Mom has Alzheimer’s, but you know she’d love to spend time with the family over the holidays. You’ve carefully planned the travel: you’re traveling less than four hours away, during the hours of the day when she is at her best, and you’ve incorporated lots of down time. Now it’s time to pack.
Here are the 6 things you must bring when traveling with someone with Alzheimer’s:
1. A laminated card explaining their condition
Keep this card with you, and show it right away — before there are any problems — to everyone you will be dealing with while traveling. This includes the TSA workers at the airport and the registration desk personnel at the hotel. This way they will know, discreetly, that you and Mom require special attention.
2. A location device
If Mom has a tendency to wander, it might be a good idea to purchase a location device specially made for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Check this list on alzheimers.net for suggested devices.
3. Extra medications
Especially during the holidays, your trip might be delayed. The last thing you need is to run out of medicine if you need to spend another night on the road.
4. All documentation that might be required
- A full list of all Mom’s medications and allergies
- Contact information for all of her doctors
- Emergency contact information
- Insurance cards
- Power of Attorney document
- Healthcare Proxy document
- Advance Directives document
Hopefully, you won’t need them. But if something unexpected happens, and you do need them, it will make things much easier if you have them with you.
It’s also worth taking photographs of each document, as well as keeping them on your phone, just in case this packet of information gets lost.
5. Detailed copies of your itinerary
This includes where you are going and where you will be staying.
If traveling by plane or train, it should also include all flight or train information.
Send copies to all emergency contacts, and keep a copy in Mom’s pocket, as well as a copy for yourself.
6. Comfort items
Many people with Alzheimer’s feel less anxious if they have certain familiar items with them. These might include a favorite snack or their own pillow and blanket. If loud noises scare Mom, bring noise canceling headphones.
Well-planned holiday travel can be a wonderful experience to share with Mom. However, is important to recognize when it is no longer possible. If Mom’s Alzheimer’s has progressed to the point where she cannot travel — or even stay safely at home — it would be wise to consider a high-quality Memory Care program, such as Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ.
We are experts in handling all levels of cognitive impairment, from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
We have created a unique environment and care program specifically designed to address the needs of this population. Our Alzheimer’s Unit is situated in a separate, secure wing to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents. It offers a structured daily routine, mind-stimulating activities, excellent social interaction, with optimal patient independence in a calm and soothing atmosphere.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.