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Can A Person With Dementia Fly Alone

How To File A Report

How can dementia cause other health problems?

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    Connect With The Alzheimers Association

    The Alzheimers Association provides a lot of information online, offers a free, 24-hour helpline, and hosts support groups throughout the country. Even if your loved one has a dementia other than Alzheimers disease, you can find information and local support for your whole family through the association.

    Airports Flying And Dementia: How To Cope

    22 November 2016

    Taking a flight if you have dementia can present a few challenges, so what steps can you take to make the experience smoother, and what are airports and airlines doing to help? We investigate

    Having dementia doesnt always have to mean that travelling and holidays are off limits. How are you supposed to complete your bucket list if you cant fly to places youve always wanted to see?

    But visiting an airport can be very overwhelming if you have dementia. After all, its an enormous building filled with thousands of people who are all in a hurry to get somewhere. Then theres the heightened security, checks and rules, all of which need to be obeyed which isnt easy when youre struggling to understand instructions.

    The sheer size of airports mean its easy to get lost or lose someone, even if youre not easily disorientated, so imagine how confusing it could be for someone with dementia? And if you forget something a handbag, boarding pass, bag of duty free which can happen easily if you have dementia, its not always simple or straightforward to get it back.

    However, if youre aware of these challenges, it is possible to prepare for them and ensure that travelling by air is as stress-free an experience as possible.

    Also Check: Dementia Ribbon Color

    Signs That Dementia Is Affecting Driving Ability

    • vision can they see things coming straight at them or from the sides, do they respond appropriately to stop and traffic signs and signals?
    • hearing can they hear the sound of approaching cars, car horns and sirens, and do they pay attention to these when in the car?
    • reaction timecan they turn, stop or speed up their car quickly?
    • problem solving do they become upset and confused when more than one thing happens at the same time?
    • coordination have they become clumsy and started to walk differently, because their coordination is affected?
    • alertness are they aware of, and understand, what is happening around them?
    • left and rightcan they tell the difference?
    • memory and confusion do they become lost or confused on familiar routes?
    • stop and go do they understand the difference between stop and go coloured traffic lights?
    • route finding can they read a road map and follow detour routes?
    • steering are they able to stay in the correct lane and veer, change lanes or merge when required?
    • mood has their mood changed when driving? Some previously calm drivers may become aggressive or angry.

    Identify Situations That Will Force Change

    Caring for Seniors With Dementia

    Home becomes unsafe when someone is big on wandering or is fecal incontinent, says Alterman. These are two reasons families decide to move a loved one with dementia into a facility, but theyre only two possible problems you might encounter as dementia progresses. Once you know what to expect from your loved ones type of dementia, everyone involved, including the person with dementia, should talk about what kinds of dementia symptoms would require significant changes in plan, says Alterman. You may need to include your loved ones doctor in this conversation.

    Read Also: Neurotransmitter Alzheimers

    Problem : Wearing Dirty Clothes Over And Over

    • Forget that the clothes are dirty after theyre removed
    • Have impaired ability to make judgments
    • Like the familiarity
    • Be overwhelmed by too many choices while dressing
    • Avoid pointing out that clothes being worn are dirty, which puts the person on the defensive and sets up an argument she doesnt understand.
    • Ask yourself if youre bothered by the repetition of the outfit or by actual dirt or odor.
    • Pare down the closet to fewer options. Stock solids in favorite colors instead of patterns.
    • Buy an identical replacement for favorite outfits so you can wash one while the other is being worn.

    Can Aphasia Be Prevented

    Generally speaking, no. However, reducing your risk of preventable causes of brain damage, such as stroke, and taking steps to maintain brain health as much as possible is always wise advice for a long and healthy life. Healthy living involves eating healthy exercising daily maintaining a healthy weight limiting alcohol intake keeping blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol under guideline limits quitting smoking and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

    Also Check: Familial Dementia

    Overview Of Pb Exposure As A Risk Factor

    Zawia and colleagues have published a series of experimental studies on rodents and primates demonstrating that Pb exposure in early life results in late-life neuropathological changes similar to those of AD . This work, coupled with the recognition that exposure to Pb in the general population until recently has been high, has heightened interest in the epidemiology of Pb exposure and neurodegenerative disease. We discuss trends in Pb exposure and epidemiologic studies that provide evidence for the role of Pb as a risk factor for AD.

    Ideas For Day Trip Activities

    How to respond when someone with dementia constantly asks to go home.

    A popular activity for some people who have dementia is visiting heritage sites, like historic houses and estates. Often they include outdoor areas that can be beneficial to people living with dementia.

    The National Trust manages many heritage sites. Its working to make all of its sites inclusive for people affected by dementia.

