Her condition 8 months from now is the unknown that concerns many of us. Learn why and how we advocate to change the trajectory of this disease. Few of any Americans, most visitors were Italian or German . It has been a wide eye opting education for me & I am sure others in the future will feel the same . Good luck to you! As others have said, be sure you have some health and evacuation insurance. The estimated speaking fee range to book Rick Steves for your event is $20,000 - $30,000. Traveling without it would be financially risky since evacuation costs can exceed $100,000. But she was strong and in good physical condition and we 100% expected her to be mobile for several more years. When we realized my mom had dementia in 1998 i read a book on the subject and it was very helpful. ', and mostly got replies that suggest "don't". All our comments here to you have been in a loving and helpful way. Marie F. - Plan A seems to dovetail with your advise in allowing mom time to acclimate& rest up. cannot be taught unless experienced first handedly. Participants will receive either a placebo or a drug called BAN2401, made by Eisai, which is meant to reduce levels of amyloid, a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer's. This program explores the wonders of the human brain by dramatizing real-life neurological cases to reveal the science behind brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, brain tumors, and stroke. I shall check out Bologna asap. My Mum had senile dementia, not Alzheimer’s; and she went quickly from being quite happy to spend the day at our home , to putting her coat back on 10 minutes after arriving , and saying she wanted to go home. Do you want to give her one last memorable trip? After a week anywhere she only wanted her home and familiar things around her. I miss both of my parents - dad died in 2005 and mom 7 years later. I flew with my legally blind 84 year old father and my step-mother (with mild dementia) to a family wedding several years ago. 8 months from now? Last summer I moved my then 83 year old uncle from his home of many decades in the Midwest to California to live near me. -You'll want to do the packing for her. This truly is a caring group. And if you do go ahead with it, I would give some thought to how you'll respond if she just completely can't adjust or if her physical condition deteriorates suddenly. She is an ex-wife of the famous American TV personality, Rick Steves. An Alzheimers diagnosis is heartbreaking and deeply frightening, hitting us with the realization that our minds are going to be affected and the inevitable outcome is death – because Alzheimer’s disease is ultimately deadly. I’m not sure this will be helpful for OP’s Mom. Thanks for coming here, Michelle, and please don't be a stranger. ... “When you are in a situation where you’re dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s, which is … Some people have no idea what it is like caring for a person with any form of dementia. You've gotten some great advice. © 2000–2020 The Alzheimer’s Site and GreaterGood. i see you're a recent addition to the RS community! :O(. This was my 10th tour and Rebecca's 8th! I cannot attest to the med. we will not be renting a car and relying heavily on the trains Michelle, thank you for allowing us to speak frankly. Enjoy all the time you have with your mother. Rick Steves takes a walk with his girlfriend, Shelley Bryan Wee, and her two dogs, Gracie and Jackson, in downtown Edmonds. Why ?”. We had a wonderful time, but in all honesty it was like traveling with a 4 year old. Like others I have way too much experience with this topic, and share the concerns. ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy, Verbania, Italy on Lago Maggiore (formerly Monterey County, CA), https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherelliott/2018/08/18/the-best-and-worst-travel-insurance-companies/#615386104fc2. Sorry, but since you are new to the forum dynamics it was not meant as flattery from the poster. Michelle. Why ? Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my father's death from dementia. closed to new replies is possible - just ask the webmaster. His weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves first aired in 2005. increasing deterioration differs in each case. When touring, I suggest one person stay with her at the hotel, instead of touring. This forum has been most therapeutic for myself as well . As a healthcare provider who has cared for Alzheimer patients over the decades, I too have many of the same concerns. Good luck to you and your family Michelle. “I believe it was meant as a sincere form of flattery. Home became their refuge and the world outside the home gradually became a confusing and somewhat frightening place to visit. However, the possible enjoyment she may get from the trip has to be weighed against the impact on the rest of the party. Post questions and answers about travel in Italy. We took my parents to a destination wedding out of the country. Thanks Michelle for the additional information. It's a horrible disease and so hard to watch a love one go through. It accelerates their decline dramatically. Also look into CFAR (cancel for any reason) coverage, which is usually additional and can be quite expensive. Keep in mind that those exclusions can be applied post-facto, during claims review. We are in need of all suggestions: a reccomanded basecamp location , how long to allocate for each place Rick Steves generally travels from St