Who Flies with You on Your Dementia Journey? Understanding Your Support System Using the Airplane Analogy

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the challenges of dementia? You're not alone. Dementia can be a complex and confusing journey, but with the right support system, it doesn't have to be daunting.

In this episode, host Lizette Cloete introduces the "Dementia Made Simple" framework, using the analogy of an airplane to discuss dementia and dementia-related challenges.

Your Natural Support Crew: Friends, Family, and More

Think of the airplane's cabin as the people who accompany you on your dementia journey. The most important crew members are your natural supports:

Friends and family: These are the loved ones who offer emotional support, companionship, and practical help.

Care partners: Spouses, children, or hired caregivers who provide daily assistance with tasks like bathing, dressing, and medication management.

Volunteers: Organizations and individuals who donate their time and skills to support people with dementia and their families.

Community resources: Church groups, senior centers, and other local organizations that offer social activities, transportation, and other forms of assistance.

Remember, Everyone's Flight is Different

Just like every airplane passenger has a unique background and story, so too does everyone with dementia. Your support system will be as individual as you are. Consider your cultural background, financial situation, and personal preferences when building your support team.

Beyond the Cabin: Multidisciplinary Support for Your Dementia Journey

Think of the pilots, mechanics, and air traffic controllers as the medical professionals who play a crucial role in your dementia journey.

These include:
Physicians: Diagnose and manage dementia symptoms.
Neurologists: Specialize in the brain and nervous system.
Geriatricians: Focus on the health needs of older adults.
Therapists: Occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists help maintain independence and function.
Social workers: Provide emotional support, connect you to resources, and help navigate the healthcare system.

Remember, You're Not Alone

By understanding the different types of support available and building a team that meets your individual needs, you can navigate your dementia journey with greater confidence and peace of mind. So take off on your journey knowing that you have a capable crew by your side, ready to help you soar above the challenges.

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[0:06] Welcome to the Baffled Brain, Demystifying Dementia, your daily podcast that will teach you everything you need to know about dementia.

At Think Different Dementia, we know that dementia seems complex and challenging to manage, but we also know with the right tools at the right time, dementia is made simple.

I am your host, Lizette Cloete from Think Different Dementia, where we believe you're only one technique, the right technique away from thriving and not just surviving your dementia journey.

So please like this video, please subscribe to the podcast, and please share these videos with your friends and families so that we together can thrive and not just survive your dementia journey.

So welcome to today's program.

Explaining the Dementia Made Simple Framework

[1:01] Well, welcome back today. And thank you so much for joining me today.

We're going to continue along our journey on the baffled brain demystifying dementia, where I promise I will get back to answering questions.

But I just wanted to explain my framework, which is called Dementia Made Simple, using the analogy of an airplane to discuss dementia and dementia-related challenges with with people to make it a lot easier for people to understand.

So today's episode is going to be going over the next part of the body of an airplane.

[1:36] Remember, the body of a plane is what keeps it together.

And the body of the plane includes the cockpit, the cabin, and the cargo.

And so each day we're going over another part of the body of an airplane.

So who do I put in the the cabin of the airplane of dementia or the journey of dementia.

So who's in the cabin? So if you think about the cabin, that's where the passengers sit, right? That's where the passengers on an airplane sit.

And so typically that's where the human beings are.

We're talking about the crew, flight attendants, the passengers themselves, a little bit of baggage, but mostly the baggage in the cargo.

There may be some pets, you know, some special animals, that kind of stuff, but in the cabin of an airplane, which is also part of the thing that keeps everything.

[2:28] Moving everything together, we're going to be unpacking over the next several weeks and months, we're going to be talking about who's in the cabin.

So who are in the cabin? I'm going to start with who I think to be the most important people in the cabin, which are the natural supports.

Well, when we talk about natural supports in a person with dementia's journey, What we're referring to are their own personal natural support system.

We're talking about friends. We're talking about family, their care partners.

We're talking about the people in their lives that we can bring around them to help them along their journey.

The natural supports that we tend to forget about are volunteers.

We tend to forget about church. church. We tend to forget about other volunteer organizations that we might be able to tap into.

Natural support systems in the community.

There are lots of natural supports. And so we'll start to develop that out a little bit further.

Who are the natural supports in a person with dementia's journey?

[3:39] Each person we know is different, right? Everybody has, their lives are different.

My life and your life are not the same.

Nobody's lives are the same. I was born in South Africa.

You might have been born in India or in Pakistani or in the United States or the UK.

[3:59] Everybody's schooling was different. I was schooled in Africa for most of my college career, but through my high school, I was educated in English.

I grew up in South Africa, so my cultural background is different.

Every person is different.

Every person, every particular person is different.

And so are their supports, right? So your natural supports are going to be different.

But then the other part of it is a financial supports.

Everybody's financial supports are going to look different. And so we want to explore what are financial supports.

I'm speaking as to people people who are living in the United States, right?

We have Medicare, Medicaid, those kinds of things.

We have each community has different resources in their own communities, and so we can talk about.

[4:52] Being in the cabin, the different community support systems, the Alzheimer's Association, support groups, all of these different things are part of the cabin, in the cabin.

Multidisciplinary Supports in the Dementia Journey

[5:05] They're the passengers along the journey. But probably one of the things that we tend to forget and that we're going to talk about and that we're going to talk and I'll bring people on to actually interview are going to be some of the multidisciplinary supports.

We're going to talk about things like physical therapy and occupational therapy and speech therapy and behavioral analysis, physicians.

[5:33] Social workers, all of the different types of activities and people that are on our journey with dementia that are what we call that are in the cabin that are part of your journey.

And so just to recap again real quick, each episode is going to be a little bit different in length because right now I'm just kind of packing out how the analogy of an airplane can be used to describe the flight of our life and our dementia journey. journey.

And so today we talked about who is on the cabin of the airplane or in the cabin.

And so I want us to start to think a little bit more broadly about people with dementia and our lives if we have dementia and how we can start to pull together some of these support systems that we inherently have in our life because everybody's life is different.

[6:34] So today's episode is a little little shorter, but that's okay because I promised to make these episodes less than 30 minutes.

At least to myself, I promised I would make these episodes less than 30 minutes each day so that we can start to have more episodes and start to unpack things a little bit easier.

And like I end all of my broadcasts, the Lord bless you and keep you and thank you for joining me.

If you like these videos, please subscribe to my YouTube channel called Think Different Dementia.

If you are not a part of my Facebook group, please join my Facebook group.

It's called Think Different Dementia Education Group.

And as always, you can subscribe to this podcast on Podbean and I'm working on getting them up on different platforms. Right now it's on Google Play.

Thank you for joining and please like, share and subscribe these videos so that we can get the message out.

Yet again, thank you for joining me and the Lord bless you and keep you.

Subscribe To Dementia Caregiving For Families Podcast

If you feel like dementia caregiving is hard and unpredictable and you are struggling to help a spouse or a parent living with dementia, join our next free workshop.

Join our Facebook Group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1301886810018410 

Become a  Member of Our Exclusive Program!  https://www.dementiacaregivingmadeeasy.com/start

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

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