In honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, Miami International Airport has partnered with the Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and iAero Airways to provide a MIAair (Airport Instruction and Readiness) tour for caregivers of those with the disease.
Tour participants practiced entering the airport, checking in and receiving boarding passes, going through the security checkpoint, and boarding a plane. The MIAair program also provides a learning experience for airport, airline and TSA workers, in how to better serve travelers with disabilities.
“We are proud to once again expand the MIAair program and host our first tour for those impacted by Alzheimer’s disease,” said Lester Sola, MIA director and CEO. “Since MIA began the program four years ago, dozens of families have been able to practice the travel experience from start to finish in this controlled environment, so they can overcome the fears or concerns they may have about flying as a family.”
Florida has the second-highest incidence of Alzheimer’s in the USA, and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs estimates that one in every 38 people of all ages has Alzheimer’s disease in Florida.
“As people conduct their holiday travel this year, planning and completing a long-distance trip can be more stressful for the 5.7 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s, and their families,” said Alexander Lewy, director of community outreach for the Southeast Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Traveling in airports requires plenty of focus and attention. At times, the level of activity can be distracting, overwhelming or difficult to understand for someone with dementia. We’re grateful to partner with the Miami International Airport to bring this educational tour for caregivers and persons with early stages of the disease to ease the anxiety of traveling.”