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 Pleasant Outings 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Pleasant Outings
Yesterday I took Coy to the Science Museum. He noticed an ad in the paper's entertainment section, listing several new movie shorts they are showing. When I exclaimed what a good find that was, he was very proud of himself. I told him I had Monday off and we could go then and he was very pleased that I took it seriously and was acting promptly. Well, Monday turned out not to be an ideal day to go, since it was a school holiday and the place was packed and show tickets were sold out. But we had a very nice lunch in the light and pleasant cafeteria, and then looked at some of the permanent exhibits. The movies run for a month, so we'll definitely go back a couple of times and see them all. (On a school day!)

Some things that make this a good choice for early-stage dementia folks:
1. Loaner wheelchairs (Coy walks, but the walking and standing involved in exhibits is too tiring.)
2. Elevators, hallways, and the lunch room all very accessible
3. An accessible entrace to the theater.
4. Lockers, in case you need to bring supplies but don't want to carry them the whole time.
5. Family-friendly exhibits. The display descriptions are in large easy-to-read print. No highly technical jargon.
6. Subjects interesting to any age, but display and text at a grade-school level.
7. Friendly, helpful staff.
8. Substantially reduced rates for low-income households or individuals -- and all you need to "prove" this is something like a Medicaid card or a reduced-cost lunch card for school children, etc.

We got to exclaim over the huge mammoth bones some farmer plowed up in 1923, and to stroke the pelts of beaver, muskrat, and skunk! We both enjoyed the outing. Not everyone has something like this readily available, and it is not appropriate for all stages. But if you live in an urban area and your LO is still able to enjoy this kind of thing, check out the museums that are geared to school children!

Another of our favorites is a lovely conservatory where we can enjoy lush greenery and flowers even during the looooong Minnesota winters. Coy's doctors have stressed the importance of mental stimulation (at this stage), and I think occasional field trips fit that very nicely.

What kinds of places have you had good luck with?

_________________
Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Last edited by JeanneG on Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:56 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
How great for you. Only last spring, we were still traveling and we went with a tour to the Canadian Maritimes. Now, our 'trips' are to the dentist, the doctor, the toilet, and the kitchen. From the windows, he sees the back yard and exclaims that 'it looks just like ours.'

I envy you and yours.

_________________
Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:36 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
Leone, you did a marvelous job of providing pleasant and stimulating diversions during the early stage. Good for you! And -- who knows?-- the early stage, brief as it was, may have been longer than it otherwise would have been because of your activities.

We each have to play with the hand we are dealt, and we get new hands all the time. I hope you take real comfort in the memories you have of the marvellous outings you had in first 9 months.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:56 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3436
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
When my dad was in the early stages of LBD, before we even knew he was diagnosed with dementia, I would drive him to places he had always liked and because of his difficulty with walking, he'd often sit in the car. But, he loved my taking him to peach orchards, cantaloupe farms, the little Amish grocery store in Delaware, garden shops, and just driving around the little towns where he grew up.
About 2 yr. before his big decline we took him to the WW2 Memorial in DC. He was able to hobble around the Memorial and really enjoyed that, but was ready to go back home after 1/2 hr. Because it was a 2 hr. drive from his house and we wanted to see other places, we took him to various museums which he'd enjoy for a few min. but then he'd want to sit and read his newspapers. It worked out ok for him and the rest of the family. That was the last big outing but we are really glad we did that.
It's harder in winter in the north, but I'm glad you've found museums that keep you occupied. Art galleries are great places too. Even mall walking in the winter can help stave off cabin fever! Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:11 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
Your response prompts me to remember that every time I would mention here that Dale and I were going somewhere last year, I would read a post from someone who advised me against it. When we went to Italy last year, there were those who said Dale could never walk on the cobble stones. I'm so glad we went! I did arrange to go business class so that he would not be crowded on the ten hour flights - but I'm so glad I wasn't deterred by those who told me he might go crazy on the plane.

Alas, I had a trip planned to San Diego this month.... and that is not to be. :cry: We certainly do play the hand we are dealt. Now, I'm trying to use caregivers so that I can still get out of the house a few times a week. However, I wish Dale could still enjoy the things we used to do together. I miss his company tremendously.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:18 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
Oh lordy, Lynn! Mall walking would drive us both directly to the looney bin. We live within a few miles of the Mall of America and we've probably been there a total of 4 times! But, yes, it is a nice warm place to walk/use a wheelchair. It depends on your tolerance for the retail experience, I guess. But, good suggestion for many, perhaps most. We've got to be in the minority on this.

The art gallery suggestion is great. I haven't thought of those in a while, and it would be a good thing to try. There is also a local history center that might work if we take it in small chunks. Many things that are overwhelming in their entirety are manageable in smaller doses, aren't they?

We could do a lot more if I weren't working fulltime, sigh, but we do what we can.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:28 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
Jeanne, what a delightful idea! Great suggestions are always welcome to extend and enhance the good times we may get to share with our LOs.

