Alzheimer’s and the Holidays – Travel Tips

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Published Friday, December 15, 2017

Holiday travel tips for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias

Traveling over the holiday season is stressful enough under ideal circumstances, but for 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's (including 69,000 in Colorado) and their families, this can be a particularly challenging time.

While the symptoms of this progressive brain disease can sometimes make travel more difficult, it doesn't mean families can't travel with a loved one with dementia and participate in holiday festivities.

The Alzheimer's Association of Colorado offers a number of easy tips to help ensure a safe and smooth trip when traveling with a person living with dementia. More tips and information are also available at alz.org/travel:

  • Stick with the familiar. Travel to known destinations. Try to visit places that are familiar.
  • Be prepared. Create an itinerary that includes details. Give copies to family members or friends. Keep a copy with you.
  • Pick the right time. Travel during the time of day that is best for the person with Alzheimer's.
  • Avoid layovers. If unavoidable, ask about airport escort services.
  • Ask for help. For example, request airline personnel to help you navigate through the airport.
  • Ensure a Safe Return. Changes in environment can trigger wandering. Enroll in MedicAlert(r) + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return(r).
  • Find local support. Before you go, contact the Alzheimer's Association chapter at your destination.

Help for anyone living with Alzheimer's or their caregivers is available around the clock through the free Alzheimer's Association 24/7 bilingual Helpline at 800-272-3900 for more information. The Helpline is staffed by trained professionals and offered at no charge to Colorado families.