Episode 4

January 13, 2022


#4 | Sheri Simpson | Dementia-Friendly Arizona

Hosted by

Tony Siebers Bina Colman
#4 | Sheri Simpson | Dementia-Friendly Arizona
Parent Projects - Aging In America
#4 | Sheri Simpson | Dementia-Friendly Arizona

Jan 13 2022 | 00:25:10


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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 You're listening to senior moves. Speaker 1 00:00:03 Welcome to this. Thursday is released to the podcast where we're talking about the impacts of disability on your parent project. Today, I'm joined by Sherry Simpson of live generations and all the Turkey Arizona who's spent decades in the Arizona, senior living industry. And she's really found a passion for championing the effort to make Arizona dementia friendly. We'll be discussing national state and local efforts to improve life of the age, suffering with all forms of dementia, including how the travel industry is identifying and responding to this groaning, but vulnerable population. We're going to share some recommendations on how to spot and respond to someone, traveling with dementia and how your family can better plan to help a loved one move around the country. If dementia does indeed impact your situation as always we'll incorporate articles and resources from parent projects, magazine and senior moves.org, resources that have been curated to empower you and your family to dig in overall, there's some great information on how to approach, monitor, and address a range of dementia related issues for your parent project. So I really hope you guys enjoy our content today. Speaker 0 00:01:19 You're listening to parent projects, a senior moves podcast production. Now here's your host, Tony CBRE's Speaker 1 00:01:29 Well welcome again to our listeners and our podcast this week. Uh, dementia is the topic and Sherry Simpson. You are in the spotlight, Sherry, how are you doing today? Okay, Tony, how are you? Awesome. It's great to have you with us. I really appreciate it. Well, thanks Speaker 2 00:01:43 For having me. I love Speaker 1 00:01:44 It. You know, for those of you that kind of fall along and look through the parent projects magazine. Now there's a couple of stories that we're going to hit through that you definitely want to pay attention to. Uh, one of them is going to be the sky Harbor, offering a new help for travelers with dementia. Uh, and, um, it's, uh, you can find that over on the parent projects magazine, um, generally today, we're going to be talking through on this topic of, of traveling with dementia and Alzheimer's and memory related, uh, issues. We're going to talk through, uh, traveling, uh, expectations and what that looks like. What's going well, who's kind of on point for this right now across the country. Uh, we're going to talk through some personal expectations that you can set, uh, going in to a situation where, uh, mom and dad or, or someone, you know, that it has a difficult time traveling. We're starting to approach that ways that you can set some expectations there and really help set the situation up for success. And then we're going to close up with some response, emergency response, things to plan for just to be prepared in case things don't go the way that we were exactly expecting them to go as they roll through. How's that sound sounds great. Okay, fantastic. So with that, please sit back and enjoy, uh, this episode with Sherry Simpson of live generations, all Turkey. Speaker 1 00:03:05 Hey Sherry, thank you again for joining us today. Speaker 3 00:03:08 My pleasure, Tony. Speaker 1 00:03:09 Okay, well, Hey, talk to me about, uh, you know, dementia, a safe, uh, safe areas for dementia, safe nation for dementia, safe, Arizona for dementia. When you brought that idea to light it, just man, it grabbed my heart. Uh, talk to me about where you came from on that. Speaker 3 00:03:28 Yeah, so there is DFA, which is dementia, friendly America, and I think we're all in a crusade to make America dementia friendly because it's scary out there for the loved one and for the family members going through it. Um, there was an article recently in, uh, uh, regarding Skyharbour our airport in Arizona. Um, and they launched, um, a compassion corner. It's located in their airport on level three, uh, terminal four, it's behind the elevator be in the chapel and it is a private room, a quiet room, and it's locked. The compassion corner is locked so that there's always somebody there Monday through Saturday and they can unlock this compassion corner, uh, of this part of the hallway. Uh, it's a big open room with a lot of, uh, stimulating colors. They have a bubble, um, water machine, which is very soothing, um, there's tables and chairs and the couch and that type of thing. But it's a wonderful way for somebody who has dementia, who's getting overstimulated by the airport to just catch their breath. Speaker 1 00:04:56 Okay. And this is out. So this is outside security, uh, in that terminal for so most of, I think we've got some American airlines. Southwest really is the dynamite think in terminal for the tout there. Um, and uh, behind, uh, elevator B, you said, right. Speaker 3 00:05:14 It is behind elevator B and just look for the chapel and it will say compassion corner right on the sign. Right. Speaker 1 00:05:21 That's a good start. So ha I mean, how did you get to carrying off of this? Your, uh, did tell us, tell us about you there live generations and, and tell us how you got into even caring about this, this corner of the world. Speaker 3 00:05:35 So, dementia is my passion. It started off with my grandparents who lived with us. He had Parkinson's and dementia is an umbrella and underneath the umbrellas Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and Lewy body and different realms of dementia diseases. Um, it's been a passion of mine forever. I've been in