Taking mum a wee holiday

DianeG

Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
50
Glasgow
I have not posted for a wee while - life just taking over really. Since my last post my mum and dad have now moved into sheltered housing and we have gone through lots to try to get mum settled in a new environment. It has been far from easy but she is happy althugh it is getting harder to see it.

I am scared I am losing her faster than I anticipated I would and it feels sometimes like time is running out.

Anyway, the point of my post is to ask if anyone has any advice to help me...I have booked a trip to London for a weekend - just me and mum, flying down, doing the London Eye, Harrods, Theatre etc. I often work in London so I know my way around but I am just wondering how the heck I am going to cope with mum in the Big City. I have not spent as long a period of time with my mum especially away from our home environment. I am excited and worried at the same time but know that this is my chance to ensure I maximise the opportunity - who knows when it will be my last that she will be able to do with me. Any advice anyone?

Diane
 

DianeG

Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
50
Glasgow
It's me again. The silence on the site with ref to this thread is worrying me slightly. I am worried that I am doing completely the wrong thing taking my mum to London. I think many of your silences (as most of you are quite frequent posters) are your way of not offending me i.e. what you are really thinking is 'you crazy girl - how do you think your mum is going to cope with the change and the craziness of a big city'.

I just (probably selfishly) want to ensure me and mum get some 'quality' mum and daughter time before it is not possible and, dare I say it, I am full of regret.
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hello Diane

Sorry for the lack of responses - I simply missed your post!

I guess you need to judge your Mum's current state, and that should determine how easy or difficult a trip may be.

Change of place can confuse people who have dementia, but in the early stages that may not be a problem.

I would certainly advise keeping a very close eye on her, partly to see whether she seems agitated by the changes, but also to ensure you don't get separated in the crowds.

I'd put a card in her handbag with your mobile number on it and a few words asking anyone finding her alone to call you ASAP.

Good luck in your trip!
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,337
Kent
Hello Diane, sorry your post was missed, it must have `slipped through the net`. :eek:

I don`t know what stage your mother`s at. Last year my husband and I had a day trip to London. He is well into the middle stages.

He found it very noisy, but has been used to living in a quiet seaside town, too crowded, he actually found it a bit scary, and very tiring.

Think about your mother`s stamina. If you have lots of trips arranged for her, would she be able to keep up with you.

If you really want some quality time with your mother, might it be better to plan a break in the Cotswolds or somewhere like that.

Sorry for being so negative. Your mother might be much fitter than I imagine. Wherever you go, I hope you both have a lovely time.

Love xx
 

ROSEANN

Registered User
Oct 1, 2006
909
71
staffordshire
Hi Diane
I take my husband out alot (he likes to be out of the house at the moment). What I do is walk around for a while then sit on a bench in a nice spot and watch the world go by for a while and then go for a coffee and then repeat it all again.
The secret for me is not to let him get to tired hence all the stops, so if I was you I would have a small plan of where you want to go and take it from there.
Hope it all go`s well for you
Roseann
 
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jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I think it might be doable if you think about it in terms of what you would do with a young child. In that situation you wouldn't pack your days with activities - you'd make sure you had quiet times in there AND were prepared to changed the schedule if necessary. Also, I think I'd be getting ready to throw money at it if possible - taxis etc. Flying - well most of that is outside your control. I would ensure that you're flying with an airline that allows you to assign seats - you don't want to be separated, but apart from that you're in the hands of fate.

A final word of advice - does she have a cell phone that she will answer? I think to be safe you need that or some kind of tracker - it's too easy to get separated and if that happens she might panic (and I know you will).
 
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annesharlie

Registered User
Apr 10, 2007
80
Vancouver Island, Canada
Hi Diane

I'm from Canada, and traveled with Ron in London last fall. The hardest was if we both needed the loo, and there was a queue at the ladies' - then I'd be in a panic that he would wonder off after getting out - so that is a big advantage to going with your mum, you can go right into the toilets with her. Maybe it would be easier to just chip up for cabs - the whole tube thing was quite stressful - the fear of loosing him. One other thing, many places give a good "disability" discount - maybe phone ahead of time and have a doctor's letter with you. Everything helps, as it's so expensive there.

Anne
 

DianeG

Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
50
Glasgow
Thank You

Bruce, Sylvia, Roseann, Jennifer & Anne,
Thank you so much for your advice. I have taken on board all your thoughts and I have to say that it doesn't seem quite as scary if I plan well and, as you say, consider what I would do if I was taking a young child.

What I didn't want to do was lose the essence of why I was going:
a. quality time with mum
b. a break for dad
c. mum doing things she enjoys - theatre, eating out
d. something new e.g. the London Eye
e. a wee luxury - the lovely hotel I have organised and if we can manage it a trip to Harrods - even if we only buy a strawberry tart she will feel great (I know that).

I did consider the suggestion of going somehere quieter but I feared that with conversation mostly one sided (me) that I may dry up (and that is saying something!) or she may even be bored.

I hope I get the balance right and I thank each of you for taking the time to reply.