    Other ideas for day trip activities include:

    • an afternoon tea at a hotel or a teahouse
    • a visit to a place of worship
    • a dance class or a singing group with music from the persons culture
    • a trip to a day centre or community group, with games or outdoor activities
    • a visit to a botanical garden, community garden or park
    • a trip to the seaside
    • a pub lunch or a meal out with food from the persons culture
    • a gentle exercise class, like tai-chi or qigong
    • a day at a shopping mall or a leisure centre
    • a culturally-specific reminiscence session

    Read Also: What Color Is The Alzheimer’s Ribbon

    Experiences Once On Board

    Most people reported that cabin crew offered outstanding service and were sensitive to their needs. The most difficult thing once on board was that the restrooms were not able to accommodate two people, which made it difficult for the companion to assist. One third of companions said the person with dementia experienced anxiety during the flight. They had a range of strategies they used, such as bringing along high quality noise canceling headphones and distracting them with conversation or their favorite snacks. Overall, people were positive about their experiences on board.

    Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh

    We mentioned earlier that we would share our experiences. Some stories are funny. Most are not. But everyone can relate to this next one about traveling with Alzheimer’s.

    On Joans trip to California, her daughter told us this story. Joan tells her that she wants to go to Rite-Aid. She has this Rite-Aid card and everything is so reasonably priced, it is THE best store. So, they go in and Joan picks out some type of make-up. They go to the check-out counter and Joan proudly pulls out her Rite-Aid card and her debit card to pay.

    The store clerk tells her to swipe her Rite-Aid card and then swipe her red debit card. The store clerk tells Joan, Your total is $21.50. Press debit. And then enter your PIN number. Her daughter watches. Then, the clerk says, Would you like cash back? Joan says, Yes, of course. Clerk says, Okay select how much you would like. $20, $30 or $40.

    Joan says, Well if its my choice, I want $40. As they leave the store, Joan says to her daughter, See? I told you this is the best store. I got make-up and they gave me $40!

    Read Also: Dementia Ribbon Colors

    Have An Emergency Bag Readily Available

    Even if you have to check baggage, keep a bag with you that has important documents, legal papers, contact information, medications, travel plans, extra clothing, and doctors names and contact information. Having all the important information you need in one place can save crucial time in an emergency situation.

    Understanding The Causes And Finding Ways To Cope

    Flying with Dementia: The Need for Dementia Friendly Airports.

    While some people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia remain pleasant and easy-going throughout their lives, others develop intense feelings of anger and aggression.

    When someone with dementia lashes out at you for seemingly no reason, it’s normal to feel surprised, discouraged, hurt, irritated, and even angry at them. Learning what causes anger in dementia, and how best to respond, can help you cope.

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    Warning Signs Against Travel

    • consistent disorientation or agitation in familiar settings
    • wanting to go home when away from home on short visits
    • delusional, paranoid, aggressive or disinhibited behaviour
    • problems managing continence
    • teary, anxious, withdrawn behaviour in crowded, noisy settings
    • agitated or wandering behaviour
    • disregard for safe pedestrian behaviour near roads, traffic or other pedestrians
    • non-compliance with wearing seatbelts.

    Noise Problems In Bathrooms

    Specific rooms can have specific problems: acoustics in the bathroom can be particularly difficult. Flowing water, and the flush of the toilet, for example, can create a confusing or sudden noise . Yet singing in the bathroom can be lovely and may even help with reducing agitation if it is a song or tune that is recognisable and enjoyed by the person with dementia.

    Also Check: Alzheimers Dement

    What Can Family Members Do For A Loved One With Aphasia

    Family members need to be involved with their loved one with aphasia in order to learn how best to communicate with them.

    Family members can:

    • Go to speech-language therapy sessions with their loved one.
    • Speak in short simple sentences.
    • Ask questions that can be answered with yes or no.
    • Repeat or rephrase their language as needed .
    • Include their loved one in conversations.
    • Turn down the volume on the TV/radio and get rid of other distractions when talking.
    • Give their loved one time to speak on their own.
    • Try not to correct the persons speech or answer questions for them .
    • Encourage the use of other means of communicating, including gestures, pictures, pointing, drawing, electronic devices.
    • Help your loved one find support groups . Attend meetings with them.

    Problem : Forgetting To Bathe

    Living in a care home: A positive outcome for a person with dementia
    • Have memory loss that prevents them from keeping track of or caring about bathing
    • Feel confusion about the sequence of steps involved
    • Feel juvenile, anxious, or defensive when asked or reminded about bathing
    • Stick to a consistent bathing routine. Make it the same time the person previously bathed .
    • Dont remind or even mention how long its been since the last cleanup. Instead of arguing, proceed with bath preparations.
    • Dont ask, Did you shower? or Would you like to shower now? Get everything ready and invite the person in: Look, your bath is ready. I know how you love your evening bath.

