Prepare Learn Prepare Lean In
Thats the trick: gauging his ability and knowing when to turn around or say no. Being physically equipped is equally important to being mentally prepared. For instance, driving: My husband is an excellent driver who has done some speed racing in his time. Its crucial he keeps that confidence. This last trip, we discovered the lane-assist feature on our car, which was a big help on twisty mountain roads. Ive also found that occasionally forsaking interstate highways for backroads goes a long way towards lowering anxiety levels.
Flying requires careful timing. Plan long layovers or arrange for a wheelchair, Ive learned. Ask for help: People are particularly understanding and sympathetic when it comes to PD.
Building in extra time and not over-scheduling are important no matter how youre traveling. Allow for napping. Im not a patient person, but Im learning. I would sometimes forget how long it takes him to get dressed, eat a meal, get in and out of the car. .
Where accommodations are concerned, avoiding stairs and tripping hazards is a no-brainer. PD victims are often bed-thrashers, so separate beds, even bedrooms, is ideal. Rob finds that satin sheets allow him to roll over more easily, so if were staying in a vacation rental for a few days, we bring them along. A year ago, we glamped in an Airstream in Tennessee. That wouldve worked okay for us this year, but a two-bedroom cabin, roomier and less restricting, was more comfortable.
Tips For Traveling With Parkinsons Disease
In-Home Care Agency~Celebrating Life, Dignity and Independence.
When Gayle finally retired from teaching 8th grade Algebra, she always said that she would miss the classroom dearly but looked forward to having the new freedom to visit her grandkids any time she pleased. With six grandchildren scattered across three different states, the following years were filled with countless plane rides and last minute road-trips to visit her beloved family. This all started to change a year ago when, at the age of 71, Gayle was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease after developing a tremor in her right hand and experiencing some difficulty walking. Though she started taking medications for Parkinsons disease, Gayle still finds it difficult to travel to see her grandkids as often as she likes.
Like Gayle, over 1 million individuals in North America have been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease. Most individuals exhibit symptoms that involve a tremor, slowness of movement, and rigid muscles, which can make daily activities increasingly difficult. While traveling might be more difficult for individuals with Parkinsons disease, it is not impossible. Here are some tips to consider to help those with Parkinsons disease travel more easily.
Booking Transport And Accommodation
Book your transport well in advance, and let the travel company know about any special requirements, such as extra leg room, assistance getting onto the train / plane / coach etc.
Dont be afraid or embarrassed to ask for the help you need. Request or hire a wheelchair if that would make things easier. Most companies are happy to provide this, along with an escort to guide you. Often this service must be booked in advance, so ask ahead.
Ask the travel company about the assistance they can provide and compare several different companies. Ask if there will be extra charges for these services etc.
Travel insurance is highly recommended. It can be worthwhile comparing several different travel insurance policies. Note that travel insurance may be more expensive or more difficult to obtain for a person with an existing condition. Read the policy carefully as sometimes cover includes illness, but not Parkinsons.
Find out about car parking and how close this is to the transport terminal.
Disability parking permits with the international wheelchair symbol may be accepted interstate and internationally but it is best to check with your destination.
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Episode : Traveling With Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease can be an impediment to certain activities, but with proper planning, people can still pursue many of the things they have always enjoyed. One of those things is travel to see family, visit friends, or explore new sights and cultures. One key to enjoying travel is planning. Pay special attention to issues that are known to affect how you feel and function.
Packing extra medications when traveling has always been a good idea, but with todays unpredictability of flight schedule changes and cancellations, as well as the possibility of contracting COVID, it makes sense to carry even more than a few days supply of extra medication. Anticipate managing any shifts in medication timing if you are visiting a different time zone, interruptions to your exercise and sleep routines, in addition to unforeseeable events and changes.
In this episode, we hear from two people with valuable advice and tips for traveling with PD. Rebecca Miller, PhD is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and is a person living with PD. Occupational Therapist Julia Wood, MOT, OTR/L is Director of Professional and Community Education at the Lewy Body Dementia Association. An overriding message from both of them is planning for the unpredictability of today’s world.
Released: September 6, 2022
‘i Didn’t Feel Like I Missed Out On Anything’
As a brand-new caregiver, I was and still am learning what accommodations exist for travelers with disabilities so, before our trip, I called the bed and breakfast to confirm the accessible room had a walk-in shower and support bars all over the bathroom.
