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Mom has always loved to travel. Longest car ride we've taken was 14 hours but that was 5 years ago. Took a 6 hour car trip 2 years ago & it was fine. Now CHF controlled, diabetes controlled, dementia progressing but not debilitating yet. Not confused or afraid 90% of the time. 10% is like last week insisting she still had a car & forgets she ate or by next day forgets we went anywhere. She has always felt safe with me. So taking a 12 HR car trip. Taking DVD player, magazines, unsalted snacks. For hotel a portable shower chair, bathtub mat, removable grab rail, bed rail to help stand up like at home. Her 2 blankets she'll recognize. Obviously her medication, Walker, wheelchair, health cards, POA paperwork. Any other suggestions?

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Momshelp, thanks for the update! So glad everything went so well for you.

I was just looking at my passport and realized we took a cruise among the Cook Islands and Tahiti one year into my husband's dementia. Was I nuts??!! But aside from some rushed moments in airports, it went fine.

Each case of dementia is unique, and there are changes as it progresses. But if travel is possible, I say, Do It!
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So glad your trip went well 😁
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You are an awesome caregiver and daughter! Great news and an inspiration to the rest of us!
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So glad the trip was a success! Thanks for letting us know.
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Last summer, we took my mom, who was stage 6 Alzheimer's (much further progressed than your mom) on a short trip... Nothing like you are planning. The drive was 3 1/2 hours. The whole family, all five of my children with their spouses and kids, went camping... Mom and I drove 15 minutes back to a hotel for the night. I thought it might be bad and was prepared to just leave and go home at any point. We got to the camp site and set up a chair for mom. She absolutely loved it! She did fine at the hotel too. By noon the next day, I knew I needed to head home. But for her stage, she was amazing and really enjoyed it. It was also such a needed time for me. (I had stayed home early in the sooner when they all went to a beach house in San Diego)
A few years ago, I took mom on a 5 day trip, 7 hour drive one way. She did fine then too. We just kept as much of her schedule normal as possible...wake up, bath, sleeping.
Goo luck to you!
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Momshelp, so glad you had a good trip!

The suggestion of a scale by 97yroldmom was a good one, especially if CHF is involved. Daily weights are a must with that. My mom, who refused to weigh herself for years, spent the last year of her life in the NH being weighed every single day because of her CHF. She was so good at hiding her symptoms that the weight was sometimes the only indication that there could be a problem on the horizon. This woman sat in the hospital with a monitor on her chest with her heart going from 70 bpm to 125 bpm in a matter of minutes and never even flinched. The doctor and nurses were shocked that she didn't pass out or even claim to feel funny. They asked if she felt faint or anything and she said no, she was fine.

You're right about the motel beds. Oh my gosh. The last really long trip I took my mom on was to her hometown about 600 miles away. We did pretty good except for the motel beds and dinky little shower stalls. It was an older motel that had been upgraded with new beds, carpeting, etc. But the showers were still really, really small shower stalls, not tubs. So you stood in the shower, spun yourself around to get wet, washed up (trying not to hit your elbows on the walls), then spun around again to rinse. LOL But the beds....Mom was 4' 9" tall, and I am only a few inches taller than that. Mom was also a night owl - so she would get up in the night time to use the bathroom or watch the tv, and then not be able to get back into the bed. So I'd have to get up, stand behind her as she faced the bed, put her right knee on the bed and then I'd put my hands on her hip and give a good firm shove - and into the bed she'd roll. Thank goodness it was a queen bed, or she'd have gone right over the other side! LOL
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Momshelp, thank you so much for the update :) It is always helpful to know the final results, and it sounds like your trip with Mom was a winner !!
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Good morning, just an update we are home & the trip was wonderful. 1st leg was 8hrs & she did great. I sat with her once it got dark because she did start to get confused. She was watching I love Lucy on a DVD player & was frightened when she realized the "theatre" was moving. Once I sat with her she was happily watching again. First hotel had an accessible room & that was very helpful. Beds in all hotels are too high! Didn't bring a stool. The other 3 days we didn't have an accessible room so we needed everything we brought. The items made everything easier. No motion sickness thank heavens, no anxiety, no medical emergencies. Trip went well enough we want to do as many as we can before we can't. Next time will rent a van as she would be able to stretch out better. Her favorite part was sitting on the balcony which would not have been before. She was all get up & go before & the casino would have been the prime draw. She gambled 2/ 3 hrs total in 4 days. Only shopped 3 hrs one day. I like her new pace. Hardest part was the CHF diet but that's the same at home. Wanted to let those of you who offered support know we had a great trip.
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Thank you country mouse, I hadn't given any thought to a possible change in her regarding motion sickness. We've done many 1-2hr car rides just because of traffic in this city & she's been fine. Well, Sundays the big day & The I Love Lucy DVDs arrived today. I'm getting excited-thankfully more than nervous. She was abit agitated this morning demanding water, & insisting she needed cigarettes. I went over her water restriction & reminded her she quit smoking in December. She said she was bored looking at the same walls. I used the opportunity to remind her of the trip & explained she needed to walk the straight & narrow until Sunday. She perked up & no more talk of cigs or unavailable water. Very medicine compliant too!
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Momshelp, one thing to look out for (especially if she's been on bp/heart meds for a long time) is motion sickness. My mother, like yours, had always been a great traveller but those meds really had messed up her inner ear over the years and she began to develop terrible car sickness - between an hour and two seemed to be the limit. Our GP did give us some anti-emetics to try but ironically they made her throw up before we even got in the car. Take airline-type paper bags, fresh water and some peppermints in case, I should. I just used to pull over until she felt better. I'm sure breaking the journey up is a good idea, too.
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97yroldmom, hadn't thought about the scale! Thanks. Cleared it with doctor & he's giving us a low dose xanax just in case. She's had it before but it's been a few years so I'm going to try it out this week before the trip, just to see how it affects her. Thanks everyone for the tips.
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Don't forget to take water. If your mother "sundowns" at a predictable time, make sure you are somewhere safe and secure by then.

Make sure the childproof locks on the back doors are engaged. Make sure mom doesn't have access to anything like a cane or a long handled icebrush with which to attack the driver. Don't put her in the front seat ( my mom grabs the wheel-- she thinks she's being kidnapped).
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How about pull ups? Just in case of accidents and handiwipes? Does she use a cushion for her wheelchair? My mom weighed everyday with her CHF. I'm excited for mom! Great that your DH is going as well. My husband takes our aunt to the casino every once in a while. She loves it. Last Oct when she turned 90 her cousin ( also 90) and her cousins daughter did a day trip to the casino. They had a ball.
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Sounds like you are all set! Don't let Mom gamble her savings away!
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I was going to try 1 day. I am thinking splitting it in 2 days because it will be easier. No handicap rooms available when we reach destination. I left a request for one if it becomes available. We'll stay 3days 2 nights there. Spouse is coming with us, so it'll be 3 of us. I wouldn't try this alone. Have some cousin in laws where we are going but their daughter is graduating so their house is packed. I think trying to stay there would be more stressful for mom. Our hotel is a casino & she loves casinos.
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Wow. I think if you ask for a handicap room you wouldn't have to bring quite all of that, but you certainly are prepared!

I take it you are not trying to make the trip all in one day. How long will you stay once you reach your destination?

Good luck and have a safe, comfortable trip!
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You are braver than me. I would not even want to try it. So, no suggestions, just best wishes for a comfortable trip.
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