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A Caregiver’s Tips: Taking a Vacation When Your Loved One Has Dementia

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I am on vacation out of the country and was very concerned about leaving my husband while I was gone for eight days. Because I visit him every day I made arrangement for our local friends and family to visit him. I usually bring him treats (fruits, candy, coffee and odd snacks). I also left him a little gift bag and card for each day while I was gone with simple things like theater candy, nuts, a little stuffed animal for each day I was gone and it gives hm something to look forward to. When the bags are gone, I'll be back! I have also had the opportunity to talk to him every day and even FaceTimed with him once!

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Last year I took a cruise for 5 days. Felt very anxious and nervous about leaving my alz. husband. We have never been apart in over 37 years. Always went on vacation together but I realized this was no longer feasible for me to get some rest. I had his niece come in from Canada to stay with him. I arranged for caregiver to come everyday to get him ready for day care and at night to get him ready for bed. Also hired an overnight person 12midnight to 7:00AM so niece could have a good night rest. She cared for him very well but when I came back she said "I don't know how you do this and work full time, I'm exhausted." The cruise was expensive and paying everyone to help was a lot but well worth it. I had wi fi on ship so was able to communicate with her throughout the cruise. She said he definitely missed me but they managed to handle him. I took me about a week to get him back to the level I had him where he was cooperative and not as confused. I think he felt I had abandoned him. Looking forward for another cruise but still feeling anxious about it. I know I need the rest but can't get away from that feeling.