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Holidays

Mary Em

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
31
...help and advice please on the subject of holidays.
Mum is aged 94, and has had Alzheimer's for 3 /4 years now..is in a good residential home, happy at times, took ages to settle ( and we even tried a different home briefly last year)but also very restless. The main problem dealing with mum's dementia is that one mjnute she is lucid and talking sense, and making perfectly reasonable requests, then switches to the opposite. She is in complete denial, or has no insight at all as to her condition. She thinks she still looks after herself adequately.
When my sister and I visit she continually asks the following
' I'd love to be in my own home, can't you find me a little flat near you?
'I'm fed up with being here..I'd love a change '
I'd love a little holiday...I haven't seen the sea for so long'
Etc etc
My sister and I have said we will have days out instead, but I am wondering if we could manage a little break near the sea. We are both very nervous of this for various reasons, what with managing her personal care(!?), and coping with her mood swings, difficult behaviour, and in particular the journey of st least 2 and half hours.
( Revitalise are no good for us...ive looked into that company..)
I was thinking how wonderful it would be if there were hotels where they catered for people with dementia ...with carers available to assist .
Or should we self cater,
Or perhaps find a lovely care home near the sea, for a week?? Mum used to live in Sidmouth .
Sorry this is a tricky one but I am.so full of guilt that we can't give mum what a few years ago would have been no.problem at all!
Thank you
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,196
South coast
I honestly think that taking someone out of a care home for a holiday is a very bad idea.
Think about how long it took her to settle when she moved in there and you would be moving her to a completely new environment. She is likely to be as confused as when she moved into the care home, plus all the things that you have already thought about. Your gut feelings are correct - It would be a complete nightmare.

Stick to your original plans of days out to nice places - it is not your fault that she can no longer cope with things - it is the dementia, but I understand that it is hard when they dont understand it themselves.

When she asks for things that sound reasonable, but given her dementia, arnt - it is time for "love lies". If they are unable to understand the truth, then you need to come up with some explanation that will pacify her that she can understand. If she asks whether she could move into a nice little flat you could try saying that you will look out for somewhere suitable (but dont, of course), if she says she wants to go on holiday get her talking about holidays in the past as a distraction.

If you havent seen it before, you might find this thread helpful
https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/thr...n-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/#post-413710
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,203
I agree with Canary, it would almost certainly be a disaster. Your mother would not be able to cope in an unfamiliar environment. She thinks she wants to go to the seaside (or live in a flat) but what she means is she wants things to be like they were before she had dementia, when she could happily do those things. Unfortunately she would no more enjoy the holiday than she'd cope in a flat. The link Canary gave is helpful for strategies you can use to deal with those type of requests.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
487
M
...help and advice please on the subject of holidays.
Mum is aged 94, and has had Alzheimer's for 3 /4 years now..is in a good residential home, happy at times, took ages to settle ( and we even tried a different home briefly last year)but also very restless. The main problem dealing with mum's dementia is that one mjnute she is lucid and talking sense, and making perfectly reasonable requests, then switches to the opposite. She is in complete denial, or has no insight at all as to her condition. She thinks she still looks after herself adequately.
When my sister and I visit she continually asks the following
' I'd love to be in my own home, can't you find me a little flat near you?
'I'm fed up with being here..I'd love a change '
I'd love a little holiday...I haven't seen the sea for so long'
Etc etc
My sister and I have said we will have days out instead, but I am wondering if we could manage a little break near the sea. We are both very nervous of this for various reasons, what with managing her personal care(!?), and coping with her mood swings, difficult behaviour, and in particular the journey of st least 2 and half hours.
( Revitalise are no good for us...ive looked into that company..)
I was thinking how wonderful it would be if there were hotels where they catered for people with dementia ...with carers available to assist .
Or should we self cater,
Or perhaps find a lovely care home near the sea, for a week?? Mum used to live in Sidmouth .
Sorry this is a tricky one but I am.so full of guilt that we can't give mum what a few years ago would have been no.problem at all!
Thank you
When my OH says we should book a holiday I use the love lies saying things like well we will get some brochures and have a look and get something sorted for next year, they have no idea of time and in the next second they have forgotten about the conversation, it’s often repeated but they don’t remember saying it before. I take them out for trips to coffee shops and the countryside for a couple of hours and they love that.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,005
Newcastle
It is very easy to give too much weight to something that a person with dementia says because it sounds as if they are being lucid and expressing a real desire. My wife always wants to go to see her grandmother, which is impossible and can be ignored. But if she said instead that she wanted to go shopping in the city centre should I take this seriously and help her do it, bearing in mind that the last time it ended up in a police missing person search?

So it is with your Mum's request for a holiday and to see the sea again. Is it a real desire and one that she is likely to remember long enough for you to make the journey there? Imagine if you arranged a short break and arrived at the sea only to be faced with a blank stare or a 'why have you brought me here?' followed by a demand to be taken back.

