Prior to moving my mother down to be near us and into assisted-living, we had plans to travel back to our home state for a month, and living in our RV, while visiting with family and friends.

Now that June is slowly creeping up on us, I am wondering if we are going to be able to do that or not. We are still trying to get my mom settled in, and the transition hasn’t been the smoothest.

I am currently sitting in the hospital with her, because she fell yesterday and broke her leg. This comes right behind them finding out that her potassium, magnesium, etc. were all too low, which probably helped with her confusion and the fall.

I am now trying to figure out if we are indeed able to go back home for June, if we get her healthy and in a more settled state of mind, what am I going to tell her where we are going?

If we tell her that we are going to go back home, I know for sure that she is going to cry and beg to come with us, which just cannot happen. First of all we would never be able to get her up into the RV, plus there is no way that the three of us and our dogs could all live in that RV for a month.

So now I’m trying to figure out what sort of a story I could come up with to tell her for the reason why we are going to be gone for four weeks. Is anybody here a good storyteller, that could help me come up with some sort of a believable story to tell her? She has almost zero short term memory and a limited amount of long-term memory,

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Dear SEND had a very good suggestion regarding bringing in a paid caregiver during your time away, they may not be necessary every day, few hours a week here and there, it will cost you (or her), but it would be well worth the money and give you a point person to communicate with and give you peace of mind enough to enjoy your trip. Are there any family members, or clergy in town that could look in on her, or maybe some of your friends, that would be great also.

Make sure that your POA for medical and financial are up to date before going away, and have a point person (or alternate POA) that you can rely on as a go between to communicate with, maybe someone who could have HIPPA Authorization with her Dr, the AL place and the local Hospital to speak on your behalf should any medical decisions be necessary while you are gone, just like we did when our kids were little.

The sending Lot's of postcards" also a really good idea, as it will give her something to look forward to, and your endearing words will give her that reassurance that you are thinking about her, that you are missing her, you will be home soon and bringing her a souvenir from your travels, and that she is Loved. Ask one of the Nurses Aides to pin them up for you in her room! Make a Special board in advance!

Discussing with the Nursing team at AL her needs following her leg fracture, her medication needs, f/u labs and MD follow up is arranged, hopefully these things can be managed at the AL place by the visiting Dr (or by the prearranged paid caregiver), can all be done in advance of your leaving, but by all means, you Must go away and enjoy yourselves, you need the break and you deserve it!

Let her know that you will take pictures of your trip, and will look forward to sharing therm with her, and if she is cognizant enough to understand, telling her the truth as much as possible, try to be positive about it, she should be happy for you that you are enjoying and living your life, all the while you areseeing to her needs because you love her so much.

Your might even arrange to have "special packages" delivered to her every few days, just little treats that you can pick up from the dollar store, lotions, puzzles, crossword books, aadult color books, slipper sox, that kind of thing, again, she will know that you are enjoying yourselves and thinking about her to while you are away. This doesn't have to be a nightmare if you plan ahead properly, and make it a positive thing, Go have FUN, You Guys Deserve It!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to staceyb

You said:
"I am currently sitting in the hospital with her, because she fell yesterday and broke her leg. This comes right behind them finding out that her potassium, magnesium, etc. were all too low, which probably helped with her confusion and the fall".

Um, she fell because her potassium, magnesium were too low? This was while she was living in AL? For how long?

Will she rehab in a NH, or return to AL? Does someone administer her meds in AL?
Will AL keep her room if she goes to rehab or a NH?

Suggesting a daily caregiver until she is healed, especially if you cannot be there.
So sorry this has happened. The good thing about an RV is that you can take off anytime without reservations if your plans change. Small consolation. Hoping for the best for you kid.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Sendhelp

"She has almost zero short term memory and a limited amount of long-term memory" and so I don't understand why you think that she needs a story at all.

When lying to anyone, keeping it simple is always your best strategy. The more intricate the story the more lies there are to remember and the more chances you will get caught in the lie were she to somehow remember.

Learn to tell the near-truth rather than the truth-truth. Maybe something like: "Mom, we're taking the three dogs on a road trip and I'll call you when I can from the road. Love you!" and then you give her a kiss, exit and don't look back.

Go away for 4 weeks and take a break. If you don't, what exactly are you going to do that will "get her healthy and in a more settled state of mind"? Is that even possible? How advanced is her dementia?

Send her postcards from the road. Buy a whole bunch of postcards and stamps and drop one or more when you see a mailbox.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

You don't need to be specific. Just say we are going on a little trip. I wouldn't even tell her how long unless she understands time,
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to JoAnn29

This is tough, but harder on us than our mothers. With little to zero short term memory is to your benefit.
A vital & significant key for your mother's acclamation to her new place is less of your presence. Your presence is what she latches to distracting her from her ability to absorb her new home. The place where your mother lives can help you with this to redirect, etc.
Go see you family as planned! You need the rest & break. Mother will not have a accurate or realization of your time away. Activities & people at her new home will fill her day and be the distraction. Realizing too that each morning for her is basicly a new day for her!
We don't lie to our mother but we just tell her we'll see her later.
Your story to tell doesn't have to be a lie, just a stretch of the truth cause you will see her later! Right?
While away you can all her place to enquire how she's doing, but don't talk to mom. Your mother will be fine.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to LuvingSon

Why can't you just tell her you're going RVing for a month without giving her the itinerary? Look up a few attractions that you might actually enjoy seeing and tell her the rest is going to depend on the weather, your mood and which way the wind blows. If she asks if you will be stopping in "back home" just tell her that you might if you end up in the neighbourhood but nothing is definite one way or the other.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to cwillie
NekkidFish Apr 21, 2019
Thank you!!! I’m taking the time now to try and strategize and get my head in the right story-telling phase ... which I am not good at!!

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