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Good day - we have FIL in assisted living for 3 months now - some days he is quite alert about things other days are not good days as many of you know the process- He is still very aware of who we are & my husband is able to visit every day. Do we tell him we are leaving for a trip at the end of June? We did a short weekend get away a few weeks ago to see how things would go & he was fine - this trip is a work/leisure trip my husband will join me on for 10 days. We are very new to the dementia/ Parkinson's diagnosis. Thank you in advance

I'd definitely start with talking to the facility. Your dad's awareness and mental capabilities can change anytime, as my dad's did. And then he was trying to remember where he left his car so he could get to work on time. Thankfully he was in Memory Care, and so he couldn't really leave. (Note that Dad was 10 years into his PD diagnosis and 84 yo.)
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Reply to talkey
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You’re making too much of it as he’s not going to remember if you visit or not ....have fun & have confidence in staff to take care of him...let them know you’re going away & have emergency contact number...if you worry all the time then you can’t enjoy yourself...you deserve a break!!!
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Reply to CaregiverL
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I would absolutely tell him. He is still there. The bad days of slower processing don't mean he is not understanding. Parkinsons dementia is not Alzheimers where people don't know what in the world is going on. I would tell him calmly and reassure him you will check in and be back. Keep it simple. Have someone visit him and check on things while you are gone.
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Reply to Anniepeepie
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Tell him the day before but also write a letter for the staff to give him the next day with a small calendar showing the days you will be away so he has it to keep - send him postcards regularly so he knows you are thinking of him - maybe call him once or twice -

Enjoy your time away without guilt because you probably deserve it - take lots of pix to share when you get back & that will be something new to talk about with him
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Reply to moecam
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This is what I did. I told my mom several times starting a couple weeks before our trip. I made it sound really exciting. "Mom, I'm going to San Antonio to see the grandkids in a couple weeks!" She always responded, "Oooh, that sounds like fun." She never made the connection that it meant I wouldn't be there every day to see her. The first time this happened, I made the mistake of stating the date. That seemed to agitate her because she wanted to remember it. I've also learned not to say something like, "I'm going out of town tomorrow." That seemed to agitate her also. She liked thinking of me going on vacation in the future. Sometimes when I'd bring it up, she'd even remember that I had told her that before. I always tell the staff. Those of us who go every day do little "chores" that the staff would do for others. Example: I always walk my mother to dinner. Staff have plans in place for those residence who forget it's time for dinner, but they aren't used to having to do that for my mother. Another example: I always check to make sure there are a few rolls of toilet paper on top of the dispenser. This is such a simple thing, but if I don't, my mother can't find the extra rolls - even though they are in plain sight. I'm sure you do certain things like that every day for your LO. Make sure staff knows. Finally, ENJOY YOUR TRIP. Try not to even think of your LO. You need that time away to replenish.
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Reply to Mjlarkan
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My suggestion would be to write him a short note stating that you all are going on a vacation and will return shortly. If possible, include a picture of where you are going. Make sure his nurses have a copy of your note along with the picture. Visual images are remembered better and can be reviewed multiple
times by your father in law and the nurses can talk to him about what a wonderful, short vacation this is for you and his son. Talking to a patient with dementia is often fleeting and not well retained. The note will be more reassuring, encouraging, endearing and enduring.
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Reply to sscoale
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I always tell my husband what is happening. He too has Parkinson’s with dementia. It’s best not to go every day up to your trip. As long as you trust the facility to be giving him his meds on time, then enjoy your trip.

Not on subject, but a person with Parkinson’s really must exercise 5 times a week. Cycling is the best. Since your husband goes there every day, does the facility have exercise machines? 45 minutes is the usual. It does wonders for keeping the brain working besides keeping muscle mass.
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Reply to Rosemary44
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I’m please to hear you are planning a trip to have some fun away from caregiving. It is hard sometimes for people to allow this for themselves. I too don’t think your dad will notice and in fact may not even remember that you visit daily. I would mark on dad's calendar when we would be gone. But he was not as bad as he is now. Give your contact information and dates to his facility and enjoy your time. If he asks them, they can remind him.
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Reply to Harpcat
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Thank you for the replies! I am of the same feeling too that FIL doesn't understand time any longer as well. I will suggest the backing off visits. Unfortunately there aren't really any willing folks/ family or friends to come in & visit:( and yes we will be able to call FIL - some days he cant remember how to answer the phone but we will try to reach him & will certainly ask the facility their suggestions on how to approach this.
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Reply to AlisaD
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I would also back off the visits so he's used to your husband not being there every day. Could your husband speak to him by phone when you're gone? Or if he could follow it, you might create a calendar with the day your husband leaves and when he returns, so he could mark it off. But I'd only do that if he brought it up or was worried about your husband's absence.

I would also ask the people at the assisted living facility for their recommendations. They're seeing him every day and might have good suggestions about how to handle your husband's absence. Good luck and enjoy your time away!
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Reply to blannie
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To some people with dementia, time has no meaning. I’d go visit my mom 2 or 3 times a week and she’d claim I hadn’t been there for “months”. Can your husband back off on his visits a bit? Maybe go every few days instead of every day? Is there anyone else whose company he enjoys who could come visit him while you’re gone? I would tell him a few days before you leave, but don’t dwell on it.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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