Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER Is It OK To Travel With Alzheimer’s Patient?
Is It OK To Travel With Alzheimer’s Patient? PDF Print E-mail

Q: My 81-year-old husband has been diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s. He’s otherwise physically healthy, but when jogging recently he’s become confused several times. The other day, he lost his way and kindly neighbors escorted him home.

We’re invited to spend a week in Palm Springs, California, with friends who have a two-bedroom condo. We’d both love the warm desert climate and scenery. However, if he insists on jogging there, he may get lost again. I can’t leave him home without someone with him 24-7. What can you suggest? PLB, Minneapolis MN

A: First, we believe you’d be troubled with guilt if you left your husband at home. Tell his primary care doctor what you plan to do. If he gives you a definite no, take his advice and don’t travel with your husband.

You said he’s in the early stages of the disease, so we assume he can still take care of his daily needs. Ask a relative to volunteer or hire a sleep-in companion for the week to keep watch over your husband.

However, if the doctor says OK for the trip, make necessary contacts to ease your concerns. Call the airline about security and early boarding. If necessary, also request a wheelchair. When in the airport, stick close to your husband, including at the door when he’s in bathrooms in the terminal and in flight.

Call ahead to your friends in Palm Springs and give them your airline schedule. If they can’t pick you up, ask to arrange a cab or limo when you arrive. Take more than a week’s supply of your husband’s meds, along with phone numbers of your family doctor.

Assuming your Palm Springs pals are also seniors, get numbers of local doctors who specialize in geriatrics, as well as info about local emergency services. Good luck and have an enjoyable, trouble-free visit to Palm Springs


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