Continence issues and going away on holiday

MrsExpo

New member
Jan 27, 2024
6
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I've asked this question elsewhere too, but would be very interested in views and opinions from the folks on here.

My husband (77) has recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia. As this is quite recent, I'm very much a newbie in the role of carer, so am learning as I go along and taking things one day at time. In the past he has also had strokes and been treated for prostate cancer. As a result of these things, he has significant mobility problems and has now developed continence problems (both types!). He wears pads/pants to manage this but is usually wet in the mornings, and often has "accidents" on the floors and furniture.

At home, I have protected our bed with appropriate mattress covers, washable Kylie pads etc and we are getting excellent support from the local Continence Service specialist nurse.

However, we have a long standing booking to go on a UK cottage holiday in the summer, and the thought of trying to manage his condition in someone else's (immaculate) home is daunting! We would have to go with a complete set of waterproof bed/mattress protection, our own bedding, supplies of pads and bags to dispose of them, cleaning materials etc. I would have to strip and re-make the bed when we arrive and leave, cover all the upholstered furniture and I will be on edge the whole time in case he has a bad accident on carpets etc, so not a "holiday" for me in any sense.

Of course, I manage this at home day to day, but we have a lot of hard surfaced floors and I know where I am with cleaning, disposal etc.

I feel bad for asking this question, but would you go or would you cancel? All advice and opinions would be welcomed. Thank you.
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
5,817
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Hello and welcome to the Dementia Support Forum @MrsExpo. I know that this is possibly not what you want to hear, but if it was me I would cancel. It really sounds as if you would be more stressed on the holiday than at home.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
30,238
0
Bury
I also would cancel. as long as you declared his health condition to the insurers you should be covered for the downturn in his symptoms.
 

Blissy

Registered User
Jan 29, 2023
119
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I agree in that I think to cancel is best. Not only because of the incontinence issues but to take your husband out of his familiar surroundings could make his dementia worse making it even harder for you and him.
 

ShivyDevon

Registered User
Oct 11, 2022
63
0
I agree I would cancel if you can. I went on a 1 week cruise with my mum and dad when my dad's incontinence was at the very early stages using pads, not pants at that point, and it was so stressful for my mum, she didn't enjoy the holiday at all really as a result. I'm so sorry.

Could you perhaps arrange some respite and you go away with a family member of friend?
 

windyhill

Registered User
Dec 9, 2023
23
0
81
My wife has had dementia for about 3 years. After the pandemic lockdown, I booked a couple of foreign holidays when my wife's condition was apparent but not unmanageable. They were not a success because she began to get fractious and that certainly spoiled the holidays. However, a year ago I decided to book a 2-week cruise in the hope that it would improve her condition and relax her. What a mistake!
It was a complete disaster and when we came home from the cruise her condition had become almost unmanageable. and it took me a couple of months just to settle her down again by staying at home and giving her stability. In the summer I decided to book a short holiday in Wales and once again she only lasted 2 days before her condition again became unmanageable and I had to abort the holiday and get home fast.
So my advice is by all means have a holiday but go into it with your eyes open and be prepared to cancel the holiday if it is becoming unmanageable. The loss of the money is not important if your life as a carer is being torn apart.
 

maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
325
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I would cancel as it will just be a major stress for you and he will pick up on your anxiety. I find PWD read emotion quite well. My husband has Parkinsons and mixed demenia and the first sign of his worsening condition was on holidays. He couldn't find where he was so he couldn't be left for a minute and he got very agitated and moody. If that happens it won't feel like a break.
 

Skylark/2

Registered User
Aug 22, 2022
398
0
I agree with everyone, if I were you I would cancel your holiday. It would possibly be so stressful for both of you, no holiday for you as you will have to deal with the ‘ fallout’ Two + years ago ( when countries opened up after Covid ) I sorted out a 2 week holiday to Miami to visit family and a newly born granddaughter. Was so looking forward to it after lock down…………a disaster! After 1 week away I was desperately trying to book an early flight home. Since then we had a long weekend in Paris ( we know it well, so not a strange city ) but again so stressful for me though husband said he loved it! We have 3 night breaks in a cottage in the Peak District, never managed the 3 nights, on the way home after 2.
I have heard that there are companies that specialise in holidays for dementia suffers, maybe you could look at that possibility? There will be info on this website somewhere I’m sure!
 

maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
325
0
There's a company called Limitless travel that do all sort of disability travel and provide carers etc. Its pretty expensive but you arrange what help you need