Quite apart from that, it would be very unsettling and, in my view, a thoroughly bad idea to even attempt such a trip.
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,364
Can I add my threepenny worth and say it's probably best not to take your mum out of her environment.

Like your mum, my mum was born and grew up in a seaside town and, as is the nature of AZ, those early years memories are the ones that remain - drat!

Mum would frequently reminisce and wanted to return to the area, not just for a holiday, but to live!

By chance, our daughter offered to Grandma-sit for a few days, so OH and myself stayed in the seaside town and spent time taking photos of the house mum was born in, the school she attended, where her dad worked etc. We also scouted out some self catering accommodation that we thought looked suitable to stay in with mum.

We bought back maps, souvenirs; a shell box that we filled with sand and pebbles from the beach, key- ring, postcards etc and local information of how the resort is now.

Mum was really thrilled with the pictures of the house (address tracked down from her birth certificate) and the rest, but would you believe it, when we suggested taking her back for a holiday, she about-turned 100% and said that going back would spoil her childhood memories!

Mum has the souvenirs arranged in her room, they seem to have done the trick and satisfied her craving; not once since has she asked to go back!

Just an idea but maybe you and your sister could do the same!
Spend some time in lovely Sidmouth and bring Sidmouth home to your mum.

After so many comments about going back, we were flabbergasted (and relieved) when mum changed her mind, but if your mum is still keen to visit Sidmouth, you can always say how busy it is, noisy with lots of traffic and tourists, and suggest she would hate it as it is now.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,667
80
East of England
I have booked a virtual reality experience for my husband for his birthday because I couldn’t possibly take him on holiday. He is in a similar way to your mother although younger. Here is the link to the website
http://www.escape2vr.co.uk/
I saw a report on the company on regional TV when they were showing the residents in a care home with good results and I found them online. I had very lovely emails and have got the date set up. They come for half an hour and have a variety of experiences to choose from.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,196
South coast
I have booked a virtual reality experience for my husband for his birthday because I couldn’t possibly take him on holiday. He is in a similar way to your mother although younger. Here is the link to the website
http://www.escape2vr.co.uk/
I saw a report on the company on regional TV when they were showing the residents in a care home with good results and I found them online. I had very lovely emails and have got the date set up. They come for half an hour and have a variety of experiences to choose from.
Gosh @Grahamstown I have heard of this, but havent come across anyone who has actually done it. I would be really interested to know how someone with dementia finds this and what their reaction is.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,667
80
East of England
Gosh @Grahamstown I have heard of this, but havent come across anyone who has actually done it. I would be really interested to know how someone with dementia finds this and what their reaction is.
The people in the care home with dementia in the TV report absolutely loved it and wanted more but like everything it must vary from person to person.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,196
South coast
@Grahamstown - In my experience, TV reports frequently use people whose dementia is not that advanced and are still well orientated in the here and now, or sometimes have "creative" editing. Sorry for the cynicism, but Ive seen too many TV programs on dementia where what is shown doesnt match my experience, or the experience of many others. So, you see, Id love to hear what it is really like for people with more advanced dementia, who, if it works, could really benefit from it.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,364
Nottinghamshire
My daughter has one of those virtual reality headsets @canary and I found it a pleasant experience ( it looked like being underwater and surrounded by fish and when you moved your head it was just like looking up and down and all around really as if you were there) but my dad lasted 2 minutes and then declared it rubbish :rolleyes:. He probably had reached mid stage dementia by then. It's the sort of thing he would've loved before.

It is disorienting to start with so you have to relax into it. We let an 8 year old gamer have a go, thinking he'd love it, but he freaked out within seconds. We've since found out he has a severe anxiety disorder and possibly ASD.

Everyone else loved it. But I'm not sure how successful it is for people outside the normal range of cognition.

I hope your husband has a good experience @Grahamstown
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,203
I have booked a virtual reality experience for my husband for his birthday because I couldn’t possibly take him on holiday. He is in a similar way to your mother although younger. Here is the link to the website
http://www.escape2vr.co.uk/
I saw a report on the company on regional TV when they were showing the residents in a care home with good results and I found them online. I had very lovely emails and have got the date set up. They come for half an hour and have a variety of experiences to choose from.
That sounds like it could be a brilliant idea, I hope it works well for your husband.
 

Glokta

Registered User
Jul 22, 2019
62
My mum also constantly says she wants to go on holiday, to Malta, to Egypt to see the pyramids, and just lately says we’re trying to stop her going out (not true). I try to defuse her by saying things like “that would be lovely”, or “maybe next year” and on occasions remind her that she wouldn’t like to leave Paddy, her dog. Distraction seems to work the best. If we look at photos it makes her more demanding.
 

