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You have received a great deal of good advice already.

You do not say how much lead time you have until the wedding. If it is in the next few months, I think your only option is for her to watch a live broadcast from home.

If it is 5+ months away, you have time to do a dry run or two. The first would involve you taking her to the wedding location and spending two nights. If she can manage that, then a month or so later, repeat the trip but Mum travels with caregivers. Does she still manage?

One red flag is your comment "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 frustrating things she does that people aren't used to." It could be that your friends and family are seeing the situation a bit more clearly than you are and perhaps her dementia is a bit more advanced than you realize. Or that she is less capable of handling change than you hope.

Lastly, you may well have to choose between enjoying your daughter's wedding or looking after her grandmother at the wedding, because if push comes to shove you will be the one dealing with any issues that come up.

When my ex remarried he had the wedding live online so his Dad who has Parkinson's, could watch it from the comfort of his home. And his mother (divorced years ago) could watch it from her home as she cannot sit comfortably for long periods.
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Is there a local bridal shower she could attend instead and then stream the ceremony and reception so she can watch, have the bride and groom acknowledge her, she can make a little toast and everyone can clap and throughout the day relatives can pop in to say hello via skype? My niece recently got married and the shower was a three hour drive with one overnight and the wedding a five hour drive with at least two overnights, and my 85 year old mother -- who has incontinence issues which she manages herself because she is otherwise fine -- opted to go to the shower only. The shorter ride, the smaller crowd, the quieter event, one on one time with her grandaughter and only one night away from home were all more appealing to her and no one had to worry she was uncomfortable at the rehearsal dinner and wedding. And by uncomfortable...i mean not only due to the incontinence, but also because she isnt into big crowds, loud music and a lot of people she doesnt know.
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Janie, I went through the same thing last August when my son got married. He had a destination wedding and I asked mom’s primary physician if we should take her. The answer was NO! My mom turned 98 yesterday and she has severe osteo-arthritis so she’s in a wheelchair 95% of the time. Even if we had taken a caregiver I’d still wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the festivities - worrying that she was doing ok. I have a wonderful caregiver who is with her till I get home from work Monday thru Friday- but once I’m home I’m in charge and also weekends. So 4 days at a destination wedding was God sent. Her caregiver stayed with her 24/7 the days we were gone.
when we came back we put together a photo album for her to enjoy o d other suggestion is to stream the wedding live so she can watch it from the comfort of her home.
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I say let her, at that age have one great big last outing and at that age it could very well be her last. YES hire a caregiver for a couple of days to help so you can enjoy and partake in the ceremony the way you also want to!

Im dealing with dementia too and I find myself in awkward potions at times, many times where I have to say quietly, "He has dementia." And then you get the looks like you have just brought the biggest fruit loop basket case to the public because MANY do not understand that dementia can just be a bad case of the forgetfuls. I carry on like its normal and have even parked him at yard sales-he's not real mobile, and said to a stranger, "can you keep an eye on him a moment, I'll be right over there." And I carry on at times like this is the most normal thing in the world, leaving strangers with strained smiles and a bit of confusion on their faces. But I have learned to -just carry on-. Its not real different than saying, "can you make sure my dog tied to that pole for 2 min while I run in the store doesn't wander off." Now mine is not a wanderer. He is more than happy to be parked and play his one game on his smart phone or just nod off. And he knows when he's had an accident or needs to go and wears diapers too and he will let me know.

Then again, at 95, I shudder to think of all the colds and flus and people coughing and sneezing, it could be her doing in so to speak. People are thoughtless and careless at public events. It's ashame the family could not have planned for her sake to have it a bit closer to home.

Sounds like, much like me, you JUST WANT SOME FUN ME TIME without looking over your shoulder every 5 min. If you can afford it, since the other plans and location cannot seem to be changed, then hire an aid and take her. This could be, at this age, one of her last big outtings. But know that you run the risk of her picking up someone's cold or flu and that could be THE END at that age.

