How to Make Flying With Physical Disabilities Less Stressful: A Fully Accessible Guide

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

If you’re nervous or anxious about flying with a physical disability, it may not be as bad as you think!

If you have one of the best airline credit cards, you’ll save money by booking award flights with miles and points.  And many of these cards also have perks like airport lounge access and priority boarding which can make your flying experience much less stressful and more accessible.

Having access to an airport lounge, for example, can provide you with a calmer atmosphere while you wait for your flight.  And priority boarding can help you board earlier and get settled into your seat before everyone else so you don’t feel rushed.  Miles and points can also make Business or First Class seats attainable for folks who need extra legroom, which comes in handy on a long flight!

Many airports and airlines also have specific policies and procedures to improve accessibility and assist those who are traveling with a physical disability.  So if you combine their services with the perks from one of the best airline credit cards, you’ll be able to make your journey much more comfortable!

I’ll share what to look out for when you going through the airport and boarding your flight.  And I’ll cover how perks on some of the best airline credit cards can enhance your entire flying experience.

Arriving at the Airport

In planning your arrival to the airport, you’ll be happy to know that the airline likely has procedures in place to help those flying with a physical disability.  You’ll be able to plan ahead because many airports list accessibility services on their website, such as handicap parking locations, wheelchair services, service animal relief areas, accessible restrooms, and more.

Depending on which airport you’ll be departing from, you may need to call ahead to reserve certain services.

We’ve listed the top 15 airports in the US along with some of their accessibility information:

Airport Accessible Restrooms Pet Relief Areas Handicap Parking Wheelchair Service
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) Yes, all restrooms are accessible. Family restrooms are located near gates A6, B4, C7, D5, E5, E15 and Arrivals/Baggage area, Zones B and E. Service Animal/Pet Relief Areas are located inside the terminal (post-security) on the A/B Connector (near Checkpoint A) and on Concourse D between Coca-Cola 600 Cafe and Original Rum Bar and Grill. Areas are also located outside the terminal (pre-security) at the ends (west and east) on the Arrivals/Baggage Claim level.​​ Handicap parking is available in all CLT lots and accessible shuttles run continuously. If assistance is needed, please call 704-359-4038. If you wish to park your vehicle and escort a disabled passenger into the terminal, it is recommended that you park in the Hourly Deck in front of the terminal. The first hour of parking in the Hourly Deck is free. Contact your airline prior to travel for wheelchairs, passenger loading lifts, personal assistance throughout a connection or escort assistance for minors.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) All restrooms located throughout the terminals are fully accessible to travelers with disabilities. Unisex toilet rooms equipped for the disabled are also available throughout the terminals and are located adjacent to the accessible men’s and women’s toilet rooms. Terminal D
Inside Security – Designated area located inside security at gate D18 (please note that for this location, you will not need to exit the terminal or re-enter through security)
Outside Security – Designated area located on the lower level, outside security at gates D15 and D2Terminals A, B, C and E
Designated grassy areas located on the lower level outside security
• Terminal A: Gate A6, Gate A38
• Terminal B: Gate B5, Gate B39
• Terminal C: Gate C2, Gate C39
• Terminal E: Gate E2, Gate E38
Pets are required to be on a leash at all times when visiting DFW Airport. Additionally, if you will be traveling from DFW with your pet, please keep their pet carrier on hand.
Disabled permit parking is available in signed areas of all parking lots and garages. In the Terminal garages, disabled parking is on both the upper arrival and lower departures roadways. One-hour areas may be utilized for long-term parking as long as the vehicle displays a disabled parking tag or license plate. Due to TSA and height restrictions garages at some terminals are not van accessible.

Express and Remote lots are served by wheelchair accessible shuttle buses. DFW Airport Valet parking is also available at all terminals.

Wheelchair service is offered through your air carrier upon request. To ensure availability and timely service, it’s recommended that reservations be made in advance. However, wheelchair assistance may be requested at airline ticket counters.
Denver International Airport (DEN) Large, private Unisex/Family restrooms are located throughout Jeppesen Terminal and on each concourse.
All restrooms are handicap accessible.
Pet Relief Areas: Furry travelers at DEN now have their own private restrooms on each of DEN’s concourses, in addition to Jeppesen Terminal. The new indoor pet relief rooms provide service animals and pet-companions with a comfortable and welcoming area to take care of business before or after a flight. The pet relief rooms are conveniently located post-security in the centers of concourses A, B and C. Also, there is a pre-security, outdoor pet relief area, located just outside door 200 on the west side of the Jeppesen Terminal. All pet relief areas are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Denver International Airport provides accessible parking spaces at all airport-owned parking facilities. In the East and West parking garages, these spaces are located next to entry doors into Jeppesen Terminal, on garage Levels 1, 2, 4 and 5 (no accessible parking is available on Level 3).

If using outlying parking options, such as economy or shuttle lots, accessible spaces are located near the pickup/dropoff shelters in the Economy West and Economy East parking lots, and at the Pikes Peak and Mt. Elbert Shuttle lots. All vans and buses serving these lots are lift-equipped. Wheelchair or electric cart service is available from your airline. For more information call (303) 342-4650.

Your airline can provide you with wheelchair or electric cart service
Request a wheelchair from the airline in advance or at the ticket counter
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Airport restrooms are wheelchair accessible, and family restrooms that accommodate companion care are located throughout the airport. Service animals are welcome at the airport. Service animal relief areas can be found at the following locations:

Terminal A, west side near Hotel Shuttles and Parking Shuttles pick-up
Terminal B, south side near Limousines pick-up
Terminal C, inside (post-security), across from Gate C2
Terminal D, inside (post-security), across from Gate D6
Terminal D, southwest and southeast of terminal entrance
Terminal E, northwest and northeast of terminal (shared with Terminal D)

Accessible parking spaces are located on all levels at all airport-owned parking garages as well as at ecopark and ecopark2. Shuttles from ecopark locations to the airport that accommodate wheelchairs are available. Customers may call 1-281-233-1786 to inquire about accessible parking and shuttle service. Wheelchair service is provided by airlines for passengers and should be requested when booking travel.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) All restroom facilities are fully equipped for wheelchair access. Four sets of “Men/Women” restrooms are located on each concourse. One set is located at either end, and two sets are centrally located on each concourse. Two sets are in the Airport’s Domestic Terminal atrium, including one set in the arrival’s lobby. Additional restrooms are located at the International Terminal, with a set on both the departure and arrival levels.

