My father in law has Alzheimer's and my husband wants to take him out of his facility for Father's Day. Is this a good idea?



How will the dad even know if he's celebrating Father's Day at a restaurant or at his facility? Chances are he won't so there is your answer.
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Reply to Llamalover47

All good ideas. I often took mom and dad out for a meal and agree that choosing quieter times during the week is better and yes, be vigilant about the facility dressing mom or dad in the proper attire (i.e.. depends, leg catheters etc.) If you want to streamline further, I also took them out mid-afternoon for a ride in the car. You use the drive-through, coffee and munchkins, french fries, or frappes, and find a quiet place with a view for a "car picnic." Anything to get them out and about as long as they can tolerate it. Although they require hard work, these outings can be the source of wonderful memories.
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Reply to lynina2

My Mom could only tolerate one hour at a time even early on. My husband is extremely hard of hearing. Mom was living with us and I was caring for her 24/7. We went out a lot just to get out of the house. This one time we went to a Pizza place. In walks a classmate, then a couple from church and last a former fellow worker. I introduced everyone and we starting talking. (I am a talker) Mom wanted to leave and so did my husband but I said NO, this was my socialization time.

Its hard taking a loved one out. We do it for them but...they no longer have the ability to appreciate what you are doing for them. By the time all is said and done you are exhausted. I agree, pick a day that there won't be crowds. A small place with no loud music. Figure you are going to get in and out. So pick a fast service place. Think of it as taking a baby out and every scenario that could happen and be ready for it.
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Reply to JoAnn29

To add to my earlier post, when my parents were still living in their house, Mom could no longer cook the great meals she us to do, and I was no cook. So when we found out that Olive Garden had carry-out [same meals as offered on their restaurant menu] we decided to do that. It was prefect. No dishes to wash, and enough food that my parents had 2 meals each from their order :)  And we were able to talk to each other quiety instead of using our outside voices when in the restaurant.

We did the above for many years, and even though my parents have passed on, my sign other and myself still do the Oliver Garden carry-out. For Mother's Day we didn't bother to carry-out because the restaurant would be soooo busy, that we did the next day instead.

One time one of my Dad's caregiver took Dad out for Thankgiving at a family restaurant since both my sig other and myself were working. The caregiver said Dad enjoyed his meal but it was tiresome standing in line to wait even though they went earlier, and the noise level was so high that Dad couldn't hear the caregiver to talk.
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Reply to freqflyer

There are several ladies at mom's nursing home who go out with family often, it really depends on your unique situation....
might he refuse to return, become combative, attempt to run away?
be overwhelmed by all the activity at your family event?
Is your husband committed to entertaining him and looking out for his needs for the entire visit?
Would FIL actually enjoy the outing?
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Reply to cwillie

Having read these answers makes me think of when someone (I don’t know who came up with the idea) decided to take my mother out to eat on mom’s birthday. She loves Cracker Barrel food. I order for her now because we know one another’s favs. Anyway I don’t know if my dad thought to take her, my daughter said she’s along to be caregiver. So it seems innocent enough doesn’t it?

Let’s say it was a learning experience for me! I believe you need at least two people to watch the person with dementia. I have mobility problems and can catch mom (yes, she darted away a couple times), but I’m slow with a pronounced limp. My dad is oblivious to what is going on (he’s the king) and I had to scream for my daughter, who RAN to catch mom.

Mom was headed to the ladies room and was urinating in the middle of the floor when my daughter caught up. Daughter cleaned her up and informed me that whichever staff helped mom dress that day had put ordinary panties on her. Can I just say I was embarrassed and feeling sorry for whoever had to clean the ladies room and for mom.

But she did seem to enjoy her day! She went ‘home’ happy. We were a wreck. I’m planning any future outings on quiet days in midweek, no noisy or chaotic places, no noisy or chaotic PEOPLE, etc.

We are amateurs obviously (just read some of my answers). I think our next outing will be in an outdoor setting and we’ll eat in a smaller, quieter place! The AL facility has a huge sunroom too, screened in...

Cracker Barrel has takeout by the way!!
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Reply to HolidayEnd

That's a rather decisive NO, isn't it? In the midst of looking after my wife at home with Alzheimer's for the past seven years, the key is to make sure she (and others with dementia)feel connected to you and protected. Taking him out on a day that is special to you, but confusing to him is unlikely to be helpful. I think C S Lewis has it right in The Four Loves--friendship, affection, charity, Eros (the experience of being in love, with or without a sexual side). However, whenever possible it is the Person Living with Dementia (PLwD) who should choose what kind of love they wish to experience and when. My experience is that the order is friendship, affection, charity, Eros--FACE, but slowly, always slowly when relating to a PLwD.

The key thing is to ADAPT on a daily, or rather minute-by-minute, basis. Stay alert to changes in mood, fears and hopes. A sit in the garden at the facility, joining in the celebrations there sounds an attractive idea.
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Reply to BritishCarer

My mom with "mild" vascular dementia grabbed the steering wheel from my husband. No more outings. We had lovely family celebrations at her facility.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

A few thoughts on this:

1. How are you going to transport him? I only ask because my loved one is unable to get in and out of a personal vehicle. Sometimes I point that out to people (including close friends and family) and they look at me like I am nuts. Who can't ride in a car?
Right? But seriously, PLEASE be sure he can really, truly get in/out of a car before you attempt it. My loved one can only travel by medical van or ambulance - which is private pay. Getting in/out of a car is VERY complex when you stop and think about it. Most of us take it for granted.

2. Once you get where you're planning to take him, how much assistance will be honestly, truly needed? Mine needs help with everything - including restroom. Will there be someone present for the entire time who's both willing and able to help with all of that?

3. Will leaving the facility frustrate, exhaust, or otherwise cause stress for your loved one? Those of us who are independent often don't consider that things we believe are "fun" could be upsetting to someone who is physically or mentally compromised.

4. Is it OK with the facility for you to take him? Our loved one's condition dictates that she must be approved to leave the facility for any reason - including outings the facility itself is taking her on. Outings her family might (innocently) dream up would be a whole different set of issues (potentially).
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Reply to OverTheEdge17

I also vote "No" to taking your Father-in-Law out to eat at a restaurant especially on a busy day like "Father's Day".

Going out to eat can be very tiring and exhausting and when a person with dementia or Alzheimer's get tired, they tend to have some behaviors and get irritated and upset easily.

When my Mom was still able to get into a car with assistance of 1 person, I would take her for a car ride for 30-60 minutes (something that we had done often over the 9+ years that we lived together) and at the end of the car-ride, I would go through the drive-thru of her favorite fast food restaurant and get a meal which we took back to the facility and ate in the dining room at the nursing home. Now that Mom has to use a mechanical lift for transfers, we reserve one of the small private dining rooms that the nursing home has available and bring "Take-out" food from the restaurant and a cake. The nursing home provides paper plates, silverware and drinks if we ask for them. We can also purchase meals from the nursing home if we eat at the same time they are serving the residents.

No matter what you do, always call the nursing home and tell the nursing staff on the unit where your Father-in-Law is what you plan to do so that they can toilet him prior to your little "Get-Together" & put clean clothes on him for photos that you take that day.
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Reply to DeeAnna