Still, if her dementia is mild and shes not ripping off her clothes in public or screaming to GO HOME or letting off strings of F you's at total strangers or anything that is really problematic, I say let her have fun if its what she REALLY wants. If she has said she wants to go and then has forgotten it, I say leave her at home. But if she is fixated on this, you think she is very aware of what is about to happen and you really think she KNOWS what she is wanting to do, and I do believe though someone has dementia, it doesn't mean that they do NOT know what they are asking or wanting...then go, hire someone, have fun, get some great pictures to remember this day. Because at that age, its more than a blessing to still have a mind and be alive. Let her live what she has of a life, as at that age, there is not much more left to it.
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qattah Jan 27, 2019
I agree; and yes, some of them do disrobe and say things they never would have said before dementia. You sound like a wonderful person.
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I am a caregiver and have spent 2 weeks with my person before when needed. I also have aging parents 89 yrs old and they needs assistance at times. Mom with a walker, him with a cane. I would ask the caregiver if she would be willing to go. Your mom knows her and so would feel comfortable with her. I don't know if the caregiver would be willing to drive that distance or not but if she is and once the wedding/reception is over maybe drive your mom home. Not sure of time of day wedding is but I'm sure if the caregiver is willing to go she would have ideas of best way to make things easy for your mother. My mother wants to go across the country to celebrate her 90th birthday as that is where all the relatives are. My sister and I are leary since she uses the walker and he has alzheimers. We have decided as long as they are both healthy enough, we are going to do it. It means a lot to her and we want to do all we can for her as long as she can do it. Good luck. I hope it all works out.
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IMO, it's the bride's day; and if she wants Gma there--and understands Gma's limitations*--then Gma should be included unless Gma is totally opposed.
Marysd has great suggestions.
It can be done, and you are on the right track. Hire competent help and enlist a family member or friend to be available in your place if needed.
*Even if Gma is likely to go completely whackadoodle during the ceremony, which doesn't sound like the case.
Blessings to you and your family!
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How does your daughter feel about her grandmother being there? If she is OK with it, why not approach her caregiver and ask her? If she is as wonderful as you say, she might be delighted to help out, even for overnight. Next, have plenty of incontinence products in case, a Kylie (protective covering for sheets on bed) plus all furniture, walking frames etc. For your MIL, it will be a real highlight for her. I have taken a 90 year old aunt on holiday and it worked.

