
Have Fun and Create Memories
Whether the trip doesn't go the way you planned, the importance is the journey. Have fun spending time together and creating memories you might not have if you stayed home. Time goes by fast, so don't get caught up in the minimal things, but look at the bigger picture and enjoy the moment. Once you reach the destination, relax! You've made it! Have fun and enjoy vacation together!
Do you have any tips or tricks for travelling? Share with us in the comments below!