Your dad has Alzheimer’s. You want to take him to see his family or on a trip with you, but you’re not sure how easy it will be to travel with him. Is taking your dad on a trip a smart idea? Here are the things others recommend you consider.
Create a Travel Card.
Fill out an index card that contains information about your dad’s condition, medications, allergies, advance directives, insurance information, and contact information for family members. Get it laminated to protect against water damage. Make sure this card is in your dad’s wallet in case you get separated.
Get a Medical ID Bracelet or Pendant.
Register with the MedicAlert/Safe Return program. Your dad will have an ID bracelet or pendant that others can use to contact the agency if he’s found. That will help return him to you faster if he does wander off.
You Need to Have Help When Flying.
If you’re flying, you need someone to stay with your dad while you complete check-in procedures. If he comes to the airline counter with you, you’ll be distracted keeping an eye on him and trying to answer questions. It’s easier to make sure you’re not the only one traveling with your dad.
Make sure your dad’s medications are in a carry-on bag. Keep an eye on that bag. In the rush through security, he may forget he’s set his bag down and walk off without it.
Schedule flights for the times of day when your dad is less likely to be tired and cranky. If he’s an early morning person, aim for early morning flights. If sundowning is an issue, avoid flights that require him to go through checkpoints and gates when he’s at his worst.
You Should Carefully Consider Accommodations.
In a hotel, your dad may wake up and not recognize where he is. He could wander off while you’re sleeping. You might not be able to sleep and find yourself exhausted and desperate to get some sleep before you drive a car or leave your hotel room. Talk to the hotel in advance to see if they have rooms away from other guests or elevators that might distress your father.
If you’re staying with family members, you’ll have some help. There are still things to consider. Would your dad be able to leave the house without anyone hearing him? Are there noises that might make him feel agitated?
It May Be Time to Leave Him Home.
There will come a time that your dad cannot handle the stress of traveling. If you have to leave your dad while you take a trip, respite care from an elderly care agency helps. Caregivers will take care of your dad while you’re away.
If you or an aging family member are considering professional elderly care in Brookhaven, NY, please call the caring staff at A Gentle Touch Senior Home and Health Care at 631-647-7622 today.