Livelifetothefull

New member
Sep 22, 2019
4
...help and advice please on the subject of holidays.
Mum is aged 94, and has had Alzheimer's for 3 /4 years now..is in a good residential home, happy at times, took ages to settle ( and we even tried a different home briefly last year)but also very restless. The main problem dealing with mum's dementia is that one mjnute she is lucid and talking sense, and making perfectly reasonable requests, then switches to the opposite. She is in complete denial, or has no insight at all as to her condition. She thinks she still looks after herself adequately.
When my sister and I visit she continually asks the following
' I'd love to be in my own home, can't you find me a little flat near you?
'I'm fed up with being here..I'd love a change '
I'd love a little holiday...I haven't seen the sea for so long'
Etc etc
My sister and I have said we will have days out instead, but I am wondering if we could manage a little break near the sea. We are both very nervous of this for various reasons, what with managing her personal care(!?), and coping with her mood swings, difficult behaviour, and in particular the journey of st least 2 and half hours.
( Revitalise are no good for us...ive looked into that company..)
I was thinking how wonderful it would be if there were hotels where they catered for people with dementia ...with carers available to assist .
Or should we self cater,
Or perhaps find a lovely care home near the sea, for a week?? Mum used to live in Sidmouth .
Sorry this is a tricky one but I am.so full of guilt that we can't give mum what a few years ago would have been no.problem at all!
Thank you
 

Livelifetothefull

New member
Sep 22, 2019
4
I actually disagree with comments about taking family member's out of care homes and going on holidays. Since my mum developed dementia 9 years ago, I have taken her to Turkey on a family holiday and also to Spain when she was already in a care home. If anything, the experience did her good and gave her some 'normality' spending time with her grandchildren and myself and my husband. I also take her to my home (which is a 3 hour journey away from her care home) during longer holidays like the summer holidays, Easter and Christmas even though she is quite frail, and she always seems to get a new lease of life after the visits. She never has any problems 'settling back in' to the care home at all. I think this kind of stimulation does people good as not leaving the same environment would have a negative impact on most of us with or without dementia.
 

Nigel_2172

Registered User
Aug 8, 2017
40
Shropshire
Before the problems of travelling made a holiday impossible, I had looked at taking my wife to the seaside and found a website for The Mede at Topsham . They have self catering bungalows attached to a dementia day care centre Devon and were extremely helpful before I came to the conclusion that the travelling was impossible. I was looking at it as a means of attending a wedding in Taunton. With my wife now having been in a nursing home for over a year, I would have to agree with comments above that It is probably not a good idea.
 

lizanneem

New member
Nov 4, 2017
4
I am Maryem's sister and find the replies to her thread very helpful. It seems everyone is in the same boat but the dementia varies so much with the sufferers. I think our mother would love to be taken to the seaside but it is us who would find it more difficult and as you all say, bringing her back to the Home would probably be a nightmare. In the meantime we will continue thinking up ideas for keeping her happy! It is all a very long learning curve.
 

Mary Em

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
31
I honestly think that taking someone out of a care home for a holiday is a very bad idea.
Think about how long it took her to settle when she moved in there and you would be moving her to a completely new environment. She is likely to be as confused as when she moved into the care home, plus all the things that you have already thought about. Your gut feelings are correct - It would be a complete nightmare.

Stick to your original plans of days out to nice places - it is not your fault that she can no longer cope with things - it is the dementia, but I understand that it is hard when they dont understand it themselves.

When she asks for things that sound reasonable, but given her dementia, arnt - it is time for "love lies". If they are unable to understand the truth, then you need to come up with some explanation that will pacify her that she can understand. If she asks whether she could move into a nice little flat you could try saying that you will look out for somewhere suitable (but dont, of course), if she says she wants to go on holiday get her talking about holidays in the past as a distraction.

If you havent seen it before, you might find this thread helpful
https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/thr...n-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/#post-413710
Thankyou I found your link very helpful
 

Mary Em

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
31
Before the problems of travelling made a holiday impossible, I had looked at taking my wife to the seaside and found a website for The Mede at Topsham . They have self catering bungalows attached to a dementia day care centre Devon and were extremely helpful before I came to the conclusion that the travelling was impossible. I was looking at it as a means of attending a wedding in Taunton. With my wife now having been in a nursing home for over a year, I would have to agree with comments above that It is probably not a good idea.
Thankyou I found your link very helpful
 

Mary Em

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
31
It is interesting to hear all the suggestions. Tha you everyone who took time to reply .
Love lies dont always work with mum because she does remember some things weve said. Also a DVD of a holiday,looking at photos, which we already do , or an on line experience..just wouldn't suffice I dont think..
The mede at topsham does sound quite interesting...I will look at that. However it's the 3 hour journey I'm worried about .
I certainly couldn't imagine taking her abroad...at 94. But I am.inclined to agree with those that think a change of scenery would be nice for her...I'd be fed up if I was stuck in a residential home !! Alzheimer's is so hard to deal with and it seems everyone has a slightly different story , depending on the behaviour of the person with it.