Traveling with a loved one who has dementia

A vacation is often the time to unwind and reconnect with your family. What do you do if a loved one has Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia?

You may want to have them join you, but that may not be easy – and it may not always be the best thing to do.

"It may be important to leave them behind. That may be the best way for them to cope with this,” said Dr. Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives for the Alzheimer's Association.

Dr. Hartley advises that unless you have experience traveling with someone with dementia, you might want to take small trips first to find out if they can travel well.

"Kind of wade into those waters ahead of time, as opposed to assuming that on that vacation everything is going to go well and then it doesn't go well for the family or that individual,” he said.

If you decide to go for it, bring along some things that are comforting for that person. It might be pictures or music. Maybe it’s something that just gives them a sense of security.

“These are things that vary for individual, but often families will know,” Hartley said.

Sometimes, moods can really be smoothed out by having something close by that is familiar to that person.

More Info: Traveling with Dementia