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Old 12-04-2011, 07:04 AM   #1
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what about christmas

I am starting to think that we may not have a placement before christmas. now what on earth am I going to do? with mom in the hospital waiting, I do not want to take mom back to her home and then back to the hospital as I think it will really upset her to go back and it would be so hard on my dad. I can not have christmas dinner at my placee as I live on a boat on anchor in the middle of a bay, no way can get me mom out here. my daughters place is really small and although we could do it there it would be caotic. I don't want her spending christmas in the hospital. anyone have any idea's, I know it is a ways off but I really am worried about this. nobody should have to spend christmas in the hospital but what are my options. any ideas sure would be appreciated. I could arrange to take our boat to a dock and then have an early christmas dinner on board. have any of you taken your loved ones home for christmas. how did they handle going back. We have not taken mom out of the hospital yet for anything, maybe we should take her out on an outing and see how she does. To tell you the truth even thinking about this has got me in tears..

Last edited by jagsmu; 12-04-2011 at 07:11 AM.

 
Old 12-04-2011, 09:39 AM   #2
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Re: what about christmas

What is stressing you is what you know needs to happen versus what you want to happen. I went through this when Mom and Dad went to AL. My suggestion was to have our family Christmas celebration at the facility but I was vetoed. There was no way we could take them "home" because of distance. So off to my sisters we all went and the day was a horrible disaster. Most of the day Mom was in a daze not knowing where she was. Mom was in tears most of the day and there were other tears that accompanied hers. There was resentment and hard feelings that lingered long afterward because the day was not good. Then there were days of distress afterward for Mom. It took a week to ten days for her to settle back down.

So the next year I put my foot down. Family would go see Mom and Dad at the facility then we would have our family celebration with them safely tucked away where they needed to be. Two sisters and their families visited the weekend before Christmas, another sister was there Christmas Eve, and I went over Christmas day. She was not overwhelmed and displaced. That holiday was so much better than the one before and she was not distressed for days afterwards. The flow was smooth. No, Mom was not with all of us at the same time or on the appointed day but great memories were created without the distress and tears.

We want Mom to be with us at our holiday celebration. That is the way it is supposed to be. The idea of not including her sends us into a guilt trip that is horrific. But is that what is best for Mom... or is that what we want for ourselves? Mom is not in a mental state where she can understand what day it is. After much soul searching I decided what I really wanted was what was best for Mom even if it was not what I might want in the moment. We can't follow the old traditions in this new disease. It's about priorities and Mom's contentment is priority one! Those with dementia thrive off of routine routine routine. If you break them out of their routine or take them from their new home you totally disrupt their mental equilibrium. Add the confusion of the celebration and you just add more cognitive disruption. They do not have the cognition to understand time and celebrations. They only know the moment. They only know the security of stability and routine.

Imagine that you are not sure where you are or what is going on but you do recognize a face here or there and the chair in the corner. Then you get pulled out of that little bit of security to a place you do not know when a large crowd of people saying and doing things you do not understand. Because you can not understand and your brain is misfiring you think everybody is talking about you and paranoia sets it. Then there are flashes of something that you want to go back to but can't. The mental fight in your brain ensues causing stress and anxiety as you try to find something that is not there and fighting what is there. You battle with these demons until they finally vanish when you are back in that little bit of familiarity you have with your new home. So think long and hard to decide IF you want to take her out...

Is there a small room that you can bring in a small tree and/or presents... a few holiday treats. Even her room would be a satisfactory place. Mom's facility has a small dining area off the main dining room. Keep it small and short. If it is not on Christmas day, that is ok. Only you know the day... Mom doesn't!

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:45 AM   #3
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Re: what about christmas

I am just not sure where my mom will be... in the hospital or maybe with luck she will be placed... if she is placed then it will be the greatest gift to us and visit to the care home on christmas would be wonderful , if not, my mom is currently in a room with four other ladies, this changes almost weekly, last week it was my mom and 3 older gentlmen. I just can't seem to get it into my head that my mom will be in the hospital for christmas, visions of her being alone keep popping into my head even though I know no such thing would happen. I am going to talk to the nurses today and just see how they handle the people who are in the hospital over christmas. maybe that will releive some of the stress..as for the rest of the family we have decided to go out for dinner this year, already made the reservations for christmas day, the dinner being our christmas present to the others.

 
Old 12-04-2011, 10:51 AM   #4
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Re: what about christmas

oh geeze, I just reread my answer to your post and it sounds so selfish. Wanting my mom to be with all of us,I guess it is more of me wanting to be with my mom, you are right of course that this is just another day for my mom. this is going to be a really hard and heartbreaking christmas without my mom at the head of the diner table....do you all still have the crying towel for me to hang on to..

Last edited by jagsmu; 12-04-2011 at 10:54 AM.

 
Old 12-04-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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Re: what about christmas

Towels at the ready!! A big stack Hang in there Jags......I know it's tough.......

