Our daughter is getting married out of town (where she lives about 200 miles away). Her grandmother wants to go to the wedding of couse, and we would like her to be able to go to the wedding. She is 95 years old, has mobility issues and early stages of dementia. I (the mother of the bride) do not want to and pretty much won't be able to watch over her while all the usual wedding stuff is going on. She lives by herself with a caregiver that comes twice a day. She is homebound pretty much, uses a walker and has had incontinence issues. Has visitors occasionally. She's really determined to go. Have any of you been in a similar situation and hired someone to be an aide under similar circumstances? She has long term care insurance and we could maybe hire someone through the company that handles her daily care, or ask her daily caregiver if she could go on an out of town adventure. Her usual caregiver is wonderful, but is married and has a family. My husband and I want to have a day off from caregiving to enjoy our daughter's wedding, but have her sweet grandmother there to celebrate the best she can. And we don't want to ask any other friends or family to do it because that hasn't worked out in the past. We end up getting blow by blow descriptions of all the frustating things she does that people aren't used to. She would most likely have to spend at least one night maybe two. Any advice would be appreciated.

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So someone has to dedicate over 2 full days being her 24/7 caregiver. Driving her to the wedding and staying with her the entire time? Most health care workers get paid by the hour. Your asking them to do at least 48hrs straight. Not to mention the drive there and back! How many hours is that? How will the caregiver get breaks, time off?

How will they get her in and out of a car seat? What if she falls while trying to get out of the car? Someone can get injured trying to help her. She could wrench their back if she falls on them. Or breaks a hip. More than one trained hospital worker has been injured by a person who fell on them. They were trained. An ambulance at the wedding would not be a good thing. Back injuries can last a long time.
Not to mention how will she get changed if she is incontinent? Hope there is a big enough wheel chair stall. If she can stand long enough, the caregiver has to have room to manuver around the person, their clothes and the chair. If she can stand long enough. Does she stand at all? How is that going to work if she can only be in a wheelchair, and not walk? Nursing homes have hoyer lifts and a bed to change a person. It takes a half hour or more. They cant change a person in the wheelchair, if they cant stand for a few mins. Standing will be much longer if its a bowel mvt.

What about her dementia? Moving her to a new place. That could upset her. She could forget she is going to a wedding. They get scared in unfamiliar places and freak out. Its not pretty having an elderly person scream because they are scared. (Had that happen) . It is not fun tryingvto calm them down.
Where does she go when she needs a nap? Back to the hotel? That might be 5 mins into the ceremony. Will that disrupt the service if she is in front? Youll have to keep her at the back near the door for easy removal if she needs it. Will she be able to see and hear that far back? What happens when she needs to get out of the wheelchair? Can she stand and get out on her own? Pivot to get to a bed, a toilet? She has to be able to stand/pivot to get to the bed to lay down. Someone her age cannot be in a wheelchair for hours. They need to change position to stop blood from pooling, and to stop ulcers from forming. That is why they are put back in bed. And to rest from too much stimulation.

Whoever is taking care of her is doing it for multiple days straight. How do they get a break, or help with her tasks? That would probably be quite $$$ and use of their vehicle or a rented wheelchair van. Quite expensive for just 1 day. I took my dad to dental in wheelchair van. (Siblings idea). It was exausting. It was about 3-4hrs. I cant imagine over 48hrs.

Your going to need more than 1 person dedicated to her care. They need to eat and go to the bathroom, and breaks too. They have to take care of their health too. It is very stressful taking care of the elderly. You are asking a person to go from her home, the car, travel. Stops to let her rest, change her. The hotel/motel that probably doesnt have a wheelchair accessable bathroom, the church, the ceramony, back to the hotel, then the long drive back. The caregiver shouldnt charge a little over min wage. That is a HUGE RESPONSIBLILITY. What about insurance if something happens to mil? You cant cant blame the caregiver for an accident. Mil is a frail 95. You are asking a lot of a caregiver. Too much I think.

Best bet is to skype/video the wedding. Have her watch it live. The bride and groom can even menton her, and have everyone say hi to her. She can see the celebration. They can make a toast to her too. She will feel included then. Have her wear something special to sit in her fav chair at home to watch. Even if its just a corsage. A phone call from the bride as shes having her makeup done. Pass the phone so everyone says hi. Take her some cake after the ceremony. A special vid/toast just for her from the couple. Done b4 the wedding. Takes 2 minutes. Or a special note.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to Jasmina
Mg6742 Jan 27, 2019
Geez, such doom and gloom
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My mom was late middle stage of dementia when my son had an out of town wedding. It was about a two hour trip so overnight stay was necessary. Naturally, I wanted to be all present of the wedding and not have to worry about what mom was up to.

Other family took responsibility for my mom so I could enjoy. The night before the wedding was miserable for everyone, they had rented a home so they would have space. Mom only wanted to go home and kept everyone up all night long. She was frightened and had no idea where she was. It was not a pleasant experience for those that watched over mom.