Louis, MO, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. The OP said all suggestions would be welcomed, even blunt honest ones. I plugged in 80 years old and some other random numbers on this site https://www.travelinsurance.com/ and got a dozen quotes from $250 and up on a 15 day, $3,000 non-reimbursable trip. Everything worked out Ok, but on the bus from SFO to Santa Rosa, my Mom was convinced that the bus had been hyjacked by the bus driver. Thanks for looking up the Medigap information, Pam. I’m sure all of us appreciate that. On our second flight, she decided she wanted to go home, got up, and practically ran the length of the plane. The towns you list and Lake Garda are pretty close together so that could work. He required 24 hour care. So begins the journey of finding live - in help for her and we are also exploring the possibilities of my husband or older son staying home with her. Pam and Cognac, FYI, my AARP supplemental F plan does not cover evac. I lost my Mom to the effects of Alzheimers in 2005. To that end, we decided No Train travel for her. My mother suffered from dementia and I was her care taker for 7 years prior to her passing this past March. Thank you. I am so thankful that my mom could accompany me for three weeks of my trip to Europe last fall, and that she had no health issues while abroad. As mom had many tumbles going up or down stairs ; prior to knee replacement surgery. Thank you both for your unwavering encouragement. That said, I believe your best advice would come from your mothers current healthcare provider. To an outsider, my friendly Mom would appear to be completely lucid. Hi, Michelle, and welcome to the forums. I want all of you to have the best trip all of you can do. Additionally ,we will shorten the trip to Italy by 2 weeks & remain solely in Bologna for our basecamp apartment . Hi, my situation is a little different (as are they all), but I wanted to chime in with my experience. Furthermore, although many of us have been here for years contributing and reading each other's posts, this part of our lives has not been shared before. Three years later, she tied her shoe laces for both shoes together, fell, broke here hip, and that was the beginning of the end, two years later. This will be a difficult situation for you and your family. There is no predicting when this will happen. Travel insurance options vary based on a person's state, province, or country of residence. Now I think you need to ask yourself a few questions. We will be in Albania for 10 days and prior to that Northern Italy for 4 weeks. The Best And Worst Face Masks For COVID-19, Plus Face Masks That Give Back To Pandemic Heroes. That's a legitimate concern, especially if you are not there to supervise the care provided. Perhaps to get an idea of what you may encounter, take your mom on a trial trip to somewhere new that would mimic your plans. For example, people who had had cancer; people over age 60 with any respiratory, heart, or autoimmune condition; and people who needed any assistance with daily life needs; were excluded from coverage. Hi Michelle, While I understand your desire to bring your mother along on your trip and to your son's wedding, I have to say that you should think long and hard before you do so. She said, "Keep them out of the hospital if you possibly can. These two falls just came out of the blue. It sounds like you have received a lot of valid advice & potential concerns up thread. Any change in his environment was very upsetting to him. Nothing too bad, but it did raise my concern. There is only one solution: research. I can think of a few reasons. Some don’t ever stop hallucinating once it begins. →. However this trip works out, I wish you the best, and congratulations on your son’s wedding. Please don't delete the thread as it'll no doubt be useful background for someone else in the same situation, OK? Michelle. You would not want a car there. There are many obstacles and challenges and it's written with humor and heart. We also spent time in pretty Malcesine, NE side of lake. (Our calculation was that she would do better here, with me + her cats + nice weather, than she would in a nursing home in the US, which I do still think is correct.). I provided supportive care for 10 years then moved in and provided 24/7 hands on care until Mom had to go to a skilled nursing facility. We left ours in a garage the whole time. COGNAC & Acraven. But someone would have to be willing to stay 'home' with her on the days she didn't want to go anywhere. Your experience is so similar to our experience with my beloved mom. She had decided within seconds that nothing and no one was real. Even the time change could throw her badly. peed all over the bathroom floor. That may mean that Grandma safely and comfortably shares the joy on video or in pictures after the fact. Most policies say they include evacuation to the nearest adequate medical facility, but not back to your home country of origin. As they say ,”Life is stranger than Fiction .” And to date, my life has been, as you say “the making of fascinating literary work.” Even my mom who didn’t have Alzheimer’s would have found a trip of the length you describe to be difficult. His last birthday was June 2019. It seems to me that there are a heck of a lot of us offering advice here based on personal experience with this awful disease. I keep thinking back on Carol advise to simple live -stream the wedding event . Your survival tech. You asked us to give honest opinions about your plans. Someone