As people conduct their holiday travel this year, planning and completing a long distance trip can be especially stressful for the more than 220,000 Illinois residents currently living with Alzheimer's and their families.

While the symptoms of this progressive brain disease can sometimes make travel more difficult, it doesn't mean families can't travel with a loved one with dementia.

The Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter offers a number of easy tips to help ensure a safe and smooth trip when traveling with a person living with dementia. More tips and information are also available at

Stick with the familiar

Travel to known destinations. Try to visit places that are familiar.

Be prepared

Create an itinerary that includes details. Give copies to family members or friends. Keep a copy with you.

Pick the right time

Travel during the time of day that is best for the person with Alzheimer's.

Avoid layovers

If unavoidable, ask about airport escort services.

Ask for help

For example, request airline personnel to help you navigate through the airport.

Ensure a safe return

Changes in environment can trigger wandering. Enroll in MedicAlert + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return.

Find local suppor

Before you go, contact the Alzheimer's Association chapter at your destination.