Episode 7

December 16, 2022


#21 | Jan Dougherty | Travel Well with Dementia

Hosted by

Tony Siebers Bina Colman
#21 | Jan Dougherty | Travel Well with Dementia
Parent Projects - Aging In America
#21 | Jan Dougherty | Travel Well with Dementia

Dec 16 2022 | 00:39:01


Show Notes

Today’s Guest is Jan Dougherty Jan Dougherty, MS, RN, FAAN is a nurse leader, innovator, and noted dementia care expert. As a change agent, Jan has been advancing care for people living with Alzheimer’s disease/related dementia and their family caregivers. Jan brings to her clients TravAlz innovation and expertise using dementia-friendly travel solutions. The results for the travel industry and family caregivers ensure successful, safe, and memorable travels.

TSA CARES: If your flight is within 72 hours, call TSA Cares at (855) 787-2227
Sunflower Lanyard: www.hiddendisabilitiesstore.com

Looking for information? Parent Projects takes the stress and intimidation out of the process for families relocating an aged loved one using our educational and self-help downsizing guides found at www.parentprojects.com. Through our “Verified” Business Network, advocates can access the pre-screened professional services they need on their terms with the financial and personal safety peace-of-mind their families deserve.

Please subscribe to the podcast at: Castos: https://parent-projects.castos.com
iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast
Spotify: Parent Projects

Join @ParentProjects on Twitter
Follow us at: Facebook @ParentProjects
Instagram @parentprojects

00:00 – Intro
01:22 – Introduction to Jan Dougherty
09:46 – Mana House Coffee Ad
10:41 – Tips and Advice for Traveling With Adult Children
23:53 – Resources to help traveling for your loved ones.

Start Listening Today!

