1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Weds 28 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 28 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Careforme

    Careforme Registered User

    Apr 15, 2014
    Hi, it has been a while since I posted here. Looking for some advice please... My parents have gone on holiday and mum has dementia past four years. I requested special assistance for both her and dad to make their journey as stress free as possible although my mum took bit funny two hours into their flight, dad said she just wasn't quite right. Could this be the pressure and altitude? Does anyone know this affects and anythjng we can do to deal with any after symptoms? It looks like this will be last time flying this distance. I am going to join them and will be with her on flight home. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  2. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    No idea if the air pressure caused her difficulties

    My thoughts are it could have been the travelling and everything to do with travelling that caused the difficulties.

    You, your dad and me can assimilate what's going on rapidly. Your mum could have found it all very confusing.

    I hope things have settled down. I have read on here that once actually within the hotel/villa things calm down for the person with dementia.

    Good idea for you to be with your dad on the journey home. Hard to deal with someone on a flight on your own, better that it's shared..

    No idea but guessing that it's going to be the last holiday your dad and mum have on their own. It's possible for them to continue to have holidays, but I feel it won't be just the two of them


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  3. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    My mom had delirium on a 2 hours flight. It lasted for weeks. Not sure what causes, we were in economical class.
  4. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    We recently undertook a 4 hour flight to Lanzarote. We booked special assistance and took a wheelchair. Things were fine during the flight but I took a carer with me. I would never undertake a flight with just me to support Bill. With two of us it was fairly easy to distract him and keep him occupied/look after him. It's good you're joining your parents on the flight.
  5. dottyd

    dottyd Registered User

    Jan 22, 2011
    Took mum on a 4 and half hour flight to Tenerife and she was fine.
    Six months later she was in a care home.
  6. Careforme

    Careforme Registered User

    Apr 15, 2014
    Thank you for your comments and kind words. My mum is still fit and agile and is relatively healthy woman. She requires guidance and help with dressing and washing. We care for her greatly and do our absolute best to look after her although the flight was a worry for me. My dad said she had more of a funny tummy which not normally happen so I am not sure. They are now quite settled as can be. My brother and I go to spend their second week which we have done past couple of years so I hope and pray all goes well and flight home is okay. I can't wait to see her as all I do is worry. I know it's not good all time but I can't help it would do anything for them.
  7. Careforme

    Careforme Registered User

    Apr 15, 2014
    My mum is only 63 now too, she was diagnosed aged 59
  8. N00dle

    N00dle Registered User

    Sep 7, 2014
    #8 N00dle, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
    I am a dementia champion and fly in my spare time. My understanding of commercial aircraft and medical diagnosis is very limited, but may help you understand. The stress of air travel itself wouldn't help your mom's condition, but shouldn't do it any long term harm.
    The cabin of an aircraft is pressurised to help with comfort and breathing. The higher you go, the less oxygen, although pressurised in the cabin, it will be the equivalent of standing on a tall mountain, so oxygen will be in shorter supply, though unnoticeable to healthy people. This may have triggered very mild hypoxia for your mom, which is a starvation of oxygen to the brain, making us more forgetful and reducing hand eye coordination and lowering the bodies ability to think and process either logic or movement. This would translate to your mom appearing as if her symptons were worse, but it would not be be long lasting, though it may take a short while to return to "normal". As you are aware, Alzheimer's is a disease of the brain that will worsen over time, but may also make the brain more sensitive to oxygen levels in the blood, compounding the effect of a pressured cabin. I hope your mom gets to enjoy many more holidays and wish you all strength with supporting her &I hope this helps explain a little bit.
  9. MReader

    MReader Registered User

    Apr 30, 2011
    The last time my husband & I flew, he slept and when we woke up he was convinced we were in a U-Boat (?!?) and kept asking where Hitler was :eek:
    Who knows what unfamiliar surroundings can do to people with dementia - but sometimes you have to laugh!!!
  10. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    After spending a week in Lourdes, France and then marooned in the airport due to technical problems with the plane I was amused to find my husband thought we were on a day trip! Where did his week go! The journey on the plane itself didn't seem to phase him.
  11. Orlando