Unisex family restrooms for those traveling with an attendant are located throughout the Airport:

Domestic terminal arrival’s lobby (2)
T2, T4, T8 and T12
A6 and A27
B9, B23 and B27
C15, C18 and C37
D4 and D32
F4, F6, F9, F12 Concourse F mezzanine level, departure level and arrival level
An adult changing table is located in the family bathroom at Concourse F departure level near French Meadow Cafe.

Hartsfield-Jackson welcomes its many guests, including those of the canine persuasion. To accommodate passenger pets and guide dogs, the Airport provides indoor Service Animal Relief Areas (SARAs) located in every concourse near Gates T7, A10, B33, C19, E14, F7 as well as D-Midpoint.

In addition, there’s a 1,000-square-foot dog park in the Ground Transportation area on Domestic Terminal South, outside of doors W1 and W2. The fully fenced-in park offers biodegradable bags along with benches.

An additional pet relief area is located on the arrivals level of the International Terminal, right outside of door A1.

Parking for passengers with disabilities is available in all Airport parking areas. Once you enter the parking lot, just follow the signs to the designated parking spaces, which are closest to the Airport’s terminals.

Passengers with disabilities are encouraged to use the Airport “Park-Ride” facility, which offers convenient service to the domestic terminal. A free, wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus will pick up passengers at their vehicle and take them to curbside check-in.

Vans taller than 8 feet should park in “Park-Ride” lots. Upon returning to Hartsfield-Jackson, “Park-Ride” customers are picked up at the ground transportation area. “Park-Ride” parking rates are $1 per hour and $9 per day.

For additional information, contact ABM-Lanier-Hunt 24 hours a day at (404) 530-6725.

Airline representatives are available to provide wheelchair assistance. To reserve a wheelchair, contact the airline directly before your scheduled flight. Passengers with limited English proficiency should contact their airline for language assistance.

Due to partial closures on the North Terminal roadways, passengers who need wheelchair assistance for drop-off between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. should contact their airline’s wheelchair company at least five minutes before arriving at the Airport.

Prime Flight (Air Canada, Alaska, American, Contour, Spirit and Turkish) – 404-530-7049
Prospect (JetBlue, Southwest and United) – 404-209-0503

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Each terminal has at least one wheelchair accessible restroom. If you need assistance locating one, just ask at the information booth located on the Arrivals Level in any of the terminals. Pet Relief Areas – All passenger terminals at the Port Authority’s airports provide these areas to conform with the federal Air Carrier Access Act, which mandates such areas for service animals who travel with air passengers. Signs featuring the international symbol for pet relief designate the areas. The terminals and parking lots at JFK are divided into five areas, each specified by a separate color. For your convenience, the parking lots nearest the terminal entrances have a limited number of spaces for travelers with disabilities. To park in the spaces, official license plates issued by a municipality or state of residence must be prominently displayed. Parking fees for these vehicles are equal to the lowest rate available at the airport. Contact your airline prior to travel for wheelchairs. If you’re traveling with a motorized wheelchair, please ask the airline when you purchase the ticket about their policies regarding battery-operated wheelchairs.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Each terminal has at least one wheelchair accessible restroom. ANIMAL RELIEF STATIONS – Outdoors

LAX has three outdoor animal relief stations conveniently located around the central terminal area of the airport. The three stations are located outside on the lower level (arrivals). The outside relief stations are conveniently located at:

Relief Station – Outdoor
Between Terminals ONE and TWO
Between Terminals FIVE and SIX (Across the street in front of the parking structure.)
Relief Station – Outdoor

NOTE: Each Relief station has a box containing bags for easy disposal of waste. This relief area is located between parking structures 5 and 6, across the street from the terminals.
At the end of Terminal EIGHT
Relief Station – Outdoor Located directly across from the Los Angeles Police Department Sub Station.

ANIMAL RELIEF STATIONS – Indoors

One indoor animal relief station is currently installed at Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), and is located to the South (left) just before you enter the great hall, next to the bridge taking passengers to Terminal Four. Relief Station – Indoor
Pictured above, is the location of the animal relief area in the international terminal, which is next to the bridge to terminal four.

Below is a view of the animal relief area, which provides space for animals to stretch out and enjoy a bowl of water.

Relief Station – Indoor

ANIMAL RELIEF STATIONS – Inside other terminals

The airport is in the process of installing animal relief areas inside all terminals. Relief areas will be installed as part of terminal remodeling. Please click here to see the location of existing relief areas, and future sites.

All parking facilities have designated handicap parking stalls. Requesting a Wheelchair

To Request wheelchair service, it is recommended you contact your airline 72 hours in advance. Wheelchair service is provide free of charge by your airline. Tipping is not required for wheelchair service. Most individuals requesting wheelchair assistance are transported via wheelchair from ticketing to their aircraft. Airlines are required to provide curbside wheelchair service when requested. On your return flight, you should remind a flight attendant near the end of your flight, that you will need a wheelchair upon arrival.

Curbside

Each airline is responsible for providing wheelchairs for their customers with disabilities, from curbside drop-off to the aircraft. Contact your airline’s reservation desk a minimum of 72 hours prior to your flight to reserve wheelchair service. Wheelchair service is provided free of charge. Tipping is not required.

From Parking Structure

Airlines are not responsible for providing wheelchair service from parking structures to terminals.

McCarran International Airport (LAS) Unisex Family Restrooms are available for passengers with special needs; all restrooms throughout both terminals are equally accessible to each traveler. The airport has indoor post-security and outdoor designated enclosed areas where travelers flying with pets and service animals can take their animals to relieve themselves.

Indoor post-security locations:

Terminal 1 A/B/C Gates
Terminal 1 D Gates
Terminal 3
Outdoor Locations:

Terminal 1 Baggage Claim
Terminal 1 Ticketing
Terminal 3

All parking facilities have designated handicap vehicle stalls located in close proximity to elevators or shuttle stops. Wheelchair services are provided free of charge by Gateway, Prospect, and SAS Services. Arrangements for service should be made in advance through your airline of choice, but guests may dial 7874 on any white courtesy phone, or 702-261-7874 from any phone.
Miami International Airport (MIA) Restrooms located throughout the terminal feature toilet compartments for travelers with disabilities. Unisex restrooms equipped for the disabled are also available throughout the terminal. Look for the internationally recognized disabled symbol. MIA has outdoor and indoor animal relief areas located in Concourses D, E, F, G, and J. All of MIA relief areas are equipped with dual surfaces and waste disposal stations (map locations). Designated disabled permit parking and stroller permit parking is conveniently located near the moving sidewalks on the 3rd level of the garages. Additional disabled permit parking, including van accessible spaces, are available on the easternmost ground level sections of the Dolphin and Flamingo garages. Wheelchair service is offered through your air carrier upon request. To ensure availability and timely service, it is strongly recommended that this service be reserved in advance. However, wheelchair assistance may also be requested at airline ticket counters.
Minneapolis-Sant Paul International Airport (MSP) Most restrooms at MSP have at least one accessible extra-wide stall equipped with side grab bars.