I also confirmed that all the museums we hoped to visit provided wheelchairs, which was necessary because the wheelchair we ordered when my mom was in rehab was several months back-ordered.
Together, we visited the famed Van Gogh exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, we explored the Madam CJ Walker exhibit at the Indiana Historical Society, and my mom got to watch her grandkids have the time of their lives at the Childrens Museum of Indianapolis, the largest in the country.
“I enjoyed things I didn’t think I’d enjoy,” my mother told me after the trip. “And I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything!”
THE TRAVELERS YOU WON’T FIND AT AIRPORTS:Omicron impedes travel for people with disabilities
This summer, our family will return to Indiana, visiting our favorite spots in Indianapolis and add in a new city, Bloomington, to try out brand-new experiences. My mother told me that she’s still nervous to travel, but that it felt good to be out with her family last time that shes really looking forward to the trip.
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Some Recommendations For Adventure Travel With Pd
It was a very strenuous trip and I dont recommend it for everyone. You need to be prepared to exert yourself more than you normally would, and accept the fact that some days you are going to have to skip some activities. It is really easy to over-exert yourself when you think that you can do it all. I know I paid for it a couple of days.
Here are a few recommendations:
1. Make sure you are in good physical condition before you leave. You may want to increase your exercise levels before you go to insure that you are up to participating in any activities that you want to do. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before starting anything new. You dont want to start your trip by overdoing things on day 1 and spending the next 3 days in bed.
2. Stay on schedule with your medications. With time changes and days full of activities, it can be difficult to take your meds at the same time every day. There are several useful apps that you can download to keep track.
3. Know your limits. Dont try do things that you know you should not. I often push myself too much and then suffer for it afterwards. I did, however, skip the Polar Plunge into the ocean. Mr. Twitchy, however, got talked into doing it along with about 40 other brave, but crazy people.
5. Dont forget your sunscreen and a hat. You are at a higher risk for skin cancer if you have Parkinsons. Good sunglasses are also a necessity.
Enjoy A Healthy Sex Life:
We have no particular reason to say that sexual ability goes down with Parkinsons disease, says Rosenthal. There are certainly challenges, but rest assured that a satisfying sex life is not something you have to put behind you after a diagnosis. Treatments for erectile dysfunction can work for Parkinsons patients, just as they do for non-Parkinsons patients. Problems that crop up run the gamut: Men may experience sexual problems, like erectile dysfunction, and men and women may have problems with decreased libido. Physical symptoms of the disease, such as stiffness and tremor, may make moving around in bed more challenging. But you can help some of these problems enormously through good self-care. For example, getting enough sleep and exercise can boost sex drive.
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Should My Dad Who Has Parkinsons Travel Abroad
My dad and I sat quietly in the living room one early evening. The daily hustle and bustle had died down, and we were enjoying the peace of simply existing in each others presence.
When Im home, I like to mull over existential questions. I want to know what motivates my dad to keep fighting Parkinsons disease with all of his might.
Does he want to live to see his first grandchildren? If he could do life over again, would he do anything differently? Does he regret anything? Is he happy with the choices hes made? Is there anything he still hopes to accomplish?
On The Road With Parkinsons Disease
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Travel And Parkinsons: Traveling Tips For Summer
Traveling can be stressful for a lot of people, but it can be particularly stressful when you mix in the unpredictability of Parkinsons disease. Five years ago, at the Orlando International Airport, I learned the hard way just how important it is to plan ahead when traveling with the extra baggage of Parkinsons.
What was supposed to be a fun trip with a group of friends to celebrate my 40th birthday didnt start off well. A late night of last-minute packing plus an early morning flight meant very little sleep. As we were delayed by traffic on the way to the airport, I could feel slowness and rigidity starting to set in. I took a pill hoping it would kick in before we got to the airport. It felt like my dopamine levels were dropping almost as fast as my optimism of making our flight on time. When we finally arrived at the airport, thanks to a friendly airline attendant at curbside check-in, things were looking up.
Then it happened. As I rounded the corner to the security checkpoint and laid eyes on the typical long lines of passengers, I could feel my toes starting to curl. As I was on the verge of not being able to stand, my husband went searching for a wheelchair. This was a first for me I had never required a wheelchair before. Heck, at this point very few people even knew I had Parkinsons.
About Guest Author Tonya Walker:
How To Safely Travel With Pd
If you want to fly with Parkinsons disease, the first step is committing to following certain steps that can make a trip much safer and easier to manage. They include the following from the Parkinsons Foundation and Web MD.