I will be sure to let you know how it goes - we go in April.

Thanks so much,

Diane x
 

jackie1

Registered User
Jun 6, 2007
238
Cheshire
Hi Diane,
I can only comment from my experience with John. Long trips are a no no as are trips that involve any fixed plans that require us to be at a certain place at a certain time. Shorter trips that are very laid back (or at least as laid back as they can be with 2 full on boys :)) are fine and we have 2 planned so far for this year.

Flying for us is impossible as it leaves him totally disorientated and makes the dementia much worse. Even a short flight to Northen Ireland in the earlier stages was awful.

But as everyone is different hopefully it will not affect your mum.

I hope you have a lovely time.

Love
Jackie
x
 
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DianeG

Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
50
Glasgow
We have been to London

Well we made it to London at the weekend and here is what happened:

We had crepes and champagne in Harrods, shopping in Harrods, the open top bus tour, an award winning Indian restaurant, Grease the musical, Madam Trusauds, Hamleys, sunday lunch, the London Eye and the Thames River Cruise. The things we tried to do and the places we went were great.

However, I am mentally and physically shattered. It would have been easier taking my 4 year old son to London. My mum is not the person I had with me in London. How's this for a how it went:

she followed me through airport security rather than waiting her turn
she wasnt aware of the arm rests on the plane and she sat on them
I had to cut up every meal for her
she takes about 45 mins to put clothes on and not very successfully, pants on inside out and legs in wrong holes, bra on but not sitting right at front (if you know what I mean), jumpers on back to front, trouser zip undone.
struggled on stairs big time
so so visible to others that she is not quite right
felt like no 'dignity' or awareness of things - walking around room undressed and confused never sure what she is looking for
wasn't watching the stage during the show and frequently sitting with eyes closed - getting mad with me when I asked if she was okay
dis-orientated if not attached to me
2 panics thinking I'd lost her
repeating questions over and over and over
fell out of shower
fell whilst in shower
had to lift her naked body up both times
kissed the waiter leaving the restaurant after breakfast
pushing doors at wrong sides
can't read menus
couldnt make a decision about anything - even what she would have to drink
no expression to show if happy, sad, angry...
smile for a picture? couldn't do that and when she tried the pics look really strange - a vacant look on her face.

Me? exhausted, conversation dry, feel guilty about feeling bored and on my own and wishing my time away so that I could come home. Not leaving a feeling of being a great daughter or carer. I am so disappointed in myself and don't like myself much for thinking these things.

Diane
 

desperado

Registered User
Apr 7, 2008
42
Lancashire England
If you remember - these were the reasons for going in the first place.

What I didn't want to do was lose the essence of why I was going:
a. quality time with mum
b. a break for dad
c. mum doing things she enjoys - theatre, eating out
d. something new e.g. the London Eye
e. a wee luxury - the lovely hotel I have organised and if we can manage it a trip to Harrods - even if we only buy a strawberry tart she will feel great (I know that).

I did consider the suggestion of going somehere quieter but I feared that with conversation mostly one sided (me) that I may dry up (and that is saying something!) or she may even be bored.

I hope I get the balance right and I thank each of you for taking the time to reply.

You seem to have achieved them - despite the problems on the way.
Well done - you should be proud of yourself !!! I am sure your Mum really enjoyed herself despite the fact that she didn't show it.
 

DianeG

Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
50
Glasgow
Hi,

Thank you for making me remember WHY I was doing it. It brings perspective back, something I think I lost along the way there.

Diane :)
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Me? exhausted, conversation dry, feel guilty about feeling bored and on my own and wishing my time away so that I could come home. Not leaving a feeling of being a great daughter or carer. I am so disappointed in myself and don't like myself much for thinking these things.
Sorry, Diane, I not only missed your original post, I missed the whole thread!:eek:

Please don't be disappointed in yourself. You planned a treat for your mum. You knew there would be problems, but you did it anyway. Well done you!:)

There are always problems in travelling with someone with dementia, it's part of the territory. But we have to keep on trying for as long as it is possible. We try to stimulate them by giving them new experiences, or by revisiting places they loved, and nine times out of ten the visit doesn't work. But we have to try.

You've done your best for your mum. I'm sure there were some good times, times when she was excited and happy, even if you didn't manage to capture those moments on camera. They're captured in your memory, and in the future you'll take them out and think, mum was happy then!

Try to focus on those good moments, and be proud of yourself.

Love,
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Diane, you should be so proud of yourself, and proud of mum too.

Well done.

(Cannot imagine how I too missed this thread until tonight.)
You seemed to have managed very well without interference and advice.

I admire you so much for 'just going for it' whilst you had the chance.

Wonderful memories.
 

mo lowe

Registered User
Apr 24, 2008
9
hello, sounds like the weekend was very hard work, but it sounds like you did very well with dealing with everyone, my mum is the same as in she doesn't show emotion and says the same things again and again. you just have to keep think that you did your best and got to spend some important time with her.

mo x
 

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