Follow
Share

My mother is having increasing mobility issues and soon she may be wheelchair bound. She is in Florida and I'm in California. I had intended to move her over here to assisted living, but worry whether it will even be possible to transport her here. I know we can use a wheelchair for her in the airport but how will she manage those narrow aisles on the plane or that tiny airplane bathroom? Currently she is fighting with the physical therapist rather than her weakness.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
We do have Angel Flight here in Florida. Good idea and it's free!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

With a husband who was a pilot, traveling these days by air is much too difficult for a person who needs that level of assistance not chaperoned. Why don't you fly to FL, and drive your mother to CA? If you have lots of money, one can rent an aircraft and they will transport her to you. Another option is to find one of the flying "angels" who will fly medical patients for free. I am sure there are pilots in CA who do this. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My opinion is that the plane is the way to go. I have found the airlines to be very helpful and they will actually help the person into their seat. Diapers eliminate the need to get up. It's only a four hour flight I think. The train is much longer and you arrive shaken-never mind the constant movement making bathroom trips difficult. Really not much cheaper either. If the person has dementia and is outspoken, a doc can prescribe meds to keep them calm for the duration of a flight.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Don't let a dementia person board the plane alone...especially for connecting flights. When they get off on the stopover city, they may not board their connecting flight. You cannot assume that the airlines' agents will be there for him/her. Best to travel with the person. You buy a roundtrip ticket, and a one-way for the parent. Definitely do the heavy duties on the pampers, etc... Best to call the airline and ask questions. Call several times and speak to different agents. Not all agents are knowledgeable. Some are newly hired or have less experience flying. By calling several times, you will find that they give different answers...Unless they put you on hold to discuss it with their supervisor. Get names when you do.

Depending how "bad" your parent is on the behavior scale, it may also be best to just rent a one-way rental and drive it. Schedule overnight's at hotels on the way. Only problem is that even for a normal person, I tried my first stint riding a car from Denver to Las Vegas. It was grueling for me. Don't know how cooperative your parent will be about getting back into a car after several hours of sitting in it.

Maybe a train will be better and schedule overnights enroute or all the way? How long can the parent be with their soiled pamper? If they tend to overflow?

FYI, some airlines no longer provide Meet and Assist with the elderlies.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Robyn, regarding traveling by train, I suggest you check the Amtrak web site. When I've traveled with my parents by train, it was not long distance and they did not need accessible accommocations at that time. However, I believe the long distance route trains have bedrooms with private bath and shower, and some are handicap accessible. If you have the time and the means, this sounds like a good possibility.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

again I do know for sure they do provide escorts, at a fee, for children. So maybe for adults if that is what you are wondering about them travelling alone, I cannot say for sure on that one!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

All this info is very good. But I am thinking ahead....what about an Alzheimers patient who cannot ride in a plane? How would you transport someone 1000 miles or more....is there a way? Who covers the cost, or would I? Like I said thinking ahead...if I moved how would I move him?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I can guarantee you it won't be a fun trip. After my mother broke her hip, also including dementia, I moved her from Shreveport, La. to Central Fl., to be near me. I set the trip up thru a travel agent and gave her all the details. Luckily, I contacted the airline to make sure they were informed. They knew nothing about it and were very thankful that I called them directly. They were ready for us when we got to the airport. They used forklift type trucks to get us on and off the planes, 4 times, because we had a layover in Atlanta. TRY YOUR BEST TO GET A DIRECT FLIGHT!!! I couldn't get one. EXTREMELY STRESSFUL WHEN DEALING W/DEMENTIA! My mother slugged a sleeping guy in the seat next to us. She said he should not be sleeping in church. Boy, did he give me a go to hell look. Regarding the isles, they use collapsible stroller looking wheelchairs, like the cheap baby strollers that collapse long ways. When we got to Orlando I have never been so glad to see my daughter and grandaughter. I was totally exhausted. Was an experience I will never forget. Forget about the bathroom, use depends. Get lots of rest before you go! Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

