Cypress HomeCare Solutions Hosts dementia expert, Jan Dougherty on the Health Futures Radio Show
Cypress HomeCare Solutions is home to Health Futures – Taking Stock in You Radio show, powered by Money Radio 1510AM and 105.3FM. Each week, the show provides listeners with expert advice on how to live a longer, healthier, and happier life.
On Friday, July 7, 2023, we had the pleasure of having Jan Dougherty, MS, RN, FAAN, a nurse leader, innovator, and noted dementia care expert on the show to discuss traveling with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
To listen to the full hour-long episode, click here.
Traveling Well with Dementia
Now, let’s focus on the topic at hand: traveling with dementia. Whether visiting family, attending special events, or exploring new places, travel can still be a part of life for individuals with dementia. With proper planning and support, it is possible to create meaningful and enjoyable travel experiences. Here are some essential tips to help you travel well with dementia:
Research your destination: Familiarize yourself with the layout of airports, hotels, and other travel-related facilities.
Inform your airline: Contact your airline in advance to learn about available accommodations and services for individuals with disabilities.
Utilize travel guides: Explore resources like “Travels with Dementia: Essential Tips to Enjoy the Journey” by Jan Doherty, available on Amazon, for comprehensive guidance on traveling with dementia.
Take Advantage of Support Programs
Dementia-Friendly Airports: Many airports, including Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, have implemented programs to support individuals with dementia. These programs offer services like the Compassion Cacti Lanyard, which signals to airport staff that you may require additional assistance and understanding.
TSA Cares: Familiarize yourself with the TSA Cares program, which provides support and assistance to travelers with disabilities and medical conditions during security screenings.
Manage Stress and Sensory Overload
Schedule rest periods: Plan breaks throughout the journey to prevent fatigue and reduce stress.
Seek quiet spaces: Airports can be overwhelming due to noise and crowds. Identify quiet areas or family restrooms where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle.
Communicate and Set Realistic Expectations
Discuss Travel Plans with Your Loved Ones: Openly communicate with family members and travel companions about the challenges and limitations associated with dementia. Establish realistic expectations for the trip to ensure a smooth experience for everyone involved.
Modify itineraries: Adjust the travel schedule to accommodate the individual’s needs. Consider the time of day when planning activities, and opt for less crowded or quieter periods.
Enjoy Meaningful Moments
Focus on Quality Time: Emphasize meaningful interactions and experiences during the trip, such as attending special family events or visiting cherished places.
Capture memories: Take photos and create mementos to preserve the moments, as individuals with dementia may have difficulty retaining memories.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Can individuals with dementia travel independently?
As the disease progresses, independent travel may become challenging. However, with the support of caregivers and travel companions, individuals with dementia can continue to travel and participate in family events. Planning trips carefully, communicating effectively, and adjusting expectations based on the person’s capabilities are crucial.
Q: What are some things I can do to make this trip more successful?
A: Capture memories
Take photos and create mementos to preserve the moments, as individuals with dementia may have difficulty retaining memories.
A: Focus on Quality Time
Emphasize meaningful interactions and experiences during the trip, such as attending special family events or visiting cherished places.
Overall, traveling with dementia requires careful planning and consideration, but it can still be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. By following the tips mentioned above and seeking support from dementia-friendly resources, individuals with dementia can stay connected with their loved ones and create lasting memories. If you are looking for additional advice you can always visit Jan’s website, https://trav-alz.com, where you can find resources, workshops, and tools to successfully travel with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Remember, Cypress HomeCare Services is here to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about caregiving or professional home care services. To learn more, visit our website at cypresshomecare.com or call (602) 264-8009.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are not necessarily reflective of the views of Cypress HomeCare Services or its affiliates. This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.