5 Tips When Traveling with Someone Experiencing Dementia

old man with dementia

Although dementia is a condition that impairs someone’s ability to remember, think, or make decisions, it should not inhibit people who have it from traveling and enjoying life. Whether you’re traveling for leisure or to attend a family event, the condition should not inhibit your family member from attending.

Traveling may be a great way to go outside, enjoy the outdoors, and a way to relax and simply have fun, but dementia can attack unexpectedly. You should be ready with everything you need to prevent it, and the possibility that it might happen at one point on the trip. Here are some guidelines in traveling with someone who has it.

Keep Travel Time Short

One of the struggles of people with dementia is getting comfortable in a new environment. It is vital to keep travel time brief to keep their patience in check. Throughout the ride, they will probably ask many things, and all you can do is answer them and give them what they need. 

As you travel with them, you should also be patient about whatever might happen. It is best to limit the trip to less than four hours. If the trip takes longer than that, hire a caregiver for extra help. Come prepared with activities to keep them busy during transit.

Bring Medications and Documents

You’ll never know when an episode might strike, so you better come prepared. Bring essential medications and dosage and a list of things allowed and not allowed for the patient. Before going on the trip, prepare a list of things you will be doing and keep it handy. And make sure to take the schedule into consideration, especially if you’re traveling to a new timezone. 

If you’re flying on a plane, carry all these things with you and never leave them in the checked luggage. For safety reasons, have an identification tag, like a bracelet with all your loved one’s identification in case an emergency happens.

Try To Keep Surroundings Familiar and Maintain Routines

There is no way to make the destination resemble home, so prepare everyday items that you can pack for the trip. Anything that reminds them of home, such as blankets or pillows, should work. As long as they can hold something familiar, they should be fine. It also helps to keep their routines as similar as possible. Even if you’re in a new place, keeping track of their usual routines should help them feel less uneasy about the situation.


Battling dementia is challenging for the patients and their families. Keep in mind that there is hope as long as they’re living. Their sickness should not define what they cannot do. Instead, encourage them to live as if nothing is wrong or different about them. By going on trips, they get to experience what it’s like to be normal again. It might scare them at first, but assuring them should ease all their worries away. Again, dementia does not have to inhibit their chance at a happy life.

Bridge Home Health and Hospice is a trusted home assisted living company in California. 

We believe that patient care should extend to homes, which is why we’re here to provide these services to our clients. Contact us today and let us make things easier for you.