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My husband and I are invited out to relative homes for Thanksgiving. We had two invites, one is locally in our hometown and the other is out of town, where we may have to spend the night. My husband has parkinson disease, dementia and incontinence. He sometimes get up through the night using the bathroom and he does have a habit of wandering at night time. His doctor placed him on new drugs for hallucination and it is helping. He has been on the new drug for a month now. I just wanted to know should he spend the night in a strange place or if so, what will be the best tips you can provide me if he does stay overnight in a different house? The last time he was admitted in the hospital he did not do well because he became confused and was ready to go home. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks. Statewise.

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Stay home. Always best to be in a familiar place. Last time my mom with alzheimer's stayed away from home overnight was 4.5 years ago for my son's wedding that was out of town. She kept everybody up all night long wanting to go home.
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Staying home is always safe. But consider his relationship to the out-of-town people and how important a visit with them might be. Consider your own feelings and needs, too. You give up a lot as a caregiver of a loved one with dementia, so be careful not to entirely disregard your own preferences when that is possible.

My husband had the kind of dementia your loved one does. He did not have continuous incontinence but did have accidents. He was high-functioning and fairly coherent most of the time. He definitely did not do well in hospitals but he was a good traveler. During his ten-year journey with the disease he stayed in friends' homes, relatives' homes, hotels, a national park lodge, a sleeper car on a train, and a cruise ship. I'm sure he couldn't have done any of these things alone, but as long as I was with him he was fine. His neurologist approved of and in fact encouraged these experiences. [Note: the kind of brain damage in this type of dementia is different than, say, Alzheimer's, and I don't know what the doctor would have advised for different kinds of dementia.] All of the people we visited were very comfortable with my husband's impairments.

My mother lived with my sister for a year during mid-stage dementia. To give that sister respite I and another sister each had mom for a long weekend each month. Mom had very good relationships with all her daughters and in her prime she would love staying at our houses. But it was clear that the twice-a-month trips made her anxious and increased her confusion. For her it was a relief when she could stay put in the nursing home and have each of us visit her weekly.

I guess what I'm saying, statewise, is that one size does not fit all when it comes to what is best for persons with dementia. You need to consider carefully what your husband can deal with and also your own needs and do your best to decide what will work for you. Once you decide, DON'T second-guess yourself. Don't feel guilty if things don't work out. Do your best, learn from each experience, and move on.
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Thanks everyone for your response. I have not been with my family for Thanksgiving for two years due to my husband illness, especially for an overnight stay. In the past, my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving in our home, but, I had to take a break because it was to much of a task without having his help. Both of us, enjoyed having Thanksgiving with everyone in our home. I will weight the pros and the cons in hope that I will make the best decision for me and him. Thanks again. Statewise
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I agree it really depends on the individual situation, which relatives you are visiting and your relationship to them, and even the setup in the home where you are visiting, including bathroom proximity, soundproofing (some homes make loud thudding noises when anyone walks around) and accessibility. Does he do well around children and celebrations?
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I agree with Jeannegibbs. Hospitals are an entirely different situation from staying in a relatives house. In hospital you are unwell, on your own and it is a noisy and active environment even at night. Not surprising dementia patients don't do well! Do you sleep in the same room? If so he will wake and you will be there. You may well wake when he gets up for the toilet and be able to bring him back to bed if he starts to wander. He will be more likely to wander if he has to search for a toilet and then back to his room. Close family will understand. Agree don't beat yourself up,if it doesn't work but enjoy doing it if it does.
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We also were invited out of town but i decided our last visits were on good note & w alz. Slowely downhill to stay home away from crowds. Knows where bathrm is & miss our family gatherings but time moves on & not worth upsetting the fruit basket to please me. Whatever you decide have Happy Thanksgiving. Days thought..Be kinder than you feel! Got from alz reading rm.
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If he did poorly in the hospital, what makes you think he will do well in a relative's home? Dementia patients could care less about Thanksgiving, and you would do well to stay home in familiar surroundings so you do not create more hallucinations than he already has. Being on a med one month does not make one well, especially with his diagnosis. The less people to add stimuli to his conditions, the better. You will have plenty of opportunity to visit when he is gone. Your relatives must not know a thing about his illnesses. Educate them!
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I agree with the comment that one size does not fit all. Everyone is so different. You have to decide what is best for your husband and yourself. I cannot take mom anywhere if there is more than 1 person, and even then she wants to leave minutes after we get there. She is a home body, and that is where she is most comfortable, which home is with me for the past 3 1/2 years. If you have had Thanksgiving at your house in the past, why not find someone else that can help you in his place and keep the tradition going. I have found keeping consistency in mom's life as much as possible has always been the best decision. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving.
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First have a heart to heart with the person's who home you will be staying. Tell them the worse case scenario and tell them you won't be offended if they think it might not work. If they are ok with it then make the decision. If he wanders you may need to block the door so you at least hear him if he gets up. You probably won't get much rest but it depends if its worth seeing the people involved. Of course the easiest solution is to stay local but if you do decide to do that please share your reasons with the other people so they are not offended. Many people take things wrong.
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jeannegibbs wrote: "You give up a lot as a caregiver of a loved one with dementia, so be careful not to entirely disregard your own preferences when that is possible." Yes! This is the most important thing. Wouldn't an overnight visit and all that entails be more difficult for you?

