Consider Dementia Trained Professionals For That Long Medical Transport Trip
Caring for an elderly loved one who is struggling with dementia can be very difficult. The mental stress is often harder to cope with than the physical demands – although caregivers often feel both mentally and physically exhausted. As the dementia progresses, it is as though the person they once were is taken away by the disease a little more each day and is heartbreaking for everyone.
As memories are lost, all tasks gradually become more difficult or impossible for a person with dementia. Travel, especially a long trip, becomes especially difficult unless properly planned and only undertaken for a very important reason. If the dementia patient has ever become aggressive or ‘acted out’ when taken on a short trip, it can be anticipated that this behavior will worsen on a long trip. Arranging for Medical Transport with Dementia patient expertise is probably a better choice than doing the trip on your own.
For All Travel, Be Sure That You Have This Information With You
- ID and emergency contact information.
- The doctor’s name, address and phone number. Have a letter from the doctor explaining the patient’s condition. Include a list of current medications and dosage information, as well as any food or drug allergies.
- Make copies of legal papers, such as a living will or power of attorney. Also include all insurance information.
- Include a copy of the trip itinerary, with names, addresses and phones numbers of hotels, friends or relatives who will be visited and the home address and phone number. Note the dates associated with each stop on the trip.
Be Sure Person With Dementia has ID
- Check that their purse or wallet has their identification, as well as phone numbers and medical information, especially pertaining to their dementia diagnosis.
- Consider an ID bracelet. Clothing can also be marked with their name. Do all possible to prevent wandering off.
Make Travel Easier
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Plan for rest breaks. Recognize that the trip will take longer than it usually would.
- Travel when the person with dementia is at their best. Normally, this is in the morning. It’s common for Alzheimer’s patients to become increasingly confused and anxious as the day progresses. However, if the person is able to sleep in a moving vehicle, overnight travel might be a possibility for a one-day trip.
- Pack water, snacks, a first aid kit and any favorite items that would comfort the person.
Traveling on a Commercial Airliner
- This should only be considered when the person has mild dementia and will be accompanied. Airports are chaotic environments at the best of times and the plane itself is a closed environment. The advantage, of course, is that the trip will take much less time than driving.
- Contact the airline ahead of time and request the use of a wheelchair and inform them of any special needs. The wheelchair will alert airline personnel that they are dealing with a disabled passenger, help to prevent ‘wandering off’ and make it possible to move more quickly from place to place.
- Take advantage of all the services for disabled people.
Medical Transport with Dementia patients is often the best choice. There are choices as to the type of transport (cruiser, coach or plane). A travel nurse is always available. Using a service that specializes on medical transport with Alzheimer’s sufferers ensures that your loved one will receive understanding, compassion and expert care geared to their needs. Professional medical transport elderly may well allow for this long trip to be as safe and comfortable as possible for a person with dementia.