Most importantly, remember this is daughter's wedding, her way. How does daughter feel about grandma attending?
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Reply to gladimhere

After being a caregiver for my husband (who passed away at 61 from dementia) and caregiver for both parents (93 year old Dad still lives with me), I vote to not take her but include her. My nephew recorded my Mom saying a prayer and blessing for the wedding. We got her dressed in a fancy dress, makeup and earrings and she was so excited. He had the video played at the appropriate time and also had the wedding on FaceTime so she could watch. She was thrilled- and relieved. She so wanted to “go” but knew how difficult it would be for her and us. But, this allowed her not only the chance to witness the ceremony but be part of it. It was a wedding 150 miles away and she was so happy- especially because she was dressed for it. Be creative. She probably is excited about the occasion but also understands her limitations and my be happy to be the special person at the wedding. Good luck and Congratulations...👍
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Reply to Katmar

Have you thought about her “attending” via Skype or another video FaceTime method? Might work out the best. Have one of the relatives hold the phone/tablet so she gets a great view of the ceremony and gets to greet all the visitors. They can see each other and talk but without all the hassle and difficultly (for both you and her).

She doesn’t want to miss out, and I can understand that! Before the event, maybe take her to visit your daughter and be s part of the festivities. Then, you can also use that to judgethe difficulty level on both you and her. Then suggest the long-distance FaceTime idea. And test it out by making her a part of family nights. Just ideas. Good luck.
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Reply to JuliaRose

When my son got married, my Mom was in the middle stages of dementia. The wedding was only an hour away & her caregiver was going to take her & be by her side the entire time, leaving when she thought Mom could handle no more. In the end we decided even that was too much for Mom and didn’t have her attend. Were we all disappointed? Of course. Did we get past it? Yes. Do we regret it? No.

Putting emotion aside, do you really think your mom could tolerate such a drastic change to her routine? If she is as home bound as you say, then there is your answer. You don’t want your memories of the day to be how it all affected Mom.
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Reply to kdcm1011

Too much for her. Have someone do a video of wedding. Daughter can visit her later.
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Reply to GrannieAnnie

Start interviewing and having practice runs right now, even if you have to “splurge” on doubling up her part time caregivers with escort caregiver.
You will all be more comfortable if The Escort is comfortable with his or her client.
Ask her granddaughter to ask the manager of the site of the wedding and reception if the places where she’ll need to be are totally barrier free.
If the ceremony and/or reception are outside, ask Grand Daughter to actually WALK the path to any place where Grandmama will need to travel in her wheelchair, so you will know how to actually navigate sand, pebbles, bridges, sloping terrain and so on.
Find out EXACTLY where lavatories are, and be sure they are also barrier free.
You will be able to request that Escort be served the guest’s dinner, but clarify in advance that escort is expected not to drink while caring for Grandma.
Ask the aides who are with her on a regular basis to develop a list of notes about her daily routines. Make a list of explicit expectations for her escort.
God Bless her fo wanting to attend!
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Reply to AnnReid
Rabanette Jan 27, 2019
Excellent advice! If there is a wedding planner involved, then he or she could be called on to assist with these details.
My vote is NO due to the dementia and incontinence plus the distance and the overnight.
It's JUST. TOO. MUCH! (for her, you, and especially the caregiver)

Take advantage of modern technology and have her attend via skype or facetime.
Arrange this well in advance and get it set up and tested.
Make sure she is acknowledged during the ceremony and have a coursage for her to wear at home. Have her a special cupcake (if she is allowed sweets) that is the same flavor as the wedding cake.
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Reply to XenaJada
kthomas629 Jan 27, 2019
I think this is the best answer. We have done this with family who live too far to attend weddings or special events and want to be there. Have her aide or family friend come to her help her get all dressed up in her best and have your daughter have the officiant “include” or acknowledge her presence by Skype during the ceremony to make her feel included and special. Designate a family member you trust that will be at the ceremony to be in charge of the technology during the ceremony and reception. It’s much easier to keep track of a tablet or laptop than a whole person. Solves problems without issues of travel expenses etc. and she doesn’t miss anything.
Can someone use Skype to provide real-time opportunity for her to view the ceremony from home? If you have options or alternatives that are viable and can be discussed in advance, maybe that will suffice if she know she can still be included in some way. Going to the event is obviously far more complicated and could possibly cause increased anxiety and stress which could create unknown problems. You, as mother of the bride, are going to need to maintain your focus on all the other necessary tasks. May want to seriously consider taking the less risky route and trying Skype or video sharing. Hopefully your mother can be receptive to such alternatives if we’ll planned or thought out prior to introducing them. Best wishes in whatever you decide.
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Reply to Target456

When I got married, my husband's grandmother and disabled sister were not able to make the trip. We made sure they got to see a video and photos of it later with us. But ON the day of the wedding, we had wrist corsages delivered to them at home, so they would have a way to feel tied in to the event. We didn't have FaceTime back then, but if you decide to have her attend in some electronic way, you might try adding in something like a corsage or a special dress to wear or having her hair done or something like that so it seems more personal.
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Reply to AuntieAuntie
Lymie61 Jan 29, 2019
This is a very nice idea, when I got married each attendant carried/ wore a boutonniere with different flowers to represent loved ones who had passed, the flower represented something about that person and we included that info in the hand out/program. But I got the impression that the OP's dilemma wasn't just that GM wanted to be at the wedding, the family, the bride really want her their and I can so relate to how important that might be too.
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