all realms it, and I am on, like I said, a crusade to make America dementia friendly, um, and support any communities, any businesses that are doing that as well. So that's something that I definitely am passionate about and trying to find companies that are dementia friendly. So that's where we started. Speaker 1 00:06:23 E and I know you've got a good network of other people, uh, that, that speak on this and talk about this, or have written about this, uh, Jan, Doherty's got the, uh, book of travel well with dementia, the essential tips to enjoy the journey. Tell us how that, how does that come into play, uh, in, in what Jan talks about in her book? Uh, Speaker 3 00:06:45 Oh, sorry. Uh, Jan is a dementia care export expert. Um, and she has written this book, the travel well with dementia. Um, she's also cultivated live generations memory care program. So she's her background is dementia. She is the most interesting, amazing woman I've ever met, uh, her passion, um, regarding dementia and especially traveling. That's where her realm is. Um, at this point in her journey is she's innovative and she's going to come and speak here. She's absolutely incredible. Um, she used to be with Banner's Alzheimer's association. Um, and I think she's with hospice of the valley at this point, doing some of their, uh, dementia training. Speaker 1 00:07:41 And we're going to put down in the description below the podcast, we'll put the link to Jan's book, the travel, what, with dementia, for those of you that are looking for it, and it's link over to, to purchase it off of Amazon where she's got that. So it sounds like we've got some awareness that this is going on, uh, the Phoenix sky Harbor airport picking up or others. Uh, you know, you see the, the, um, the green lanyards with cactus on that. I understand that it's, they're kind of making a play off of that in a, in a slightly different direction to help identify people, uh, out at the airport and in some other places, what can you tell us about the lanyards? Speaker 3 00:08:17 Yep. So the lanyards you can get at the Phoenix airport, they're bright green with cactus on them, obviously for Arizona, um, that, that is recognizable by the people, the staff at the airport in Phoenix. Um, it is trending in all different cities, so I'm not sure what the other cities green lanyard will look like. Um, but the dementia, um, there is other lanyards with some flowers on them, and that is trending across America as well. Um, they're advocating for nationwide nationwide adoption, um, of the hidden disability sunflower program is what it's called. And there's a green with some flowers on it, basically it all cultivates together so that it's somebody with a disability that might need some help. So if you see somebody with a lanyard it's green, whether it has cactuses or some flowers on it, be mindful that that person may need it extra Or minutes. Speaker 1 00:09:30 Exactly. You know, and that's just that identification of that sometimes in a hustle and bustle, I think is a great thing for any of us that are moving even on, on business or, or, or the light to be able to see that and know that that's there. And, um, and that can, I know TD to teach is to learn twice, they would say so. So walking into that situation with somebody or being able to help someone else might help you, uh, or one of the listeners and members in, um, and their own walks. So that's, that's fantastic. So it sounds like with an identification of what that, of people that potentially might have that problem. And now we have the ability to, to start responding to things, if there's an issue so long as we set some stuff up. So, um, let's, let's talk about that. Speaker 1 00:10:15 Let's, let's talk about the, what I'd like to talk about as those personal expectations of setting up travel to make something go reasonably well, or as well as it can go. Um, for those that aren't maybe, you know, that's a difficult thing, but you're just not ready to give up, uh, travel, um, mom and dad and bringing them someplace, or they're not ready to give it up yet. Uh, and, and you think you can, you can still get some of that out. Well, how can we do that safely to enable them, uh, that dignity, uh, and that ability a little longer, Speaker 3 00:10:46 First of all, traveling period is phenomenal and traveling with dementia is just as phenomenal for that person. We have to keep that in mind, but we need to set the realistic expectations. So for instance, my friend who has dementia, sundowns nighttime, isn't her friend. It's scary for her. I'm not going to travel at night. If I take her on a trip, we're going to travel during the day. So that's a realistic expectation of where she's going to be more successful and enjoy the trip. Speaker 1 00:11:25 Right. In general. How long do you think, um, in setting an itinerary, what's, uh, what's a pretty safe window. I mean, each person probably has to gauge their own situation and other parents, but, uh, or a family member, but in general, is there a guideline? Speaker 3 00:11:41 Yeah, I wouldn't go anything over four hours. Okay. But especially with one person, if I, if I'm going to take a trip and it's going to be over four hours, I would ask for another family member come with our caregiver to come with. Um, because it is exhausting for the caregiver. That's taking care of that person that loved one with dementia. Um, and they need a break as well. So we have to have self care as well as being realistic for the loved one that has dementia, and that is needing that additional assistance. So four hours is a really good timeframe. Um, Speaker 1 00:12:19 And how much of that that's, that's going to be, in addition to the, you know, the 90 minutes to maybe almost two hours, you might need to be there early to check in and to set all that stuff up. So now you're talking about a good six hour period