No fluids (including Jello and ice cream etc. for about 1 to 2 hours before departure. Provide a few Saltines or pretzels to munch on. A couple of orange wedges will satisfy her thirst temporarily. Suck on hard candies instead of eating a meal. Toilet her immediately before boarding. (I don't know anything about 1st class restrooms. Are they any different?/bigger? Is Dementia an issue?) Talk things over with the airlines before purchasing tickets. (Choose short leg flights vs one long non-stop.)) Buy appropriate size Assures ("Assurance?") at WalMart. Have her wear two Assures Pull Ups and one Super Heavy Stayfree pad closest to her skin at the same time. Take Ziplock bags and a plastic solid colored bag from the grocery store for disposal (and for carrying to the trash can. Cottonelle Baby Wipes work well. Best Wishes.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Airlines are very accommodating to the disabled and the elderly, except those who are suffering from a form of dementia that unfortunately makes them verbally outspoken or abusive.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

RuthAO: and all: Please tell me more about train travel! My stepdad really wants to travel from California to Texas via train but my mother isn't sure whether Amtrak can accommodate him. He uses a walker and has limited ability to climb stairs. Are the restrooms accessible on a train? He wants a sleeper room but I've only seen bunk beds in them and neither parent could access the top bunk. Thank you for your help!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother passed away, close to 99 years old. She would fly to Florida every winter in those later years except the last one. My brother would drop her off at the door, a wheelchair was waiting, The Pusher got mom checked in and near the entrance to the plane. They helped her get in her seat, one of the first ones to board. She made sure did not drink anything several hours before her flight, so she wouldn't have to use the restroom. She was put up front, just behind first class. She was so proud of herself because she would tip The Pusher five dollars! All of this was arranged by the airlines, when she made her reservations. This was only about a two and a half hour flight.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If you have the time perhaps you could fly from CA to FL and drive your mother back to CA. That way you can sight see, talk, stop to eat and have frequent bathroom breaks too whenever you need to. You can set your own time schedule that way. Or perhaps renting an RV from FL to CA. That way you have space to move around in, a bathroom and a bed if your mom gets tired easily. My husband and I travel the back roads of America in our RV and try to stay off the interstates as you see more that way. Maybe travel on some of Rt.66. Your mother may like this way to travel better as it is less upsetting and a vacation/adventure for you both. Not quicker surely but easier for an elderly person w/ mobility issues.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I found flying first class helps as well.

We didn't have much luck with the wheel chair down the aisle though. My mothers major problems are getting up from the chair and because the aisle wheelchair was low, she found it really difficult.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

and you can request a seat next to the nearest bathroom!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Have you considered train travel? It obviously takes a lot longer but is much easier on older folks with limited mobility, as they have more space and are not belted into a tiny seat for the duration. My parents have always enjoyed train travel, and if I had to transport either of them from their home in Kansas to my home in Oregon, I would look into that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I fly frequently with my husband who is wheelchair bound. Diapers eliminate the need for bathroom breaks on the plane. For getting her into the plane, the airlines have aisle chairs they use and gate check personal wheelchairs or scooters. Contact the airlines and speak with thier ADA compliance department. If they know the situation, they will have all accomodations that are needed in place for her. Chin up!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank this is all helpful, I will not give up!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom started flying first class as she can't get herself out of the regular seats anymore, even if she is on the aisle. She rarely flies because of the expense. She really cuts back on fluids on the days she travels. She cannot get into an airplane bathroom.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Many a disabled travelers due fly and are accommodated I just don't remember the details...so just call around to the diff airlines and ask! the bathrooms mite be an issue I really just don't remember....and depending how long the flight and stops/change planes, etc, you can toilet in airport..that would work....last ditch effort, however humiliating in her case, perhaps a depends for the trip, idk.... hope helps!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Rofl Captain! The sky would be spacious with no narrow aisles to manage.

Juju and DIL, I would definitely be flying with her so I'd be there to help her manage. I am just wondering about the actual mobility issues of getting down that narrow aisle to the seat or back and forth from the bathroom. A bathroom that's way too small for two people to get into if she needed my help in there.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My parents used to hire someone to fly with my grandfather when he was in his 90's and they had similar concerns.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I dabbled In travel for a while and we had to many a time set up children to fly alone...this was about 15ys ago so ??? but the airlines would provide assistance on plane for an additional fee... hope this helps!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

coast to coast catapult travel is only a fraction of the cost of airline travl..
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.