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:26 PM   #6
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Re: what about christmas

Absolutely loads and loads of towels. This one rates right up there with moving them out of their home and taking away their driving privileges. It does have everything to do with Mom not being at that end of the table. You wish it for her and you wish it for you... when you know in your heart it can not be the same.

I am not sure why we insist on treating this disease differently. If Mom had a broken leg and was in traction or had late stage cancer, or other medical conditions that required her to be in the hospital we deal with it differently. But when it is a cognition problem we don't see the physical signs of illness and it's hard to accept that it is what it is.

I do hope that your Mom is placed by Christmas, you can all go to her new home, and celebrate with her. That would be the best Christmas present of all. Enjoy your family time eating out and celebrating the day. Understand the distress it would cause your Mom and be give her the Christmas present of routine and calmness. Go visit with her and enjoy her. I take Mom trinkets wrapped more than once. It's multiple days of joy!

Yep, the hospital is a very impersonal place. Ask the staff if there is a small room somewhere that Mom can join you for a little celebration.... or just pull the curtains and set the tree on the food tray A holiday is what we make it. It is the people we are with and not the place we are in. It is what we make it no matter where we are!

So here's your stack of towels... Christmas ones Hang on tight!

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:01 AM   #7
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Re: what about christmas

My mother hass been placed for 7 months. On Saturday my niece had ababy shower that my sister wanted her to attend. She did. It was very hard hetting her in to the car and out. She cried was confused and shaking . After 2 hrs I couldn't tolerate it anymore so I with my daughter help took her back. She was happy to be back. My sister was planning on taking MOm overnight at her home for our Christmas. It won't happen. If anything my sister can bring her for an hour but she will be the one to go and bring her back. I have to explain this to her today, It has taken me two day to be able to deal with knowing today I have to tell her. Wish me luck.

 
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:58 AM   #8
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Re: what about christmas

oh hillside I am sending you a boatload of luck, and you guys are right,after my beening with my mom yesterday i thought long and hard on this and looked at it from her point of veiw or should I say thinking, and truly in my heart Iknow what to do, now to make sure my dad understands, if this is hard for me I can only imagine what my dad is going through..
come on hillside lets stand together and do this!!! thanks for the towels i know that they are going to come in handy.

luv judy

 
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:15 AM   #9
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Re: what about christmas

Having been there done that I am holding the other end of the towel for both of you Hill and jag. When you "get it" and know what you need to do you then have to convince everybody else. That's not easy especially if they can't grasp it from what they loved one needs.

I remember talking to my sister. "But Mom would want to be there." Yes, if Mom didn't have dementia she would be there.... but she does have dementia. I think I said that 100 times. Dementia is the game changer. If you take them out of their familiar safety you are just asking for trouble. You have to love them enough to give them what they need... not what we wish or want

So yep, I am hanging on to both towels tightly and hope the family conversations goes well!!

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:49 AM   #10
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Re: what about christmas

"You have to love them enough to give them what they need... not what we wish or want " - Well said Deb. I'm here holding towels too. We're all in this together gosh darnit!!

 
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:35 PM   #11
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Re: what about christmas

Greetings.

Last year at this time, I was going thru the same exact suitation~~~
Had to put mom in the same care home, as dad ...on Christmas Eve!!
What a sad experience that was!!
So we visited both of them on xmas day....
went home and cried.

Dad passed away in Jan.. and Mom ..in June.

Its been a rough few years..but we made it

Thinking of you and praying for an easy solution

Hugs
Chris

 
Old 12-07-2011, 05:51 AM   #12
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Re: what about christmas

I just dealt with this with my Aunt for Thanksgiving.

My recommendation is to NOT take her home at this time.

While being in the hospital for Christmas may be no one's preferred cup of tea, I think the disruption and potential impact on her will far exceed any enjoyment she might get, which, personally, I think could be minimal, due to the stress of an additional transition and then a return. I think that could really set her back!

Sometimes people need to be in the hospital for Xmas. There are ways to make the best of it.

I noticed that the holiday was stressful for my Aunt even tho only 3 of us visited and ate with her. We are going to downplay Xmas a bit and spread our visits out, and take our cues from her when we see her that day whether to "make a big deal" or keep things low key.

At this time, your mom's health and well being are the most important thing. It is my understanding that with dementia or alzheimer's, keeping a routine is very important for their peace of mind. I think that is more important for her than an exceptional special day which instead of making her happy could just make her and you miserable.

I am learning to think differently under these new circumstances and to recognize that sometimes doing the right thing for my aunt could seem to an uninformed outsider as thoughtless or disinterested. For example, "why don't they bring her more clothes" (because sometimes even new clothes confuse and upset her! she is more comfortable in her old clothes!), "why don't they take her out for lunch" (because it causes her so much anxiety that it can take her days to get over it, so we sometimes bring lunch in... but sometimes even that disturbs her routine too much to be helpful to her) and so on...

So do what you know is right for her under her current life circumstances! And have faith in your own judgment.

Sincerely, SUZY

 
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