Traveling is both exhilarating and exhausting, regardless of destination. If you want to bring a loved one on vacation who is either in dementia care or a memory care facility, there are a few steps to keep in mind.
The first move is to be sure all of your loved one's medical needs are met. Before making any travel plans, check that his or her doctor is comfortable with the trip and ask for any advice or medical information that could help along the way. It's essential to pack necessary medications for the duration plus extra, based on advice from Barbard Resnick, president of the American Geriatric Society, as quoted in the New York Times. It's also helpful to keep medications in their original labeled bottle in case of emergency. That way, the name and dose of the drug are readily available to share with a doctor. It's a good idea to research clinics or hospitals near your destination for an added feeling of security and preparedness.
The trip should be planned and structured with consideration to accommodations your loved one may need. This includes travel assistance, dietary needs, and scheduled breaks to unwind. Be sure to schedule meals, medication and relaxation for similar times each day to keep stress and anxiety levels down for your loved one.
The Family Caregiver Alliance suggests giving your loved one a form of identification that lists his or her name with your cell phone number in case you become separated. In the same vein, carry a picture of your loved one so others could help identify them. Try to pack lightly so you aren't burdened with large bags and keep a small bag with the most important items nearby. This carry-on should include medication, snacks and any documents that may be integral to safety, such as passport photocopies and emergency contact numbers.