Arlene Hutcheon
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What does your daughter and future SIL think of grandma coming to the wedding with caregivers? Did she receive an invitation? My mother is a nursing home resident with mild to moderate dementia and disabled from hip break and brain aneurysm. Both of my sons were married this year: one son sent an invitation simply out of respect (he lives in the UK, and the wedding was held in the UK), but they did not video tape the wedding. My mother got photos instead. The other son did not send her an invitation (because he knew full well that she would not be able to attend), but, she received a Christmas card with wedding photo. She did not complain about not being able to attend. However, she said that she wished she could have attended. We do wish that we could have taken her...if she had been able to travel, she would have required caregivers to attend to her needs. She is not very functional at all, and her attendance would have not been pleasant for her or others. BTW, when my mother's sister passed away two years ago, the nursing home provided a caregiver and their van to transport my mother and me to the viewing. We paid a brief visit to the funeral home only; she socialized with her old friends and family members; and we returned to the nursing home. It was very emotional because she is highly reactive (pseudo-bulbar affect), but we dealt with it ok. I have no regrets. However, for the weddings, we accepted the reality that she is in no position to attend this type of function. My sons and their wives will visit her in the nursing home and show her all their wedding photos...Peace to you, whichever decision you make.
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If your family is able, hire a caregiver to attend the wedding with you. I have personally done this for families, and it worked out perfectly. I provided all the care, dressing for the wedding ect. I transported to and from the event with the grandparent, with the grandparent leaving earlier during the reception, and each time the grandparent was so happy to be able to attend, and the special arrangements of dress and transporting was never questioned, both times the grandparent was just overjoyed with being able to attend.
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I just went though a similar situation this fall. My 86 y.o. mother with moderate dementia wanted to attend our son's wedding. It was an outdoor ceremony at our home only about 15 miles from her memory care unit. I made arrangements for other family members to transport and take care of Mom during the wedding and reception. She was looking forward to the day so much and kept calling daily to ask where we were because she was ready to attend the wedding a month before. Last minute family bailed and didn't attend. We had no choice, I felt but to go get Mom and bring her ourselves. I think she enjoyed herself, lord knows I didn't. I spent all of the preservices getting her there and ready and all during the wedding and reception taking care of her. She tired early and we had to leave to take her home early and missed a good part of the festivities. The most disturbing part was that she didn't even know our son or any other family present. I had to keep explaining who everyone was over and over. I had to fight with her to get her to go back into the facility, she screamed and cried that I was leaving her off in the middle of nowhere. As soon as she hit her unit and saw familiar staff and residents she settled right down. The next day she called to find out if I was coming to get her for the wedding. My advice is not to try to travel and stay overnight with her. The trip and strange location is going to do nothing but confuse her. If you have any thought of enjoying the day, you must have someone that will be there as her sole caregiver. But most likely her confused state and getting over tired from all the activities will cause you to miss out on what should be a memorable and enjoyable day for you. When my daughter married a few years back and over 200 miles away we elected not to take Mom. She was disappointed but we all had an enjoyable trip and included her with Skype and phone calls and lots of pictures.
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sandi61 Jan 28, 2019
So sorry for your experience Nancy.
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My mother is 93 and still lives in her own home. She does okay most times in her own familiar setting, but I would never take her to any type of festivity away from home at this point. She would be exhausted in no time and she would need constant attention. She would not do well. I would not do well either worrying about her. For my mother, those days are over. Simplicity is best at this point and she is okay with that.
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This day should be about your daughter, not your mother. I would hire a caretaker if possible to attend to her the entire time, not just during the wedding. If this isn't possible, then unfortunately your mother should not attend. It is impossible to do your duties as mother of the bride at the same time you're looking after an elderly mother with dementia and incontinence. I speak as one who cares full time for an elderly similar to your mother. Disasters occur the minute you turn your attention away, and you would feel terrible if something diverted attention away from your daughter's day.
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kgaither Jan 27, 2019
This makes me not feel so bad about my own decision about not bringing my mom to my son's wedding. I never discussed my decision with anyone, because I knew it would be me that would be the most worried and the most concerned about everything dealing with her. This settles my heart some.
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I attended the wedding of a family member last year. The brides grandmother with Alzheimer’s dementia (not advanced) attended. She had her regular full timecaregiver with her. She was in a wheelchair and the venue was not particularly wheelchair accessible. On two occasions men attending the wedding had to carry her and her wheelchair up steps. She was fully incontinent and there were two obvious accidents. When being taken out to be cleaned up she was very loud, argumentative and combative with those trying to help her. During the ceremony she talked out loud and could not be quieted. At one point during the father-daughter dance at reception she started yelling loudly. Some guests were embarrassed by the poop incident and quietly left the reception. The bride and groom were very obviously embarrassed as well. I have been around this lady several times where nothing happened. I think all of the activity got to her. I think her daughter should have elected to Skype or video the wedding to include the grandmother. The bride’s brother is getting married this summer. His fiancé has already said that the grandmother is not included no matter how much she cries to go.
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I had to make an excuse to my own mother that she couldn't attend my son's wedding. I knew I couldn't take care of her and participate in all the things I needed to for my son's wedding. I wanted her to be there, but it just wasn't possible. She wasn't angry and she said afterward that she had wanted to be there, but she also understood.
I wish you luck, this is a really difficult decision I know.
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Suggest hiring a caregiver so that your mother can come to the wedding and be cared for there. This day is BIG for you.
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Is there a chance that you can have a trial run? I was my mom's caregiver for many years. When she clearly had late-stage Alzheimer's, I would take her on vacations. BUT...it was me, she knew that I was the kind person she could feel safe with, even if she did not fully understand that I was her son. I would also take her to movies. Until...the darkness of the movie theater scared her. The trips had to be shortened because she would become afraid. I could, of course, never leave her alone. There is so much going through my mind as I write this that I could fill a book. The reason I am suggesting a trial run would be to see how she would react. Those with dementia do not do well when things change. They could become afraid and that will manifest itself in behavior that is not so good. They can't help it. Always remember that. So, is there is a way that you can take her on a 200-mile trip (that, to me, might in itself be a problem at 95) with a caregiver coming along? If the usual caregiver would not be able to make it during the REAL trip to the wedding, then there should be another, UNfamiliar caregiver that comes along on this test trip. If you plan at the wedding time to stay in a hotel, then do that. Try to get the experience as close as you can to the time of the wedding. Then, YOU go away from the hotel and "pretend" like you have some errands to run. Consider this equal to the time that you would have to go to the wedding and prepare things. After a certain amount of time, instruct the caregiver (ahead of time) to meet you some place (e.g., restaurant or some place where there are people) with your mother. This would be like when the caregiver would bring your mother to the wedding. See? You are trying to mimic the wedding trip. Considering that a wedding might run an hour, give or take some minutes, have your mother stay with caregiver with you at the destination, then you get up after about five minutes and say you have to run another errand. This would be like if you are at the wedding ceremony and you have to get up and leave your mother for a bit. It doesn't have to be long. After all of that, discuss with the caregiver how things went, and make sure he/she is brutally honest. If it went smooth...it MIGHT go