1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Grable

    Grable Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    165
    My mum, who has vascular dementia is going on holiday next week. She's been a member of a pensioner's group for about 15 years - indeed she was their social secretary until about a year ago. She went on holiday with them last year, when her dementia was just beginning to take hold. The people she was with had noticed that she was getting worse but told me not to worry- they would look after her, and they did.

    After the holiday, one of their number phoned me to say they were worried about Mum and her money: she was fishing out great wads of notes when she needed to pay for something. I've since sorted her out with a chip and signature card, which she uses happily when I'm with her, but hasn't used on her own.

    Mum's been diagnosed with vascular dementia and has got worse since her last holiday. She is very geographically challenged - often going in the wrong direction in her own home - she can't do numbers and loses the words she wants half way through a sentence. Part of this may be to do with a bad back having stopped her from getting out and socialising for the best part of the year, so maybe the holiday will help.

    Now I'm really worried about her going away. What if she gets lost? How do I stop her taking too much cash? Will people on holiday really want to be bothered with somebody with dementia? I can't stop her from going, but am sure there are things I should be thinking of to ensure that she - and her group - make the best of the situation. Any advice?
     
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    To be honest i would talk to someone in the group. I think it might be difficult not to talk them through your Mum's difficulties. Like your Mum many of them will be really looking forward to this and then it would be up to them whether or not they would be prepared to take her on. From what you have said it wouldn't be fair to her or to them without those conversations.

    Sounds as though she really needs a companion but i'm guessing it is rather late in the day to organise this. I think given her problem in her own home she is going to find this really stressful.

    If worst came to worst you may just have to tell a whopping great white lie and say that it has been cancelled for everyone due to illness. I have to admit that I had to do this to my Ma over an outing where I knew I would be knowingly putting her in danger by allowing her to go and I couldn't go with her.

    Just a few thoughts - only you know the whole situation and can balance the risks - thinking of you as you make these difficult decisions
     
  3. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,232
    Female
    The Sweet North
    I think you are right to be worried. In a strange environment, different bedroom, bathroom etc your mother's symptoms will almost certainly escalate. The other club members are not dementia trained carers and could easily underestimate the responsibilities involved, and unintentionally leave your Mum vulnerable.
    I am sorry if this sounds negative, but a lot changes in a year, and it is often only when someone is out of their familiar environment that the true extent of their condition becomes clear.
    If your Mum would not be capable of making a long journey by herself, (and it sounds that way) then basically she will need 24 hour one to one supervision on holiday, and that is too much to ask of other pensioner club members.
    Forgive me if I have underestimated her capabilities, but as I said, I would be very worried myself.
     
  4. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    I do agree with Sleepless.
     
  5. Grable

    Grable Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    165
    Thanks for your responses. I decided to talk to the Chairman of the club Mum's planning to go with. He was lovely: the group is more than happy to look after Mum, they know her problems, have assigned people to look after her on the journey, at the hotel and on trips out. At no point, I'm told, will she be left on her own to get lost! It seems the group are aware of everything she has done for others in the past and want to do their bit for Mum.

    At a time when the news is full of horrors and bad news, I feel very impressed with the human race today! People are, basically, good, aren't they?
     
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    Wow what a fab group and how well respected and loved your mum must be too. You must be so relieved. Please do let us know how it all went - it is certainly the good news story of the week xxxx
     
  7. hvml

    hvml Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    300
    North Cornwall
  8. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    937
    Just been reading this thread and what a super end- hope your mum enjoys her hols.
     
  9. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,232
    Female
    The Sweet North
    This is very heartwarming news, Grable.
    What an incredibly supportive group of friends your Mum has, and how wonderful of them to want to give back in return for all her previous kindness to others.
    I hope all goes well and they all have a good holiday.
     
  10. Grable

    Grable Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    165
    Expect an update when she gets back, a week on Friday - and keep your fingers crossed that it's positive!
     
  11. Grable

    Grable Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    165
    I promised to say how Mum got on with her holiday - she had a wonderful time. She can't remember anything she did, but she definitely enjoyed herself. Indeed, it seems to have done her the power of good as she's been much happier since coming back, too - although see my statins post!
     
  12. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    Fantastic Grable - so pleased it worked so well. I can only think how lovely your Mum must be to have such wonderful and supportive friends xxx
     

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