Companion care restrooms are located throughout both terminals. Consult a directory or information booth for the nearest location.

The MSP maintains pet and service animal relief areas at both terminals.

There are three Terminal 1-Lindbergh locations. Pre-security, the pet relief area is located outside Door 1 on the Baggage Claim Level. Follow the signs to your left. The area is fenced on three sides and has a woodchip base.

There are two other pet relief areas available inside the secure area of Terminal 1, located near the entrance to Concourse E in the Airport Mall and on the C/G connector bridge.

At Terminal 2-Humphrey travelers can use the grassy area just outside and to the right of Door 8 on Level 1 near baggage claim or the indoor pet relief area near Gate H11.

Passengers traveling with a service animal can request an escort from their airline or Travelers Assistance to the pet relief area.

Special needs parking is available on every level of the ramps at both terminal buildings.

Terminal 1 parking ramps accommodate vehicles up to 7 feet tall for both Daily and Hourly parking. Short-Term parking at Terminal 2 accommodates vehicles up to 8 feet 2 inches tall, while clearance at the Value ramps is 6 feet 10 inches.

Parking for people who have vehicles with disability license plates or a disability tag is available in the parking ramps near the entrances to the terminals. Ramp parking rates apply.

Valet parking at Terminal 1 accommodates vehicles up to 7 feet tall with disability permits, but cannot accommodate vehicles with a wheelchair lift.

Before you fly, calling your airline to arrange wheelchair services, oxygen requirements and other accommodations will help ensure a smooth experience at the airport. Most airlines have options through their reservations systems that allow travelers to identify specific needs.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) All restrooms are wheelchair accessible. All passenger terminals at the Port Authority’s airports provide these areas to conform with the federal Air Carrier Access Act, which mandates such areas for service animals who travel with air passengers. Signs featuring the international symbol for pet relief designate the areas. The parking lots near the entrances of each terminal have a number of spaces designated for travelers with disabilities. To park in these spaces and receive the lowest parking rate, official license plates or permits issued by a municipality or state of residence must be prominently displayed. Contact your airline prior to travel for wheelchairs. If you’re traveling with a motorized wheelchair, please ask the airline when you purchase the ticket about their policies regarding battery-operated wheelchairs.
O’Hare International Airport (ORD) All restrooms located throughout the airport have wheelchair accessible facilities. In addition, there are Unisex / Family Companion Restrooms located in all terminals.

Terminal 1 – B14 (2), B10, C19(2), Baggage Claim (2)
Terminal 2 – Across from the Children’s Museum (2), E5, Baggage Claim
Terminal 3 – G11, Rotunda, H14, H2, H5, H12 (2), K1 (2), L10, L21, L24 L5, Baggage Claim (2)
Terminal 5 – Near Security Checkpoint, Food Court Area

Service Animal Relief Areas (SARA) are located on the lower levels of Terminals 1, 2 and 5. These are outdoor, gated areas designated for service animal relief and are accessible at all times. There is also an indoor Service Animal Relief Area in the Terminal 3 Rotunda. All animals must be accompanied and leashed by the owner.

Terminal 1 – Take the elevator located between Door 1C and 1B to Baggage Claim (lower level), exit Door 1A. The SARA will be toward the left.

Terminal 2 – Take the elevator located between Door 2E and 2D to Baggage Claim (lower level), exit Door 2E. The SARA will be toward the right.

Terminal 3 Rotunda – Post security, in the Rotunda (between Terminal 2 & Terminal 3).

Terminal 5 – Take the elevator located between Door 5C and 5B to Baggage Claim (lower level), exit Door 5B. The SARA will be toward the left.

O’Hare offers 325 accessible parking spaces in its parking facilities. All spaces are located adjacent to elevator centers, sidewalks, bus stops and the Airport Transit System (ATS) platform in Economy Lot E. All accessible parking spaces are wide enough to allow for lift or ramp access, but not all provide sufficient height for traditional accessible vans. Below is a breakdown of the number of spaces and height restrictions for each lot.

Garage: Level 1 (17), Level 2 (18), Level 3 (18), Level 4 (19), Level 5 (17) Level 6 (19) // Height Restriction 6’6″
Lot B: 9 spaces // Height Restriction 9′
Lot C: 11 spaces // Height Restriction 8’5″
Lot D (International Lot): 18 spaces // Height Restriction – None
Lot E: 118 spaces // Main Entrance – Height Restriction 17′ 2′, Side Entrance – Temporarily Closed
Lot G: 39 spaces // Height Restriction – None
Lot H: 22 spaces // Height Restriction – None

All shuttle busses from the ATS Platform to the Remote Parking Lots are fully accessible.
For more information, please call the Parking Information Hotline at (773) 686-7530

Contact your airline prior to travel if you need wheelchair assistance
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) Each terminal has at least one family restroom with a private area to change clothing or disposable undergarments. Ask for directions at any information desk. Sky Harbor has nine areas for pets to stretch their legs, drink water and take potty breaks (mitts for cleaning up provided).

The Pet Patch is located just east of Terminal 2.
The Paw Pad in Terminal 3 – Level 1 is now located outside of the terminal on the West End. It is part of a new West Plaza area that provides an outdoor area featuring native Arizona plants and a pet relief area.
The Bone Yard is on the west side of Terminal 4 – Level 1 just outside of baggage claim.
There are also animal relief areas located near the PHX Sky Train® stations:

The East Economy Park & Bark is located near the East Economy parking garages.
The Park ‘n Play is located on the northwest corner of the 44th Street PHX Sky Train® Station.
We also now have Animal Relief Areas post-security in all three terminals:

Terminal 2 on the lower level near the Family Restroom;
Terminal 3 on the concourse;
Terminal 4 in the D1-D8 gates concourse near the Family Restroom and in the B1-B14 gates concourse near the restrooms at Gate B2.

Accessible parking is available in all garages closest to the elevators. In the East Economy lot, accessible parking is available north of the PHX Sky Train Station. In the West Economy Park & Walk, accessible parking is available at the east end closest to Terminal 2.