Parent Projects™ Podcast is a resource of stories, interviews, and tips to help families replace guilt and fear with a little love and laughter.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:06 You're listening to parent projects. Speaker 2 00:00:11 Hey, everybody. Hey, A diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer's disease doesn't mean that you have to give up on everything or anyone really that you love. Those of you that really like to travel and are looking for a way to do it, but it's freaking you out in how people are gonna respond to the situation or how even you're gonna respond to the situation. You're gonna find a lot in today's conversation with Jan Dery. Uh, Jan is an expert in traveling with dementia, and I am confident that you can leave this episode today feeling capable of doing one of the most important things you can, which is giving a gift of travel to your loved one with memory problems. Stay tuned for traveling well with dementia. Speaker 1 00:01:14 You're listening to parent projects, a family media and technology group Production. Now, here's your host, Tony Siebers. Speaker 2 00:01:23 Well, hey, today we've got Jan Dorty on and, uh, wow her blessing into lives like mine, which is, uh, families that have to come together for the holidays, maybe from multiple areas of the country and are facing travel. Whether you're taking a ship, you're taking a train, or you're taking an airplane, uh, it, she really brings a lot of comfort into that situation. Setting those for real expectations, giving some pointers and some things you can share with your family ahead of time so that they understand how, um, how to take in everything that's out there, and everyone can make the most of the situation so it can unfold a beautiful experience, uh, for your loved one. Jan, uh, thanks for joining us today. It is a blessing to have you and your talents on. Thank you so much. Speaker 4 00:02:10 Well, it's good to join you today. Speaker 2 00:02:13 And Jan, so you, you've, you, you've got a, a tremendous book out here that has an amazing amount of checklists, uh, from everything from understanding, um, how to fight respite care and somebody to help you when you just, you've had enough, it's too difficult to come up how to think about, uh, somebody helping you engage with this. Things to think about when you get there. What, what, what experience led you to being an expert in traveling with somebody in such a, a difficult condition like this? Speaker 4 00:02:43 Well, I think it combined a couple loves. I have, so, you know, I've been a, a nurse for many, many years, and I specialized in the care people living with dementia and their families. And, um, through that experience, and particularly working with people with a new, uh, dementia diagnosis, when we would talk to them about what's important to you in the next year or two, frequently, we heard people say, you know, I, I just, I wanna take that Dr, that dream trip that I've always been thinking about. I wanna, uh, make sure that I stay connected to my adult children who live in another state. And, um, so that really resonated with me because I love to travel as well. And thinking ahead about the number of baby boomers who will be affected by Alzheimer's disease or related to million. Know it's expected that by 2050, some 14 to 16 million people in the US, about 50 million people worldwide are gonna be living with a dementia. And, um, staying connected to the people and the places that we love, I think is imperative when living with a chronic condition like Alzheimer's disease Speaker 2 00:03:52 Yeah. With, without a doubt. And the value of, um, of, of, of fighting and defeating isolation, which is something that just tends to set in on that family member, uh, I, I, I think is huge in travel. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, when you're, when you first start looking at a trip, um, and you, you started looking at this, you spend some time with, with other industry experts, right? So you're like me. You've, you've had family experiences and other things I know that prepare you for this, but you've got a whole nother step. Uh, you, I mean, you've worked with cruise industry, you've worked with the airline industry in order to understand those things. What, what, how, how did you even come about doing those things? Or how, how did those, how do those relationships and how are they finding you and how, how does that work? Speaker 4 00:04:34 Well, I think it, it, you know, one is as I, um, began to pursue writing a book, again, my goal was how do I help families stay connected, right? In a mm-hmm. <affirmative> in a disease that is wrought with a lot of challenges, but a lot of myths and stigma. And so it was really beginning to debunk that. And, and as I began to look at the airlines and look at hotels and look at cruise lines, um, in the, in the term that's used, accessibility, um, accessibility for them was all about people with physical disabilities, people using wheelchairs, people who needed oxygen. And it didn't include people who had cognitive disorders, with the exception of, uh, looking at children living with autism. So, I'm really delighted that the trap industry has really begun to embrace, um, you know, that, uh, condition, which is a family condition, much like Alzheimer's disease is. Speaker 4 00:05:29 Yeah. And so it became very apparent that, um, accessibility needed to expand and really look at, uh, a number of people who are living with cognitive disability. Certainly autism is one, but there, you know, a lot of mental health disabilities, there are people living with P T S D and then, you know, some 6.2 million Americans living with a dementia like