Traveling with a parent who has dementia is tricky. Being fidgety is par for the course with diseases like Alzheimer’s. Some cannot process information quickly, which can raise suspicion with security. The rushed atmosphere may be overwhelming to your dad.
Here are tips for making air travel easier when you’re taking a flight.
Call the Airline
Let the airline know when you book the flight or soon after that your dad has dementia. Many airlines have special procedures in place that help you check-in and provide special assistance. Agents help people with cognitive impairments get on and off planes safely. They can also offer help getting to a connecting flight. Each airline is different, so call as early as possible to see what they can do to help.
Keep Medications and Emergency Information in Carry-on Baggage or a Purse
If luggage is lost, you don’t want to have important documents and prescription medications also go missing. Keep medications in your carry-on bags or in a purse. Keep any paperwork from the doctor in the same location. If airport security or the airline check-in agent wants to see the paperwork that says your dad is okay to fly, you need to have it readily available.
Avoid Multiple Connections and Carefully Plan Layovers
Try to limit the number of connecting flights. If a flight is in one arrival terminal and the connecting flight is on the opposite side of the airport, the rush to get from one location to the next can overwhelm someone with dementia. Try to make layovers long enough that you do not have to run to catch the next flight. Leave time to allow for delayed flights, too.
Make Sure Dad Wears an ID Bracelet
If something happens to you or your dad does get separated, make sure that he has an ID bracelet on his wrist or a pendant around his neck. Make sure it states that he has dementia, especially the type of dementia, and give contact information for yourself and others who are in the area and can get to the airport quickly.
Limit Travel Time
Try to keep trips to a few hours. If you do have to stop in another city, consider booking a hotel for an overnight before the next leg of the flight. You can also sign up for airline perks that allow you to rest in the airline’s lounge. Your dad may need to take a break, especially if he gets stressed easily.
When you’re not traveling, make sure you’re scheduling time by yourself. Between work, your children, and care for your dad, life gets stressful. Home care professionals can take some of the load off your shoulders. Let the home care aide prepare your dad’s meals and take him shopping. A home care provider can also help with housework, keep him company, and join him on walks. Learn more about dementia care by calling our home care agency today.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Henrietta NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.
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