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If mom and her spouse take an extended vacation, one or two weeks at a time, with no caregiver, how might this interruption of current caregiving services affect her?

August 22, 2013

If mom and her spouse take an extended vacation, one or two weeks at a time, with no caregiver, how might this interruption of current caregiving services affect her?

Years ago I would have said that breaking up a routine with a trip was a very bad idea, but today I know that each person with Alzheimer’s is different—and things you think would never work actually will.

So I would say a hearty bon voyage and encourage your mom and her spouse to have a wonderful time. Life is for living, and a trip can be a welcome break in a routine. If things aren’t going well, her spouse will probably figure that out quickly and head home.

If they are open to suggestions, you might see if they would consider starting with a shorter, two-day trip before committing to a longer one. Could they take along a caregiver? If they are going on a cruise, is there adequate medical support on board? Can they easily stay in touch with you?

I am also concerned about the havoc a long trip might cause among in-home caregivers, since many of them depending upon that regular income. Let them know you’d like to maintain some continuity in your mother’s care. See if they can take a vacation or a break and return when your mother does.

My parents and I went to Alaska after my mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. We had some difficult moments but by and large mom did well. The trip gave my mother something to look forward to, which in turn gave her a greater sense of meaning and purpose—an important factor no matter what your cognitive state.

Thoughts and stories from others

  1. August 22, 2013 at 09:19 pm
    Posted by Marilyn

    We took my mother & her husband across country for the funeral of her only brother last summer. There were some rough spots, but over all, she seemed to do better than at home. She felt she was there to support her sister-in-law and family and seemed to temporarily evidence improved cognition of her surroundings even though she had not been there for several years. We were glad we made the trip possible and made the last minute arrangements to go. We did drive the 1400 miles in two days going due to scheduling, but coming back we made it a 3 day trip & enjoyed it!

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