As far as relatives not getting to see your husband, well, what is stopping them from getting their car(s) and coming to visit you? Not for Thanksgiving (don't want that stress on you!), but how about sometime between Thanksgiving and the New Year?
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I would thank them kindly, but tell the that you both will stay at a nearby hotel because of his medical issues. No matter how kind they are, it is stressful for all when dealing with the unknown and accidents at someone else's home.....
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I would stay in a nearby motel. I think it's important for YOU to see these people. Can the doctor order some powerful sleeping pills for your husband so you can get some sleep at the hotel, too?
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Given the situation, I personally wouldn't put an already confused person in a new environment, especially an incontinent one. I'm not sure whether or not I would even want the person on the hotel or motel beds, too much chance of ruining the mattress if there's not a protective cover under the sheets. Hotels and motels already spend a lot of money on nice beds, hotels have expensive beds, too expensive to have someone come along and ruin them. Before renting a room, certain precautions must be taken to see if the hotel has protective covers for the beds or if they even have special beds for incontinent people. No matter what, you're still taking an already confused person into a strange environment, something I personally wouldn't even consider. They're already confused enough where they're living, things will only worsen by taking them into a strange environment and confusing them even more
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People have given you a lot of advice already. If you were traveling a short distance and not overnight, that is easier to handle. For overnight stays, I would consider leaving your husband back with a caregiver and you go alone. If you are worried that your husband may "miss" the holiday, celebrate before you go. I agree with many of the other writers who said they may not even know it is a holiday. In my case, my mother has dementia, Alzheimer's, incontinent and extreme paranoia. I take her on daytrips all the time and she enjoys those and can handle them well. I have also explained to my siblings some strategies on how to deal with her behaviors and her incontinence if they take her for the day. However, she does not stay anywhere overnight. It is not worth it. My mother has wandered also; she has fallen at night; she is confused and scared in new places. I hope this helps. You deserve to see your loved ones and not feel guilty about bringing your husband with you every time.
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The decision has to be yours. The burden will be on you, so you need to decide how bad the burden will be.

A spouse is different from a parent, because you can use your body more to keep them calm in the night. Interpret body as you like. I'm talking mostly about snuggling. Can you calm him with words and hugs? My husband is very spatially disoriented, but he is "grounded" by me, so we can stay a single night or two in a hotel.

You will need to handle the incontinence by bringing protection for the bed and protection for any chair or sofa he will sit on. If your relatives are very germ-phobic, like my brother, that might be a reason to stay home, or to stay in a hotel.

Plan for all his needs. Bring favorite snacks, and arrange for him to watch Law and Order reruns in a different room when he gets stressed. Will any of the relatives be willing to help you? Maybe someone will take him for a walk, or sit with him looking at pictures long enough for you to shower. In my case, that's pretty much the most help I can expect, but it's enough to make a trip possible. If the family will not welcome him and overlook his predictable disturbing behavior, don't go, and if you won't be able to stand up to the exhaustion of being his 24-hour companion, don't go. If he won't be able to get some enjoyment out of the trip, don't go.

Otherwise, you should become the Warrior Princess that you are. Face problems with courage, resourcefulness and calm. Feel good about the decision to go, because it is an experiment, and you will learn from it. Don't feel guilty just because he or someone else gets upset, or if things don't go perfectly. Disastrous holiday dinners make the best stories for future get-togethers.

It's 50/50 that this will be the last year he can go, if it's not already too late. That's another good reason to go. God bless you.
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I think it would be more appropriate if maybe you just went for a short visit (maybe). That's a lot going on for someone that sick! to be staying over night!
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statewise: Oh, no! Take the elder out of their comfort zone, which is their own home that they know like the back of their hand, and they DO NOT do well! It has nothing to do with the setup of the home...it could be a mansion...it has EVERYTHING to do with the elder. They simply are lost. This gentleman has quite a few disabilities and he would probably rather stay home. He would feel much more comfortable if the invitee in town would bring him a "carry-out" Thanksgiving dinner, if said person would be willing.
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I agree with Ferris. Stay close to home. HIt will be so much easier for u both. Under the circumstances, I think your family should come to you. A lot of restaurants have take out dinners with all the trimmings. This way you can stay home and you don't have the mess you have from cooking and clean up. I would take him out of town.
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That was "wouldn't" take him out of town.
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I traveled with my now 93 year old mom up until a year ago - our last trip was a drive from SoCal to Las Vegas - she loved it - of course she loves Vegas and we always stayed in a handicapped room in a familiar place - we had a great prime rib dinner and each won $500 on the dice table

