Having Mum over for Christmas

Hi Everyone. I’m 51 and married with two young daughters Mia, 10 and Paige who’s 7. I lost my Dad to a severe stroke and complications in 2014. My Mum’s had Parkinson’s for the last 6 or 7 years and only in the last few months she’s really struggling to cope as she still lives on her own and I live 4 hours drive away from her. She has carers going to check on her regularly but I feel she’s now getting to the stage where she will need someone with her 24/7. Her hallucinations are getting more and more serious (a side-effect of the drugs I believe) but changing the dose will make her more sleepy. She’s determined to come up here to Hertfordshire and visit her grandchildren this Christmas (Chaperoned all the way of the journey of course) and as much as I’m hoping we all have a lovely time I’m also worried about her condition and whether she’ll be safe in a unfamiliar environment. (She’s never visited our new house before). I’d really appreciate advice to try to ensure this Christmas will be a happy one for Mum and in turn me and my family.

If her walking is poor, it might be an idea to put any rugs you have into storage during her visit, they are a trip-hazard.

Hi there. Depending on what your mum needs care with and how often, if it’s a possibility, try arranging some help to take the pressure off you while your mum is with you so that you all can enjoy each other’s company. Either some one to help you with housework (could be a one-off clean) or a carer to pop in once (or more) a day to help your mum bathe/shower or whatever she needs most help with - you’d have to arrange this privately of course.

My children were young teenagers when grandparents with dementia, including one with lewy body disease and accompanying hallucinations, regularly came to stay and if you make sure your children know what your mum’s difficulties are, I am sure they will be as understanding & helpful as mine were.