Home Covid Nutrition Mental health Fitness Familly and pregnancy Sleep

Things to Know Before Traveling With A Family Member with Alzheimer's

Author Avatar
By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
Elderly woman in a plane alongside other passangers
Featured | Shuttterstock

Traveling with a loved one who has Alzheimer's can be a rewarding and enriching experience, but it does require thoughtful planning and preparation.

Here are some practical Alzheimer's travel tips to ensure a smooth journey for everyone involved.

Assess if Travel is Advisable 

Before embarking on your trip, it's essential to evaluate if traveling is suitable for your loved one.

People in the early stages of Alzheimer's might still enjoy new experiences, but those in the later stages could find travel overwhelming.


  • Consult with Their Doctor: Always check with the person's healthcare provider to see if they can travel. The doctor can give you an idea of what to expect and offer advice tailored to your loved one's condition.
  • Know Their Limits: Understand the stage of their illness and their ability to handle new environments. If they are prone to anxiety or confusion, it may be better to postpone or modify your travel plans.


Elderly woman in a wheelchair with alzheimer
Woman with alzheimer | Stephen HWG/Unsplash



Plan Around Their Routine

Maintaining a sense of normalcy is crucial for someone with Alzheimer's.

Small disruptions can cause significant stress, so try to stick to their daily routine as much as possible.


  • Choose the Right Time to Travel: Travel during times of the day when your loved one is usually calm and rested. For instance, if they are more relaxed in the morning, plan your journey to start then.
  • Avoid Over-Scheduling: Too many activities can lead to overstimulation, which might cause confusion or agitation. Instead of packing your itinerary with numerous attractions, focus on a few meaningful experiences and allow plenty of downtime.


Pack Smartly 

Packing the right items can make a huge difference in ensuring comfort and reducing stress for you and your loved one.


  • Essentials: Bring snacks, water, and activities like puzzles or favorite books to keep them occupied. Comfort items such as a blanket or a sweater can provide a sense of familiarity.
  • Health Documentation: Carry important health information, including a list of medications, medical history, and contact information for their doctor. This is crucial in an emergency.
  • Extra Clothes: Pack an extra set of comfortable clothes suitable for different weather conditions. This helps in keeping them comfortable throughout the journey.


Understand Security Procedures and Involve the Airline

Navigating through airports or train stations can be stressful for someone with Alzheimer's. Understanding security procedures and informing the airline can help ease this process.


  • Airport Security: Check in advance about the security screening procedures. Explain these procedures to your loved one to minimize anxiety. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assists travellers with dementia; contacting them at least 72 hours before your flight can be beneficial.
  • Inform the airline: Let the airline know about your loved one's condition. Providing them with this information can help ensure that the staff is prepared to assist you with any special needs or safety concerns.


Make Breaks a Priority

Regular breaks are essential to keep the journey comfortable and enjoyable.

  • Plan for Rest Stops: If you're traveling by car, plan for frequent breaks for food, bathroom visits, and rest. These breaks can help your loved one feel more at ease and reduce the chances of agitation.
  • Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adjust your plans if your loved one needs more rest or if unexpected issues arise. Having a flexible itinerary can significantly reduce stress for everyone involved.

Stay in the Comfort Zone

Familiarity can be incredibly comforting for someone with Alzheimer's. When planning your trip, try to include familiar elements.

  • Known Destinations: If possible, travel to places your loved one has been before. Familiar surroundings can reduce anxiety and make the experience more enjoyable.
  • Consistent Routine: Keep meal times, bedtimes, and other daily routines as consistent as possible. This consistency can help your loved one feel safe and comfortable.


Communicating with Others

Communication is key when travelling with someone who has Alzheimer's. Keeping everyone informed can provide a layer of safety and support. 

  • Notify Hotel Staff: If you're staying in a hotel, inform the staff about your loved one's condition. They can be more accommodating and prepared to assist with any special needs.
  • Share Your Itinerary: Provide a copy of your travel itinerary to friends, family, and anyone else you might visit. This ensures that someone always knows where you are and can help in case of an emergency.


Travelling with a family member who has Alzheimer's doesn't have to be daunting. With careful planning and consideration, you can create a memorable and enjoyable experience for both you and your loved one.

Remember, the key is to stay flexible, maintain routines, and always prioritize their comfort and safety. Safe travels!