My 93 year old mom with significant dementia has one helper who is successful at getting her out for car rides, going through the drive through, etc. Sounds good but lately it seems like she then has a rougher rest of the day. I understand the stress of getting out and being in a new environment. Should I tell the helper to stop taking her out?

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We may all reach a time in our lives when leaving the comfort of our home just isn't something we could or should do anymore. Until that time, however, I think it's important to get out and about once in a while. Get some fresh air, get some sun, get some exercise, etc. It should be enjoyable, though.

I wouldn't just assume that the helper should "stop taking her out." Find something that works that doesn't stress your mom out. Maybe there's a specific place she likes to go? Maybe its as simple as walking to the mailbox? Maybe tea on the front porch while watching the birds?

My point is... I think it's great that you have a caregiver who's willing and able to get your mom out for a bit! Work with your caregiver to find something that is truly enjoyable for your mom while your mom is still willing and able to try. A comfortable routine is important, but the trick is in finding what works. :-)
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to bluefinspirit

I used to take my mother out every day and now just 2-3 times per week. She does enjoy going out, but it seems to tire her more this past year. I would suggest taking her out once a week and see how she does.
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Reply to earlybird

My mom, with advanced dementia, enjoys the ride & listening to music. She does not enjoy going into any building other than where she resides, so we no longer take her out for lunch, etc.
I'm sorry that she has a tough time after her drives. I would try a few things, like napping right after she gets back. But if it ruins her day, the ride has no value.
Bless you all.
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Reply to Canyon727

I think it's great your caregiver takes your mom out to enjoy a different scenery on occasion. My mother 94 loves to go out. She even asks me every week when we are going for a ride. She doesn't like to get dressed so i let her go in her night clothes and throw a coat on her and boots. I take her to a farmer's market and buy her ice cream. She loves that. We live in a tourist area so i drive her her all around the beach area to look at people, shops and the ocean. It helps me as well to get out of the apartment where there's only TV for entertainment. It does break up the day. Usually when she is very tired when we get back from a drive but she thanks me which makes it worthwhile. So maybe your caregiver could either just go for small drives or fewer times a week. Play it by ear. I think you can sense if it's a good idea or not by how your LO reacts.
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Reply to EssieMarie
oyadancing Jan 8, 2020
EssieMarie, you are such a good daughter! The thought of you going out with your mama in her night clothes, coat, and boots just tickled me and brought a tear to my eye. Such a good idea, and I anticipate having to have to follow your example eventually.
Well, yes you should, if your mother is having a bad time for the rest of her day after one of these outings! What's the point in taking her for a car ride if it's going to create difficulties later on?? A comfortable and unchanging routine with no new places/faces or scenarios is best for a person who's suffering from dementia.
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Reply to lealonnie1

Before giving up on the outings, you could try a different time of day, or shortening the duration of the outing and never back to back days. I would take mom and dad out when I knew that they were rested.
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Reply to lynina2

It really depends on the person.  If you feel like your mom is confused or combative after returning from a car ride, then it may not be the thing for her.  Some folks with dementia do not like being outside of their comfort zone.  There is no right or wrong answer.  Do what you feel is best for your mom and her situation.

My mom is in the stage where she likes a short car ride and an ice cream cone, but does not handle a family get together at my house very well.  She gets confused and wants to go back to her apartment.
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Reply to Jamesj

My mother is soon to be 92. She has been in a nursing home for over 1 1/2 yrs. She has senile dementia. I think it started before my father died when she was 65. She had gone to the nurses station stating that she was supposed to go somewhere but she didn't remember where or when. They told her they would call me, since I am her health care representive. I talked to her and she was really confused. She said she a just gotten back from a plane ride to Tenn. The was in her imagination. I explained that she was going with one of my sisters to her daughter's house for Thanksgiving the following week. She said I needed to come get her and take her somewhere. I asked where and she said to her house. I reminded her that it had been sold but I could take her by it. I then told her that my husband had died very early that morning. She said never mind I probably had things to do. I told her no I would come get her. The nursing home was to get her dressed and ready. Couldn't get ahold of my sister so contacted one of my 7 brothers. He agreed to go with me. My sister later contacted us and said if we needed a place to go, we could come to her house and she would go get chicken to eat. When we got to the NH my mother was dressed but in her bed with the covers over her head. She told staff there had been 2 deaths in her family and she was sad. She also had a tray of food she hadn't eaten. My bother and I got her up and while getting her shoes on talked to her. I questioned her about the 2 deaths. She said, my husband and my father. Understood the was talking about my husband, but confused on the father part. Whose father, I asked. She said my father. We had to remind her that he had died 25 yrs. earlier. She said she wanted to go where he was. We both said he was in heaven and she said she wanted to go there. We reminded her that it was up to God when it would be time for her to join him. We took her for a ride which she seemed to enjoy. I take her for rides when she has eye, dental or heart appt. Every person is different in what they enjoy. My mom also ended up having a UTI that was causing some of her confusion. Some people it does add to their confusion. Each needs to be weigh and looked at.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ladyj1949

My Husband loved going for a ride.
He enjoyed walking through Sam's Club and Costco. Both have wide aisles and large carts for him to easily walk. (I would leave his usual walker in the car)
But when it got difficult to get him into the car safely and out safely I stopped taking him out.
I know he still would have enjoyed the ride but his safety was first.
Same with your mom if there is anything that is upsetting to her, a change in the routine or if it becomes unsafe the rides have to stop.
Can she take her for a walk? A ride in a wheelchair? Just getting out for a few minutes might help.
(If you are in a cold area and if she is using a wheelchair don't stress about putting on a coat the "usual" way, put it on backwards so the opening is in the back. This will protect her torso, chill is blocked by the back of the chair and a throw over the lap and legs will keep her warm enough for a quick walk)
Bottom line is are the employer, if you don't want mom out for rides because it stresses her out and you have to deal with the fall out later then tell her no more rides, end of discussion.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Grandma1954

It's good to provide consistency in Mom's routines. It is also good to provide opportunities for interactions with people and getting a bit out of the house. I suggest you consider limiting times of her outings to mornings and shorter in duration. Most folks with dementia do better in the morning and need to relax a bit in the afternoons.
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Reply to Taarna

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