Do your pre-trip sleuthing to ensure your lodgings are safe and sound for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Not all hotel rooms are created equal! Here are five features to look for or request when booking travel in the United States, Canada or even further afield, if you are adventurous. These amenities provide a safer, better home-sweet-home experience for patients and caregivers.
1 GENEROUS ROOM DIMENSIONS
When searching online, check room descriptions for actual dimensions: photos can be misleading. Why book a 250-square-foot room if there’s a 350-square foot room nearby?
2 TWO BEDS, ONE ROOM
A two-bed, one-room setup is best for keeping an eye on your loved one, especially in the middle of the night. Skip the suite or adjoining-rooms – even if offered a free upgrade.
3 A DISABLED-ACCESS ROOM
Look for rooms with a clear access path, extra-wide hall and bathroom doors and bathroom grab bars. Some hotels go above and beyond with temperature-control faucets and emergency call buttons in the bathrooms. Ask at the time of booking if these features are in place.
Check Oyster.com for lists of the best “handicap-accessible hotels” in big U.S. and European cities.
Visit Ability Trip — for its resource guide, which lists travel agents, tours, hotels and more that specialize in travelers with special needs
If a disabled-access room isn’t available, choose a room with few trip-and-fall hazards: a spare, uncluttered layout; no area rugs; a well-lit bath with non-slippery flooring (avoid polished stone).
4 SERVICE-SAVVY STAFF
Check Tripadvisor for hotels or B&Bs credited with excellent customer service. Often, small, family-owned establishments excel in this area (though larger hotels may train staff in disability awareness).
5 IN-ROOM APPLIANCES!
Room service can get expensive. A coffeemaker and fridge for snacks you buy elsewhere is prudent and will make mornings easier.