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Old 11-09-2012, 09:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by CeCeGarrett View Post
Another odd bit of advice:

As an old nurse... I want you to know that urinary health is a BIG deal when it comes to dementia and alzheimer's. As odd as this sounds, when a person with either, or just an elderly patient has a kidney, bladder or UT infection, their entire demeanor and cognitive abilities can drastically go downhill. Before you leave, make sure her doctors run labs to check for any urinary issues and keep her well hydrated on the trip.

Enjoy your trip with your family and take as tons of photos. Keep a journal and have her write her experiences in it.. or have her dictate them to you. Enjoy your time and know that you are giving each person going a gift that many many people wish they had received. Time.
I also want to comment. I'm a nurse and there's something that's called "sundown syndrome", see it quite a bit among the elderly....even elderly who don't have dementia. I work nights, and have had patients who are perfectly normal at the beginning of my shift but by 3am, you'd think they came from a nursing home with full blown Alzheimers. It's an interesting phenomenon. Not saying this will happen to the OP mom, as it can happen to any elder....just wanted to add something. I really hope you all have a great vacation, despite your moms illness and despite your experience so far with Carnival!
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:38 AM   #17
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Sorry, I was away from the board and didn't realize there were more posts!

Really, no worries for health. I am my mom's caregiver, she lives with me, I know her health. She has great doctors that partner with me in the care of my mother. I realize not everyone is so fortunate, but I am thankful to have medical care for my mother that is very thorough and recognizes that I do have some capability in making decisions. Yup, very thankful!

I also happen to be a travel agent, and my agency books many clients with Carnival. I do not however, therefore I did not have any experience with their Special Needs department before this trip. Other agents have had mixed dealings with them. In my agency at least, no one has had mixed dealings with DCL (other's experience may vary).

Oddly enough, when I mentioned to Special Needs that I was also a travel agent (I did not mention it initially because I don't believe a travel agent should be treated differently than a regular customer), I was then told to just bring a doctor's note regarding my mother's liquid and dietary needs, and my other concerns were also answered then. Really, this could have been said in the initial discourse, instead of the experience I did have, but whatever.

And just for information, I am not paying a TA rate, in case there was the thought that this might influence the communication between me and Carnival. I am paying full fare. I never book any cruise on a TA rate, as I do not wish to have the possibility of being bumped for a full-rate passenger. Plus, I like picking my room way too much!

Keishashadow, I do have all those papers already in the folder. I just checked to be sure! Thanks for the reminder, it helps to have peace of mind to know that I am all set for anything!

Yes, it is true that Carnival's prices are less than Disney's, and I do go on Carnival for the ports and quick getaways (whereas with DCL, I plan ahead and book early for best price). Yet, I don't believe that prices should influence how customer service or a Special Needs department treats its customers. That was my gripe with Carnival. I know others have had negative dealings with DCL, and I am sorry, but in my experience (and I have booked many DCL cruises for myself and my clients), there is a difference with shoreside service. My experience only, of course!

John Heald's blog is rather interesting. I am sure he is much too busy to even deal with my issues, and honestly, sometimes when people love a particular experience so very much, they have a hard time seeing anything negative about it (i.e., sometimes it is hard for a DCL fan to accept fault with DCL). He is a funny guy though, and he has a great view of life! My brother did desire to write to John Heald though, so who knows, maybe something does come up. He swears he didn't write, but it doesn't matter. I have the doctor's note now!
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:00 AM   #18
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I'm glad that you finally got some of the issues resolved.

Only you know what your mom is capable of at this time. My grandfather has dementia and my parents and grandma took him on an Alaska cruise in May 2011 and we all did a week at WDW in Sept. 2011. We did those trips because we knew that he could still handle it at the time and we wanted to make those memories while we were still able to do so. He did very well on both trips. Now a year later, both trips would be impossible.

I hope your trip goes smoothly and that you make lots of valuable memories with your mom.
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