NWPF

PD Community BlogRead Blog

Summer Travel

Friday July 24, 2015

This is the time of year many of us like to travel. Some retired folks don’t travel as much as Jim and I do, but there are some who travel even more—and go a lot farther. If your PD loved one has dementia (PDD) or even just mild cognitive impairment (MCI of the Lewy body type or MCI-LB), travel can be stressful. Almost by definition, travel involves change. With these cognitive losses, change can feel like the enemy. If, like Jim and I, you travel to the same places each summer, that helps by limiting the amount of change involved. Familiarity decreases stress. However, sometimes you may want to go somewhere new. Maybe it is someplace you’ve always wanted to go. Maybe it is to a special event like a grandchild’s graduation. Travel is possible. Here are a few of the ways to make it easier:

Go together. No one with PDD or MCI-LB should travel alone, even if they feel able. LBD fluctuates greatly. Low levels of functioning can appear just when clarity is needed most—when the stress is at its worst. Someone must go along to assist during the rough spots. Assure your loved one that this is being smart, not helpless.

Plan, plan, plan. The more you plan, the fewer surprises, the less stress. Plan ways to avoid extremes and add familiarity and comfort. If going by car, plan short trips to avoid tiredness (probably no more than two or at most three hundred miles a day). Pack extra clothes for warmth. Take known routes whenever possible. Consider emergencies that might come up and how to deal with them. Talk to the doctor about extra medications.

Do the nitty-gritty stuff. Even when your loved one is functioning well, the truth is that you will probably have to do most of the planning and initiating. A Lewy partner’s challenge is to keep doing.

Plan as a team. Yes, you will take on the responsibility for making sure everything runs smoothly but don’t let your loved one opt out. Include them in the decisions. Even if they forgets the details, their sense of involvement will remain. The trip will be less stressful—and more fun.

If you fly, consider buying travel insurance and be prepared to use it.

Exercise. Traveling can be very confining and no one may get much exercise. Make a point of stopping often to walk around when traveling by auto. If going by air, spend time in the airport walking and moving about instead of sitting. When visiting and not getting much exercise, take time to go for a walk.

Avoid extremes. Dress your loved oneting too warm (or too cold, of course) will cause stress and decrease in layers. Get your loved one’s ability to function well or think clearly. So will crowds. Try going to restaurants, theaters and theme parks, etc. at time when they are less crowded. If you are traveling by car and stop at a rest area, chose the less populated areas for walking. Do your mall walking at times where there are fewer shoppers, like early in the mornings.

For more about traveling and other activities with your loved one, read our book, Managing Cognitive Issues. You can get it from our website, www.lbdtools.com.

Helen Whitworth, MS, BSNHelen Whitworth, MS, BSN
NWPF Blogger

Recent Posts

Make Anger Your Ally
The Parkinson's Life (You Should Be So Lucky)
Distractible Me
Parkinson's Takes Guts
Being Defined by Parkinson's Disease