Alzheimer's. And so it's really been one of exploration and one of becoming educated, and then trying to advocate and educate, uh, an industry that often hasn't thought about people living with dementia, traveling. And so it's been an experience. Speaker 2 00:06:11 Well, and there are increasing numbers as you're, I mean, you're just pointed to, as that comes up, we're seeing a, a much that that silver tsunami, that rapidly aging, uh, group of people that need to, some of them need to figure it out, and, and there's not as many family members, uh, uh, to, to be able to escort or walk them through, or caregivers. So it's, do you find that the, that the travel industry in general is, is really open in their, they're moving in a, in real positive directions for this in general? Speaker 4 00:06:38 So I think it were early in, in the process, I would love to say they're embracing this, but remember, they too represent, uh, a public who doesn't understand dementia, who is working with very old information, who often think that people with dementia become violent, that everybody's living in a nursing home. And so part is educating, uh, um, these individuals too, that know these are walking, talking very vibrant, very able individuals for many years after a diagnosis. And so, um, there's a lot of stigma in the industry, you know, because nobody wants to be known as the dementia cruise line, the dementia Right. Airline, because really, you know, we're a youth oriented, um, very sexy, glamorous, especially when we think about travel, right? I get, yeah. Travel magazines. And first of all, if you see somebody with gray hair, um, they, they're, they're gorgeous. And they've been, you know, airbrushed. They don't show older adults to typically in travel. And again, when we see images even on tv, and they show a person living with dementia, they show somebody who is lifeless, who seems to have no joy, no hope, you know, uh, scrunched over. And so, you know, that's the, the stigma that exists right now in our culture. And we've gotta change that to help people understand that that's, you know, yes. Dementia, and I don't want to candy coat a condition that is progressive and Speaker 2 00:08:09 Right, right. Speaker 4 00:08:10 Three kinds of situations. But, you know, um, there are good three to five years that people can live with dementia, travel, and do it with support and be successful. And that's, I think, what we need to continue to educate our travel industry, right? That we wanna partner with you, we want you to be successful, because they do wanna create a good customer experience for the person who's travel, right? Speaker 2 00:08:36 Right. And, and, and that increasing numbers of, of, or this increasing success that we're seeing with ba even, or attention in the battling with dementia, the battle against Alzheimer's. You're seeing new medications or other solutions that might come on that can, that can slow it, or that progression means you could have people living in that condition of being able to travel for much a prolonged period of time, a much longer period of time in, in living with the diseases the disease works at them. So that great, really well, um, I'm glad to know, I'm glad to know that there's somebody in the industry that's, that's got our backs, that's going up, who's at least opened the door as early as it may be, who's opened the door for those conversations, and I would imagine continuing to support you, and anything we can do to help bring awareness to those, those industries as well, will, will be fantastic. Um, yeah, I appreciate that work. And, and I'm going, I'm going to, uh, we're gonna take just a moment here to, to take a nick and, and talk about kind of those, those, those good works. Uh, we're gonna pitch out and, and give a moment to highlight the Manna House out here in Phoenix, Arizona. And an ability to, to continue helping them through that transition of what they work as well. Speaker 5 00:09:46 Hey, guys, uh, this is Tony at the Parent Projects Podcast. And if you are powered by Coffee the way that I'm powered by coffee, I think you'll appreciate knowing a way that you can help the last lost and least of us that didn't have a great transition. You see, the Refuge Coffee Company is a social enterprise operated by Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Arizona, where they use this coffee and this business model to help homeless veterans at the Manna House transitional community get back on their feet, help a veteran turn a handout into a hand up by giving them the opportunity to earn your business. Purchase coffee [email protected]. That's the refuge az.com. If you order six or more bags, shipping will be free. And if you tell 'em that parent projects sent you, I'm gonna send you a travel coffee mug. Thank you again, and let's get back to the show. Speaker 2 00:10:43 Hey, guys, this week here with Jan Doherty and her book, traveling Well With Dementia is a great resource for those of you that might be traveling this holiday season or other holiday, or anytime of year, honestly. Uh, and you've got a loved one, uh, that you may be care take or you're just preparing for a family member to come in, uh, during the holiday season or during some other time, and need to get a baseline of what's going through and how to plan as a family. So, uh, Jan, again, you know, I obviously, we just went over you, you've got a great background for this. You're connected not only in at the family side, but you've got a great visibility in what's happening in the trends and the industry and what can be done professionally to make, you know, to set reasonable expectations. Let's, um, let's, let's talk about that some reasonable expectations. Speaker 