For Caregivers: On The Road…with Parkinson’s – Part 1
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My husband and I have done a lot of traveling for work and for fun. Some of these trips have had challenges but these challenges have made for travel lessons. In honor of summer travel, I thought I would share a few of these travel stories with the hope that it may help fellow care partners.

The power of asking for help

My husband and I were in Las Vegas for business attending a conference/trade show. We spent four days at the trade show attending breakout sessions, visiting with business associates and walking the trade show floor. Both Karl and I were pretty tired and were looking forward to getting home. Karl’s medicines were working well that morning as we packed, left the hotel and returned our rental car. As we hopped on the shuttle bus to take us to the terminal, Karl medications started to wear off.

By the time we arrived at the terminal (only 10 minutes later), he was completely off. Which for Karl meant very slow movement, festination (being propelled forward), and an inability to manage his luggage and carry-on bag. While standing at the curbside, we started to formulate a plan on how we would check in the luggage, make our way through the security lines, and ultimately get to the gate. Even though we had arrived at the terminal with plenty of time, we realized we were losing a lot of time and the stress of getting to the gate was building, which wasn’t helping either of us. We managed to check-in our bags but now how do we make the long trek through the winding security lines? I was getting very concerned and nervous that we would probably miss our flight.

Breathing a sigh of relief

At this very moment, an airport porter approached us and offered help. The porter not only offered help but also offered a wheelchair to get Karl through security and to the gate. I looked at Karl and we discussed our shrinking time and his lack of enthusiasm about being in a wheelchair. Ultimately, he decided that necessity overshadowed perception as he climbed into the wheelchair. The porter quickly grabbed our boarding passes and we took off. We breezed through the security line and picked up the pace as we dashed to the gate. When we arrived at the gate waiting area, the gate agents were making their call for those needing assistance to board. Karl stood up from the chair as we both graciously thanked the porter for her help! We also gave her a gratuity for her excellent expedited service. We breathed a sigh of relief as we boarded the plane and headed for home.

Don’t feel that you need to shoulder all the responsibility of traveling by yourself. Look for help when you need it and be open to accepting kind offerings from people who want to help. Don’t forget to enjoy your travels and make memories that will last a long time!

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