Taking your loved one who exhibits memory loss symptoms on a journey can have numerous positive effects on their overall health. It helps them reconnect with their surroundings and brings a new opportunity for happy memories. Venturing out into a safe environment can help them get their healthy dose of vitamin D and stimulate their working memory, and bone and heart health. It also encourages them to bond with others and aids in keeping loneliness at bay. You can follow these tips to make your travels as smooth for your loved one with memory impairment as possible:
- Planning and strategising: It is the key to making the vacation a success. The first important task is to settle on a place that does not require extensive, long journeys. For example, keep it close to home, like a two hours drive or an hour of a direct flight. The patients usually find the change of pace, environment, and people exhausting and disturbing to their routine. The caregiver should keep in mind the possible emergency scenarios that can occur and plan an itinerary based on that.
- Essential documents and reservations: Carry a copy of essential medical and identification documents digitally, as well as printed. You could make use of an identification bracelet with all your contact information, place of stay, medical memory care requirements and conditions for your loved one. This way they have all the important details of the trip with them, even if they may not recollect them.Always make reservations for hotels, guided tours and airlines well in advance. Request additional support from them keeping in mind the patient’s needs depending upon the types of memory loss they experience. Do not be upset if they are not ready to accommodate; you can always find alternatives.
- Bring comfort items on the trip: As there is a change of environment and pace, always remember to bring an item that is familiar and can calm your loved ones when agitated. It can be a blanket, headphones, personal pillow, hygiene products, or anything they use daily or find solace in.
- Maintaining their routine: People who have Alzheimer’s, or other types of memory ailments, work well with routine in their daily life. Try to keep it intact even on vacation, as they must deal with many changes while on tour. Maintaining their bed timing and ordering regular meals at their favourite restaurants can go a long way in calming their emotions.
- A caregiver backup: Assign another caregiver to be on the job while on vacation to ensure your loved ones are taken care of all the time. Do not depend on flight or hotel attendants, staff or other tourists to care for the patient, even for a short time.
- Activity and itinerary: It is best not to travel during the peak season to avoid vast crowds, long queues etc. It can lead to a confused and agitated loved one. Be aware and research the places you plan to visit, like noise levels, alternate destinations, memory care nursing homes nearby, peak hours, available facilities, etc. Avoid any activity on arrival and avoid overcrowding your itinerary with tours and sightseeing.
- Be flexible with expectations: Just because you find the place to be fascinating does not necessarily mean your loved one would. Be calm and patient with them to see the excitement in the journey. The caregiver should know the right time to inform them about the trip and avoid springing it on them as a surprise or informing them earlier than necessary, it can make them anxious.
If you’re looking for end-to-end security when your beloved senior is travelling in India, the Emoha app can be of assistance. With this app, you get access to 24/7 emergency support for non-medical & medical emergencies alike that can be availed within seconds. Additionally, you also get exclusive benefits like travel booking assistance, special discounts on travel & medicines, a 24/7 daily convenience desk and much more. Download the app from Google Playstore or IOS App Store.
With little patience and flexibility, you and your loved one with memory loss can make many beautiful memories on this journey. Do not forget to take a lot of videos and photos with smiles and joy. Happy travelling!
What are the leading causes of memory loss?
There can be a lot of reasons for memory loss – like cancer treatment, vitamin B deficiency, Age-related disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia, sleep deprivation etc.
Can memory loss be cured?
While there is no cure for some times of memory loss that is caused by Alzheimer’s and dementia, it mainly depends on the cause of the memory loss.
Can you take a person with dementia on vacation?
It is possible to travel with a person suffering from memory loss. However, planning and flexibility are required to make it happen.
Can people with memory loss go on a plane?
It is best to travel with an experienced travel nurse who can take care of the patient in case of any emergency. Contact the airlines to know their policies and possibilities to ensure things go smoothly.
Which is the best place to vacation for someone with dementia?
It is always best to plan short trips from home where the travel time is limited. Always plan and book flexible tour packages well in advance, along with all the details of the patient and their particular needs.