If you need extra time at the curb, Airport staff on the curb may issue Special Needs permits.

Over height or oversize parking is available in the uncovered economy parking areas and Oversized Vehicle parking area east of Terminal 4.

Request a wheelchair when checking in and tell a flight attendant during the flight. If you are departing, you may request a wheelchair from a Sky Cap at the curb or from a Sky Cap or the airline on the ticketing level of the terminal. You can also request wheelchair service ahead of time when you book your tickets with your airline. Ask your airline about traveling with power chair batteries.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Companion Care Restrooms for travelers needing companion assistance are located in all terminals, pre-security and post-security. Animal Relief Areas are available 24 hours a day. Painted paw-prints on the Arrivals Level terminal curbside walkways lead the way to outdoor locations in:

Terminal 1, Courtyard 2, Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level
Terminal 1, Post-Security Boarding Area C, Near Gate 43
Terminal 2, Courtyard 3, Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level
Terminal 3, Courtyard 4, Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level
Terminal 3, Post-Security Boarding Area F at the entrance to Gates 80-90

All airport parking facilities have convenient parking for vehicles displaying a:

DP (Disabled Person) license plate
DV (Disabled Veteran) license plate
Disabled Parking placard
The Domestic Garage has standard parking at all levels. Van accessible parking is available through ParkVALET on Level 4 Departures near Terminal 1, Boarding Area C.

International Garages A and G have standard and van accessible parking at all levels.

In Long-Term Parking, accessible parking spaces for standard and van accessible vehicles are located on the first (ground) floor. SFO’s Long-Term Parking shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible.

Travelers requiring wheelchair assistance are encouraged to advise their airline of their needs when making flight arrangements. Upon arriving at the airport, travelers with wheelchair or other special requests should approach an airline representative for assistance.

At Domestic Terminals 1, 2, and 3, airline staff can be approached at curbside and check-in areas. At the International Terminal, please proceed to your airline’s assigned counter or dial 1-6210 from specially marked phones at all terminal entry doors.

Arrangements for assistance to and from other locations at SFO can be made with your airline.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) Restrooms are located on both the Ticketing and Baggage Claim levels of the Main Terminal as well as on concourses A, B, C, and D, and in the North and South Satellite. Outside Areas:

There are two areas outside the Main Terminal that are equipped to serve as “pet potties” for traveling animals. The two areas are located outside of Baggage Claim on both the north end. The north area is outside of door #26, just past Carousel 16. It is a small sandy area to the left under the stairs with plastic bags and a trash can.

Inside Areas:

All pets must be in their travel carriers when in the Main Terminal building. The only exception is training/service dogs and other specially trained pets assisting travelers with disabilities.
There are currently three pet relief areas in the secured section of the terminal. These units have pet waste bags, hand sanitizer, a paper towel dispenser and trash for proper disposal.

NORTH SATELLITE pet relief area is located on the STS level of the N Gates near the escalators
SOUTH SATELLITE pet relief area is located on the STS level of the S Gates near the escalators
CONCOURSE B pet relief area is located across from Hudson News, just before the Concourse B exit.

ADA-designated parking spaces are available in both General Parking on the fifth floor and in Terminal Direct Parking on the fourth floor. Vehicles properly displaying valid disabled permit identification may use these spaces. Sea-Tac Airport provides complimentary wheelchair service from Link Light Rail Station to check-in through Prospect Airport Services.

How To Arrange Wheelchair Service:

Contact Prospect Airport Services at 206-246-1550 prior to your arrival at the airport to make a reservation.
Exit train and take the elevator or escalator down to the lobby of the Link Light Rail Station.
Call Prospect Airport Services at to confirm your arrival. Prospect Airport Services staff will meet you in the station lobby. (Note: Follow signs towards the side of the station lobby leading to the parking garage and airport building.)
If you need assistance getting from the airline ticket counter through security and to your gate, please arrange this directly with your airline.
This service is provided at no charge, but gratuities are greatly appreciated.

From Your Ticket Counter to Your Departure Gate

Please contact your airline directly to make a reservation prior to your arrival at the airport.

From Your Arrival Gate to Baggage Claim

Please contact your airline directly to make a reservation prior to your arrival at the airport.

Wheelchair Rental

In addition to luggage carts, Smarte Carte offers wheelchair rentals from several locations on the Baggage Claim level. See our interactive map for help locating a rental station.

Not All Airports Are Created Equal

If you’re looking for an airport that make accessibility a priority, there are some that stand out above the rest based on reports from people in online forums.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has been said to be one of the most accessible airports in the world.  In addition to the usual services like service animal relief areas, wheelchair services, and accessible restrooms, the airport also provides:

  • Quiet room for prayer, meditation, or just a simple break from the fast-paced airport environment
  • PHX Sky Cart, an electric cart that transports you between terminals
  • Dial-A-Ride public service for seniors and people with disabilities daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • PHX Sky Train which provides a fully accessible connection between the airport terminals and Valley Metro Rail at the 44th Street station
  • Rental cars with hand controls with Avis, Budget, Hertz, and National
  • And much more!

Chicago O’Hare International

Chicago O’Hare International Airport also offers a plethora of services for folks traveling with physical disabilities.  It has the usual amenities like service animal relief areas and wheelchair services, as well as the following:

  • More than 300+ accessible parking spaces located near elevators, sidewalks, bus stops, and the Airport Transit System
  • Terminal transfer bus
  • Rental car companies located nearby with hand-controlled vehicles for persons with mobility impairments
  • Multiple public transportation services that are wheelchair accessible, including more than 300+ accessible taxicabs

San Francisco International

Many individuals online have also spoken very highly of San Francisco International, and it’s easy to see why!  For those traveling with physical disabilities, the airport offers many services to make your experience as smooth as possible:

  • Accessible parking services
  • Wheelchair accessible AirTrain
  • Ramps through public areas to allow for easy mobility
  • Companion care restrooms

But even if you won’t be flying out of one of these airports, most major airports will have accessibility services available to significantly enhance your travel experience!

