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Old 03-13-2016, 03:15 PM   #15
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I simply highlighted the "not so nice" section of your post in bold font. I think you are making way too many assumptions (OP maybe a troll because he does not have a trailer, he is new, etc). I think the OP is a caregiver asking others to share their experience airstreaming with a patient with special needs.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:19 PM   #16
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Anyone on these forums have experience Airstreaming with an Alzheimer's patient? Camping season is approaching and I'm trying to decide if the trailer is an option.....or we should just stay home in comfortable, familiar surroundings. Mike H
Hi Mike, wondering if you could give us some more detail about your patient and his or her situation.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:19 PM   #17
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Hello again. I have not been on the site since I originally posted last night. Previous to that, I have been absent from the site since the days when we were trailer shopping. No, I am not a troll. Yes, I have a trailer. Thanks to all of you who took the time to reply. We do have ID bracelets and strong resources with our medical community. I was hoping to benefit from the wisdom of people in the trailering community who might have gone through this and am thankful to those of you that provided it. Frankly, the medical community has no experience with this kind of thing at all. Peace, Mike
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:03 PM   #18
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Airstreaming with an Alzheimer's patient

Both of my parents had declining mental capabilities in the years before they died, although I don't know if it was full-blown Alzheimer's. Both seemed to be most comfortable in familiar surroundings. As time passed, they wanted to venture out less and less. The same thing has occurred with other people I have known. I would say just be sensitive to what your companion wants. You might think he/she would benefit from a trailer trip, but if there is no expressed desire to travel, then it probably won't work out well. OTOH, if he/she lights up when you discuss the possibility, then maybe it will.


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Old 03-13-2016, 10:33 PM   #19
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wannaB,

Welcome to the forums.

Inasmuch as my stepfather passed away last year after several years progress of dementia, and having rallied and caravanned with Airstreamers who were in the early stages of Alzheimers, I can claim a little experience.

This decision is really up to you and your Alzheimers patient. If they are accustomed to traveling in your trailer and want to go, I'd say, go for it. You should take precautions against their wandering and disorientation, like identity bracelets and possibly a GPS tracker or cell phone app. (My stepfather was able to use a Jitterbug cell phone until he became innumerate in the last few years of his life.)

The progress of Alzheimers varies widely in different people. You will have to continually reassess the situation. Eventually the time will come when you will have to give it up, but if you can enjoy life on the road together until then, I say, why not.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:31 AM   #20
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Hello again. I have not been on the site since I originally posted last night. Previous to that, I have been absent from the site since the days when we were trailer shopping. No, I am not a troll. Yes, I have a trailer. Thanks to all of you who took the time to reply. We do have ID bracelets and strong resources with our medical community. I was hoping to benefit from the wisdom of people in the trailering community who might have gone through this and am thankful to those of you that provided it. Frankly, the medical community has no experience with this kind of thing at all. Peace, Mike
I am now apologizing to you for reacting badly.

Some days I am not as nice a person as I want and try to be.

Seriously, tho, this is a judgment only you and others who know your patient well can make, in my opinion.

I recall an incident some years ago when an elderly woman wandered into our campsite, clearly impaired, and I walked with her until we found her husband, a couple of sites down.


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Old 03-14-2016, 06:57 AM   #21
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Airstreaming with an Alzheimer's patient

Here is my take.

A family member who is the caretaker is in a better position to make the decision to travel than anyone else including many doctors who will be inclined to want to keep a patient at home because they don't want to be on the hook for medical malpractice should something go wrong.

There is life, and there is quality of life. Frankly travel might be good for the patient and the caretaker.

Furthermore, the medical establishment inclusive of doctors are not God. Very good docs can be wrong, and this is more true with the ones that are not very good.

I knew an old guy that traveled extensively with his afflicted wife for some years. All of this was out of love. Some might say he was wrong for doing this, but not me.

In my not so humble and grossly opinionated judgement, a dedicated caretaker gets to make this decision and no one else.


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Old 03-14-2016, 07:54 AM   #22
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I believe it can be doable if you know your capabilities.
It might be more enjoyable if you go camping with a group of familiar friends and family that could help out if needed.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:17 PM   #23
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In my not so humble and grossly opinionated judgement, a dedicated caretaker gets to make this decision and no one else.
I don't dispute that. But it needs to be an informed decision, which means allowing the patient's doctor to voice an opinion before making up one's mind.

Even if the caregiver doesn't ask the doctor, "Should we do this?" he or she should still ask, "What can we expect if we do this?"
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:46 PM   #24
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My experience with Alzheimer (father & mother) is that by the time the condition is clinically diagnosed as such, the disease has probably progressed beyond the mild stage. As it continues it begins to affect motor skills. Climbing in and out of the trailer could be a concern. Familiarity brings comfort, strange places brings anxiety. I wouldn't do it at this stage. I recall that my father use to just suddenly stand up and bolt. Off he went at a fast clip. I'd have to run him down. Later the disease affected his body's ability to manage blood pressure so whenever he stood up he fainted.

I would only consider travel if it the Alzheimer's is early onset and only if the person is already familiar with the camper and the travel locations to be visited.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:46 PM   #25
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Agreeing with Protag...and we don't always ....the medical professionals familiar with this patient can provide risk assessment, and that's the bottom line, in my opinion.

What to expect cognitively and in motor decline, how quickly things can change, etc....things the experts know, can and will relay to caregivers when asked.

The medical professionals may have no experience with travel trailering with Alzheimer's patients because it is not routinely done...and that is something to pay attention to.


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Old 03-14-2016, 06:15 PM   #26
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For me, a big factor would be the enthusiasm (or lack thereof) of the person involved about the idea of taking a trip in the Airstream. The assumption here is that they still have sufficient mental faculties to visualize a trip and react favorably or unfavorably to the idea. If not, then it's a bad idea, period. An example is a trip my wife's two daughters took to visit my wife's mother, who they hadn't visited in several years. They planned out the whole trip in advance, including taking my wife's mother to some sort of musical performance they thought she would enjoy. My wife's mother is 92, and somewhat mentally impaired, but still living in an independent living facility. In talking with one of the daughters afterwards, she said she was somewhat disappointed, in that my wife's mother didn't seem to enjoy the event they took her to, and hadn't seemed as if she wanted to go. I kept my mouth shut, but I thought, "did you bother to ask her?" I'm quite sure they didn't ask her, because they assumed her answer would be "no," but they took her anyway, because they thought it would be a good experience for her. Oh well, at least everybody only wasted one night, and not a week long trailer trip!


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Old 03-15-2016, 03:58 PM   #27
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This is from my own experience. We took my father in law, age 94, on a trip to a family reunion in Colorado last summer. He was the one who helped initiate the event. He kept on telling the person who organised the last one that it would be good to do it again. Truth be told he was unfit both physically and mentally to be travelling. He was unable to process information. He reacted badly whenever an inconvenience was encountered. He had balance issues and walking was tricky. He fell down several times. He blamed it all on the thin air in Colorado. We cut our itinerary short and got him back home ASAP. My take on it? Never again. YMMV BTW he was not an alzheimer sufferer, just no longer as sharp as he once was.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:37 PM   #28
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I don't dispute that. But it needs to be an informed decision, which means allowing the patient's doctor to voice an opinion before making up one's mind.

Even if the caregiver doesn't ask the doctor, "Should we do this?" he or she should still ask, "What can we expect if we do this?"

We agree Pro.


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