2 00:11:28 You know, chapter, a couple of chapters in your book, one of them talks about why you might wanna consider not making a trip in the first place. I mean, you're really, you're really clear to go look at that. I think it's in chapter five. Um, but you've also got other chapters that just talk through, Hey, these are some of the easy things in addition to planning ahead, which is kind of a main theme I see across the whole book. These are some of these things that you can do that start knocking down the difficulty. We don't, we don't have to make it harder on ourself, but what are those, what are those key things? If you've, you've got a family that's dreading this dread, what are those first couple of things that you place on them to, to open the door, but you know that the travel's a real thing for them and can't happen? Speaker 4 00:12:09 Yeah. I think, you know, whether, whether, um, we're traveling there, they're traveling here, again, this idea of how do we all try to align ourselves and understand the situation for which it is, you know, what, what is this person who's living with dementia like now? And, and how is it that we all work together to support this to be a really good experience? What's that gonna look like? And so we have to have some open and honest conversations. And this can be very difficult for family members who live at a distance. They only talk to the person on the phone. They think they sound fine, but the reality is, is very different than that. And so we have to be transparent about here's what's happening in this current situation. This is, this is what's Dad is living with, like right now. And I'm so glad that when he gets on the phone with you, he's really engaged and he's asking you questions. Speaker 4 00:13:07 But what you need to know is, most of the time here, he's pacing around the house. He's, you know, he's very confused. He gets extremely anxious when I leave the house. And so, here's, uh, what you need to know as you come to visit us. This is what's gonna help dad have a great visit and will really help me to support you all to be, um, enjoying our time together. Right? And so we have to be open and honest and very clear with that. Um, and, and that often is very difficult, especially for married couples. Um, you know, who want to say, well, it's, it's not the kids' problem. Well, well, it is <laugh>. You know, I say Alzheimer's disease is a family condition, and, you know, mom drops over dead. Guess what? Um, I, as the adult daughter or son, I'm on deck, right? To come in, right? Speaker 4 00:14:00 And so I need to know what the situation is, right? And if you found ways that are helpful to be, um, relate to dad, boy, wouldn't it be nice for me to know and, you know, and for our children to know, because again, this is a family condition. And without good knowledge, everybody's, uh, assuming certain things that can be completely wrong. And, uh, again, you know, that was my real goal writing this bo book, is that, um, families find success, that care partners don't feel alone in this, and that the person living with dementia can find joy in, in these moments of being together with the people that they love most. Speaker 2 00:14:45 So as a family member, uh, if, let's say that my, my, a lot of times we're, we're still still seeing mom is a caretaker for dad, or dad's a caretaker for mom that's starting to experience this. So let, let's, let's throw that one forward, that maybe that's what we're, we're experiencing here. Uh, so as a family that's waiting for everybody to come down over here, engaging in some of those conversations with mom about dad or with dad, about mom, and what works well and what doesn't work well, and what to expect I the day of travel, describe to me maybe kind a more ideal day of travel for, uh, dad with dementia as mom and dad are flying in. What should I set for as a family member? How can I prepare my house? And what should I be thinking about as I'm getting ready for everybody to come in for the holiday? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 4 00:15:28 Yeah. Great. Great question. So one is, uh, just as basic as where, um, are we gonna stay when we arrive? Um, you'd like us to stay with you, but the reality is, boy, there's a lot of commotion at your house. And, you know, um, dad doesn't really do well with a lot of commotion. So by the way, I, I looked, uh, you know, a hotel nearby and, um, you know, he's kind of slow going in the morning. And so I know you'd like us to be there for Christmas breakfast, but, you know, eight o'clock, it's, it's just not gonna happen. Cuz sometimes dad is up, uh, during the night. So, you know, probably 11 o'clock would be more realistic for us to come to your, your house. And, um, by the way, um, we're probably gonna go back to the hotel after we have breakfast because, uh, what I've found is dad's gonna need some quiet time. Speaker 4 00:16:21 So again, we really start laying out specifically here's what it's gonna be. And by the way, when dad, um, yells out or, or, um, uses foul language, which will probably take you by surprise, cuz dad's never done that. It probably says he's tired, he's had enough, or he is feeling frustrated. So don't, don't reprimand him. Don't say, dad, you shouldn't talk like that. Rather, you know, try to switch the subject or find some humor, right? Yeah. To help dad diffuse. But, um, this is what's gonna help us have a great vacation with you, we're we can hardly wait to see you. We love you. Um, and, and so, you know, ending with positive, you know, kind of a positive, we're glad to come, but here's what you need to know, which is gonna be different and maybe disruptive from the plans you have to. But boy, are