Navigating Alzheimer's Caregiving: We Can Still Have Fun Together

No! That seems to be the operative word when you have a loved one with Alzheimer's disease living with you. No means not going here, not doing that, not saying this, not being there. It has become about what life is not.

It is no longer about trying new things or going new places. It feels like it is mostly about cloistering in one place, out of the world's view. It is hard to live that way, at least for me.

I love adventure and sharing family memories together. I still believe we can leave the home and do things - within reason. I still believe there are laughs to be made, smiles to be seen and fun to be had. My loved one still has it in her to enjoy each day as it comes, and so can my family.

An impromptu trip

Why do I bring this up? Well, I was invited to go into Manhattan next week for an event, and I believe that we can all load up in the minivan and drive in together, including the puppy. I think we can find a way to get it done.

This will mean sitting in traffic. This will mean expensive tolls and parking. This will mean bringing the wheelchair and doggie stroller. This will mean scouting out a bathroom beforehand.

Now, I am not talking about putting my loved one or any of us at risk. I am not talking about doing something that I feel she cannot handle or would scare her. I just think it would be good for all of us to do something that we had probably already thought we would not be doing.

I think that spending another entire day watching Perry Mason may not be in the cards.

Considerations before executing a plan

We have not made a final decision about what we are going to do. We are talking about it and weighing our options As I think through this, here are the things I need to consider:

    Is the cost worth the benefit? Will the fun and adventure be worth the inconvenience and challenges? If the answer is no, then we stay home.
  • Can my loved one handle the environment? She has been okay with larger groups and more stimulation. I don't get the sense this will be an issue, but I need to be willing to cut the time short, if it becomes one.
  • Do I have buy in from other family members? This is my idea, but everyone needs to be committed to it or it will not work. If others are hesitant or have negative feelings about it, then we will need to discuss it or not do it.
  • Is this just for me? Am I wanting to do this primarily for my benefit or do I really believe that everyone can have a good time and have a positive experience? I always need to check myself. Sometimes my ideas are not the best ones.
  • My question for you is this - what additional things do you take into consideration when making plans like these? What am I missing?

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