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Memorial Day weekend is a big travel holiday. How to plan travel with people with Alzheimer's

Memorial Day weekend is a big travel holiday. But if you’re planning a trip with a loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, it means thinking outside the box. An expert discusses what to consider.

Jan Dougherty is the president of TravALZ, as in travel-Alzheimer's. Dougherty says it’s still possible to travel but you’ve got to plan. 

"You definitely want to plan your road trip or your airline trip to start at the person's best time of the day. And in my experience, it's usually around 10 o'clock or so in the morning, so you don't have to rush you don't have to get to the airport or get in the car and be completely stressed out," she explained. "Because if you're stressed out, then your loved one's going to respond to how it is you're feeling."

And if you’re visiting friends or family, she says, "it's really about communicating with them about your loved ones' condition, maybe what has changed since the last time they've seen them."

She also says avoid long road trips unless that’s something that was enjoyed in the past. And if you do have to travel by car, "Do you have a family member or grandchild who could join you in the car, perhaps they do the driving, and you keep your loved one occupied," she suggests. 

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.