At Legacy House in Park Lane, our senior living services include a detailed and well-maintained memory care program. Seniors who struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or any other form of memory loss will always be comfortable and safe in our community, with increased care and special monitoring from well-trained staff.
What about loved ones who want to take seniors on trips outside our senior living center, or caregivers for seniors who have not yet moved into one of our facilities? Some mistakenly assume that traveling and getaways are not possible given the risks involved, from disrupting routines to agitating your loved one, but in reality, it’s easily possible to have a fun trip with someone who has a memory loss condition. Here are some basic tips we can offer.
For starters, begin planning your trip well in advance. Think carefully about the places you choose to go – seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia can become agitated by certain kinds of environments, particularly those they’ve never been to. Even if they don’t remember it directly, taking them to somewhere they’ve been before is often a more comfortable place to start.
In addition, think about some of the logistical elements of the trip. Consider the best times of day for your loved one to travel so you don’t disrupt their routine too badly, and also think about which kinds of transportation they’ll be okay with. Cars are generally preferable to airplanes or other forms of public transit, as they provide less stress and a more contained environment.
Whether you’re going on a day trip or a longer vacation, always be prepared. Make sure you have a copy of your loved one’s health file with you, including a medication list and multiple points of contact in case of emergency. Also consider packing items your loved one can engage with if the trip will be long, such as a sewing project or a deck of cards.
Particularly if you have a loved one who has been known to wander off in public, or even if you’re just traveling a long distance and want to be safe, consider a discreet GPS option that will help you track their location if they get lost. These are often found in simple watches or bracelets. You may go a dozen trips without needing GPS even once, but the moment you do need it, you’ll be glad you had it.
If you’re using public transportation for a long trip, such as an airport, know that staff are on hand to assist you and your loved one if needed. You can even call the airline in advance to arrange for anything you need, such as a wheelchair or early boarding so your loved one has time to settle in.
The same goes for hotels or other rooming accommodations, too. Call ahead to your lodging booking and speak to the manager about any resources they can provide you to make your stay simpler, from a handicap room to other considerations.
For more on travel tips for seniors with memory loss issues, or to learn about any of our assisted living services, contact the caregivers at Legacy House in Park Lane today.