Dancing In The Aisles! Karen Harrington
Surprisingly, in the earlier years, the happiest memories happened when we were travelling. Some people may want to shy away from travelling with someone with Alzheimer’s but I believe if you go prepared and don’t wear yourselves out, the experience will definitely be worth it.
I never attempted to travel on my own with Grant after his diagnosis, and so having family or friends to help out with everyday stuff is very important.
One of our earlier trips was a cruise that we took with Grant’s sister and brother-in-law. Cruises allow you to travel with a lot more luxury and not having to move your luggage from hotel to hotel saves a lot of hassle and is better for the person with Alzheimer’s as they don’t do well with a lot of change.
I made sure that we took lots of pictures and I often look back at these and am so glad that I have these happy memories of Grant smiling in the sunshine and enjoying himself with loved ones. I started compiling our trip photos into ‘Photo Books’ which you can make with various computer programs. The pages allow you to write in the location and what you were doing and these were an easy way for Grant to look over our photos after we got home.
One of my fondest memories is the time we went to watch a line-dancing demonstration on our cruise ship. It was after dinner and we went up to the pool deck on a warm summer evening while our ship was cruising the Mediterranean.
We settled down on a couple of the lounge chairs to watch the dancers and before we knew it Grant had decided to go up and join the ladies on stage. He was having such a great time and of course, had no idea how to line dance.
He proceeded to weave his way between the rows of ladies with his arms waving and smiling like a naughty boy. The women were laughing along as this handsome and well-dressed man joined in the fun.
Meanwhile, Grant’s sister, brother-in-law and I were laughing so hard we almost fell off our chairs. Grant always loved to joke around but there was a certain release of inhibitions that happened that night which he never would have done before.
We all had a great time and when I think back on what I’ve learned caregiving for my husband I try to focus on these happier times and how thankful I am that we did travel and have these wonderful memories to recall.