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 Travel issues 
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:32 am
Posts: 215
Location: Kalispell, MT
Post Travel issues
Travel issues have been discussed on other forum topics--perhaps there should be a topic just for this (maybe there is and I can't find it).

I considered taking LO to our former home across the country by air. I decided against it because:

1. Airline rules: I called two major airlines. They told me that a mentally impaired person could fly with another person accompanying him/her, but that the mentally impaired person must be able to understand safety instructions.

2. Even if he got on a flight, what if he wasn't accepted on the change of planes at the hub?

3. And what if he really declines and it is too far to drive back (in my case, across the country).

Do any of you have experience or comment about this?

Gail

Gail


Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:10 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Travel issues
Gail,

I never thought to call the airline to ask "will you let my demented father on board with me?" I guess I'm glad I didn't. And I'm now thankful that nothing bad ever happened, requiring Dad to know the safety rules. Would their answer be different if there were 2 healthy adults accompanying your husband? Would their answer be different if a man made the phone call to the airline?

I travelled a lot with my Dad. The last time was on our way home from an annual journey he had made abroad for the last 25 years. He kept banging the back of his chair with his body, wanting to recline further. He was so uncomfortable. Somehow three of us were able to distract him for several hours. It was quite the ordeal.

After that, I only travelled with Dad by car and only for trips no longer than 2 hours one-way.

Robin


Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:19 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Travel issues
'Mentally impaired' puts up all sorts of red flags, doesn't it? I doubt that I would ever tell an airplane official that Dale was 'mentally impaired.' Dale's bipolar son (who died in prison 2 years ago at 44) was probably in that category but he flew often. In fact, I'm sure many passengers who consume too much alcohol on the flight belong there too.

As for the 'must be able to understand safety issues,' we always fly from Orlando. All flights from there contain a whole lot of excited and often screaming children who have no idea about 'safety issues.'

I carry the cards which say that Dale has Lewy Body. Whenever needed, those have informed airline stewards that Dale is 'special.' Our experiences have always been positive.

Each case of Lewy is different. Dale's paranoia is always about financial matters and not about his environment.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:11 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Travel issues
robin wrote:
The last time was on our way home from an annual journey he had made abroad for the last 25 years.

Our last trip abroad (December 2009) was to Italy and because the flight was so long, I chose to go first class. It couldn't have been a nicer flight. Dale wore a leg bag and the attendants understood that I needed to help him. They were just great. It's a great memory.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:22 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3432
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Travel issues
Gail - How does your LO do if you were in a store, movie theatre or restaurant for several hours? How's his ability to sit in a confined space for many hours? If you were a passenger who was a stranger, and you were sitting next to your LO on a plane for hours, what would your experience be like? Are there likely to be toileting issues? What happens if the person has a big cognitive or physical downturn while you're away?
Last year these were some of the questions I was asking myself about bringing my dad to VT by plane, and that's only an hour's flight. I decided it would not work for him, me and others on the plane.
Depending on your LO's current condition, you may feel that it will work out.
What do you think about a train trip? It's longer, but you can get a private room on some trains, get up and walk around, and go to the dining car. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:06 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Travel issues
That's good thinking, Lynn.

I definitely will be guided by how well Dale does now in church, in a restaurant, etc. As I already posted, we have a Christmas gathering to attend coming up and I'm hoping he can be in the congregation at church when I'm at the organ on January 2nd. We'll have a better idea then. He did well in a couple of stores yesterday.

I know that at some point he's going to be forced to essentially 'stop living' and stay put for the rest of his life. I don't want it to happen too soon.


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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:21 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3432
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Travel issues
I completely get that. When I couldn't even take my dad out in the car for 10 min. to get ice cream, it was terrible. From then on he was trapped in his non-working body in the ALF. Thank goodness it was a beautiful place with very nice people. It felt like another whole family to me, but not to my dad.
Do everything while you can outside the house! Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:25 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Travel issues
Yes I agree with Lynn on this one, we never know when it will all stop and life will stand still .