Useful Credit Card Perks

If you have one of the best airline credit cards with premium travel perks, you’ll be able to make your airport experience much more enjoyable.  You’ll want to check to see which benefits your specific card offers:

  • Free checked bags – This perk can come in particularly handy and save you money if you need to carry medical equipment on your flight
  • TSA PreCheck – Speed through security checkpoints more quickly and easily with TSA PreCheck!  You won’t be required to remove shoes, liquids, belts, or light jackets.  And you won’t have to wait as long because TSA PreCheck lines are usually shorter than the regular lines
  • Airport lounge access – Have a quiet area to relax before your flight, away from the busy fast-paced environment of the airport!
  • Trip delay insurance – If you end up having to purchase additional supplies as a result of a delayed flight, you might be able to receive reimbursement for those costs!  You’ll just need to check with your specific card issuer’s terms and conditions to determine under what circumstances you’ll be eligible for reimbursement

Boarding the Plane

Airline Website URL
Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines Accessible Services – Wheelchairs
American Airlines American Airlines Special Assistance – Mobility and Medical Devices
Delta Delta Special Needs FAQs
Frontier Frontier Special Services
Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Airlines Special Assistance – Q&A
JetBlue JetBlue Special Assistance – Wheelchairs
Southwest Southwest Unique Travel Needs – Customers With Disabilities
Spirit Airlines Spirit Airlines – Traveling With Special Needs
United Airlines United Airlines Special Needs – Disabilities

While every airline has slightly different policies and accommodations available, most of the major airlines listed above have written policies in place for what to expect when traveling with a wheelchair, portable oxygen concentrators, and other medical devices.

So if you’re trying to choose which airline, it’s best to focus on where you’ll have access to the most beneficial perks based on your elite status with a particular airline, or any benefits you may receive from certain airline credit cards.

And depending on your travel preferences, you may want to book non-stop flights when possible, because being able to avoid a situation with multiple connecting flights should make your overall flying experience much easier, even if it does end up being a little more expensive.

Useful Credit Card Perks

Although the most stressful part of the airport might be over now that you’ve passed security and are about to board your plane, credit card perks on one of the best airline credit cards can still be beneficial for you at this stage!

If you have priority boarding for instance, you’ll be able to board the airplane before the majority of other passengers, so you’ll have more time to get into your seat without the rush from everyone else.

Arriving at Your Destination

Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll likely have to wait for all other passengers to exit the plane first.  Depending on which airport you’ll be flying into, you may be able to rent a car with hand controls or other accessibility devices, although this may require an advance reservation.

If renting a car is not an option, there are a few other services that can take you from the airport to your hotel:

Useful Credit Card Perks

Even after you’ve landed, there are still a few perks from your credit cards you may be able to take advantage of!

For instance, if you’ll be renting a car, you can check to see if your credit card offers primary rental insurance.  If it does, you can confidently waive the insurance coverage offered by the rental agency and be covered for damage due to theft or collision in most cases.

And if your luggage did not make it through, you may be able to file a claim through your credit card company with baggage delay coverage.

Bottom Line

Many airports have policies and procedures in place to assist those who are flying with a physical disability, so it’s not nearly as stressful as you may think!  Many of the major airline websites list information like handicap parking locations, service animal relief areas, wheelchair services, and more so that you won’t run into any surprises when you arrive at the airport.

And perks on some of the best airline credit cards can make your experience at the airport much more enjoyable.

Miles and points can also make it more affordable to book a Business or First Class tickets for more legroom, which can be great on a long flight.  Other perks like priority boarding can allow you to board the plane and get settled before everyone else so that you don’t feel rushed.

If you have traveled with a physical disability and found these perks helpful, we’d love to hear your story in the comments below!

Accessibility Notice

Our “How to Make Flying With Disabilities Less Stressful” was written and designed to meet the needs of our readers with disabilities.  This content was created for complete interpretation by all readers, including those who utilize voice assist and other assistive technologies.

This guide was published in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, which can be found at https://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/, and meets Level A conformance guidelines.

This conformance is claimed only for the content on this specific webpage:  https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/how-to-make-flying-with-disabilities-less-stressful/

Are you looking for ways to deal with disability??

This email came across my desk today. If you are disabled, or you care for someone disabled, this will have meaning to you…

According to the most recent findings from the U.S. Census Bureau, 56.7 million disabled adults and children reside in the United States. This figure accounts for roughly 19% of the country’s total population. Of these 56.7 million:

  • 8.1 million have difficulty seeing, and 2 million are considered legally blind.
  • 7.6 million have a hard time hearing, with 1.1 million experiencing severe hearing problems and 5.6 million using a hearing aid.
  • 30.6 million struggle with walking or stair-climbing; many of these individuals rely on wheelchairs, crutches and other assistive devices.
  • 19.9 million have difficulty reaching, holding and grasping objects.
  • 15.5 million have trouble with at least one daily task as a result of their disability; these tasks include bathing, eating and dressing themselves.
  • 2.4 million have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, senility or dementia.
  • 7 million have depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders that are severe enough to impact their daily lives.

Disabilities impact people in different ways. Disabilities are currently classified into five subdivisions.

Type of Disability Definition Examples
Intellectual Difficulty communicating with others, learning and processing information Down syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), Fragile X syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD), developmental delays
Physical A condition that affects physical capacity and motor functions Multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy, paraplegia/quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, polio, disability due to physical injury
Sensory A condition that affects sight, hearing, taste, smell and/or touch Blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), sensory processing disorder
Mental Illness A mental health condition that affects one’s daily life and relationships Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Neurological A physical condition that arises due to damage to or degeneration in the nervous system Acquired brain injury (ABI), epilepsy, other acquired conditions characterized by bodily fatigue, impaired physical capacity, speech difficulties, memory lapses and/or mood swings; also includes Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia

Virtually every type of disability is linked to certain sleep issues. This article will explore the relationship between sleep and different types of disabilities, as well as some popular bedding products and accessories used by disabled sleepers. First, let’s look at some of the latest studies and scientific findings exploring the way disabilities affect sleep and vice versa.

Studies and Findings

In a 2016 study titled, ‘Sleeping while disabled, disabled while sleeping’, Dr. Benjamin Reiss notes that nearly every disability diagnosed today entails some sort of sleep disruption ― although the nature of and reasons for this disruption vary from person to person. The most common causes include “physical pain, exhaustion, and emotional stress of facing obstacles in work and other areas of life, or challenging sleep environments in which many disabled people live”. Dr. Reiss adds that sleep-related issues are often the most difficult aspect of living with a disability. “Night is often when social isolation and vulnerability are most profound,” he writes. “In addition, caretakers themselves often find their own sleep profoundly disrupted, whether this occurs in a family setting or an institutional space.”