of travel for them, and that's, you know, that's, that's, uh, that, that starts making a lot of sense when you start around those boundaries. So, you know, so my wife today, um, and when she was dropping off her mom, I just reminded her. I said, you know, if you go down stairs, uh, when she has to check in her bag and she had Christmas gifts, so she's taking some things home. And so she checked bag and in checking that bag, I said, if you just let them know, uh, that you'd like to go through to the gate, you don't have to have an itinerary, be a passenger, you don't check your ID. Speaker 1 00:13:05 And then you'll actually have that opportunity to go through TSA and go all the way to the gate. Um, and that was a it's, uh, it worked, it worked really, really well, uh, to be able to escort a mom all the way through security was, was, um, my, my wife noted that security seeing numbers, you know, you're seeing numbers and you're seeing gates and so many different places that oftentimes they can get mixed up in where they are. Um, you know, they know they're going to gate D five, uh, but they see lane five that TSA and think maybe that's where they need to be. Right. Or no. When do you hand someone a ticket and what do you hand somebody an ID? When do you hand somebody? Both? Those are, these were things that she could help walk through. Um, and maybe more than anything she had noted on the backside. She was able to tell other people around her, um, in the most tactful way, just to alert them, uh, that she may need a little bit more time, or she could slow a conversation down, uh, real tactfully. And that was really helpful for mom. Speaker 3 00:14:10 How, how insightful to get that extra assistance to go back and get through, because that imagine such an overwhelming, especially traveling during the holidays, that overwhelming experience, getting through TSA, taking your shoes off, putting your stuff in the, in the bin, waiting to be prompted to go through the, the machine that you have to go through them, putting your shoes on, let it alone. You handed them your ID and your boarding pass, or you showed it to them, or they took it. And you don't even know where it is now. So, Speaker 1 00:14:48 Or things that go out. If you really think about that process, it's designed by, you know, I, I know from, from, you know, my, my past history in law enforcement, uh, that TSA is designed and the airport is designed to not give a lot of preparation or information upfront. It demands short-term memory of you. You're going to be told what line to go through at the last second and the type of people and what has to come off. And when in they're constantly changing those things for security sake, right. To provide that protection. But, you know, mom really wanted to know what gate she was going to fly out of last night. So she could mentally prepare for that, uh, the night before. And we couldn't tell her that because the gate wasn't given until just before they handed her a ticket downstairs, uh, and then that's, that's the say, it didn't get changed once we got upstairs. Speaker 1 00:15:36 And you're listening to other gates, talk about where they're going, trying to determine if that's what you should be listening to or not helping them understand to look, uh, for the person, once they're at their gate, look for that person, have that microphone in front of them with the sounds that they hear. And if not, it's probably someone someplace else that's talking to them and we're Southwest airlines, they load planes different. Right. Um, you know, I, I, we love it. And we phone each almost a million miles off of it. We like it that much. I met on that airline. Uh, but, but all that aside that is different than the way she's traveled in flight for her whole life, her whole life. She's used to having that seat ahead of time. So, um, that is really something that we will think through. Again, even though we love that we, we just need to know that we've got somebody got to be with her through that process or else that's probably something short-term memory. We'll, we'll have a hiccup, Speaker 3 00:16:30 Right. And just send her the lanyard with the cactus on it, or the sunflowers. And that gives TSA a heads up that, okay. They not, they all know that that means that that needs, that's identifying somebody that just needs a, an additional service. Speaker 1 00:16:46 Uh, when we were talking before you were talking about, uh, like I need bracelets or apple tags or GPS tags, and talk to me about that, what, what can we do? How can we use that, uh, to put ourselves at ease or to, just to kind of track stuff, Speaker 3 00:16:59 Right? So we all know if you have kids, if they hide in a store or a clothing store, you're frantic, you don't know where to look. You're the, as a parent, I have six kids, they have all done it to me giving me heart attacks, okay. With a parent or a loved one, an aunt, a family member, anybody, a friend, traveling with dementia, kind of hard to know what to expect if you lose them in an airport. But imagine somebody with that innocence of not knowing where to go or wandering off, not on purpose, how you're going to find that person Speaker 1 00:17:44 On her phone off before she got on the plane to fly here, though. And she got, she got in a little early, and even though we went to the airport to get her because of that, uh, we found her down in baggage and they had changed the carousel. And, and, you know, my wife just said to her, you could just tell on her face, like, oh my gosh. And didn't, she just didn't think, turn her phone back on. And we couldn't get ahold of her. Right. So, uh, a GPS tag. Speaker 3 00:18:11 So they have to have ID ID, bracelets. I think apple tags is out, but it's an ID bracelet that like works just like a GPS or you lose your keys. Um, you can find that loved one. They even have