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Irene Selak


Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:53 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:23 am
Posts: 201
Post Re: Travel issues
My LO and I just traveled by air from Wi to Orlando Fl for our winter place. It just couldn't have gone better. We are both good walkers but its getting harder at the big airports as he is walking a lot slower now days. Something new is happening that never happened before. Someone always asks us if we need a wheelchair. Boy, I'm not sure if they think I need it or LO needs it. Really makes me feel old. :roll: I always carry something in a travel bag to give him to eat and about half way through the trip, I plug his MP3 player into his ears and he listens to his favorite tunes. (music is his therepy) Also carry a low dose of extra Seroquel in my purse (I ok'd that with his neurologist) just in case he gets agitated or something else unpredicable. Haven't had to use it yet. Someone then picks us up at the airport and brings us to our apartment. I hope to continue doing this until the time comes he doesn't tolerate it or I no longer can handle getting us both back and forth. It's been worth it because we can be outside more in the winter months down here. I can keep him walking.
Mary


Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:04 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Travel issues
Hey, Mary.... Wheelchairs are the way to go at airports. You get into the plane ahead of everyone as if you were First Class. Dale can still walk slowly ... but why make him go that distance?

You also get pushed to the head of the security line....

We've been using airport wheelchairs for several years. I love the service we get.
I pay the pusher a tip.... but they take you directly to the gate and you don't have to keep checking the ticket.

We also use unisex bathrooms when the airport has them.

I guess I am old ....so I don't mind admitting that.... :lol:

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:17 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Travel issues
Leone,
It actually is safer for Dale to be in a wheelchair because he does walk slowly, people in a hurry are not always aware of the slower moving people and Poor Dale could end up getting hurt.

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Irene Selak


Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:30 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:23 am
Posts: 201
Post Re: Travel issues, getting treated like first class
Leone
I never thought of it like that. Maybe we will try the wheelchair thing going home. I keep telling myself, I have to do things to make my life easier now. Getting treated like a first class passenger doesn't sound too bad. The bathroom is a different subject. The unisex bathrooms work out well. I get hot under the collar when a young able person comes out of one of the unisex bathrooms and we have had to wait. :mrgreen: If LO goes into the airport bathroom, I stand outside and am afraid he is never coming out. I have him carry a small cell phone. If he's been in the bathroom too long, I ring his phone and tell him "you have to come out now" he'll usually just say "ok" Sometimes I have had to go in and get him. Once he said "how do I get out of here". I said, "just slide that silver lever". and he did and came right out. What a class act we must look like these days. Never thought I would have to go into the men's bathroom at the airport. Usually, I try to see if the last man has come out before I go in. Yes the unisex bathrooms are the way to go if they are available.
Irene, I never thought of the safety of getting knocked over because he walks so slowly. I really will consider using the wheelchair from now on. Thanks


Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:39 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
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Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Travel issues
You are lucky that your sweetheart can still use a cell phone. Dale can't use a cell phone or the TV remote anymore. If there is no unisex toilet, I often ask someone to go in a check on him. I find that most people are very helpful when there is a wheelchair involved. However, I have walked into more than one men's room looking for him. He has difficulty with his clothing now.

I just cancelled his cell phone service yesterday. I thought it was about time to save the money.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:59 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:23 am
Posts: 201
Post Re: Travel issues
I have his cell phone set so all he has to do is flip it open and talk. I don't believe he would understand how to push a button to make it work. I have my cell phone number set to speed dial on his phone and a green sticker that says "call Mary L *6" but he has never called me. I sometimes have him practice calling me. Mostly I think if we get separated in the airport it would be one way of locating him. So many questions and fears crop up with the idea of traveling but well worth it once in a while.
Mary


Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:14 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: Travel issues
Frank cannot use the bathroom alone. I take him into the ladies room if there isn't a unisex. I have gone in and told the ladies that I need to bring my husband in and they have always been very kind.

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Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.


Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:13 am
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