Other studies have examined the effects of sleep deprivation in people with different disabilities. A 2002 study published in Pain Research and Management found that roughly 89% of people with chronic pain experienced “at least one problem with disturbed sleep”, and that addressing sleep problems in these individuals can lead to “improvement in patients’ daily activity and a reduction in their suffering”. A similar report found in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research noted that 16.1% of children with intellectual disabilities had at least one sleep problem ― and that severe sleep issues were linked to health issues like epilepsy and cerebral palsy, as well as overuse of medication. And an extensive study conducted for Archives of Disease in Childhood found that children with autism spectrum disorders aged 30 months to 11 years sleep 17 to 43 minutes less each daythan children who have not been diagnosed with ASD; the subjects in this study also reported higher levels of nighttime waking. Additionally, some sleep problems are largely isolated to disabled populations. Non-24 sleep wake disorder, for instance, is a circadian rhythm disorder that primarily affects blind people.

The general consensus among today’s experts: addressing the sleep problems of disabled adults and children can improve their physical well-being, mood and everyday outlook. However, findings remain somewhat limited and sleep experts are still exploring strategies for helping disabled people sleep better. From a studypublished in Research in Developmental Disabilities: “While a number of behavioral interventions have proven effective in the treatment of sleep disturbance and drug therapy involving melatonin appears promising, epidemiologic work on the correlates with sleep disorders appears to have little impact on treatment”.

In the absence of substantive scientific research, people with disabilities may alleviate the symptoms of disordered sleeping with specialized beds, mattresses, assistive devices and bedding accessories. Read on to learn more about some of the most popular products on the market.

Bedding Products for People with Disabilities

Beds and Bedding Accessories

First, let’s look at some types of beds commonly used by disabled sleepers.

Adjustable bed frames are ideal for people with disabilities that affect their physical capacity. Most models sold today are electric and remote-controlled, allowing users to adjust the position and sleeping angle with minimal effort. Many adjustable beds can also be raised at the foot (or bottom), allowing people with circulation problems to elevate their legs and be as comfortable as possible.

Technically a type of adjustable bed, chair beds can easily toggle between a recliner and a horizontal surface. Chair beds are ideal for people with restricted daily mobility.

Similar to adjustable beds, a turning bed features a mattress that can be rotated to accommodate different sleep positions. Since some disabled people cannot easily move themselves in bed, turning beds are a useful way to prevent physical problems that arise from laying in the same position for long periods of time.

Low-profile beds are designed to lay close to the ground — usually 10 inches in height or less. Many disabled people experience pain or pressure when attempting to get out of relatively high-profile beds. Low-profile beds address this concern, and also offer a safer alternative for people who may roll or fall out of bed more easily due to their disability.

Assistive Bedding Devices

In addition to specialized bed frames, disabled people may also get some much-needed help from assistive bedding devices. These include the following:

Bed rails span the length of the user’s bed, and are usually affixed to the mattress or bed frame for maximum stability. Properly installed rails will form a barrier that prevents people from rolling out of bed. These devices suitable for people with sleep disorders that cause them to thrash or act out in the night, as well as anyone who is at-risk of falling out of bed and experiencing a serious injury (such as an elderly person or someone with a physical disability). For optimal comfort, bed rail pads can be used to form a softer buffer between the sleeper and the rail.

Grab handles (also known as lifting poles) come in several different forms. Some are attached to the bed or wall surfaces, while others are freestanding and can be placed on floors near the bed. These handles are especially helpful for people who need assistance getting into/out of bed, laying down and/or sitting upright, including those who get around in wheelchairs.

Hand blocks are compact, portable weighted handles that can be attached to the headboard or other areas of the bed frame. When evenly placed on either side, the blocks allow users to push down and lift themselves several inches with minimal effort. These blocks can be beneficial for people with chronic joint or back pain, as well as people who rely on bedpans.

Rope ladders provide a similar service as hand blocks. Attached to the headboard, footboard or side of the bed frame, these ladders feature rungs to help people pull themselves up. Caregivers and attendants should ensure that at least the first rung is within reach at all times.

Bed steps are essentially step ladders designed for people who need help getting into and out of bed — although these are not normally needed for individuals who sleep in low-profile beds. Steps are suitable for physically disabled people, the elderly and anyone else with knee/joint pain and/or mobility impairments.

Headboard pads are soft cushions positioned against the headboard in order to prevent nighttime head and neck injuries. These pads can also improve comfort for people who spend long periods of time sitting up in bed during the day or night.

Like headboard pads, floor pads are designed to provide cushioning and prevent serious injuries. The pads should be placed anywhere on the floor where someone could land after a fall (both sides of the bed, if applicable). Floor pads are commonly used if rails are unavailable.

Mattresses and Mattress Accessories

Next, let’s look at some specialized mattresses and mattress accessories that can help disabled sleepers.

Due to the prevalence of incontinence and nocturia (or nighttime urination) among disabled individuals, waterproof mattresses are widely used in nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the country. These mattresses are usually made of vinyl/PVC, polyurethane and other slick, durable materials that do not absorb urine or allow puddles to accumulate. When properly cleaned on a regular basis, these mattresses will not stain or acquire a bad smell over time. Waterproof mattress covers, duvets and pillowcases are also widely available.

Often used in hospitals and rehabilitation clinics, specialized air mattresses are designed to improve circulation in people with bloodflow impairments and maximize comfort while sleeping. These mattresses may also prevent conditions that arise from prolonged bedrest, such as shearing or bed sores.

Mattresses made of ultrasoft materials — such as memory foam or latex mattresses — create a contouring surface that is designed to cradle the sleeper’s body and relieve pressure points. These conditions may be ideal for people with certain physical disabilities, or other sleepers living with high levels of chronic back, shoulder and/or joint pain.

Alternatively, exceptionally firm mattresses tend to provide sufficient support for people who weigh 230 pounds or more; this is often the best option for individuals with disabilities that are linked to high rates of obesity, such as Down syndrome.

Mattress elevators are adjustable metal frames that are placed beneath a mattress to provide the best angle for sleeping. They may be placed at the head or foot of the mattress to address different disabilities and physical conditions. Mattress elevators are often a cheaper alternative to mechanized adjustable beds.

Pillows and Additional Accessories

Finally, let’s look at some pillows and other accessories that can be used to facilitate and improve sleep for disabled individuals.

Pillows often play a key role in the sleep patterns of disabled people. Neck pillows made of memory foam or other supportive materials can be very beneficial for people who have experienced serious neck injuries, or deal with chronic neck, back and shoulder pain. Likewise, body pillows provide cushioning and support for people with intellectual disabilities and others who are prone to nighttime thrashing.

Pillow elevators, like mattress elevators, are customizable frames used to adjust the angle for maximum comfort. These elevators can be used to prop up pillows beneath the head when the user would like to sit up in bed, or under the knees to improve circulation and sleeping comfort.