we excited? Speaker 2 00:17:11 And those are, so that gives me the great questions to be asking mom about dad as we're prepping for those types of things. Uh, what I like, uh, what I also like in there to think through is, look, I, I might not know, I've heard you talk on this before, uh, I might know, not know what to do with sundowning, right? Mm-hmm. And where all those are. Mm-hmm. But I know what to do with a fatigue child. Right? I understand that. And so using it, kind of calling it to that, moving away from the, the niche conversation or, or, or words that are used into something that's, you know, like you explained, dad starts using language like this. He starts working through these things. When we come off the plane, we're gonna be tired. It's not the best best time for us to have everybody over there to welcome us as we're coming through. Um, you know, setting something up at eight o'clock at night or seven 30 at night's, not gonna get the best version of dad. Generally, if we've got something that's gotta happen there, uh, we're gonna need a slow day kind of leading our way up to that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> those and, and just like you would, and, and having that explainer, thinking about that the way that I would deal with a, with a young person that just was tired, just was fatigued. Cuz cuz that happens, right? Yeah. Right. Speaker 4 00:18:19 Yeah. And, and I think that's a great way to put it, Tony. Remember when the kids were little and, uh, how we adjusted, you know, even when we go to church and, and what time we would gather for Christmas Eve because we knew that they were excited for Santa to come and that we needed to get them home and in bed because they'd be up earlier than normal. Right? Right. Remember those times, well, now we're kind of doing similar things. Not that dad's a child, that's really important to point out because we don't wanna make the challenge right Speaker 2 00:18:47 Now Speaker 4 00:18:48 That's now a kid again, but rather, you know, these are the adjustments we make as a family because just like we wanted the kids to experience joy and Christmas morning, Hey, we want that for dad, but now Christmas morning for him is gonna be best around 11:00 AM Yeah. And I know that's, and I know that's a a it's a change, but again, we love you. We're so happy to be with you. Um, and thank you for making that change for us. Speaker 2 00:19:13 Yeah. Yeah. And that, and that's a great for a, again, for me as the family member pulling that conversation out in case mom's not ready to have that conversation mm-hmm. <affirmative> knowing what I'm going to ask as I make through those and, and thinking about that same way that I made adjustments when I got a little kiddo. It's not feeling while they're working through something and they are not the same thing. I, you know, I've heard, uh, one, the, one of the, the clearest way, obviously dementia is so different in so many different, you know, facets from that. But one of the easiest ways to understand, uh, that I've heard explained, uh, quickly was that, you know, think of if, if your executive thought pro your, your ability to think of something you want to do and work from that thing works really well, but your ability to take in and respond and then remember what has to happen and to even remember where you are at, to formulate a plan of where things have to happen. Speaker 2 00:20:03 Because you're not picking up on, on those markers of, oh, I've walked out this door, I'm now in this room, or I'm more, I've, I've passed this street. So if I get lost after something happens that I am, that I'm generally in this direction, those are the things that have slipped the most. And so it's any of those situations that are generally, that are putting them on the spot to have to process information and then work that back through. And it's not their idea to drive, it's gonna take more energy than one in which they get to drive. And so we'll try to set them up for success where they're able to drive as much as possible and show us what makes them happy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and, uh, and I can, I can relate to that as a family that's here, dealing with that and receiving a family member, um, working through that, you know, know cognitive impairment or whatever else I could, I could work through that. So that's, Speaker 4 00:20:50 But you know, Tony, it also makes me think that, on the other hand, if you're working with your family and they're not, they're not receptive. They're saying, oh, you're making too much of this. You're j you're just blowing everything out of proportion. You're making dad sound worse than what he is, then that also might be a signal on, is this gonna be in my best interest that we visit? Speaker 2 00:21:13 Is this gonna be in his best interest that you're going to? Speaker 4 00:21:16 Well, yeah, I guess, you know, we're putting her under rapid fire and it, you know, she already knows it's gonna be a disaster for him, and now she's gonna have to accompany somebody who's really upset and agitated because we had family who really didn't want to accept, you know, the reality of what was going on. So, you know, a lot of what I talk about in my book is, you know, when shouldn't you go? And sometimes it really is the person, you know, perhaps they're, they're, um, they're too confused now, even at home. And taking them out of the comfort and safety of home into a new environment is just gonna really press them. But on the other hand, if you as a caregiver or family really aren't open to adjusting, to accepting the help and the advice, if you're not willing to flex those two become markers of maybe this isn't a good