7 tips for easier air travel with dementia

Plan ahead for a smoother, more pleasant airport and flying experience.

Many Alzheimer’s patients enjoy travelling, but as the disease progresses, patients (and caregivers!) will find it increasingly difficult. These tips will help make your next air travel experience less stressful

7 TIPS FOR EASIER AIR TRAVEL

by YUKI HAYASHI   This article is a re-post from Alzlive.com.

1 BOOK A NON-PEAK, NON-STOP FLIGHT

Avoid crowded airports, overbooked flights, flight delays, and crazy lineups by aiming for off-peak travel: Monday afternoon through Thursday morning. And book a direct flight if you can: it eliminates the hassle of navigating another airport.

2 CAN’T GET A DIRECT FLIGHTCHOOSE A LONGER STOPOVER

Waiting can be frustrating, but it’s better than missing your connecting flight! Flight delays and long treks between boarding gates conspire to make tight connections a bad idea.

3 ALERT THE AIRLINE OF YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS…

when you book, or within 48 hours of departure. Request a wheelchair (it’s free) even if it isn’t technically necessary. The perks: your own airport escort, faster security screening, eligibility for pre-boarding, all of which make for a better experience for Alzheimer’s patients.

4 HAVE THE NUMBER FOR AIRPORT MEDICAL SERVICES HANDY

Google the contact info for the Airport Medical Services at both airports and program them in your phone or jot them down on a reference card in case of an urgent matter (that’s not quite 911-worthy).

5 MAKE A DETAILED ITINERARY

Include flight dates, times and numbers, lodging details, and any planned activities. Give copies to emergency contacts back home, and take a copy in your purse or carry-on.

6 PACK EVERYTHING YOU NEED IN YOUR CARRY-ON (NOT CHECKED BAGGAGE)

• Detailed travel itinerary

• ID and legal documents (power of attorney, living will, insurance information etc)

• Medications (Make a list with doctor contact info)

• Emergency contacts,

• Water, non-perishable snacks, activities/books

• Plastic bag and change of clothes for your traveling companion

7 DON’T BE SHY.

Tell airport employees, security/immigration screeners, and flight staff that your travelling companion has Alzheimer’s/dementia, to improve understanding.

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One thought on “7 tips for easier air travel with dementia

  1. Very good tips. I think though that traveling for people with dementia and Alzheimer, indeed with any physical or mental impairment can be stressful, but on the other hand maybe may stimulating. It depends on the condition of the person and the type of journey.

    Like

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