Archives

2017 2016
Lies That Parkinson's Disease Told Me
Managing the Holiday Blues 2016
Who Was That Masked Man?
The Rain Is Shining — A Thanksgiving Message
Book Review - H.O.P.E.: Four Keys to a Better Quality of Life for Parkinson's
David Leventhal: Dancer, Teacher, Community Leader, Humanitarian, Movement Specialist
Meet Emily!
Rhonda Foulds, Outrunning Parkinson's Disease
Book Review: The Perapatetic Pursuit of Parkinson Disease
Staff Stories - Melanie
Snake Oil, the Cure for Parkinson's.
Book Review: Nan Little
Life's a Lot Better with NWPF
Tipping Points
Book Review: Natural Therapies for Parkinson's Disease
Dare to Attend a Support Group
Ten for David
Time After Time: Kim Farmer's Story
The Glass is Half-Full
Book Review: Reverse Parkinson's Disease
Contentment
Parkinson's and Free Will
A positive attitude is everything
Book Review - Lucky Man: A Memoir
Alexithymia, the Parkinson’s Get Out of Jail Free Card
We Make Them Together: Major Decisions in Caregiving
Boxing is cool
Safety with Style: House Renovations you can hold on to
Book review: On My Own
Shaken to the Core
Isolation and Parkinson's Disease, The hiding and the hidden
Camp Brian Interview
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
Book review: Shake Well Before Use
Notes on Acceptance
"Advice" to a person with Advancing Parkinson's Disease
Needed: New Parkinson’s Vocabulary
Caregiving: Ken's Story
A Well-Tested Testimonial, or Spin for Parkinson's
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
Caregiving: Susan's Story
Rock Steady Boxing: Emily
Book Review: My Degeneration, A Journey Through Parkinson's
The Marble Halls of Power
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
2015
ROCKIN’ AROUND THE GROCERY CART
Managing the Holiday Blues
Book Review: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families
The joke is on Parkinson's
I don't always like groups, but when I do...
JBC + DBS: A Mostly-Love Story (Continued)
Rock Steady Boxing: Fred Hyde
Present Moment: A Continued Conversation
Book Review: Navigating Life with Parkinson's Disease
JBC + DBS: A Mostly-Love Story
Present Moment
On the scent of Parkinson’s disease
Harold Allen (Hal) Newsom
The 2016 World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland, Oregon is Fast Approaching: Make Plans to Attend
Flowers on Dr. Starr's Tie
Leading the life of malicious whimsy
Listen: Unlocking Parkinson's Disease
Book Review: If I Can Climb Kilimanjaro, Why Can't I Brush My Teeth?
The Evolution of HOPE
QUIZ: How well do you know your Parkinson’s Disease?
Living with Hope
Notes on Hope
Tug, tug, tug
Denial on Trial
Flowers in Our Hair
Resilience: Bouncing Back from Adversity
Summer Travel
Tina Sawyer Steps Up Fundraising in Seaside
The uncooperative patient
To be in June
Pressure Sores
Caring for a Spouse Living with PD
Life Lessons
Doc Parkinson - A Eulogy
Boom Go Parkinson’s Costs
From the Depths of the Cupboards: Pumpkin Bars
Doctor's Visits
Get Moving!
Choosing a shared burden
Our Brain's "Negativity Bias" Part 2
Outside of Language
Managing Constipation in Parkinson’s Disease
Replacements
Finding Time for Caregiver Care
The Helplessness Antidote
Examples of living your best
10 exercise tips for people with Parkinson's
Bit on Basketball
Suggestions for the Shaken
Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) Report
Our Brain’s “Negativity Bias”
Living for a Cure
Three Huge Changes for People with Parkinson's
Caregiving, the Next Level
Parkinson's Pundit
Perseverance
Making Spousal Relationships Work
Parkinson’s and Luck
Strength. Courage.
Resolve to be a Better Caregiver!
Update from the Parkinson's Action Network
Strategies to Achieve our New Year’s Resolutions and Goals
Movement is Medicine
2014 2013 2012
Most popular posts of 2012
What are you grateful for this holiday season?
How can I tell whether medications are wearing off or Parkinson’s disease is progressing?
Can a person with Parkinson’s give blood?
When is the right time to start Levodopa?
Can acupuncture help PD symptoms?
Support the Caregiver in your Life
Power of the mind to move treatment further
Top 10 Foods for Parkinson’s (and counting!)
How can I prevent dizziness?
What can you tell me about laser light therapy and Parkinson’s
What is music therapy?
Should I take Coenzyme Q10 for my Parkinson’s?
How do I treat my cough at night?
Parkinson’s fitness programs need to be tailored to the individual to get results
Carrying the Olympic Torch for Parkinson’s today
Coffee reduces risk of Parkinson’s. What about other foods?
Facts about depression
How can I find a good doctor who is knowledgeable about PD and is caring as well? My doctor does not always listen.
Help for constipation
Sex, Intimacy and Parkinson’s
Does DBS affect speech?
Walking and balance can significantly impact quality of life- but is treatable.
Depression is common with Parkinson’s
Ode to Parkinson’s- Poem from Member
Music Enhances Brain Activity
How does posture change with Parkinson’s?
What is important to you?
Are hallucinations caused by Parkinson’s?
Hot Off the Press – Neupro approved by FDA
How do I find a Parkinson’s physical therapist to keep me exercising?
Does Azilect slow disease progression?
Manage nausea from medicines
Is delaying medication harmful?
Advice for newly diagnosed
Is Parkinson’s Hereditary?
Medication Timing
Is gambling a side effect of medicine?
Medication Assistance
Does stress cause Parkinson’s?
When to see a physical therapist
FDA approves DATScan
Coconut Oil
Protein’s effect on medicine
Restless Leg Syndrome