I took many outings and road trips with my mom in 2018 when I was her caregiver. That time she has early stages of Alzheimers and is still mobile. She could get into and out to the car but I would place her on a wheelchair as she could not walk long distance.
These become memories that I now treasure dearly. As now, my mom’s Alzheimer’s have reached an advanced stage and she no longer recognized me. She is also bed bound now as she requires tube feeding.
For those who are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s/dementia or an illness, I strongly encourage you to find ways to make memories with them. It need not necessary to go for long haul or overseas trips. In fact, I would really discourage that because long or overseas trip will cause exhaustion and it may trigger mood swings or flare of an illness due to stress, insufficient rest, jet lag, dehydration and unsuitable diet.
It is better to be in familiar surroundings or our own territory so we know where to get help when we need them. It can be a trip to a less congested mall or a drive around to explore areas. If the person is on a wheelchair, then we need to check first if the place is wheelchair friendly.
In the year 2017 and 2018, my mom and I went for many trips together (as there was no pandemic then). We visited our favourite malls, just kinda window shopping around and enjoy the air condition. Or sometimes it would be driving around to explore some areas. Sometimes aimless driving, I have to admit. I become familiar with disabled friendly places. Fortunately, the malls in Malaysia and the rest stop areas along highways are all disabled friendly. I also resumed blogging as a respite hence when I was out with her I also had the chance to explore and take a lot of pictures. I could do my favourite activity with my favourite person. When I look back at the photos I have taken, I remember each of our outings together.
Now, if there are any trips that I would make with her would be to the hospital for hospital visits. I realized that in my mom’s recent hospitalization, that going for holidays and staying in resorts is out of the question. Because given my mother’s health condition, she would always require a hospital bed, suction machine, oxygen and trained medical personnel (in case of emergency).
The only place to find this is in a hospital ward. And if we want comfort, then it is a private room. That is alright. Because all that matters is that she is still here, and I am able to care for her. Contentment comes from within. It is not about outside places or holidays. Still, I am glad I took the adventures together with my mom the time when she could still accompany me.