    Orlando Registered User

    Feb 13, 2012
    Ashford Kent
    Long Haul

    I have just cancelled a long haul flight to Florida on advise from my husbands doctor.Booked our flight back in Feb was going in November so disappointed but its something I have to except.My Husband cant remember we were going so his fine .His condition has got a lot worse since having a fall .His can fall over just walking from front room to kitchen.Now we will just have time away here in Britain.Where ever you go its fine as long as you are together.xx
  12. fremington6

    fremington6 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    Hi there bit late in responding. Took my husband long haul to Singapore in May to see family. Our GP gave him a mild tranquilliser so he would sleep most of way and it worked well. We also had assisted travel. However on way back tablet didn't work and husband got very cross with person in front dropping seat back all the way. Very difficult.
    Outward journey was overnight so this helped but homecoming so difficult. Not sure I want to repeat experience. Diagnosis has been 5-6 years now. Supposed to be visiting more family in Oz in January feeling very worried about it. Good luck
  13. kathleenr

    kathleenr Registered User

    Aug 19, 2013
    My husband is 58 and we flew to California making the most of what e can while we can. He was ok on the flight but very tired and a bit disorientated afterwards. He has settled down well again now and the trip energised him and he remembers how lovely it was if not the fine detail. I'm glad did it
  14. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    #14 Countryboy, Oct 1, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  15. sad&lonely

    sad&lonely Registered User

    Aug 22, 2014
    I flew from UK to Denver Colorado a few years back. Mum had had a few t.i.a's, (transient, ascemic attacks, or absences) for a while, before we flew. She was ok when we arrived, but during our stay we shared a double bed at one of our relatives homes. During the night she had a nightmare and tried to climb over me to get out of bed she was very distressed. I think it was the next day she locked herself in the bathroom and became almost hysterical, she was crying "get me out, get me out"! Our poor relative had to unscrew the lock from the outside. Next we visited a Wildlife center where she held a terrantula, and then a giant horned beetle, something she would never even dream of before. I was at the other side of the room ready to have a nervous breakdown or jump out the window.:eek: We went for a meal in a lovely resteraunt one day and she slumped forward on the table and threw up over another relative. I was horrified but knew there was something drastically wrong so ended up going to Hospital to be sure she'd be ok to fly home. They ok'd her but the following day during the flight home she was very ill, wanted the loo a lot, in and out of conciousness. They radio'd ahead to Manchester to have an ambulance meet us on arrival where we were rushed through customs and off to Hospital. A two hour wait on a trolly in a room on our own before anyone came to see her. I was exhausted, near to tears and so worried for her.:mad: I had to stay in a room at the hospital to be on hand, just in case. While ther, she suffered two full blown fits which terrified the life out of me. I was not pleased with the care there but that's another story. She died in 2002. I often wondered about the altitude of the flight, and also Denver, or 'mile high city', as I think it's called.:confused:
  16. yadit0

    yadit0 Registered User

    Mar 26, 2014
    Hi I have just returned from a 3 week family visit to Louisiana, I took my 86 year old Mum to see her neices, she has dementia and was fine on the flighs both ways we even had connecting flights which didnt phase her at all, but was a little confused in the first 3-4 days of the visit but settled down well after that, we had assisted passage which I must say was brilliant. She did have a little confusion when she returned home which was to be expected but all is well now.
  17. beryl123

    beryl123 Registered User

    Jan 13, 2013
    highcliffe dorset
    dementia and flying

    Ive taken my wife who has vascular dementia on holiday to spain, several times, we,ve not had any problems with the flight and when we are there its easier in some ways. because theres not as much there for them to get confused about or lost, with just a few belongings. less chores to do, meals made etc The one thing I would say know the place and the hotel you are staying eg been there before, so that you know what you are getting with no nasty surprises when you get there.
  18. Gezedka

    Gezedka Registered User

    Jan 29, 2013
    #18 Gezedka, Oct 4, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
    Everyone is different - but avoid

    Hi all
    After reading Careforme and all other comments, I found a lot of commonalities and some experiences that are not a matter of chance. We have family in France, Spain and USA and we used to fly way to much. For myself still being relatively healthy, flying became disgusting - more so with all the security checks and the queueing for this and that. Travelling with Mum on full special assistance has eased things considerably; but it doesn't change our lack of fun with flying/travelling in general. Now to the point: Mum shouldn't feel strange in a cabin, but she reports headaches more frequently. She has AD. Others may have vascular dementia. But in general we have to reckon this:
    1. Flying exposes all of us to radiation - yes! similar to an x-ray for long haul flights.
    2. Changes in cabin pressure have to affect people with vascular dementia. This is not different on AD, since the natural beta-amiloids are about a sort of mucus all around the brain and it should expand and contract due to the same reasons.
    3. If you sometimes feel deaf for a short while just go figure what this can mean to your relative. No wonder some loose consciousness. The nap some of us take is less voluntarily than on ground.
    4. Flying is also 'time travel'. One hour can mean a lot to VD and AD patients. Plus, cabin is a bubble. Your brain is literally hurled at over 500 mph! The cabin takes away some of the pressure effect.
    My Mum has never been the same after the last couple of times we have flown. I would not say for worse. She just changes every time. So we enjoy traveling by train.

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