Thursday, July 20, 2023
As the sun smiles brightly, beckoning us to embark on summer adventures, it's a wonderful time for families and friends to come together and create cherished memories. For seniors with dementia, traveling during the summer can still be a joyous experience with careful planning and consideration. Their safety and comfort is important while embracing the spirit of adventure.
Here are 7 travel tips for seniors with early stages of dementia
Plan with Familiarity in Mind
When planning a summer trip, opt for familiar destinations or places that hold cherished memories. Visiting a place with sentimental value can evoke positive emotions and feelings of comfort. Consider returning to a beloved childhood hometown or family cottage.
Create a Detailed Itinerary
Crafting a well-structured itinerary helps maintain a sense of routine and predictability for seniors with dementia. Plan activities during their most alert and content times of day, and avoid overly stimulating or tiring activities. Keep the pace leisurely and allow for plenty of breaks to rest and recharge.
Embrace the Power of Music and Familiar Routines
Music can be incredibly soothing and therapeutic for seniors with dementia. Create a playlist of their favorite songs and play it during travel or leisure times. Stick to familiar routines as much as possible to provide a sense of stability and reassurance.
Choose Senior-Friendly Accommodations
Select accommodations that prioritize safety and comfort. Seek out hotels or vacation rentals with well-lit hallways, grab bars in bathrooms, and wheelchair accessibility if required. Inform the hotel staff about your loved one's condition so they can offer any necessary support.
Utilize Travel Aids
Consider using travel aids that can enhance the journey's ease and enjoyment. If flying, arrange for wheelchair assistance at airports. Use luggage with bright and distinctive tags to make identifying bags easier. Carry a GPS tracker or a discreet identification bracelet with your contact information.
Be Mindful of Sun Exposure
While enjoying outdoor activities, be vigilant about protecting your loved one from the sun. Apply sunscreen generously, wear sun hats and sunglasses, and take breaks in shaded areas. Consider scheduling outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day.
Consult healthcare professional
Always consult with healthcare professionals before planning any travel with seniors who have dementia. Each individual's condition is unique, and personalized recommendations may be necessary.
Traveling with a senior who has dementia requires extra planning and attention, but with the right preparations, it can be a rewarding and heartwarming experience. By choosing familiar destinations and creating a detailed itinerary, you can ensure your loved one's safety and comfort. Embrace the journey with love, patience, and understanding, and cherish the precious moments spent together during this summer's adventures.
Please share your tips in the comments below!
Lissette Mairena Wong
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