|Alzheimer's Articles of Interest
Newly Diagnosed? New Member? Confused and don't know where to turn? Click here for information to get you started.
"Understanding the Dementia Experience"- by Jenifer Ghent-Fuller- comprehensive explanation of how Alzheimer's Disease affects patient and caregiver.
Educational Videos and Slide Shows on Alzheimer's Disease and Caregiving.
"The Alzheimer's Project" series on streaming video
EOAD - Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease - videos; articles; information; features on our own EOAD members.
| "EARLY ONSET DEMENTIA - A PRACTICAL GUIDE" - Excellent Resource - comprehensive and informative
A website of support and information by young teens for teens coping with a parent's Alzheimer's Disease.
CAMP BUILDING BRIDGES - A place for young teens to receive peer support and respite away from the dementia of their parents and grandparents.
FINANCIAL INFORMATION INCLUDING "Financial Steps for Caregivers - A complete Guide."
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY - Help in Applying
Information on Medicare and Caregiving
|PROJECT LIFESAVER - read about lifesaving service that tracks and finds missing AD patients - - works with the Sheriff's Department in your county.
| DISASTER PREPARATION information for caregivers
|CAREGIVER TIPS from our members
MALE CAREGIVERS - Answers to all the caregiving questions you were not afraid to ask about taking care of your wives' personal needs.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR CAREGIVERS - Everything you need to know for traveling with an AD spouse.
|Memory Techniques and Communication Tips
Relationship Breakdown and Repair Tips
ELDER CARE SERVICES - Find them in your area
MEMORY DISORDERS CLINIC - Find one in your area.
TAKING CARE OF THE CAREGIVER - WITH DR. TEENA CAHILL - Website, Radio show, and new blog on Bewell.com
Caregiver Cruises - Caribbean in February 2010
Joan's Radio Interview Archives
|HUMOR - Share a humourous story with us
|LOVE STORIES - From our members.
WEB ABBREVIATIONS - Can't figure out those 2, 3, and 4 letter acronyms? Click here for our list.
|ALZHEIMER'S PUBLIC POLICY FORUM in Washington, DC- March 22-25, 2009 - Blogs, Videos, pictures, and information.
THE ALZHEIMER SPOUSE MARKETPLACE IS NOW OPEN - Novelty key chains, mugs, T-shirts,bookmarks, hats, mouspads, magnets and much more - Purchase mine or design your own!
SHOP OUR AMAZON STORE - Health Products; Music; Electronics; Toys; Games; Videos; And so much more.
BOOK CORNER - Our recommendations for the best in Alzheimer's information books in non-fiction and fiction.
OTHER LINKS:Caregiving 4 Alz. - by our member Betty Weiss The Caregivers Voice Families of Loved Ones Elder Care at Home
Alzheimer Hot Line
Open 24 Hours a Day
E-mail me - firstname.lastname@example.org
JOAN’S BLOG – SEPTEMBER 07 - UPDATED NOVEMBER 08 – TRAVELING WITH AN AD SPOUSE
Traveling with an AD spouse can be dreadfully stressful. Road trips bring their own particular brand of stress, but in this blog, I will be discussing air travel (which can be a nightmare when you DON’T have AD) and the problems being “off routine” can cause for your spouse.
The issues that cause problems for your AD spouse when traveling are:
1.Change in routine = anxiety = possible impulsive outbursts
2. Too much outside stimuli (crowds, security lines, directions and orders from security people)
3.Possibility of getting lost
4. Their stress, anxiety, and confusion could lead to an argument with TSA personnel.You do NOT want your spouse to get into a confrontation with these guys. They don’t like it, and you both could end up detained in “airport jail”.
In order to avoid problems, and make the trip as smooth as possible, there are three major rules to follow:
- BEFORE you leave for the airport, fill a small plastic zip-lock bag with the items from both of your pockets, around your necks, and on your wrists that will set off the metal detector. Keep it in your travel bag if you are a man; pocketbook if you are a woman. Sid is a “beeper”. Everything he wears and puts in his pockets, from his watch to his loose change, sets off the metal detector.
- Buy an ID holder that hangs from your neck on a cord. Before we bought these handy items, Sid used to have to dig into his pockets, find his wallet, find his ID, all taking up time, and making him anxious.
