Tips for Traveling with Lewy Body Disease

Airplane-300x200.jpgIt’s summer, a time when people often take vacations including people​ who are caring for individuals with Lewy body disease. Traveling can be especially challenging for an individual with Lewy body disease and therefore challenging for his or her caregivers as well. With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning a trip with a person who is affected by Lewy body disease.

Think about travel insurance.  The behavioral issues that can accompany Lewy body disease are often hard to predict. In some cases, everything may be fine one moment, and then a serious issue suddenly develops. If this happens on a plane that has not yet taken off, it may be best to depart. Purchasing travel insurance may enable you to do this and still be able to try to travel again later.

Keep things as familiar as possible. A person with Lewy body is likely to react more strongly (and more negatively) to things that affect his or her comfort level such as the unfamiliar. Taking a trip can add stress in and of itself, so consider how to make the trip as comfortable and familiar as possible. Going some place the patient has been before can be helpful, as can riding in a car that he or she is used to with clothing and entertainment that is also familiar.

Keep it short. The longer the time spent traveling, the greater the opportunity for an incident to occur. If traveling a long distance, try to break the trip up into several short sections over a few days rather than doing it all in one long day.

Take his/her “clock” into consideration. Most people have periods of the day when they are at their peak, and that certainly includes someone with Lewy body disease. If possible, try to plan the bulk of the trip during the “good” times to make things easier all around.

Help with processing.  Traveling at high speeds can be disconcerting for a person with Lewy-derived processing issues.  It may help if the car has tinted windows so that the passing landscape doesn’t draw too much attention. Wearing sunglasses (if the patient does not find them uncomfortable) may also help, as may bringing along visually oriented activities (books, games, video activities, etc.) that the loved one enjoys playing and which may distract him or her.

Don’t rush. Transitioning from a rest stop back to traveling in the car may be challenging. Take time and try to ease back into travel mode in order to help avoid incidences.

Living with Lewy body disease doesn't necessarily mean a life of confinement. With a few well-planned adjustments, you and your loved one can experience the joys of travel together.

Related Article
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