How can I travel alone when I have dementia…..?

That was a question I’ve been asked so many times lately – sometimes by genuinely interested people, sometimes by people insisting I can’t possibly have dementia IF I can still travel alone, sometimes by amazed people willing to learn and other times by those who’ll remain ignorant as they simply won’t open their minds to the possibility of things we can do rather than can’t……and the simple answer is ‘with lots of planning, notes and support from my daughters’….

I use to be able to book my own tickets – well now, I still can if it’s straight forward and no changes. But if it involves a change I have to ask my daughters for help to work out the timings etc. Some meeting organisers send me ‘timed’ options, to check if there’s enough time between connections, and then book the tickets for me, which is wonderful.
Some train companies send a print out of all the journeys which are reeeealy helpful as it means I don’t have to write them all out – brownie point to them.

Yes, it is stressful, as you never know what’s going to happen so I always have a plan B – for example, if I have to change, I try and remember to find out the train after the one I’m suppose to be catching in case of delays. And there’s usually lovely scenery to take my mind off the stress..

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I set my alarm if I’m travelling with a suitcase as busy trains don’t allow you to have them next to you…..and an alarm for getting off if I’m not going to the last stop, especially if I don’t know the route….and especially for the return journey when I’m often exhausted….

I use my dear friend google to find and print a picture of my destination or building I’m heading for as this makes it look familiar and less scary when you get there.

I also use a walking app if I’m unsure where I’m going as well as having written instructions for walking. One event had a ‘video route’ to the building which was amazing and every venue should have one that’s near a main line station…..

If you’re worried about it all going pear shaped, try a small journey close to home first in familiar surroundings……

So you see, travelling on your own is possible with dementia, after all, what’s the alternative? – having to rely on others all the time or simply not travelling? – you just need lots of planning and stuff to help make it all as stress free as possible….and when all else fails…….whatsapp is a wonderful tool for contacting my daughters…..😊

And I get to see some gorgeous scenery while we’re bumbling along…….

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And even more perfect sights when I get to my destination…..making it all worth while……

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About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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