Book a non-stop flight. You dont want the hassle of changing planes in a busy hub airport like the ones in Atlanta or Dallas.
Travel with a companion. It helps to have someone along who understands your condition, including a good friend, family member or flight nurse.
Carry important information. Make sure to carry the name of your doctor, insurance company, emergency contact and list of medications on your person in a wallet, purse, travel bag, etc. Also, carry something that clearly states you have Parkinsons disease.
Use backpacks. You want your hands free to better maintain balance. You can manage this by using a backpack Also, always carry a snack and water in your backpack to take with medications.
Stay comfortable. Wear loose-fitting clothes and walking shoes that fit well. Also, sit near the bathroom on your flight to limit having to walk the length of the plane. Better yet, use the bathroom before you board so you can skip the cramped airplane bathroom completely.
Always leave early! You want more than enough time, not less.
Charge your phone. You dont want to have to waste time trying to find a place to recharge your phone in the airport.
Its important to take steps that will keep your medications safe and easy to access.
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Specialist Travel Insurance From Free Spirit For Parkinsons Disease
We have designed a fully comprehensive Parkinsons disease travel insurance for that much-needed holiday and it has all the key features you would expect to see from a standard policy and much more!
Why should you cover your Parkinsons disease for travelling?
The two main reasons for taking out specialist travel insurance for Parkinsons disease is to cover you for cancellation before you travel and to cover you for emergency medical expenses while you are away.
In the event you need to cancel your holiday due to your Parkinsons disease, Free Spirit can provide cancellation cover for your unused travel and accommodation costs that you have already paid for or are contracted to pay. If you are unfortunate enough to have a medical emergency during your holiday because of your Parkinsons disease, Free Spirit can provide cover for your associated costs including medical repatriation if medically necessary.
Dont forget, if you arrange your cover as soon as you book your holiday you will be immediately protected should you need to cancel your trip .
Consequences of not covering your Parkinsons disease before you go on holiday
Many standard travel insurance policies exclude cover for pre-existing medical conditions such as Parkinsons disease or will decline to offer cover. However, with Free Spirit you can obtain the insurance cover you need for your Parkinsons disease and any associated medical conditions, to give you the peace of mind protection you need when you travel.
My Top Travel Tips: Let Go Of The Plan And Enjoy The Adventure
A friend offered us her timeshare condo near Colonial Williamsburg, so the three of us got started planning our adventure.
When making arrangements for our trip, Bev believed she only needed to bring her rollator, but my niece and I disagreed. Bev has obvious problems with walking and balance because of her PD, though she doesnt have freezing or stiffness episodes. Unfortunately, her unsteady gait and balance issues have led to a number of falls.
Trying to be respectful, I asked, What if I reserve an electric scooter just in case you need it? Bev agreed, and I contacted a rental facility near the condo that would deliver the scooter directly to us. Win!
Lou and I also made sure that Bev had all her necessary medications , along with snacks, and water for the eight-hour road trip. We told her we would stop whenever she needed. We left early in the morning and spent the drive singing along to music, particularly Neil Diamond, one of my sisters favorites.
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Fighting Back Against Parkinsons And Holding Onto Hope
Between TV commercials, I asked him a question that had been weighing on my mind.
Dad, if you had the opportunity to participate in a program like Make-A-Wish, what would you do? I barely thought about the words as they left my mouth.
Dad looked pensive for a few moments. His face was stoic, but his lips were pursed in thought.
Id go back to my second home, he said. Longing crossed his face as he described the contents of his heart.
Dad spent several years in Austria, where he studied music and explored the richness of life. I know what its like to better relate to a foreign culture than your own. It doesnt surprise me that he never stopped missing Austria.
What if I take you? I asked. As an adult, Ive become almost as enthusiastic of a traveler as my dad. I find airports comforting. Public transit is similar enough in most countries across the world. And its never particularly difficult for me to navigate hostels or hotels.
Travel with Parkinsons might require some accommodations for my dad, but I think its still possible. We could go for a week, or even a month.
My traveling days are over, Dad said, just as quickly as I dreamed up the idea of going.
His response wasnt surprising, but it did sadden me. Im sure that travel with Parkinsons would be substantially more complicated than without it. But what if he had a support network? What if we made plans and adjustments that would keep him comfortable, even if he was thousands of miles away in Europe?