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Holiday Tips

Posted on May 17, 2012 by admin There have been 0 comments

Going on holiday should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience; a carefully planned holiday can be enjoyable for people with dementia and their loved ones, offering new experiences and a break from routine. The extent to which a person's dementia affects their daily life will also determine the type of holiday that is most suitable.

Here are a few tips that might help

You must be realistic. Carefully assess what the person’s limitations and strengths are and shape the holiday accordingly. Also be realistic about your own limitations and strengths--can you handle the person if he or she becomes agitated, wanders or is unable to sleep?

If the person's dementia is mild, you may want to go on a package holiday where everything is arranged on your behalf. If you choose this option, talk to the travel agency and tour operator prior to booking. Make sure that they are aware of your requirements, and that all the support you need will be in place.

Plan your itinerary well in advance. If you are considering paying a visit to friends or relatives, or if a number of you are going away together, discuss the situation and how each person can help. Make them aware of what dementia is and what the symptoms can look like. Minimize time spent with large groups, noisy places or energetic children. Avoid busy, chaotic locations.

Be prepared. Get plenty of rest before the trip. Research in advance what medical services are offered at your destination, in case you need them. Bring a brief medical history with you, including a current medication list, doctor’s telephone numbers and a list of any allergies.

Limit the length of plane or car journeys. Bring photos, hobbies or other distractions in case the person with dementia becomes agitated.

If you are traveling by air, try & avoid stopovers, fly non stop where possible. Carry all boarding passes, passports, and other important documents in your hand luggage. Request a middle or window seat for your companion and an aisle seat for yourself so that they can’t wander away without your noticing. Pre-board the plane. Pack all medicines in a cabin bag.

Keep things as familiar as possible. For example, keep bedtimes and eating times as close to normal as possible. If the person has never travelled on an airplane before, this is not the best time to introduce something new.

If you are staying in a hotel, request a large and quiet room. Avoid rooms with sliding glass doors.

Have a backup plan. That way you can react to mishaps without become overly anxious yourself. Recognize when the patient is becoming upset or agitated, and stop any activities when necessary in order to get some rest.

In short, planning is the key to having a holiday that’s enjoyable and safe. It is realistic to assume that the confusion of dementia will increase on a trip, leading to discomfort, fear or agitation. Being prepared can help mediate any mishaps and make for a safe and enjoyable trip.

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