smooth at the wedding. If it did not go smooth (remember you said at the wedding you might have to stay TWO days), then you will have to seriously consider leaving Mom at home on the wedding day. Again, I'm just guessing, but I think the 200-mile trip alone might be an issue. If you determine that your mother just can't make it, then let TECHNOLOGY bring the wedding to her. Have mom stay with a caregiver at home but work with a tech guru to stream the wedding live so that your mom can see it at home. TEST THIS!!! Just before the wedding, you might even want to do a quick "hello" in front of the camera to your mom to let her know that she is watching the real wedding at the time it is happening. NOW...all of this above might work. OR, none of it will work. Those with any kind of dementia live in their world. They cannot live in our world. You probably already know that by now, but newbies reading this might not. Another technique you might try is simply to never mention the wedding again in her presence. Ever. Lastly, I would like to say this. You said that your mom is in EARLY stages of dementia. IF it is Alzheimer's disease, please remember there is Dr. Dale Bredesen's (UCLA) ReCODE protocol. He is reversing Alzheimer's in 90% of his patients. He has also trained other doctors in six countries. I am seeing one Dr. Reina Marino at the Marcus Institute - Jefferson University in Villanova, PA. I am doing so as a precautionary measure, since my mom had Alzheimers. I am sure there is a doctor not too far from you who practices the ReCODE Protocol. Just do a Google search on Dr Dale Bredensen ReCODE. This is something you do not want to delay. I wish you much peace.
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paulalovescats Jan 28, 2019
90% reversal? Nice commercial but I would never believe it.
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Hi my daughter got married almost two years ago. My mom with Alzheimer’s was able to come to the wedding, I hired a companion, but soon afterwards she didn’t remember being there,,,
She talked about it for weeks before,but sadly didn’t enjoy herself... the music was too loud didn’t understand what was going on. If I had to do it all over again, I would leave her home:(
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I spoke with her caregiver and she has said she would be glad to go with us and take care of my mother-in-law (she'll be on the clock of course). Her dementia is not advanced at all, mostly it's short term memory loss at this point. She has the means to pay for all this herself so that isn't a concern. She doesn't know about having an escort yet, so if she fights it there will be no attending the wedding. That is a dealbreaker. Our daughter is hoping she will be able to come. My husband and I will not allow this to happen if anyone other than a paid caregiver has to take care of her. I learned a lot from our first daughter's wedding, and I know I don't want any distractions from being there in the moment. Her incontinent issues are few and far between at this point, but there will be preventative measures. If not, also a dealbreaker.
We are having a bridal shower this weekend here where we live, and we will see how it goes with that. Sort of a rehearsal for the wedding.
I think she only realizes bit by bit that attending a wedding, going shopping for clothes, etc without planning or depending on others is not in the cards any longer. It's hard for us to realize sometimes too. My husband is not sure this will work out and we may get down to the wire and have to put a stop to the plans and do something else. We'll just have to take it a day at a time. Again, many thanks for your suggestions.
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XenaJada Jan 28, 2019
When is the wedding? Please come back here afterward and let us know how it went.
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Wow! It would be great for gma to be there! That is a long trip 200 miles!
I would say... FACETIME IT! With all the video stuff thats out there... encourage a grandchild to get their computer hooked up... with available hotspots and gma can be right up there in the action when and what she can handle.
Or... have a redo... have a simple redo ceremony and party it doesn't have to be big just enough so gma can be part of an outing. Decorate have cake, always a reason for cake, and gma is part of the little ceremony.
Blessings
Hgn
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My daughter got married 150 miles out of town in 2017. My mother was 83 at the time. I own a small house in that out of town area, too small for all to stay in, so my eldest daughter (40) agreed to stay with my mother in a hotel. Mom was challenging to deal with, always complaining she "didn't know what was going on" - no one gave her explicit information, she thought she was being left out of plans, she had to be toted around to all activities, she can't walk far or even normally, she needs to be close to a bathroom, she's cold, etc. I decided I would not deal with her as I wanted for one day to focus on my daughter, the bride. We were up there for five days. I had asked my brother if he and his wife would drive my mother up for an overnight stay, but they declined (inconvenient). They were not attending the wedding. I have two other brothers who are useless (did not attend the wedding). I kept my cool overall but having her and her issues in the background definitely affected the overall vibe over the few days. We did our best (my daughter, mostly) to accommodate her needs. She still complained to my brother. Best answer for a 95 year old: take advantage of technology. Facetime, Skype, etc. She should not go.
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Put yourself in your mama place. If your granddaughter was having a wedding and you were 95 yrs old. Would you really want to attend via skype? If she can fly, i would go with her on the plane. If the current company has an affiliate company in your daughter location use them (2 caregivers or nurse) different shifts- save money). Get the wheelchair for mama at the airport. And let her enjoy the last days of her life (whether she remembers them or not). It is not easy but always worth it in the long run. Have a safe trip and Congrats to your daughter.
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Cheryl312 Jan 28, 2019
I am with you ! The message said she desperately wanted to attend. So, if it were my wedding, grandmother, or mother I would do whatever it took to get her there ..I wouldn't want to have regrets that I failed and disappointed her...preferably in years to come when reminiscing about this little 95 yr old lady there will be great memories and joyous pictures to enjoy rather than regret that she was denied something that's very close to her heart. Just saying...
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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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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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My Mom had similar issues, incontinent and Alzheimer's, and wheelchair bound. We had two weddings we had to deal with -- one was my brother and and the other was a grandson. I asked them both that in order to go, we had to know in advance about wheelchair accessibility and especially restrooms. I explained that if she didn't have access we could not go. Neither ever got back to us with this information, so we didn't go. Since neither visited it her much this was okay, because she would have asked where were we and who was getting married. There is A LOT of planning to do when someone has elderly conditions. Good luck Hope y'all enjoy the wedding.
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So I wanted to update on the outcome of my mother-in-law attending the wedding. It went off without any issues! We are so glad we did what we had to do to make it happen. We couldn't have pulled it off without her awsome caregiver.
We(mil) rented a car for the caregiver to drive. We arrived on Thursday, and they drove down on Friday. They stayed at the bride and groom's home because we felt they would be more comfortable and our daughter and fiance' were staying closer to the venue and were gone anyway. MIL was too tired for the rehearsal dinner, but came to where we were staying the day of wedding and got dressed and made up. She got to spend time in the bridal suite with the girls. We arranged for her to be seated first and she walked down the aisle with our older daughter's husband without her walker. After the wedding she was included in the pictures, she had dinner, then we went into the dancing area where we put a chair for her to sit and watch. She stood up and danced in place with me! (mainly just waving her arms around lol) She was so glad she came. Everyone thought she was great. Sunday she slept til the afternoon and they drove home . So it was a great success. I never had to worry about anything except having a good time and enjoying the moment. She had a good day mentally and physically (she wore her special undies). She is fortunate to have the means to pay for all this and is back at home in her regular routine. And we are giving the caregiver a nice gift card. She was the key to this whole thing. Thank you all for your advice and input.
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Llamalover47 Apr 6, 2019
JanieR: How wonderful to hear about the wedding! Thank you for coming back on to share!
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Kindly ask caretaker if she is willing to take a couple of days to drive grandma to the wedding, being compensated of course. Does she drive? Perhaps you can rent a car for her and grandma to drive in. Obviously you trust this caretaker.. You should be able to at least ask her, throw out the idea. Maybe even tell her you will rent a car or van so hubby and family can tag along for a bit.

