8 tips for traveling with a loved one who has dementia

May 14, 2019 0

Family vacation season is upon us!

And perhaps you are thinking about traveling with a loved one who has dementia.

If you have never done this before, it is overwhelming.

However, with the right preparation and resources, you should be able to travel with your loved one.

In this post, I will discuss 8 tips for traveling with a loved one who has dementia.

8 tips for traveling with a loved one who has dementia

First and foremost, you will have to determine if traveling with your loved one will be safe and the best idea for them.

For someone who is in the early stages of dementia, they may be able to handle traveling.

For a more advanced patient however, traveling with them to an unfamiliar location is not advisable.

So determine if they are up for traveling before you make the travel plans.

Contact TSA beforehand

If you have a loved one who is disabled or has dementia, you can contact TSA beforehand and let them know that you have a special situation.

In most cases, they can speed up the check-in process.

Alternatively, you could sign up for a service like TSA Pre-check.

This also gets you through TSA lines quickly and without hassle.

Contact the airline ahead of time

Airlines will also accommodate your needs if you call them ahead of time.

It is not uncommon for airlines to assign special seating and even provide wheelchair transport/assistance for families who need it.

Consider a medical escort service

If it is in your budget, you can consider a medical escort service.

These are caregivers who will travel with your loved one and will help you take care of them on your trip.


An identification bracelet that has your loved one’s name and who to contact is a must-have when you travel.

You can take it a step further and have name tags sewn into your loved one’s clothing.

Budget for extra time to get to things

If you will need to get places while on vacation, make sure to budget for extra time so you can arrive on time.

This is an especially helpful tip for when you need to catch a plane on time.

Choose a location closer to home

Long travel times will make anyone antsy.

For your loved one with dementia, being confined in a plane for 5 or 6 hours will be uncomfortable.

Choosing a vacation spot that is closer to home will cut down the discomfort.

Carry important documents and medication with you

Carry important medical records and medication with you.

They will still need to take medication on the trip.

And should there be a need to go the the hospital while on vacation, you will be ready.

Once you arrive, help them familiarize themselves with the place

Even though your loved one may not always remember, it is helpful if you orient them to the place one you arrive at the vacation location.

At the very least, show them what is available to them in their room and who they can call for help if they need it.

Closing Thoughts

Traveling with a loved one who has dementia is no easy feat.

But depending on the progression of the disease, it is possible to travel if you plan ahead and use the tips I just shared with you.

If you found this helpful, make sure to share it with someone who needs advice on traveling with a loved one who has dementia.


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