time for you to visit. Yeah. Right. Maybe we just need it, it'd be better if we set up a zoom call <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:22:14 Yeah. Well, during the course of day. Well, and, and that, that, that might be more true in a holiday period than others because there's a lot of expectations of a holiday period more so than, than, uh, maybe even traveling for a wedding or traveling for something else where there's this other focal point of attention. But, but the truth is, during that holiday sessions that where this person who's traveling this loved one is probably at some point in time going to be a focal part, uh, focal point of what's going on. And, and that can be a lot to work in. So, you know, this great. I want, I want to take a break here real quick. You know, family communication, obviously, it's huge. It's everything. Uh, you know, to our listeners and our, and our members out there, if you haven't been, been circled back [email protected], if you haven't looked through to get on Parent Projects Connect, which is our new web app that helps families communicate, start talking about these things to understand what are the general tasks that the experts recommend that you knock out or make a part of your parent project when their problem becomes a project for you to be working on, uh, to a place to connect with, say, vendors and experts like Jan. Speaker 2 00:23:22 Uh, when you're working your way through these problems. Uh, please make sure you come over to that and we're gonna take a quick break here just to get, uh, a a peak at that product and we'll be back in one sec. Speaker 2 00:23:55 Hey guys, welcome back. We've got Jan Doherty, the Travel Well with Dementia author. I've got the book, uh, you should get the book, uh, by the way, this is, uh, this is available. You can, you can get this, um, in ebook, you can get this in standard thing. Amazon's probably the quickest and the easiest way to, uh, for someone to, to pick the book up for us. Uh, Jan, we've been talking through, um, these essential tips for, to enjoy the journeys. And that's, that's, that's obviously what we're hoping someone's gonna be able to find out. We've talked about some reason you might wanna think about now is not the time, uh, to make that trip, but let's say now is when you're gonna go and you're gonna work through it. You start working your way through, you're working through the checklist, you've thought through how do I deal with continents issues ahead of time, right? Speaker 2 00:24:41 What are the, what are the trips and just what is that bathroom really gonna mean to us? What are the, the fact that I don't like to use a travel agent, but that a travel agent has access to accessibility, uh, features and resources and things that they can book in a booking very different than what I can get if I just go up there and try to work. In fact, even trying to find it on the website for one of the major airlines, it's really hard to find those accessibility things. So there's some things that we, you, you really could buy in to make this a lot easier for yourself. Jan, I guess a question I wanna start handling as, as we start landing the plane here, proverbially is, let's say you go in for this, you do this and things start trending in a difficult direction. Some of those big pitfalls. What are those? What are what, where do you pull that out? Where, where do you park the car? Like what, what are the things to be thinking about if you, you make this trip, you come into this trip and you start getting yourself into trouble. What are some of the most common things we'll see and what are your recommendations against that? Speaker 4 00:25:41 Well, first of all, you know, people have not traveled for a while. I'm a big fan of people taking a staycation, right? That let's try three days kind of in our community at home. Let's see how we do when we stay in an unfamiliar place, ride a hotel, or maybe an Airbnb, whatever that might be. Let's see how we do when we start eating out two meals a day when we go, you know, visit the zoo or we take in a movie, or we just go take a stroll. You know, how is the person doing so that we have a preview, first of all, of how will this work and how are they gonna perform? So when things start running amok, <laugh>, the first thing to do is stop <laugh>. Like, okay, so we need to just, uh, we just need to quiet things down. So it could be in that moment, let's say we're, we're at a family gathering and, and grandma's getting all upset and she's calling the kids a brat. Speaker 4 00:26:35 She's yelling, she's really upset. The first thing I would do, I wouldn't be trying to put her in a car. I would be getting her into a quieter room in the house. And, um, you know, mom, let's, let's just go into the other room. Boy, I don't know about you, but it's just really noisy out there for me. So one, I wanna validate that you're feeling upset. I see that and I see that too. Yeah. Let's, let's just kind of go into this other room. So we, first of all, calm mom down and then, and then suggest, you know, why don't we just go back to the hotel? Or maybe it means we need to say to the family, if they're at our house, they're coming here that we say, you know what? Um, I think the evening needs to end. Um, you know, I've had families that are on a trip and, um, and they see this growing confusion and angst, so the person isn't comfortable, whatever that looks like for them. Speaker 4 00:27:25 And they've gotten on the phone in the middle of the night and called the airlines and said, you know what? We're, we're taking out the first, uh, midday flight we can get out tomorrow. So we also have to be willing to say, when does this trip need to end? Um, and, and do it in a safe, uh, manner. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that becomes really important. But I think, uh, one then is coming back and not saying, oh, this was, this was like an epic fail, but rather evaluating kind of what happened when the course changed. So how do we correct this next time? So could be that what was happening, you know, I've had families that have done road trips and on the way there, um, you know, the wife was, was quite, uh, con controlled and happy to be making this road trip cuz they once loved to do it, but boy, then they hit, uh, the place that they were visiting and every day was just, you know, lunch with these people and dinner with these people, and let's go here and let's go there. Speaker 4 00:28:26 So that by three, four days into that trip, you know, the wife who is normally really delightful now is crabby and she's striking out, right? And verbally when she's just saying, I, I am overwhelmed. So yeah, next year, let's not do a road trip. Let's plan to do, you know, an airline and let's get there and let's stay with one person and let's just maybe have one visit a day. Right? So it's not that it has to end, rather, this is where we look at the whole of it and think, when did things start going south? And then what could I do that could reverse that? Right? So the principles of how do I, uh, incorporate the daily routine every day, whether we're traveling or people are coming to see us, how do I ensure that my, my loved one is getting enough rest throughout the day during these visits? How do I make sure that I'm not overwhelming them with just too much, too much noise, too many people, too many activities, you know? And, and how do I prepare the others around me to what I call being dementia capable? They're dementia friendly. They know how to interact with her. They know how to keep her comfortable. They know how to include her. And when I start doing all of those things, we're much like less likely to see, um, you know, a lot of the challenges arise during travel. Speaker 2 00:29:49 Well, and, and one thing that comes to mind, many things come to mind off of that, uh, but one in particular is, it probably is pretty important to leave a little gas in the tank. Uh, understanding that there's gonna have to be travel home if things start trending in one particular direction and you weren't expecting that, you may need to hedge and just immediately start thinking, okay, well we've, the close off's gonna take energy whenever that is. And we're gonna have to maybe bring the energy down to, to prep up and make that last surge to get home in a, in a, in a reasonable manner as well. Is there, is there any tips to that or, or any things to think about? There Speaker 4 00:30:28 Again, you know, as we think about traveling home, traveling home during the best time of the day, right? So not thinking that we have to be up at the crack of dawn to catch the first flight out or hit the road. Speaker 2 00:30:40 No, no. 5:00 AM flights out. Yeah. Speaker 4 00:30:42 <laugh>, no, no, 5:00 AM flights out just because the air beer was better. But noon, um, you know, allows us to get comfortably to the airport by 10. Making sure we get to the airport, you know, making sure that we're using accessibility at the airport, um, that we maybe called TSA cares right at at many people don't understand that TSA provides, uh, passenger support in many of the larger airports where they can help you and your loved one get through security. Yes, you still have to go through security, you don't get out of it. Uh, but that could be helpful. It's helpful thinking that when I go home, I've called my neighbor and said, Hey, can you make sure we've got a carton of milk in the house and some English muffins so that tomorrow morning we can have breakfast when we get home. Um, knowing that, um, this is another big one, that when you get home that as you've been gone for a week or 10 days, you're exhausted. Your loved one is exhausted, you shouldn't be booking doctor's appointments or any, anything else, you know, that right now is the time for us to hunker down, expect that your person might be more confused for several days and maybe even up to a week. And, um, it's really important that you just do what you can do to kind of create a calm atmosphere, get back into your rhythm again, get plenty of rest and let people help you as you return. Speaker 2 00:32:03 Right? Right. Those are, so as you were, um, you touched in there on TSA Cares, which we, we just were, were thrown up across the screen. We'll throw that up here in just one second. Um, the TSA cares. What, what, talk to me about that. What, what is, uh, what is that gonna do for us? Well, Speaker 4 00:32:22 What it's gonna do is allow you to have the added support you need. So oftentimes I would say to people that I work with in our clinic, you know, why don't you get your loved one with dementia into a wheelchair? But let's say you, you've got a husband who just says, I'm not getting into a wheelchair. I don't need a wheelchair. Well, a passenger support specialist could join you and walk with you and your husband so that you stay together through the security process. They really try to, uh, help it to be a calm experience, and maybe they'll even yeah. Stay with you until you board the plane. So, uh, they do a variety of things, helping a variety of people with medical and accessibility issues, but it really can help just knowing that you've got someone else who can help you, uh, make it through the security process by which is, by the way, the most stressful part of airline travel is going through security. Speaker 4 00:33:15 So it gives you that added support so you don't feel rushed and flustered, uh, when you're going through that experience. So that's really helpful to know. The other is, there's a program called the Sunflower Lanyard Program. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that now 62 airports across the US are embracing. So it's, it's through an organization called Hidden Disabilities, but through that you can purchase, uh, you know, a, a lanyard that is, is green and it's got daisies on it, or through your participating airport, you can get it for free. And airport employees are being taught as well as airlines that when someone is wearing this lanyard that is a person with a hidden disability, right? You can't see dementia, you can't see hearing loss, you can't see visual disturbance. Right? But this, this disability lanyard, if you will, lets people know that here's a person who's just gonna need more time and patience on my part. Speaker 4 00:34:14 Whether I'm a vendor working at an airport, let's say that's someone comes in and I, and, and they're trying to pay their bill for the what they're purchasing their, their, their snacks for the airplane, and I see the lanyard. Um, it lets me know that I'm not gonna rush this person. Right? So that's another wonderful, uh, thing. I think that we're trying to improve knowledge about this hidden disability and these become tools. The other is, I would say if you're flying through an airport, 80% of travel will involve an airplane, uh, as much as we like or dislike it. Um, I would say go on the website at your local airport, and particularly look to see where the family restrooms are, because that's something, um, we don't wanna do, is to send, um, dad into the men's restroom. Right. <inaudible> or, um, you know, I see this a lot with, um, families where they'll say, will you watch my dad while I run to the bathroom? And so, you know, this goodhearted person in the airport says, sure, I'd be happy to watch him, except that dad doesn't know who this person is and says, who are you? And, and walks off and walks away. Yeah. Yeah. So family restrooms are a must, right? It's not just for kids, it's for older adults as well. Anybody with a cognitive disability. So knowing where those family restrooms are, knowing where quiet spaces are in the airport, all become really important things. So we have to be prepared for that, Speaker 2 00:35:43 You know, and you and I, you're in, you're in, uh, Tempe. I'm out here in the East Valley as well. I'm out here in Mesa. Uh, I know our, uh, uh, Phoenix Sky Harbor, I think Mesa Airport utilizes the hidden disabilities. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. But, but isn't it a, it's a cactus or something? That's, Speaker 4 00:36:02 It's Phoenix Sky Harbor, which is working to become dementia friendly as well. They have a compassion cacti lanyard. So if you go to the Phoenix Sky Harbor, uh, website, and you look for the Compassion Corner, yes, you'll find the same ability to get the same lanyard, same thing. We're trying to educate, uh, city of Phoenix employees, and, and the city operates the Phoenix Sky Harbor. Um, we're educating them when they see this lanyard. Likewise, this is a person with a hidden disability. Let's slow down. Let's, let's show kindness and patience. We should do that to everyone. But we know that travel is stressful for everyone, Speaker 2 00:36:43 Uh, that it is. And if you are traveling down here, it, it's our primary market here in the Phoenix, uh, metropolitan area area at Phx. I believe you find that, uh, actually compassion Corners located down around the, uh, the chapel area, if I recall Speaker 4 00:36:58 Correctly, is in Terminal four. Speaker 2 00:36:59 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. And Terminal four. Great. Well, hey, uh, Jan, boy, you are a wealth of information. We could go on today's end. There is absolutely great reason I think that we've given, uh, for many people to go out there and pick up a copy of the book. It is truly something to have on your shelf. If you're a paper person, like, like I know we've talked about, we are, uh, if you're looking for that digital version of it, the iBooks are available as well, and you could download those. I highly recommend, I highly recommend this resource. Think about this. Let that planning take place. And Jan, I can't tell you how much we really appreciate it. Thank you for sharing your time, talents, and treasures with us here at Parent Projects. Speaker 4 00:37:36 Thanks for having me. And, and happy, safe travels and visits for all. Speaker 2 00:37:42 Thank you. Speaker 5 00:37:48 Well, that's it for the team this week, and thanks for joining us. If you enjoyed the content, remember to subscribe and to share this episode on the app that you're using right now. Your reviews and your comments, they really help us expand our reach as well as our perspective. So if you have time, also drop us a note. Let us know how we're doing for tips and tools to clarify your parent project, simplify communication with your stakeholders, and verify the professionals that you choose. You can find us on YouTube, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks again for trusting us. Until our next episode, behold and be Held. Speaker 1 00:38:20 Thank you for listening to this Parent Projects podcast production. To access our show notes, resources, or forums, join us on your favorite social media platform or go to parent projects.com. This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any decisions, consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by Family Media and Technology Group Incorporated and Parent Projects, llc. Written permissions must be granted before syndication or rebroadcast.

Other Episodes