She suffered a devasting fall at home two weeks after that trip so if something bad is going to happen it is going to happen wherever you are

It depends most on your comfort level in handling your husband away from home - if you needed xtra help would it be available to you ? Would you need to help prepare the dinner and do dishes and then be too tired to enjoy the company of relatives - is the drive too much for you ?
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From my own experience with having my sister stay for three days over Christmas last year was a 24/7 job.They become quite confused when not in their own comfort zone( hers was the nursing home) When you think they are sleeping - they are not!!Getting my sister to change her depends was another chore all by itself.It is no fun for the care giver or the relatives that are joining you for the holiday or you joining them.My sister is only 72 .This is just my opinion.
Alzheimers/ dementia is a terrible disease.You have to accept that people with this disease have good moments & bad moments.No two people are alike.
I now have a visit with my sister in the home where they have a gathering for each holiday such as Thanksgiving & Christmas.They have music & entertainment from 1:30 pm until 3:00 Christmas time Santa is there to give each resident a gift & by choice they can have their pic. Taken with Mr & Mrs Clause . The residents then have a bit of time to have a rest before their evening meal.
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Well, I agree with a couple of statements and disagree with some others. You know your husband better than anyone else and what he can take and what makes him nervous. For my experience, my dad lived with me the last 9 years of his life and for the first 5 or so years, he did fine. Suddenly, he started forgetting how to get home, forgetting where he was and I stayed at home more than I wanted to but I was afraid of what would happen. Toward the end, about 2 years before he passed, he said he wanted to go visit relatives. I hadn't seen my cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. in years but I said I would drive him. We mapped out where we wanted to go first and where we wanted to end up. I knew this would be the last trip he would ever be able to take so I called as many as I could and also had him call and tell them we were coming. We didn't stay but a day or two in each place but they all said welcome and come on! They seemed excited to have us come visit. We took over 2 weeks going from one house to another and ended up at my sister's house for several days before heading back. He made a few mistakes, got lost a couple of times but all in all, he had a blast. The only sad part of it was his brother was so excited he was coming because it had been more than 20 years since he had seen him and 2 days before we got there, he passed in his sleep. That upset dad quite a lot but we visited with his children for a day and then left after the funeral. When we got back home, he kept looking at all the pictures we had taken and sometimes, I saw tears in his eyes because he knew he wasn't going to see them again. Within the next two years, most of the people we visited passed (most were already in their late 70's-late 80's) Dad had Emphysema late stage and was 80 when he passed. All I can say is I tried to make his last years happy ones because he wasn't able to drive all over several states any more and would have missed seeing everyone. During the trip, seeing everyone prompted him to start telling stories about the war years, their lives, children etc. We talking all the way back home. Forget the negative answers that you received here and make your own decision. If you can handle him at home just fine, you'll probably be fine going to the family affair. Remember, it may be his last. If you're worried about accidents, stay in a hotel. Have fun and enjoy the dinner.
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In my humble opinion, I really think you should stay home and have whatever relatives that can come over for a visit come. Doesn't have to be for a "dinner" but just a visit. My MIL came for a visit overnight and ended up using the bathroom in a closet thinking it was a our guest bathroom. I know it's hard since you like to visit and see everyone but it only confuses and makes a person with lewey body dementia from Parkinsons more anxious than they are. My FIL also had Parkinson's. No dementia with it but he would rather stay home that go. So let him. When a person has an illness you have to do what's best for that person and not yourself. I know it's hard but keeping someone where they feel safe and secure and having people come to you is better. My mom just passed from alz/dem. in Aug. and it would totally confuse her to come to my house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She would want to help but couldn't anymore. Good Luck and God Bless
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I echo those who would stay home. The relatives could bring food to you or you could go to friends if you think that would work. I can't imagine relaxing under the circumstances that you describe (staying out of town).

In the end, though, you need to do as you mentioned and decide the pros and cons for yourself. You know your husband, your relatives and yourself.

Best wishes for you no matter what you decide. We'll be thinking of you. If you have a chance, we'd love to hear back from you to see how your holiday went.
Blessings,
Carol
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Thanks again for the good advice...really appreciate the input. Thanks to my sister and her husband we will not be spending the night. They have extended the invitation for us to ride with them and their plan is to come back home after the get together.
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Frankly, I think an overnight stay will be impossible for your husband and a disaster for you. He most likely will be very confused and that will increase his agitation which will increase his confustion and etc. Mix in the added noise and chaos of a family gathering...yikes! You will not be able to relax and enjoy the day and he will certainly not gain from it. I am not meaning to be negative but only realistic. The chances of you both having a wonderful time are very small, in my opinion. Please weigh the pros and cons very carefully and consider your emotional and physical well being in addition to his.
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