Transporting A Loved One With Dementia

Transporting A Loved One With Dementia

National Family Caregiver Support Program Resources

When impairments resulting from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias prevent older adults from safely driving or using public transportation, caregivers often become primary transportation providers. Transporting your loved one can be a challenge, but does not have to be a struggle every time. Try to keep in mind the advice given by a long-time caregiver, “The slower you go, the faster things get done.”

• Be patient and allow time to get ready and get into the car.

• Try to allow your loved one to calm down before entering the car.

• Be prepared with relaxing music, sunglasses, photos, food, etc.

• Seat your loved one in the rear passenger side seat with seat belt on and child lock in the ‘on’ position.

• Encourage your loved one to do as much as possible for him/herself.

• Try to keep glare from the sun to a minimum.

• Give information in small bits.

• Stay calm.

• Validate your loved one’s feelings whenever possible.

• Give brief, step-by-step directions.

• Encourage reminiscence.

• Be aware of your body language.

• Ask your loved one to use the bathroom before getting into the car.

• If possible, have a cellular phone in the car in case of emergency.

Source: Administration on Aging, Washington, DC, and Easter Seals,

Provided by: The Staff at
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