White-noise machines are designed to reduce background sounds and replace them with soothing static. These machines are ideal for people with insomnia and other sleep disorders, as well as those with disabilities linked to sleep deprivation or loss.

Snoring is a serious issue for millions of Americans because the staggered breathing associated with snoring can lead to sleep fragmentation or disruption. Higher rates of snoring have been linked to certain disabilities, including Down syndrome and ASD, as well a sleep conditions like apnea. There is no known cure for snoring, but many experts agree that anti-snoring mouthpieces are the most effective way to suppress snoring symptoms; these devices fit between the teeth much like dental retainers. Anti-snoring chinstraps, specialized pillows and nasal plugs are also available.

Another possibility for heavy snorers: continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machines, which feature a mask that fits over the face to ensure steady airflow throughout the night. CPAP machines are a bit extreme — but this may be the best remedy for people with severe snoring problems.

 Online Resources 

Visit the online resources below for more information about the link between disabilities and sleep, as well as some products and treatment methods for disabled people with sleep problems. Also be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to Sleep and Aging.

Intellectual Disabilities and Sleep

  • Sleep in Individuals with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability: This exhaustive study published in 2014 looks at sleep issues, treatments and intervention techniques for people with different cognitive disabilities, as well as ASD.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Down Syndrome: This article from the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) examines the relationship between these two conditions. According to the authors, apnea is quite common in young people with Down syndrome; roughly 60% display abnormal sleep symptoms by age four.
  • This Is Why You’re Tired: Originally published in ADDitude magazine, this article explores the most common sleep disturbances — as well as some effective treatments — for adults and children with ADHD who experience sleep disruption or loss.
  • Sleep in Children with Fragile X Syndrome: This 2011 study looks at the myriad of sleep problems that generally affect young people with Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder that typically leads to intellectual disabilities.
  • Significant Improvement in Sleep in People with Intellectual Disabilities…: Published by the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research in 2009, this extensive study pinpoints some of the most common sleep problems among disabled people living in care-based facilities, as well as some of the most effective, non-pharmaceutical interventions for these issues.

Physical Disabilities and Sleep

  • How to Sleep Better: Daytime and nighttime interventions are included in this guide from the Healthy Aging Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, which notes that roughly 40% of people with physical disabilities also experience sleep problems.
  • Get the Sleep You Need!: Published by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, this detailed guide discusses how people with MS can identify a sleep disorder and adopt healthy sleep habits. The NMMS site also features a helpful video tutorial on this subject.
  • Cerebral Palsy and Sleep Issues: This article from Cerebral Palsy Guidance lists some common reasons for sleep problems in children with CP — including chronic pain, acid reflux and respiratory issues — and offers some interventive advice for parents.
  • For Muscular Dystrophy Patients, Targeted Therapy for Sleep Disorders Helps: This 2017 article from Sleep Review explored some cutting-edge ways that doctors are helping muscular dystrophy patients address their sleep problems. The article notes that 18% of MD patients have OSA, 27% have respiratory failure and 30% experience regular daytime sleepiness.
  • Hypermobility Syndrome: This guide from patient.info looks at the condition known as hypermobility syndrome, which typically affects people who live in wheelchairs; disrupted sleep is one common symptom of the condition.

 

Sensory Disabilities and Sleep

  • Non-24: This website is dedicated to Non-24 sleep wake disorder, a condition that desynchronizes circadian rhythms and causes nighttime disruptions; the disorder is highly prevalent in totally and partially blind people.
  • Treatments for Delayed Sleep Phase and Non-24: This article from the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network explores the most effective treatments for sleep disorders that mostly affect blind people; techniques include hygiene improvements, light therapy and light restriction (also known as ‘dark therapy’).
  • Helping Your Deaf Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep: According to this guide from the UK’s National Deaf Children’s Society, parents of deaf children can improve sleep patterns through soothing techniques, lights and technological devices.
  • Sleep Apnea Linked to Sudden Hearing Loss: In some cases, sleep disorders can be used as predictors for late-onset disabilities. That is the hypothesis of this study published in The Hearing Journal, which notes a higher rate of hearing loss in patients (primarily men) who experience sleep apnea earlier in life.
  • Sleep Problems in Children with Autism: This study from the European Sleep Research Society identifies some sleep patterns and problems associated with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). According to the study’s findings, the most common issues include difficulty falling and/or staying asleep, nighttime waking and enuresis (or bedwetting).

Mental Illnesses, Neurological Disabilities and Sleep

  • The Connection Between Sleep and Mental Health: Insomnia and other sleep-loss disorders affect people with many different mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD. This thorough guide from the National Alliance on Mental Illness covers causes, symptoms and possible treatment strategies.
  • Sleep Deprivation and Depression: What’s the Link?: This article from WebMD examines the relationship between depression and insomnia, and calls out some of the most effective antidepressant medications and non-pharmaceutical treatments available.
  • Sleep Disorders: According to this article from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, mental health issues like anxiety and sleep disorders like insomnia share a complex, ‘chicken and egg’ relationship; the article goes on to explore treatment techniques for people with anxiety who experience insomnia, and vice versa.
  • Sundowning, Sleep, Alzheimer’s and Dementia: People with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia commonly experience sundowning, or behavioral problems that persist throughout the night. Learn more about sundowning and other dementia-related sleep disorders in this guide from the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Published by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, this article looks at some common sleep issues — including sleep disruptions and daytime drowsiness — that frequently affect people with the neurodegenerative disease known as Parkinson’s.

Resources for Caregivers

  • Seeking that Elusive Good Night’s Sleep: This introductory guide from the National Caregiver Alliance discusses some common sleep problems in disabled people, as well as some intervention techniques that caregivers can use to help their patients sleep better.
  • Sundowning and Sleeping: Help for Caregivers: A large number of people with dementia receive facility- or home-based care, and this guide from Virginia Navigator explores some effective ways for caregivers to help their patients overcome sundowning and get the rest they need on a nightly basis.
  • Sleep and Caregivers: In addition to disabled people, the individuals who care for the disabled also experience sleep problems on a relatively frequent basis. This guide from Canadian Virtual Hospice looks at some ways that some reasons for this trend — as well as effective measures that caregivers can take to improve their own sleep patterns.   

Source: Dealing with Disabilities

Check it out!!!!

Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

I just got this email from Bob Cook.  Check this out!

