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. DianeG

    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
     
  2. DianeG

    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.
     
  3. Brucie

    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!
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,586
    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
     
  5. ROSEANN

    ROSEANN Registered User

    Oct 1, 2006
    909
    staffordshire
    #5 ROSEANN, Feb 26, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
    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
     
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    #6 jenniferpa, Feb 26, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
    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).
     
  7. annesharlie

    annesharlie Registered User

    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
     
  8. DianeG

    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
     
  9. jackie1

    jackie1 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2007
    238
    Cheshire
    #9 jackie1, Feb 27, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
    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
     
  10. DianeG

    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
     
  11. desperado

    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.
     
  12. DianeG

    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 :)
     
  13. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    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,
     
  14. connie

    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.
     
  15. mo lowe

    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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