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He insists on being there. I cannot take him on a two day airplane trip by myself. He told the doctor that he is fine and doesn’t need help. I feel so terrible about it. And I don't know how to tell him no. How do I handle this?

I was caregiver for my husband who had young onset, advanced Parkinson’s. He also had a lot of dementia. My experience with many years of dealing with all kinds of situations, including travel, is this: go without him no matter how he complains. His life journey is not yours. Do your best to be sure that he is well cared for (respite care or in-house paid caregiver) and go to your daughter’s house. You can not fix what is wrong with him. You can be as loving and supportive as your mental health can achieve. But you need special time with your family members too. Remember that you cannot take his journey away from him. You have your own life’s journey. Explain that you love him but this is best for now. It is not mean or unloving to go to Thanksgiving without him at this stage. One thing that helped in my situation was to arrange to have a group of friends set up to visit on different days. That gave him a sense of not being forgotten and I had someone to give me feed-back while I was gone. That was very helpful. You could even leave a little treat or surprise with instructions that they give him one each day you are gone. Hope this helps.
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Reply to Beeninyourshoes
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Zdarov Nov 7, 2019
I’m saving some of these phrases you wrote. :) Thank you. What a journey you must’ve had. God bless.
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How much is DH's memory impacted at this point? Christmas is a while away, is he likely to forget the trip if its not discussed daily?

I would get the PCP on board to tell DH a two day airline trip is out of the question, then say the airline won't accept him without a doctor's clearance. I literally cannot imagine a dementia patient where the change of routine & multiple strange environments would not have significant negative impacts regardless of how much help you would have. Unfortunately, you cannot expect DH to realize or accept its a trip he just shouldn't try.

We tried a road trip for my father with vascular dementia to his older sister's house 2.5 hours away. Dad was in the middle stages with anxiety issues and the occasional panic attack. My brother & I would travel with my parents to help Mom with Dad. I was working & renting a house about 2 hours down the road, so step one was to travel in the afternoon (Dad didn't want to travel in the morning) to my rental for a quiet evening, then drive to my aunt's house for lunch the next day. Depending on how things went, we would return to my rental or travel all the way home from my aunt's. Travel to my rental went fine, Dad seemed to enjoy the drive down a well know road and restaurant meals in some of his favorite places. We watched a movie at my house and he was fine all evening and through his favorite breakfast the next morning. As we got ready to travel on to my aunt's, Dad seemed to start having anxiety issues. When he appeared calm and said he was ready, we drove to my aunt's house where Dad had visited at least twice a year for 50+ years. When we went into the house, Dad spoke to my aunt and uncle and his nephews and their wives. He knew and liked everyone there, but within 10 minutes, he retreated into the guest bedroom, coming out in about 5 minutes stating he was ready to leave. We spent about 10 more minutes trying to talk him into staying a little longer but we eventually left less than 30 minutes after arriving because Dad was so distressed. He wanted to go back to my rental house so we did and I fixed a quick lunch after which Dad appeared much calmer but still wanted to travel back home. And that was Dad's last road trip. Not sure but I think disruption of his routine and the sheer number of people in my aunt's living room caused Dad's distress. Or maybe seeing how his sister had aged over the last couple of years when he had been talking with her on the phone but not seeing her? This was a trip Dad had taken countless times and he appeared to enjoy parts of it but overall it just didn't work. You are not wrong thinking your DH cannot handle two day travel trips.
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Reply to TNtechie
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This happened with my mom a while back. I don't know how well your husband remembers things, but I told my mom that we were not sure yet, arrangements were still in the beginning stages. She asked again throughout the day and I just repeated that things were still pending. That satisfied her for that moment and she forgot all about it in a couple days. If she had asked again I planned to tell her that things fell apart. I hate deceiving her, but the alternative isn't good either. Of course my mom does not live at home with me so it was easier to pull off than if your husband lives at home.
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Reply to GuiltAndSorrow
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Like children, you think they aren't listening and they are.

I would at this point say nothing. Hopefully he will forget it by Christmas time. Thanksgiving is coming up. The facility will probably have a dinner the day before. Enjoy this with him. Don't mention Christmas at all. Handle it when it comes up. If it does come up, say not this year dear. You are not well enough to travel by plane. Now the special licences are being made mandatory, tell him he doesn't have one so can't fly this year.

Just a question, how were u going to tell him u would be away?
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Thank you all for your input.He will see the pcp in two weeks.I will ask in advance to address it if the subject comes up.He has not mentioned it again.The staff at the memory care unit thinks he will not be as upset as I am.I will continue to work on accepting his continued decline.The staff suggests that Thanksgiving will be a good indicator of his response to the holiday.I have not given thought about how I will tell him.He does not ask for his family to visit .I take him out about once a week locally.He still knows everyone but does not seem interested in anything besides himself.
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Reply to Marolson
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Zdarov Nov 7, 2019
Wishing you the best, morolson.
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You can answer him that the for his safety, he cannot leave until the doctor says so. He is in memory care. The facility usually puts out a good spread. Count yourself lucky if he does not know the calendar..
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Reply to MACinCT
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I like the answer where "you can't fly because you don't have the special license to do so now."
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Reply to whaleyf
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I agree with the others who have suggested that you let the doctor/facility be the bad guy here. Talk with them ahead and let them know what happened, and that you need them to help you by telling him this isn't possible. Let them take the "blame" and spare you.

And hopefully, this will be a situation where his memory issues can work in your favor, and let him forget what he heard and it can just become a non-issue == crossing fingers for you!
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Reply to calicokat
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If he's in memory care, will he even remember you're making the trip? Remove any notes he has about it; if he brings it up, delay the discussion. If he doesn't have the new "True ID" the airport demands, there's a great reason he can't go.
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Reply to SFdaughter
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My mother is also in a memory care center and my brother and I have decided "little white lies" are best so our mother's feelings are not hurt. After a few minutes she doesn't remember any of it, but at that moment we would rather she had good happy feelings. My brother and I went through something similar with my mother which started while she was still in her home and continued at least a year after she went into a memory care center. Only it was about her vehicle. She kept saying she wanted to go shopping but where was her car. My brother had taken it to his house so there was no way she could drive. Unfortunately, we have to resorted to the "little white lies". We told her that she let my nephew borrow her car because his was in the shop and they had to order parts. Then she would say "oh yes I forgot about that" or "I remember that". This went on for 2 years or a little more.

My brother used to go and get my mother and bring her to his home when I visited (I lived out of state) and at first she seemed to enjoy herself even though she didn't talk anymore, but as time went on she became incontinent, wheel chair bound and she didn't seem to know what was happening around her and just sat there staring in space. The last time my brother brought her she had an bad bowel movement and it made a mess. If your husband is incontinent this is definitely something you wouldn't want to happen anywhere whether airport or at your daughters place. Speaking of that if you are at the airport is he able to go to the bathroom by himself? If not, how are you going to handle that.

It may be little white lie time for you....Maybe tell him that you have decided not to go due to weather predictions said weather might bad and you don't want to get stuck at the airport for a day or more; that would be just too stressful. When you return and if he asks where have you been tell him that you been sick and didn't want to visit and give him your cold or flu. More than likely he won't asked where you been. My mother has no concept of time or days. There would be no reason to tell him you went to visit your daughter and upset him at that moment. You need to get away and give yourself a break and enjoy your family. Go and visit her and have a wonderful time.
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