Should we chance my step-dad leaving for a week?


I haven't been a caregiver for very long so pardon my question if its a repeat on this forum. I am living in the upstairs of my mom (she has alzheimers) and step dads house. I new on the scene, less than a month. I have learned a lot in a short period thanks to this forum and support from the allzheimers association. My step dad and I are taking care of mom. He has been doing this for a long time now and deserves a break more than anyone. He had scheduled a road trip alone to a vietnam vet gathering in Texas (we are in New York) when he knew I was going to be here. He will only be gone a week. He should go. He deserves to go and have some time with his vet buddies. My mom is is pissed off that I am here most days and even more pissed when he reminded her that he is going in a few weeks. He is now thinking of canceling because he is afraid that she will get mad or afraid and run or cause a problem. This is why i am here. There are people that I can call if she does. I am going to check with a counselor today and see what she thinks on how to handle this. I thought I would check with you guys and get your thoughts. I know you been in the trenches too.

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geewiz said everything I was thinking. Excellent advice. Tell your dad to get on that flight to TX and have fun. You got it covered.
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My vote is for him to go, He will return renewed and he does deserve the break. BUT he should stop mentioning the trip. If he has been doing this "a long time' then your Mom is advanced enough that time blurs for her. His preparations should be quiet, perhaps when you take her for a walk or a hair cut. His suitcase is removed from the house when she isn't watching it . . . the night before or while she is in the shower. When he leaves he tells her he is going to a gathering of his buddies from the veterans and will see her soon. NO Drama. Then it is up to you to keep her busy with fun things. When asked, he will return soon. If it becomes an issue the car broke or the guys decided to catch up a bit more or whatever. Considering the distance, I wouldn't even mention Texas. (To her, what difference does it make). Learn now what she likes to do and line up things. It is spring --- lot's to do and see. School plays, church music recitals, walks in the park, visits to play grounds to watch the kids, soccer/T-ball tryouts or practice at local fields, the list goes on and on. Keep her busy so she doesn't angst over his absence and so she gets tired and sleeps at night. Keep us posted.
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