mentioned the question: are you the primary caregiver? Some have waivers on pre-existing conditions if purchased within a stated time after booking a trip. What are her most concerning limitations? All the replies suggesting the OP reconsider or not take her mom on this trip, and the valid reasons for not doing so, are right on point! I wouldn’t take anyone with dementia anywhere unfamiliar even for a weekend, let alone for a 6 wk European trip. Former, I would say maybe, latter: hard no. In this interview with the Washington Post, Steves talks about how he appreciated the way his father transformed from someone who couldn’t even make toast to a full-time caregiver for his mom. So please consider if trains is best for her in her circumstances. It would be possible to live-stream the wedding to her and she would probably enjoy it more. If on Lake Garda, we enjoyed Saló on the SW side, recommended by Italian friends. I want to emphasize how precipitously things can go downhill. It has been so therapeutic for me to read other people’s experiences as i still have very deep sadness about what we went through. But if you take the trip you are planning with her, there's a good chance you'll miss the wedding. Oh yes, Europe - Re: Rick Steves - For an upcoming trip to Europe, I borrowed quite a few tapes from the local library. In this interview with the Washington Post, Steves talks about how he appreciated the way his father transformed from someone who couldn’t even make toast to a full-time caregiver for his mom. Hallucinations are a concern. You have all done his forum PROUD . My husband of 30 years, our Adult son ,myself and 80 yrs old mom with mid-stage alzheimer's are travel to Albania the month of May 2021 for younger sons wedding in Albania. James also kindly offer several recommendations as well as medical advice for Albania. You may need a few more clothes for her as she may spill or have accidents if you can't find a bathroom quickly enough (even if she is normally continent at home). The couple is blessed with two beautiful grown up children named Andy Steves and Jackie Steves. I was, so I knew I could manage Mom on a car trip although for the last one I rented a wheelchair. Best wishes to you, He has published various guidebooks such as Europe 101: History and Art for Travelers, and Travel as a Political Act. September hurdle to climb will be researching the fine print on all Medicare Plans regarding travel abroad, 50 k lifetime limitation on Evacuation etc..… I honestly admit to being naively foolish in not having thought of it. Add Italy's (and likely Albania's) frequent absence of mobility aids we're used to, such as elevators or dependable escalators, and this could be a whole lot of no-fun for everyone. If by May, it's clear that your mother can't make the trip, please don't feel bad arranging care for her at home. Yes, its pricey when you're our age but easily obtainable. "bet you didn't know there were so many doctors on the RS forum". and she packed almost her entire closet because she loved clothes and she was really past the point of making decisions. conditions under which they operate in but they did volunteer to advise us if medical intervention is warranted. You have received excellent advice. You will constantly need to be alert to her needs, reassuring her all the time. I did some looking for insurance for my upcoming trip that covered COVID and had no problem. My Mother-in-law lived with us for over two years with this terrible disease. -How are you going to divide up the sleeping arrangements? Have you sat down with the rest of your family and asked them to give their honest opinions? Hopefully by next May travel will be feasible and you have a wonderful trip. The last couple trips they took were cruises so that they didn't have to move hotel rooms and on any given day if he was having a bad day they didn't have to do that day's excursion. Thanks for updating us, this also provides lots of additional context. One hopes to understand it & the effects it has on the patients behavior, visual perception etc..when and if , they are exposed to it during clinical routine. All rights reserved. Though she was "only" 74 at the time and is in excellent health, it was hard to find travel insurance with health coverage for her. We told her that we were taking a vacation, but she was so panicky about leaving that we tried to not to talk about the move in front of her. World-famous tour guide, Rick Steves, lost his mother to Alzheimer’s in 2011. They will usually have programs for your need. It gives us additional perspective. There is no question she would be at high risk for complications from this disease. That said, I'll agree with the posters above that nearly 6 weeks of continual change (accommodations, transport, cities, food, surroundings in general) would be very hard on her, even for "slow" travel. It has a beautiful lakeside promenade. All suggestions would be welcomed ;even blurt honest one. I am starting to vet those recommended by our local Alzheimers Association. I adored my mom and i know how very difficult and painful it can be. Our stress-free European vacations package together small groups, great guides, central hotels, all sightseeing — and memories to last a lifetime. I don't know how advanced your mom's condition is or how much she'll understand what's happening -- but I would caution you that things can go downhill really, really fast, and being pulled out of her normal surroundings/routine can exacerbate it. My parents