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What to do??????

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Old 12-09-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
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What to do??????

About 3 yrs ago I was a pretty active member of this site then my precious mother pass away, needing more help again...

My mother-in-law has been diagnosed with demenita. She cannot live alone because she forgets to eat, bathe or dress herself. One of the things I think we are doing wrong is having her come and stay with a different family member for several weeks, personally I think that is just confusing her more..doesn't a person with dementia need stability?? She still remembers everyone but has good days and bad days. Now the family is going to Disney World for vacation and they want to take her because they feel this will be the last time she will ever be able to do anything with the family again. I have a different opinion on that. I would love for someone to tell me if this would help or hurt her. She is only 67 yrs old and going down really fast. I really need to know what would be the best thing for them to do with MIL..

I just didn't think I would have to go through this again so soon but I do know a little bit more about the sitution but again I need your help...


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Old 12-09-2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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Re: What to do??????

SuzQ... I remember you well and I am so very sorry you are having to deal with this again. Know that many families are hit multiple times. I have had 5 different trips though this disease just in my immediate family, not to mention the aunts and uncles. My grandmother had Alzheimer's, my father had Vascular dementia, my FIL had stroke related (probably Vascular) dementia, my MIL had undiagnosed dementia (can you tell the in laws were in denial?) and my mother has Alzheimer's. I am so done with this disease!

I do believe that you are right in what you have said in your post. Anyone with dementia does need stability and a routine. It is difficult for them to "change gears". Each family has a different routine and it is a new environment for her to adjust to. Doing this over and over can cause unnecessary confusion. As the disease progresses it will only get worse.

As for the trip, you have to make a clear assessment of her abilities and how she adjust to new and different routines. You have to know that dementia patients do not deal well with crowds, noises, and unfamiliar situations. She will probably not be patient standing in line or waiting for events (even meals). If she has any sundowning then your evening hours will need to be planned to accommodate this. She will have a tendency to wander away and has to be watched closely 24/7 while you are there. Know that she is not going to "go with the flow" of the family but is going to be on her own trip and you will have no choice but to follow her lead. Be prepared for her melt downs when it all become over whelming.

Some think it is worth that last trip to include Mom. If you take it slow, follow her lead, and are willing to alter your vacation to accommodate her needs, it might work.... depending on her abilities and inabilities. But if the family plans to keep up their pace, go go go, and think Mom will just keep up, they will be very disappointed.

I do know some that have tried this and been successful, and I know some that have tried this and ended up coming home early because it was a disaster. It all depends on where Mom is in the disease and how willing the family is to accommodate her. So you have to have a conversation, as a family, to determine if the desire to include Mom is logical and rational, or just wishful thinking

Love, deb

Old 12-09-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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Re: What to do??????

I know when my 92 year old Mom is taken away from her normal setting, she is completely confused. I agree with you that a trip like that would really upset her in the end. I took Mom back to our home which was a 12 hour drive. That evening, she didn't have a clue where we were or why we were there. She didn't recognize people she'd known for years. I told myself that would be the very last trip she would go on. Even an hour trip to my brother's is upsetting to her routine. I vote...she stays home, they are only trying to make their selves feel better!

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