- YOU keep all of the travel documents – tickets, boarding passes, car rental confirmation, hotel confirmation, important phone numbers – in an easily accessible section in your travel bag or pocketbook- hand your spouse their boarding pass only when needed to get through security, and then take it back.
- YOU keep track of all of your spouse’s items that go into the plastic box that goes through the X-ray machine. The one time I didn’t do it, Sid was convinced he lost his ID badge after we were already seated in the gate waiting area. I ended up having to go back to security, causing an uproar when they couldn’t find his badge. Turned out he had it with him, but had forgotten where he put it.
- Prepare your spouse ahead of time, reminding him/her right up to the time it’s your turn to go through security – DO NOT ARGUE WITH TSA. Are you wondering why I know about this? You guessed it. Sid had a money clip that was equipped with a small hidden pointy nail file. We always put it into the suitcase that was being checked, but this time, we both forgot to pack it. The security guard confiscated it, and Sid insisted that he had always been allowed to carry it on the plane. He was giving the guard a hard time. He had, of course, forgotten that we always put it into the checked luggage. I had to take the guard aside, explain Sid’s AD, and ask him to please be understanding, as in, PLEASE don’t throw us in the “detention room” . He was nice about it, and let us through. He kept the money clip, however.
- Consider a Wheelchair -Many of your spouses need one anyway, but even if they do not, it is an excellent method of avoiding losing them, and you will have an attendant with you to circumvent the lines and whisk you through security easily.
- Alzheimer’s Card –These are little business size cards that you can get from the Alzheimer’s Association or you can make your own on your computer. If you can sense trouble coming from your spouse, hand the card to the guard (flight attendant, passenger, etc.). There are many variations, but the basic wording is “My companion has Alzheimer’s Disease. Please be patient with his/her behavior.”
- Doctor’s Letter – One of our members, Bob Renshaw, shared this letter with us that his wife’s neurologist wrote for him to take whenever he traveled. See end of blog for full text of letter.
- Safe Return – Register your spouse, even if you are not traveling. I’m sure most of you are familiar with it, but for those who are not – It is a national registry of Alzheimer patients. When you register, your spouse is sent a bracelet similar to “Medic Alert”. It contains their name, diagnosis, and phone numbers where you can be reached, in case they get lost. This is a MUST in an airport.
- Now, let’s say you manage to land at your destination without incident, and make it to your hotel. Any change in routine can be upsetting and confusing to someone with AD. I always tell Sid ahead of time, where we will be going, who will be there, and what conversations may come up that could “set him off”. I usually sit with him, and nudge him if he’s getting agitated or rambling on without end.
Newest Tip from one of our Readers:
Don't trust airline employees to safely get your LO to the gate at the airport. I tried that last time and while they got him to the gate; they just left him there. The gate changed and luckily someone saw he was confused and helped him. Otherwise??? I had even told the person taking him to the gate that he had Alzheimers and to stay with him. Then, no one to meet him at gate like they were supposed to.
See below for the physician’s travel letter. This one mentions “Aphasia”, but your physician can, of course, make it specific to your spouse:
Department of Neurology
Phipps 126 Neurology,
600 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287
(410) 614-2381, (410) 614-2379
(410) 1614-9807 FAX
April 22, 2008
To Whom It May Concern:
Mrs. “Jones” is under my professional care in the Neurology Department of Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia. Due to this dementia, she has considerable difficulty expressing herself and may not be able to understand and follow directions. She may become confused in unfamiliar situations. She functions well with the assistance of her husband, “John Jones”. It is important that they not be separated as she depends upon him for direction and guidance.
Any special consideration that can be extended such as pre-boarding or understanding during the screening process will be helpful.
Argye Elizabeth Hillis, MD
©Copyright 2008 Joan Gershman
The material included on this website contains general information intended as information only. This site is not intended to provide personal, professional, medical, or psychological advice, and should not be relied upon to govern behavior in any certain or particular circumstances. The opinions in the blogs are solely those of the owner of the website. The opinions on the message boards are not necessarily endorsed by the owner of this website, and are the opinions of those persons writing the messages. All material on this web site is for demonstration and informational purposes only.
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