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    Noise Problems In Dining Areas

    Within the dining area the noise from a television or radio that often is not listened to or watched, staff talking to each other and the clatter of dishes and cutlery all contribute to a sense of disorientation. Removing unnecessary noise can reduce the risk of behaviours such as aggression and frustration in response to an environment that is too noisy or inappropriately noisy, such as music played continually that is not enjoyed or recognised by the person .

    Some Other Tips For Flying With Dementia Patients

    For those planning the trip, its best to keep it to one destination rather than trying to travel to multiple places, according to caregiver.com. This will take some of the anxiety out of making the trip.

    Also, the trip should be as short as possible and involve direct flights rather than having to change planes, as that procedure could prove troubling to dementia patients.

    Another good idea is to take a trip to someplace familiar. If the dementia patient travels to a place they loved before the onset of the disease, theres a better chance they will recognize their surroundings and feel more relaxed. For those who need to fly with memory loss, the burden on their caregivers is enormous. But by working with a flight nurse, they can make the trip much less burdensome. They also will have a skilled medical professional by their side to handle any issues that may arise, providing them with peace of mind.

    Read Also: What Is The Difference Between Senility And Dementia

    Pack Some Handy Travel Gadgets

    Noise-cancelling headphones can be a great travel investment if you, or someone you will be travelling with, has dementia. They can help to create a bit of quiet space if there are a lot of unfamiliar noises or activity, such as on a plane or at the airport.

    When it comes to taking medication, there are plenty of electronic aids available that can help too. For instance, an automatic dispenser or personal alarm that beeps when medication needs to be taken can make remembering medication one less thing to think about while away from daily routine.

    Third Dementia Stage: Mild Decline

    Flying with Dementia: The Need for Dementia Friendly Airports.

    Family and friends may start noticing some cognitive and memory problems from the patient at the third dementia stage. Performance on both cognitive and memory tests is affected, and physicians can instantly identify impaired cognitive function. Senior citizens at third stage of dementia showcase some symptoms that may include:

    • Trouble remembering names of people they meet
    • Organizing and planning
    • Asking the same question repeatedly
    • Losing personal possessions which might include valuables

    It is possible that affected adults can begin to experience mild or moderate anxiety during the third stage of dementia, primarily because of the symptoms getting in the way of their everyday life. Should one notice any of the symptoms, it is imperative that the affected individuals go through a clinical interview with a licensed clinician to receive the proper diagnosis. It helps to start an appropriate medical course of action.

    Caregivers should also note that it is essential that they try and get rid of any stress that may be affecting the patient. Let them understand what is going on in a kind and loving manner so that they can prepare to embrace the journey ahead. They can also help the patients with memory in some ways such as reminding them to pay their bills and getting them to any appointments they may have on time.

    Read Also: Prevagen For Dementia

    Beware Of Social Isolation

    Experts warn that social distancing, the cornerstone of epidemic control, could lead to social isolation, already a problem in the older population. According to a recent Pew Research Center study of more than 130 countries and territories, 16 percent of people 60 and older live alone. Loneliness, researchers have found, comes with its own set of health hazards.

    Dr. Winetsky is aware of the danger, and has suggested to his parents that they switch to virtual meetings with friends and relatives, with the benefits of social engagement in mind. Ive tried to frame it as, Dont cancel these things, but change to Zoom or Skype or FaceTime, he said.

    Just when she was planning last month to fly back to New York, she said, where she has a husband, friends and a rich cultural life, the coronavirus hit. Now she oversees her fathers home health aides and takes long walks along the bluffs above the Pacific, a virus-free activity.

    Recently Ms. Vollmer got an email from a friend of her fathers who last year decided to move to assisted living. The home has canceled group events, and residents are eating alone in their rooms, Ms. Vollmer said. Seems like a bigger change there than for someone living at home.

    Create An Itinerary For Emergency Contacts

    Make your own itinerary and distribute it to family and friends while also keeping a copy with you at all times. The itinerary should detail your emergency phone numbers, flight numbers, medication needs, travel times and any other pertinent information. Keep it easily accessible to quickly find which can make the day of travel much smoother.

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    Know The Type Of Dementia

    What we mostly talk about is Alzheimers disease because it is the most common , says Alterman. But, she points out, there are many other types of dementia. Each form of dementia follows a different course over time. And each type, in combination with other health conditions your loved one may have, could require different approaches to management, either at home or in a memory care community. Getting a correct diagnosis and learning about the type of dementia your loved one has will help you plan.

    At this stage, you might want to create a binder that will contain contact information for everyone involved in your loved ones health care, including medical personnel, as well as information about the dementia and working documents related to the steps youre taking to create a dementia care plan.


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