John and I enjoyed driving to see the colorful leaves in the NC mountains this past fall. We agreed that short trips closer to home were a good idea since stamina is not always there.

I am so glad you have joined the forum and I enjoy your posts and your perspective very much.

Pat

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:47 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
Thank you, Pat. We have concluded that all our trips will be domestic now, with most closer to home. I'm glad we travelled when we could, and that we still can in more limited ways. This Spring we went on a guided tour with my alumni group, to Iowa. The full trip was not 300 miles and we spent 3 days and 2 nights. It was a very comfortable bus (we sat in the back near the bathroom) and the driver was very accomodating about storing and retrieving the wheelchair. Everyone was most kind. I hope they plan some other short tours. We'd do that again in a heartbeat, assuming Coy is still at this level of cognition and mobility. I took lots of pictures and made a slide show. The program director at his day center made a presentation out of it, so Coy got to enjoy sharing it and feel important for that day. He also passed out SPAM samples, to go along with our stop at the SPAM museum!

This summer we visited friends in Wisconsin. One of the highlights was a visit to the International Crane Foundation. (Birds, not construction equipment.) That, too, became a slide show for Coy to share.

We may not be going to Italy or Paris, but we are doing what we can.

(I might add that though I enjoy them, these trips are not a vacation for me. Traveling with a dementia victim, even one in the early stages, is a job!)

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:22 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Pleasant Outings - travel is a job
Yes, you are right that it's hard work to travel with a spouse who has Lewy. All the tending to condom catheter and meds... as well as making sure he always had enough sleep with time changes ... is not a vacation. Others always praised me for watching him carefully and tending to him ... but I'm sure they were glad they didn't need to do it. They went out in the evenings and I often stayed in the hotel with Dale especially on this last trip. I'm still glad we made the effort when his mobility and cognition made it worth it.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:36 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
Jeanne, I am glad we traveled early in our marriage, too. We have wonderful memories and love to relive them together now.
Last year, I decided to try to travel again. I found a direct flight to the Florida Keys from Raleigh, we rented a Mustang convertible because it was the first car we dated in, and I planned for us to stay in 2 great resorts to simplify everything.
It was a good trip, but bittersweet, because John could not get out and enjoy everything like he would have in the past. He stayed in the room a lot and it felt lonely to do things by myself when he did not want to.
Both of us are so glad we went, but the whole time I was thinking, "This is our last big vacation together," so tears were often just beneath the surface for me. I kept putting on the happy face for him, though, so he would get the most out of it when he was engaged.
At the airport he sat in a wheelchair for the first time, so we could cover the distances in a timely way without him getting tired. But it put us right in front of every line there was, which was a bonus.

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:22 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
Last spring I tried a 3 day trip to Maine, we could drive and eliminate the stress of crowds. I knew this was the last time I'd try, Frank didn't understand where we were, left a couple times and headed to other condos, I had an awful time trying to convince him to come back into ours. After our 2nd night he decided he want to go home NOW, I got him to sit in the car while I packed up, forgot a number of things, because he kept getting out of the car and taking off. We did have some wonderful trips, I've tried to tell many, don't wait for those special trips or they may never happen.

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Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.


Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:41 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
Reminds me of our last winter in AZ [2008-2009]. I had quit my seasonal job there and we had stayed home since his Dx in 2005 but he made me promise we would go back to AZ. We had sold our park model down there and only had a small RV. He would go outside every morning at the RV resort about 4AM in the dark [to use the john, supposedly, as if we didn't have one] and I'd spend the next hour or so looking for him with a flashlight. That's when Capgras became the rule rather than the exception and he'd look at me with suspicion and mistrust, said he knew I was not really his wife. He also developed three life-threatening illnesses while we were there for which he was hospitalized and spent a month in a SNF where they almost killed him. When contemplating a trip with Lewy, trust your instincts not your emotions. I knew it was a bad idea but didn't have the heart to say 'no'.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:27 am
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 344
Post Re: Pleasant Outings
Gerry and Pat, I am so sorry you had those stressful times when you were supposed to be enjoying yourselves!
I decided on our trip to just open up and tell the people at the resorts where we stayed that we had had a bad diagnosis and that this was likely our last vacation together. I asked them to make sure our accomodations would meet our needs and be memorable. In both cases we were immediately upgraded to wonderful accomodations by the kind staff member. I am very glad that I did that and that people responded with kindness.
I would encourage any caregiver to do that kind of thing and graciously accept the extra pampering that is offerred. (Those rooms were sitting empty anyway.)
Pat, your comment to trust your instincts over your feelings is very wise.
L&P,
Pat

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:01 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Pleasant Outings - upgraded accomodations
We had the same experience on our trip to the Canadian Maritimes last spring. The 'handicap' rooms are often in a nice part of the hotel. They are spacious enough to accomodate a wheelchair - though Dale wasn't using one at that time. In fact, one of the hotels told me not to mention that we were in the more posh part of the hotel to other guests on the tour.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:07 pm
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