Let it be clearly understood that you are needed to be there for daughter, Grandma wants to see the wedding.. can you fit a few more people into the wedding/reception area? Make it sound like fun, maybe caretaker will agree to it.

This is just one idea. a caretaker I knew drove his person to an event. They rented a van that was wheel chair accessible. They spent the night, went to event, and drove home the following day. Edith loved it. She was a wonderful lady, and so was her caretaker, but he was a guy :)
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oops, just read the responses ...and just noticed the original date of this issue.

Got keep my eyes opened for those lil things. :)
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JoAnn29 Apr 5, 2019
Looks like your posts overlapped.
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Thank you Janie for letting us know how it all worked out. Sounds like a wonderful memory for all.
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JanieR Apr 5, 2019
It was a wonderful memory! All the guests were so sweet to her and she was really on top of her game. I will never forget it. We know it was a precious gift.
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I am smiling from ear to ear, Janie - thank you for the happy ending! Memories to treasure, indeed.
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It will be just as you describe... pure frustration. You are the hosts of your daughters wedding. In this case it is a destination wedding.My concern is that even if she has a caregiver with her, she will be out of her element. When both my husband and I on different occasions, with moms' with early dementia, we took them on vacation with us and had a miserable time with their confusion. You state that you have tried to take her on outings in the care of others with poor results. You would be just punishing yourselves again. I agree jou will be justified not taking her.

Is it possible for someone to be with her, cellphone in hand, and do a little face time?
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JoAnn29 Apr 5, 2019
Scroll down. The OP says everything went really well thanks to the caregiver.
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