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 11.55.58 AM

 

 

Gordon and Jill presented to our team and I was very pleased with the outpouring of gratefulness afterwards from our team.

Some teammates were in tears when they asked Gordon and Jill follow-up questions and thanked them for sharing their story.  Many thanked me for allowing them present, were happy to receive their book and asked me for direct contact information to follow up.

Several had been touched by stroke or disability and we had a heartfelt discussion as a team about what is really important in life.  We also reviewed our corporate benefits options and I know of at least one Associate that purchased additional disability coverage immediately on himself for his family.

We hope to share this presentation beyond out Market by having the Viggianos present at a Regional gathering in the future.

The presentation is surprising, gripping, educational, motivational and inspirational and I recommend Gordon and Jill for any group that could use a little of any of the above!

Thanks Gordon!

Robert W. Cook
Senior Vice President
Market Executive, Oregon Idaho

 

Did you know that 50 million adults in the USA have a disability?


50 million adults in the United States who have a physical or mental disability.   I want to find a way to help this astounding number of brave men and women who battle more on a daily basis than many of us can understand.  Here are some web sites you can visit:

Information for Disabled Persons (HUD.gov

Disability Accommodation in the Home (Cost Guide

Certain Developments Housing Vouchers for People with Disabilities

A Guide for Disabled Homebuyers

Home Ownership for People with Disabilities

Keep Your Home through Debilitating Disease

American Association on Health and Disability Resource Center

Swimming and Special Needs

Stay Active with a Disability: Quick Tips

State-by-State Help for Family Caregivers

Guide for Family Caregivers

How Caregivers Can Take Better Care of Themselves

They are now stored in MEDIA CENTER under IMPORTANT LINKS  https://mybrainllc.com/links/

Putting the Public Back in Public Health
For more information, visit http://publichealthcorps.org/

Coming back from a stroke

Unknown-1

Krista Davidson
Published on June 24, 2015
Rehabilitative research could help patients recover lost abilities. Standing, walking and speaking are everyday functions most of us take for granted, unless you’re a recovering stroke patient.

Stroke, which is the third leading cause of death in Canada, is the sudden loss of brain function caused by the interruption of blood flow or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain. It can affect your ability to see, speak and walk.

It’s one of the most disabling disorders for adults in North America.Michelle Ploughman of Memorial University’s faculty of medicine and a team of interdisciplinary researchers are conducting research that will help stroke patients recover many of the physical and cognitive functions affected by stroke.The research could lead to a remarkable breakthrough for stroke patients.Operating out of the Recovery and Performance Lab at the L.A. Miller Centre in St. John’s, Ploughman’s team is a blend of honours, master’s and doctoral students in areas including psychology, physiotherapy, kinesiology and clinical epidemiology. Each discipline is contributing to the recovery of patients.One of those students is a physiotherapist and master’s student with the faculty of medicine, Jennifer Shears. Shears is researching two methods of sit-to-stand treatment to achieve symmetry, which is often the first task a recovering patient must learn.

One method promotes compensating for the weak side while the other promotes full recovery through rehabilitation. Shears’ research is supported by the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research.

“Sit-to-stand is a task that most people don’t think about, but the neuromuscular co-ordination required to get from sitting to standing is tremendous, and the power to lift your body weight using your legs is challenging,” said Ploughman.

The research is so innovative the team had to enlist the help of MUN’s technical services department to design and build a customized bench with an adjustable mechanism that would provide patients with the right support, regardless of disability level, height and weight.

Ploughman, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation, Neuroplasticity and Brain Recovery, is also conducting research that promotes increased physical and cognitive recovery in stroke patients. Her research is supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery.

The project is one of the first in Canada to combine both vigorous physical and cognitive activity in the rehabilitative process with the aim of restoring pre-stroke functions.

Now working with its third group of patients, the program follows an intense 10-week schedule. Fourteen people have already finished the program. While there’s much research yet to do, the preliminary results are promising.

“People are improving and we’re able to get more recovery from this program,” said Ploughman.

Patients are not only making a comeback from stroke, but many are continuing their exercise regime, which could significantly reduce the recurrence of another stroke.

Interested in learning more or want to be considered for the project? Contact Michelle Ploughman, (709) 777-2099.

Krista Davidson is a communications co-ordinator for the Office of the Vice-President (Research) at Memorial University. Email kdavidson@mun.ca

Are women a bigger risk for stroke?

stroke-preventionThe answer is YES!

I had the privilege of speaking to a group of women last week, only one of whom owned a disability insurance policy.  Why did that one woman own that policy?  Because she had already gone through the devastating experience of not being able to work and losing everything.

If you are reading this blog, please consider what would happen to you and your family if you were unable to work.  What would be the effect?  If we hadn’t owned insurance, I would have had to find a job–fast.  What would have happened to Gordon?  Who would have taken care of him and worked with him on his recovery?  Who would have been there for the kids?  What would have happened to us?

Women are 5 times more likely to have a disability claim than men.  I will say it again.  Women are 5 times more likely to have a disability claim than men. Think about that.  Yeah, we’re smart and beautiful…but we need to also be financially prepared.  Please don’t wait until it is too late.  It just isn’t worth the gamble.

Jill Viggiano

Listen to my fans!

 

 

“The story you and Jill shared was inspiring, thought-provoking and a welcome departure from our typical speakers at this event.”

Linda Navarro
President & CEO, Oregon Bankers Association

 

“Working, as we do, in the health care and insurance fields your presentation helped reinforce how important it is for us to always remember that the work we do is ultimately about being there for our members when they need us most.  Your story is a window into what others may be experiencing and how critical is the need for compassionate, competent healthcare.”

Mark Charpentier
VP, Kaiser Permanente

 

“Jill made their experience relevant to our audience by sharing how the disability insurance coverage that their family had purchased made it possible for them to meet their financial obligations.” 

Janet Schober | Manager, IDI Sales Program
The Standard

I Love Insurance People!

Gordon and I had the opportunity to speak to the Idaho Association of Health Underwriters this week.  I always look forward to talking to people in the insurance industry  for 2 reasons:  1- they are so warm and friendly, and 2 – because 20 years ago, an insurance salesman changed our lives.

When we were first married, our insurance rep would not rest until Gordon bought disability insurance.  18 years later when Gordon survived his stroke, that disability policy that made it possible for me to focus on him and his recovery rather than having to look for a job.  What would have happened to Gordon if I hadn’t been able to be home with him?  I shudder even thinking about it.

So thank you to all you insurance professionals!  Yours is a noble profession and I, for one, appreciate you.

Jill Viggiano