How can I make airport security easy for my loved one with dementia?

Dr. Linda Ercoli, PhD
Psychology Specialist

It can be very scary and extremely tiring for someone with a severe memory disorder to travel. Airport security screening can be frightening for someone who doesn’t understand what is going on. People are going to be asking questions. They're going to ask you to remove certain clothing and shoes. You’ll likely go into an x-ray screener. Sometimes, the screening may involve being patted down. 

During this time, your loved one with dementia may be separated from you, even for a brief time. It's helpful in these situations to notify staff of your needs and to check in ahead of time. Be prepared, because this is going to help destress the situation. 

Some tips: 

  • Print your boarding passes ahead of time. 
  • Allow plenty of time to go through the processes. 
  • Avoid tight connections and peak travel times. 
  • Stay close to your loved one. Remember the airport is a busy place. 
  • Don’t wear jewelry. You don’t want to have to remove jewelry and belts when others are impatiently waiting behind you. 
  • Hold onto your loved one’s identification and passport. 
  • Try to bring comfort items with you.
  • Travel light. You’ll need an extra hand to care for and help your loved one. 
  • Try to wait in quiet places.

Continue Learning about Dementia

9 Ways to Lower Your Dementia Risk
9 Ways to Lower Your Dementia Risk
We all want to maintain peak mental function throughout our lives, particularly as we age. And there are few scenarios more frightening to confront th...
Read More
How does dementia affect the body?
Frankfort Regional Medical CenterFrankfort Regional Medical Center
Once the early part of dementia sets in, we start to see signs of depression. Sometimes patients wil...
More Answers
What is the survival rate for frontotemporal dementia (FTD)?
David A. Merrill, MDDavid A. Merrill, MD
In frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the frontal parts of the brain atrophy and the anterior temporal p...
More Answers
Memory Loss: What We’ve Learned About Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Memory Loss: What We’ve Learned About Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.