I would appreciate any tips. She has some dementia, a catheter, and is very frail. We want to move her from her home (husband has been caregiver) to a nursing home in another state. We want to fly if possible. Otherwise we may rent a RV and drive her.

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Try to travel with at least one other person to help you.
Be sure to check your flight status before you leave home with her on travel day. My husband and I had a flight cancelled recently. We had already returned our rental car. It was a long day. Can’t imagine how hard it would have been with an elder in tow.
Since she has a Cath I’m not sure if that makes it easier or harder? Obviously a thorough understanding of how that works is necessary.
The airport will take good care of her transporting her to the gate and preboarding. The airline will generally allow at least one person to preboard with her and will arrange transport to help you get her off the plane and to your private transportation.

Have easy access to supplies such as disinfecting wipes for trays, armrests etc Gloves, baby wipes, snacks, photos or things that will help occupy her on the flight.

Remember that airtravel is stressful for most of us these days. The stimulus may or may not increase her level of dementia.
Make it easy on yourself to access her ID, medical cards, medications, etc.

My aunt (92) with dementia would be asking lots of questions over and over. Have plenty of calming responses ready. Perhaps index cards with messages written on them she can read to remind her would help.
Answers to questions she normally asks when stressed.
Hopefully you know what I mean. If you have a helper who isn’t accustomed to speaking with stressed dementia folks, you could ask them to check out some Teepa Snow videos on YouTube.

If your mom has “some” dementia you will probably notice it more in such unfamiliar settings. But if you are calm, she will feel safer.

Ask her doctor for anti anxiety meds for the trip but remember to try them out before travel to make sure they don’t knock her out. They really help my aunt.

Hopefully you have thoroughly checked out the NH and they are good with her medical condition and financial arrangements. I had a rehab tell me on the eve of a very difficult transport of my in laws that they felt they “would fail to meet my expectations” and would not accept them. Turned out they were right and it was a blessing in retrospect but at that moment OMG.

So think about what you would do if something goes wrong at the last minute On any leg of the journey. Give yourself plenty of time.

I see elders traveling very often and for the part I witness, it looks like they are doing very well. Of course, I have no idea if they have dementia, a cath or any of your mom’s challenges.

I think the RV might feel like you have more control but depending on the length of the trip, flying might be easier. If she needs to go from home care to NH care I assume she needs skilled nursing so I would lean towards the air travel but it depends on the length of the trip.

My husband sometimes drives on three hour trips instead of flying because by the time he deals with rental cars and security and the flight with delays etc he can sometimes drive easier. A different situation but a consideration.
Certainly a challenge with your mom either way.

Chances are the flight will go smoothly and without incident. Fingers crossed.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Chicagogal, is your Mom on Medicaid [which is different than Medicare]? If yes, please note that her care stops at the State line. She would need to reapply in the new State where she will be living.
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When you say "frail", does that mean she's just thin and tiny? Or does it mean in fragile health? Or both?

Taking a direct flight (even if it's more money) is the best, but I confess I have no experience of traveling with someone with a catheter, so not sure how that works when "out and about". Be prepared for flight delays if you fly with her.

You can consider a medical transport for her which may not be any more $$ than renting an RV (although that sounds "fun" if she can appreciate it). Maybe it would be covered by her insurance? I would go with the shortest, quickest route. Hopefully, the RV isn't too "jostle-y". If you do go the road trip route, be sure to get a temporary handicap pass from her doctor and a transfer wheelchair, just for good measure. Good luck!
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