While aboard an airplane while it was already high in the sky, passengers were startled when a man began hollering, appearing confused as to where he was.
Many passengers attempted to force the man back into his seat but he resisted, unsure of what triggered his sudden breakdown.
However, when his wife emerged from the restroom, she explained the heartbreaking reality of the situation.
A passenger with Alzheimer’s became frightened and belligerent while aboard an airplane.
A TikTok video viewed more than 3,000 times showed an older man aboard a plane who was pacing the aisle, asking to get off. “There’s gotta be a door somewhere,” he said nervously.
His perplexed fellow passengers summoned a flight attendant as the man reached across people to see if there was a hidden door underneath the windows.
“Who are you?!” he asks a passenger sitting in an aisle seat, sounding frightened and confused. “I know I’m not supposed to be here, why are you people looking at me like that?” he asks as his eyes rapidly jump back and forth.
The man quickly spiraled into a breakdown, whacking away the hands of flight attendants who tried to help him.
Assuming that he was just a belligerent passenger losing his temper, other passengers pulled out their phones to videotape his actions.
When his wife came out of the restroom she wrapped her arms around him and explained that he suffered from Alzheimer’s. To calm him she sang their wedding song, “You Are My Sunshine” and the rest of the passengers joined in.
Photo: Mike Jones / Canva Pro
It’s likely the video was staged, but it still highlighted an important message about patience and empathy.
The man embraced his wife and smiled during his serenade and even though many commenters pointed out the video seemed staged, it still struck a chord with its overall message.
In situations of high stress, when variables are often unknown, it’s best to offer patience and empathy before passing judgment.
It also reminds us how therapeutic music can be for those battling illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, music can “enrich” the lives of those affected by the disease, since it allows self-expression and engagement.
Studies have shown that music and singing to Alzheimer patients can reduce their agitation and can improve behavioral issues, especially if they are singing or listening to music that is significant to them, such as their wedding song.
While they may not be able to place the exact memory, the feelings they have associated with a particular song are still very much there.
So, yes, the video may have been staged, but the deeper meaning was significant: Always choose patience, compassion, and empathy first.
Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.