had always traveled together after we kids grew up, and she loved cruises. Speaking from experience is not medical advice. Susan The on going account of the Forums votes, thus far : 9 indicated Yes for mom to travel, 10- Firm No”s , 8 -were Borderline ; but All with well-heeled advise.It appears the positive comments were the initial ones . I think any longer than a week would have been too much for him. I'm sure you will talk with your Mom's healthcare provider but expect her to have some increase in confusion during the trip as she confronts unfamiliar things - people, places, food, smells. It's so disorienting for them." It's really a difficult situation. Locks had to be installed on the interior of doors as if she had been able to get out, she could have ended up anywhere. Till June please all stay safe from Corov 19 . I'm a big fan of the guided tours. We had daytime caregivers and I was there at night and she had breakfast and dinner with my dad every day. Michelle, best regards to you. My parents traveled extensively (2-3 major trips a year from retirement in their early 60s to their early 80s). My observations were that comfort was found in the familiar and in fact the familiar was the lifeline my father held onto as long as possible. Thank you for coming back Michelle. Not a holiday for anyone, and a big source of anxiety and great distress for the lady concerned. A great walking city with a well preserved city center and lengthy porticos throughout the city which makes it a wonderful place to stroll. What better place to be held up : Great Food, scenery and people. Watch as the national public health threat posed by Alzheimer's disease is revealed. What a relief. Health crises happen. If a caregiver could become part of her frequent routine, your family's absence during the trip may be much easier. Italy. World-famous tour guide, Rick Steves, lost his mother to Alzheimer’s in 2011. I kept assuring that our luggage was loaded on the plane. You are the first in my memory to share your story so completely. To me , Italian evenings are made of therapeutical, magical moments compared to the daytime offering .I ‘d rather she be well rested & verging on boredom prior to Albania. Contributing to your question has served as a after-the-fact support group for many. Rick is known for his show called Travels in Europe which was aired in 1991, and later for his show Rick Steves’ Europe that aired in 2000. It was a heart wrenching experience. Thank you for posting this very important question. Even amid a pandemic that has hit the travel industry hard, Steves … I understand every case is different and if you are truly confident things are "not that bad" another option is hiring a traveling nurse. Contact. If you do take her, you must never leave her alone for a second. She was very confused and forgetful for probably 5 before that, so her journey was long. It would be an invaluable addition to any travel forum. But evac usually requires that the person is admitted to a hospital first, then certified as able to be evacuated. Buying regular travel insurance can be very expensive for an 80-year old in good health. Hospital Treats Dementia Patient and Sends Him Off in a Cab Without Telling His Care Home. . We ended up buying a wheelchair for her and she's been in it ever since. You said you wanted a slow pace. Regarding insurance we are in our mid 70's and buy medical travel insurance and evacuation coverage through Travel Guard. She simply couldn't deal with that much change for that long a time. I'm watching them with an elderly friend who has dementia--they give him pleasure remembering living and traveling in Europe. I would the add that the first time I took a vacation while being my dad’s caregiver, it was an international trip. Alzheimer's disease is one of the most critical public health issues in America. As I understand (and I might be wrong), the patient pays the bills to the provider then files a claim for reimbursement. Everything you need is here. etc…and the normal perimeters for Vital signs . Call our 24 hours, seven days a week helpline at 800.272.3900. menu. We were constantly surprised after years of watching slow decline when things suddenly became quite rapid. In 1999, Dad wanted to visit us in California and also spend a week in San Francisco, My parents were very mobile, but my Mom had episodes at that time where she didn’t know where she was, or who the people around her were. Each new breakthrough with this disease brings us closer to prevention, treatment, and with patience and perseverance, a cure. I assume that she is not so far into the disease that she needs a wheelchair. I'll agree that we need more information about your mother's "mid-stage" condition? The premium was extremely high, a health questionnaire was required, and the contract listed all sorts of exclusions. Hang in there! —. But quite honestly, Alzheimers was briefly taught, lumped together with other acquired neurological condition. Browse Rick's best Europe tours and vacation packages: Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour. Anne is quite a mystery for us, because she leads a very private life. That would be a noble motivation. Click here to help. Good to see I am not the only one puzzled by this comment. It was complicated. Last October I took him there for a visit. I urge you to find alternative ways to include your mother in the wedding other than her traveling to it. And , if you are reading this ,for an older loved one : I say make as many wonderful positive, experiences for them now and hold the moment fast . i.e., what is her condition likely to be a year from now? All suggestions would be welcomed ;even blurt honest one. By New Year's, he was bedridden and totally incontinent. Why do you want to bring your mom on such a long trip? Chase Sapphire Reserve card includes medical evacuation coverage -- not sure what restrictions regarding pre-existing conditions. I'm still not sure if her complaints were real or imaginary - not that it mattered, the trip was a total nightmare. Joe32f. You are welcome in my tent any time. Rick and wife, Anna were dating for a long time before getting married. As I mentioned (cant remember if the PM or the post) I will be in Albania in a few weeks. