Flying with a Dementia Patient

Security is essential to keeping us safe while traveling. When traveling with a loved one whose health is compromised it‘s even more difficult and it can feel like hell. And as we continue to hear on the nightly news, it is going to get more challenging.

One tool I have found useful is special business cards I created. One card addresses the patients illness and the other card lists all the emergency phone information.The illness card was not my idea, I actually got it from the Alzheimer’s Association. The illness card that I carry states, “Please be patient my loved one has Alzheimer’s and cannot always answer your questions or follow your orders.” I printed it in bold black lettering on a yellow card stock. I carry many with me when I travel. At the airport when I am taking off my shoes, putting bags up, etc. I make sure one of the agents sees this card. They have been very helpful, watching him while I either move through the scanner first and/or he goes first. I never did find a “best” way to do all of that!

You can make these cards up for any illness, or for a nervous child as well. They are great to hand to a waitress if they seem to be rushed or appear impatient with your loved one. I suggest you use these discreetly please, so as not to embarrass your loved ones.

The second card is for information and has the patients name on it. It lists my cell and home phones and all of the names and numbers of my adult children all over the country. That way it is good wherever we might travel. I print these out on an Avery type business card. Or you could take them to an office supply store for printing. I laminate them and leave them in every single pant or coat pocket that he might wear and in any wallet he might carry. They even go through the wash beautifully! I feel secure knowing that if he ever strays they could find me.

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