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I have been looking at some of the other articles on this. When we had dad over for Christmas yesterday (he lives on his own with the help of caregivers), he brought up the fact he would really like to go see his nieces and nephews this spring. The car trip would be a minimum of 4 hours on a good day, but potentially looking at 5-6 hours on a bad traffic day. He uses a walker and this would require multiple rest stops. He is very, very frail. I really, REALLY don't want to do this. Just spending every Saturday afternoon with him is exhausting to me. There's the med management situation plus the care of his legs (he's diabetic). He said he would pay for a place for us to stay but I don't want to share a hotel room with him and he would be very confused on his own. I just don't think he could do it. Possibly one of them would let us stay. His grown nieces and nephews are pushing him to get me to take him up there (I am the only one here in town with him - I've been managing his care for almost 4 years and was recently awarded guardianship). They have not seen him for many years and I'm afraid they don't realize how frail he has gotten. My sister lives there and suggested that possibly her daughter could meet me half way and they could take him the rest of the way and manage him for an overnight stay to give me a break. I did read in one of the articles to talk to his doctors. I could run this by his geriatric psych and primary care doctor if you think that would be good. I am at a loss and maybe I'm worrying about this all too soon but I really don't want to do this but feeling like I don't have a choice.

No no no. If nieces and nephews really want to see him I would suggest to them they put their own azzes in the car and come to him or make the arrangements to transport him there and back themselves (never gonna happen🙄)..... Their expectations are totally unrealistic for anyone his age let alone someone with dementia!
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Reply to cwillie
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I agree, if they want to see him, they should visit. Is he incontinent? This would be a big reason. Are you comfortable helping in the bathroom?

Tell relatives that Dad is not up to a trip that far even though he thinks he is. Don't tell them at first that you don't want to do it. You have you r guardianship. He has Dementia. A good reason not to take him. They don't do well with change.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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FaceTime! Goggle chat!
Do regular online video calls so that he can see them and they can interact with Dad. It will make his day, and it will let them see just how challenging this is for you to care for him.
My daughters do weekly FaceTime with my mother so she sees her great-grand children. She reads them books, which they like. She is very hard of hearing and has mild dementia, so this works out better than direct interaction. She has a new great-granddaughter in another country so seeing her online weekly is the only way she can meet her and watch her grow. It's not the same as a hug but it works.
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Reply to DrBenshir
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KatKat124 Dec 30, 2018
This is a very good answer. thank you for posting. It has helped me also.
Babs75.. you should not travel far with your Dad, I agree with everyone that is saying that.
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Sometimes when you take a dementia patient out of their realm they can quickly become more disoriented. What happens if you get there and he although not meaning to becomes disoriented and acts out in ways you would never expect? Then you have to deal with getting him back home again.
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Reply to ebgranny
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So what I've realized with my mother, who is 76 and has dementia, is that oftentimes, she very much likes the idea of events/visits/etc. but then after we makes special arrangements for her to attend, she's totally overwhelmed and ends up miserable the entire time. For instance, this past summer my father's family decided to have a reunion out near us (we live in MD). My uncle arranged it after coming to visit my mom this past spring, soon after we had to place her in a dementia-care facility. He was thinking by having it near us, she could be included and it would be something for her to look forward to. Aunts, uncles, and cousins were generous enough to fly out from all over the country (AZ, FL, IN, MN). For the two weeks before, she lived in constant state of anxiety, worrying that she wasn't ready, didn't have the right clothes, had already missed it. As someone earlier mentioned, she did enjoy her one-on-one visits with the relatives over the time they were here, but the day of the actual reunion started out badly and just got worse, until she was almost inconsolable by the end. (We wanted my dad to take her back to her home, but he was resistant as he still wants her involved in everything we do.) It was so sweet of our family to take their time and money to do this, and luckily I think that everyone BUT MY MOM, enjoyed the experience. I'm learning that those with dementia lose the ability to appreciate the emotional significance of events once they are involved in them. Instead, it becomes a unfamiliar and scary situation that is fear and anxiety-provoking.

As a result of these kind of experiences the last few months, our family has even decided not to take my mother to see her own mother in Wisconsin (whose health is failing quickly) one more time, as it would be a huge financial, logistical and emotional investment for all of us with ultimately little to no emotional meaning to her (or my grandmother who also has a milder case of dementia).

And all of these situations have been with my 76 year old mother, who is in good physical health, other than her impaired cognitive state.

I would strongly affirm those who have said that anyone who loves your father, and wants HIM to have a good experience and visit, will take the time and effort to come to him, for his sake, not yours.
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Reply to marysunshine76
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this is simplistic but ... the road from your house to theirs also runs from theirs to yours.
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Reply to Betsysue2002
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Don't want to be the bad guy? I don't blame you. Discuss this with his doc and most likely he will back up what YOU think is best.

Travel would be very difficult. Do not allow this to happen.
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Reply to gladimhere
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I tried walking Mom, (in wheelchair) to a department store within a short walking distance from NH. She seemed fine until she slipped out of her chair and although she was okay, her loud hollering scared everyone within earshot. It made me realize how unprepared I would be if anything serious would have happened to her. I can't imagine taking her anywhere.
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Reply to peggy40
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why don't you use social media like facebook, create a group and let him talk to them over the telephone. I do this with my Mother and her grandchildren and she loves it. You can take a laptop and HDMI plug into the TV and have it bigger.
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Reply to commutergirl
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Harpcat Dec 30, 2018
That’s a great idea.
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Have the nieces and nephews come to you and him. Explain to them what the situation is and that it's not only very difficult, but also very dangerous for him to undertake such a trip. If they can't find it within themselves to do that, then that's their choice. And don't feel any guilt.
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