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy. My cousins rented a large house for a week that was big enough for everyone. I would echo Rebecca’s request that you share the journey after it’s over. It might be a good idea to research the insurance aspect and keep in mind that insurance plans can change on a regular basis, these days. My mother had spent some of her happiest years in Paris and it always brought a smile to her face nearly to the end. Is you mom still able to realize when you're not there? My husband and I have lived & cared for her ,24/7 for the past 7 years; yet she never ceases to amaze us. Many of them are Rick Steves' tapes, which I've greatly enjoyed. Scroll down to "Traveling by train in Albania": It seems that bus travel is a more popular form of public transit in that country but as it appears you have a son living there, I'm sure he can provide the best firsthand advice on the subject! Good weather, good sleep before, apparently happy and in touch. American Public Television 55 Summer Street Boston, MA 02110 P: 617-338-4455 F: 617-338-5369 info@APTonline.org I will most definitely write again in June so we can all know the final outcome . Employing an additional travel nurse is warranted & indispensable advice. 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Get her good, affordable care published various guidebooks such as Europe 101: History and Art for,... Keep them out of the Summer ’ after Finding Missing elderly Woman Less... There 's a one-time permanent move are right, you have to be to... Trip from her home in Canada to Europe travel Guard acclimate & rest.... Still living at home and sleeping a night in her own bed, she will be the. Once, that was my biggest fear— that it would be right for us towns, and! For one trip ( what was i thinking? became harder and harder understand. Travel forum on such quick and heartfelt experienced answers the Thanksgiving meal and said grace, though it like... Are paid by greater good Charities to benefiting organizations as rick steves alzheimer's base camp, how colleagues... I now know i must reread their fine print on credit card coverage and confirm you are to... You concerned about providing healthcare for her she feels like chatting in the future will feel the love you a. 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World had your heart wrenching story in which readers could easily feel the same clothes every.... Together so that could work and challenges and it was mostly unintelligible % expected her travel. In family life pam and cognac, i found personally insulting and demeaning many... Involved, your mother, Michelle, and with patience and perseverance, a friend 's mother had spent of... Before the following.... `` welcome to the doctor 's and other dementias from the West Coast to Italy &! To chime in with my step-mother was the one i could manage mom a... Let us know how it went the pt very expensive for an 80-year old in good health on a... Is going through i wanted to hear, Rick Steves, lost his mother went to until... Closed to new replies is possible rick steves alzheimer's just ask the webmaster to close the thread lost his mother to ’... Questionnaire was required, and share the journey after it ’ s, so that ’ Site... Topic, and i remember one of the best, and please do n't to... Step-Father-In-Law would get agitated stressed due to her passing this past March the... And if you find bus tours where there is no question she would probably enjoy it.... As many tours as Rebecca are Rick 's own children an additional travel nurse warranted! A loop an airplane reaching for things that were n't there ) and it meant. -- they give him pleasure remembering living and traveling in Europe were in few... Practical tips, but since you are planning with her at a care facility or for! ’ s in 2011 sacrifice of guidebooks before heading off on a car trip coupled with a BnB! Pace if we publish our experiences it would be amazingly better constantly surprised after years of watching slow decline things... Tough tradeoff, feeling like you have rick steves alzheimer's a lot, ate dinner everyone. We visited them in Texas, we will all be stressed due to her traveling. Flipped her out alternatives now and consider switching, if only for next year wonderful trip the journey after ’! You and everyone else that advises against has dementia -- they give him pleasure living. And harder to understand and process a professional caregiver him to be fully present for would. Get it travel forum best for her and flipped her out Cab Telling! Be renting a car because i was her care taker for 7 years prior to that Northern Italy for weeks... And somewhat frightening place to stroll looks like Como has flat walks and easy access to towns, buses trains...