Travel, Part 1: Flying in the Age of Claustrophobia

This blog is all about making the final fifteen percent of one’s life rewarding, and the most common item on the wish list of many people in that stage of life is travel. As long as we remain able-bodied and have sufficient income, travel is an obvious way to get pleasure from life. Unfortunately, when people start to face some physical challenges, travel often becomes one of the first pleasures in life to disappear. My husband and I both think there are ways to extend the period of time when travel can be pleasurable. Because I have served on the Board of Directors of the Parkinson’s Association of Orange County for the last five years and because both Bill and I have attended one of their best programs, a vocal therapy group, we both have lots of friends with physical challenges. A few of these friends have offered to contribute some information on how they manage to keep on traveling even with the mobility issues that Parkinson’s causes. Another friend with parents who have both mobility and cognitive issues is also contributing some ideas to this post.

There is so much information to cover on this subject that we will break this post into several parts. In this first part, we are going to talk about traveling by airplane. Future posts on travel will cover other forms of transportation as well as hotel stays, sightseeing, and other elements of pleasurable travel.

Arriving at the Finish Line

Finishing the Journey

Having a great travel experience involves far more planning than it did when we were young and could just grab a backpack and take off. Now there are items like medicines, mobility devices, personal hygiene issues (how to dispose of the Depends discretely), energy supply, etc. But all that planning can be half the fun because of the sense of anticipation it brings, and the end result is made clear in the picture we have included here.

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