new here - question re dementia and jetlag

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Moana, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Moana

    Moana New member

    Dec 4, 2018
    Hello! I'm a caregiver for an 85 yr old Dementia/Lewy Body patient who returned to California via London/India, it was a long trip as you can imagine. What is the recovery for jet lag for this type of air travel? The patient sleeps quite a bit, I have read the threads which have been helpful. Any recent experiences with this situation? Look forward to your replies, thank you.
  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hello @Moana
    just wanted to welcome you to TP

    sorry I don't have an answer, though I there are members who travel so they may see your post given a bit of time
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Moana, welcome to TP
    The problem is that having a diagnosis tells you nothing about how that person is or how they will react, years ago my wife could be driven round in the car for ages and it made her happy, then one day she decided she wanted to get out at about 50 miles per hour.
    In an aeroplane you're in a very vulnerable position, if anything goes wrong and it's likely the crew will have had no dementia training then likely as not they'll treat her as being "a danger to the aircraft" and if they have to divert and do an emergency landing they could send you (or your insurance company) the bill.
    California to London is about 6,000 miles then London to India and you're literally flying half (or more) round the world anything could happen, what happens if you go to sleep and they wake up, will the aircrew be able to cope?
    If I were you I'd make sure you had all the right insurance in place as if anything did happen like an in air incident a divert to another country or even a medical emergency I'd make sure you were covered for any costs of a divert or medical treatment anywhere you might be overflying.
    There's a massive possibility of disorientation and jet lag is just one, passing through airport security, boarding a plane and the whole disorientating experience of such a long series of flights could trigger many more issues than just jet lag.
    You use the word "patient" which might (?) imply that this isn't a family member and "caregiver" could be a family member or someone being paid to do a job, whatever the circumstances I'd make sure you had a good backup plan if anything, anywhere goes wrong and remember that the American's tolerance to anyone behaving oddly on a plane can be dealt with by an on board armed officer and that includes American airlines flying both to and from the USA as well as internal flights.
    As I say someone with dementia doesn't mean a lot, it could be mild, moderate or severe but I'd want worldwide health insurance (for both or you\) for the duration of the trip and as well as plan A I'd want plan B,C and D in place too, just in case you became ill, it happens a lot when people go abroad, who'd take over you became suddenly ill, it can happen?
  4. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    I haven't any personal experience with this situation, but from what I have heard here on TP, someone with dementia can take longer to recover from jet lag/crossing numerous time zones, than someone without dementia. Certainly when the time changes twice yearly, my mother (with later stage dementia) gets more muddled, and that seems common, judging from comments here on TP.

    Having said that, we are all different and it's likely impossible to know if the fatigue is just down to jet lag and the time change, or the travel itself, or changing locations, or if there could be something else going on (underlying illness or another medical issue). If the fatigue doesn't improve or the person seems worse or more "off" then I wouldn't hesitate to seek medical advice.
  5. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hello @Moana, welcome from me too.

    My experience relates to medium haul flights only and my wife takes a few days to recover from these. My wife is prone to sleep a lot normally and would just sleep a bit more than usual for a few days after a flight.

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