inserts that fit into shoes. Um, kind of hard if the family member is coming from a different state to you and they don't put that insert in the shoe, but there's tons and tons of resources for GPS location for a loved one for a senior that has demand. Speaker 1 00:18:46 That's great. And, and you had, uh, you, uh, taking a picture, uh, tell me that idea. Speaker 3 00:18:54 Let's talk about that. So, um, it's, I think if, if my kids said to me, mom, what are you wearing when you travel? Right. I would say I'm wearing a sweatsuit black sweatsuit, blah, blah, blah. At least that they would have a description if I had dementia of what I was wearing so that they could pick me out of the crowd and they can send the grandparents over. If you know, your loved one, if that your loved one is like, well, I don't know what I'm wearing until tomorrow. Um, but, uh, if that's the senior generation, they have it all planned out. So they usually know what they're wearing, but it's great to say, mom, let's FaceTime, auntie let's FaceTime, and then take a picture of what they're going to Speaker 1 00:19:39 Wearing Speaker 3 00:19:40 So that if they do get lost, you can say, well, my most, my mom has black hair, black glasses. She has something sparkly on her shirt and a black sweater. And I don't know where she is now. Let's go find her and go to, um, security at the airport and show a picture and have a current picture. Speaker 1 00:20:00 That's great. That's, that's, that's fantastic. Um, you know, let's, uh, so now we're leaning into, you know, how do, how do you respond if something's going wrong? Um, response logistics, it didn't go as planned. Uh, where do you, we, we, we talked about how, um, how you go and talk with, um, for the compassion corner, where you might find that it particularly Skyharbour who, uh, how do you handle moms coming in from Wichita or someplace like that? W w w what's the best place to prepare for that, or if you're having an issue, who do you contact? Speaker 3 00:20:38 Yeah. So, um, let's talk about mom coming in from Wichita. Um, you need to have an emergency bag of, with you have their list of medications, physicians, maybe some clothing. Um, it's always good to have that little emergency bank to be updated on what they're taking. Um, no, have a direct flight. Don't, don't do a layover. It might be cheaper, but it's not worth it in the end because it's very difficult for somebody to transfer planes. Um, Speaker 1 00:21:18 What's in that. So what's in that emergency back. What, what are things you want to think of? Uh, I mean like medications, I take it, uh, something that can get them through a 24 hour period or something. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:21:29 Um, medications, a list of those. Um, if not some pills, if you're, you know, going in the same state and traveling together, obviously have access to that. Um, the list of doctors, physicians, uh, maybe some medical histories, a current picture of them is very, very important. Um, some water maybe, um, granola bar, maybe they're going to be hungry. Maybe they have low blood sugar, they need some candy. Maybe some of that nature, that's always a good thing to have just in case. It just never know Speaker 1 00:22:09 Something just while they're sitting to reconnect with you someplace, just thinking through what they need to be as comfortable as possible. Um, okay. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense and that's not a lot to throw on there. Um, that's great. Uh, so there that is got, um, that's a lot of good setup and things you can do ahead of time before showing up, setting into things you response afterwards, and just those expectations. What are, um, anything out there that are, that our listeners, uh, can be thinking about or where can they go to, to find more information, uh, outside of senior moves.org, uh, on this, um, but about this particular movement about dementia friendly America, Speaker 3 00:22:54 Uh, call me, let's do it one person at a time, uh, cause it's gonna take a village to make America dementia friendly, um, but all in all set realistic expectations of what it's best set up for your person, your loved one, um, travel with love for yourself and kindness for them and the people around you, because it is exhausting to travel. Speaker 1 00:23:26 It's very being so much for joining us today. And thanks for sharing the message for a dementia friendly Arizona. I I'm confident you're going to succeed at this as you do everything else. You're just a point person for advocating for those, uh, that are aged here in the, in the valley. And I have zero doubt that you're going to lead our members and other people to, to support in this as well. So good on you and thank you so much for joining us today. Thanks Tony. Well, that's it for the senior moves team this week. Thanks for joining us. If you've enjoyed this content, remember to subscribe and share this episode on the app that you're listening to right now, reviews and comments, they help us help you by expanding our reach and our perspective. So if you have time, please drop us a note. Tell us how we're doing for more tips and tools to clarify your parent project, to simplify communication with stakeholders and to verify the professionals that you choose to help you. You can find us at YouTube, follow [email protected]. Thanks again for trusting us and until next week behold and be helpful. Speaker 0 00:24:37 Thank you for listening to the senior moves podcast production to access our show notes, resources or forums go to senior moves.org. This show is for entertainment purposes only before making any decisions consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by Phoenician partners, LLC, and senior moons written permissions must be granted before syndication or rebroadcast.

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