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How to fly with someone living with dementia

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Friday, July 14, 2023 - 5:20pm
Updated: Friday, July 14, 2023 - 6:33pm

Flying with a loved one who is living with dementia can be overwhelming. Recently, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport hosted a workshop for care-partners, and they plan to offer more in the future.

Misty Cisneros-Contreras, the customer service superintendent at Sky Harbor, shared about what care-partners should know before booking their next flight. Since 2021, Sky Harbor has taken steps to become a dementia-friendly airport.

"Starting from the time that you contact your airline, or working with somebody within the airline, to explain, 'This is what I need. This is our situation,' and getting set up accordingly," she said.

Cisneros-Contreras said the airlines can help with wheelchair assistance and other support. She also advised carving out ample time between layovers. 

Another tip? Communicate with airline staff and nearby passengers.

You can even hand out cards that say something like, ā€œIā€™m traveling with someone who has dementia. Your patience is appreciated.ā€ 

A card that passengers can use if traveling with someone living with dementia.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
A card that passengers can use if traveling with someone living with dementia.

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