Friday, March 14, 2014

Traveling With a Dementia Loved One

Sunday dinner after church
with brother, hubby
and Kenny pictured at
Grandmother's House
Restaurant in
Owens Crossing, AL
Kenny, hubby and myself went to northern Alabama to visit my brother and his family. We started out on a Saturday, March 7th, with Kenny sharing the driving and the load of caregiving for my husband and came back on Thursday, yesterday. This year we drove straight through both days. In March of 2013 my husband and I made it a two-day trip each way. See HERE. We didn't know Kenny then, and hubby had not gone downhill as much as this March.

We woke in our own bed this morning. I started unpacking suitcases. What are those suitcases for? hubby wanted to know. He had forgotten about our trip.

Freshly groomed dog
We just got back from being at my brother's house in Alabama, was my reply. Hubby got a quizzical look on his face. Later today we picked up our dog from the kennel.

Wear and Tear on Hubby. While this trip was wonderful for me, it was hard on hubby. He had a calendar with the daily events on it, but let me know I didn't make sense. At times he was angry with me, but I have learned to stay calm. Bathroom issues came up--where was it and would he get there in time. This was not his home, the place he is used to. However, my brother and sister-in-law's home does have a convenient elevator that was so useful for my husband. He did fall Sunday morning, but was okay when Kenny and my brother got him up from the garden.

Family. I had a couple of goals for my time away. First and foremost I wanted to enjoy my family, and that did happen. Who knows when I will be able to see them again? Several nights my niece and nephew came over to my brother's home along with their families.  Kenny interacted seamlessly with my family who really came to appreciate him.

Activities. At times Kenny stayed with my husband while I did things with my family. Kenny stayed with hubby while I heard a special violin concert by a four-year-old, daughter of my niece and her husband. Another highlight was hearing my nephew teach an adult class Wednesday night at his church while Kenny was with my husband.  One day  Kenny went off sight-seeing with our car, and hubby missed Kenny. I was able to get a lot of sewing done that day. I wanted to be able to sew on a quilt of my husband's grandchild's and I was able to finish the patched front side with my sister-in-law's sewing machine. My time at home is so limited and getting to sew on an important project was such a delight. When this quilt is done, I will post in here.

YouTube Raps. This is the niece and nephew that made me MC AC The Rap Lady on YouTube. My nephew recorded three more of my raps while I was there, and my niece showed me how to use iMovie to post raps on You Tube. Together we posted "Cell Phones". Now the ball is in my court to put up more raps. It will be hard work, but my niece and nephew really do not have time to do this. I have the computer now that has iMovie. Can an old lady such as myself learn iMovie?! Hope so!

Honor. Early in the time away on my iPhone email I realized that my book, Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill, had been reviewed by a favorite author, Aimee Byrd, HERE. What an honor! I posted posts of her book on my theological blog earlier.

New Fellowship. A special highlight of the trip was the fellowship I had in a ladies Sunday School class at my brother's church. The teacher had read my book and the ladies wanted to hear me rap as I had last March! I did that and essentially the leader let me teach the class. I did have Scriptures ready. I shared prayer requests for my husband, my dissertation on caregiving and the rapping channel. Then they shared prayer requests with me. We will keep up with one another. Tuesday morning while Kenny was with hubby, my sister-in-law and I had breakfast with most of those ladies (there are seven in all whose prayer requests I have added to my prayers). Then my sister-in-law and I went to an estate sale where I found a bird house for Jake's collection.

Prayer. Pray for Kenny as he has medical issues coming up. Pray for my other sister-in-law in California who had surgery today. Prayer is such a special privilege and I am excited to have seven ladies in Alabama who now pray for my requests in their southern accepts and MC AC prays for them as well.


  1. All in all it seemed like it was a good trip! I'm glad you took the opportunity to do so and was able to enjoy the time visiting with your family. Kenny seems like a gem of a helper to be willing to go on such a trip (and while I realized you probably did compensate him for his time, it was still a big thing to leave his family, responsibilties and accompany you).

    I'm enjoying reading your book; slowly getting through it as I have time :)


    1. Amazingly Kenny went along without compensation, although my brother did give him a gift for all he does for us.

      Aimee says she wishes more older ladies would open up as I did in my book. Glad you are bloggiing and sharing your life,

  2. Ahh.. so glad you are home safe. I'm sorry that your husband had a difficult time but thankful you enjoyed the trip. I hope you can get a good rest over the next few days. I used to come home from a trip very revived and ready to tackle the world.

    1. I have read that dementia patients do not like being away from home. Thursday night when we returned he went right to bed. Friday morning there was no TV until Bright House came about noon. At 2:00 we picked up our dog, so his life is restored.

      We went from 28 degrees in Alabama early Thursday morning to 72 degrees in Plant City! It was good to go away and good to come home.

  3. Answer to prayer: report from my California brother is that the doctors got the small cancerous tumor in his wife's armpit area and no cancer was found in nearby lymph nodes. Thank you, LORD.

  4. A further answer to prayer, folks. Kenny does not have to have a toe cut off and it appears the infection is gone. His pick line is coming out. THANK YOU LORD and to you who prayed.

  5. That is wonderful news about your SIL and Kenny's health issues being resolved! Thank you Lord!