Hi there; need your honest opinions please. I am 51, married for 29 years and have 4 kids, 2 grandchildren. I had 1 sibling who passed away from an accident about 15 years ago. My parents moved across state to be near us when my dad started going downhill. He passed away 3 years ago. My mom towards the end with Dad came down with Louybodi Dementia which took awhile to get diagnosed. When my dad passed away, my mom started having more problems with the dementia and ended up in the hosptial with a severe bed sore. She then moved to a private in home center until all her funds were used up. From there, we moved he in with us, even though our house is not very large for everyone. We have 3 kids at home and 1 married with 2 grandkids that live not too far away. Since my mom has moved in with us, she has become somewhat stable in her dementia but cannot cook, bath, etc by herself. I am now her 24 hour caregiver.
My problem is - my husband very much wants us to take a family vacation to Disney World this fall for about 15 days -will be 1st vacation in 3 years. I have had a knee replacement that did not take, and been diagnosed with MS and AS all in the past 2 years. I believe my husband wants to go at this time while I can still somewhat get around with my cane and scooter - and enjoy our family. My husband also was sick - diagnosed with advanced prostrate cancer 2 years ago - but took treatment and thankgoodness is in remission. Yes, the last 3-4 years have been really rough.
We feel that there is no way though my mom could stand to go on this sort of trip with the hot weather, on the go at the parks most of the day, etc - it will be hard on me as it is with my disabilities. The flight alone will be 6-1/2 hours if no layovers. My mom mainly just wants to sit in front of tv - and maybe crochet if I talk her into it. The dr explained this was part of the dementia. She does not like to leave our house much - only to go to dr appt. I know this sounds like I am trying to make up reasons for not taking her - but physically I dont believe she could withstand it. - I have never left my mom overnite except when I was in the hospital for my MS. But how do I explain this to my mom without her being really hurt and feeling left out? Also - how do I find someone to help care for her while we are gone that won't cost us more than the trip itself? All our kids are going except the 1 married and she will be 9 months due with 3rd child at this time. I plan on taking Mom on a weekend getaway nearby prior to our vacation with my older daughters to help - thinking this might let her enjoy a vacation herself. What do other famly caregivers do? My husband keeps reminding me I need to find someone or the trip is off - so pressure is on. I know he cares for my mom - he is really good to her but he realizes we need to find care for her and he needs the vacation also and feels the burnout. Any of your suggestions are most welcome.
I have gone through this and have lost both of my parents. Here are a couple of hard won suggestions. First-you don't need to take your mom on a vacation. The fact that she doesn't want to go out of the house should be your clue that she is in the stage of dementia where she doesn't need outside trips. In fact, outsides trips will only confuse her more and upset her. The trip is to assuage your guilt at going on a trip without her-not to give her a mini get away if you will admit it.
Check to see if you can get a home healthcare aid to stay with your mom while you are gone. OR -you dind't mention how old your kids are-but if they are late teenagers or college age-they may have friends who would be willing to stay will grandma in stages during the day, and have a night nurse with her. Or get her signed up for elder care during the day and find someone to drive her there and then get someone to stay with her from the time she comes home until she leaves again.
Taking your mother along isn't the answer for any of you. What you can do is to make a calendar and have the person caring for her cross off each day til you get back. Call her every day at the same time. Pick a time that she is most alert. then enjoy yourself. The break will do you good-and your family and your relationship with your hubby!
Do you have any friends that could help? I would say if you can find someone to come into your home that you trust (and maybe your mom knows)--all the better.
You do need a break and like other poster, a trip that intense would likely be really bad for your mom.
Caregiver burnout is very common--get as much help as you can, it will do you good.