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Sister Wants Our Elderly Parents to Ride 10 Hours to Visit Her... Need Advice

Hi all,

I know this is not about children, but I really need advice about this situation.

My older sister lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. My 88 year old mother wants very much to visit with her and my sister is pushing to have my mom and my 88 year old father to come up in July.

The problem is that they will have to be driven there (my nephew volunteered to drive) but my father has many health issues and it's a 10 hour car ride. He has had several small strokes that has left him blind in the right side of both of his eyes, had at least one small heart attack that we know of, has dementia, possibly Parkinson's disease and major issues with incontinence. He can barely walk and when he can't use a walker, he needs a wheelchair. He also has bladder cancer and is having a procedure next week to remove the small tumors (second time in 3 months.) If all goes well, he should recover from the surgery within days - so my sister has set the date for July 10th the surgery is July 7th.

My mother would go alone, but my dad "can't" be without her. We also have no one who could stay with him at night time for 10 days.

I don't know how to approach this with my family. They are extremely stubborn. I've put a call in to my dad's physician to get his opinion, but my family doesn't trust doctors much, so I don't know how helpful that would be...

Thanks in advance.

Answer Question

Asked by grace61 at 9:52 AM on Jun. 30, 2011 in Health

Level 5 (94 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • Why can't she come visit them?

    Answer by SuperrMommyy at 9:56 AM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • at 88 I would ask your sister to come visit them for fear of their health.

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 9:57 AM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • he'll just be sitting in a car...he'll probably sleep the whole way. Does he want to go?

    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:00 AM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • My sister does visit them as often as she can. My mother really loves it where my sister lives and feels stuck where she is now. My dad doesn't even remember who my sister is (or anyone for that matter) so he really doesn't care if he goes up there. He would rather stay at home with my mom tied to his side, tho.

    He would most likely sleep a lot on the car ride, but because of his incontinence, he has to wear adult diapers. A lot of the time, if he feels like he has to "go" he pulls them down and pees wherever he is - In the car, in the kitchen, you name it :(

    Comment by grace61 (original poster) at 10:14 AM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • My 88 y/o MIL is in a similar situation. Only my DH can successfully get her in and out of her wheelchair and into the car and even with my help, this is an undertaking. Can you nephew do this? Is you sister prepared to change adult diapers, deal with a catheter (probably if 3 days after bladder cancer surgery), move him from the wheelchair to the bed and back again, and stay with him at the hospital if he has another stroke while he's up there? If not, she may want to come visit. Lay out the the "reality" and if she and your nephew are up for it, then there isn't much you can do except put your foot down. Personally I think it is a mistake if only because your dad will be hours away from his physician/familiar hospital. Good luck with this. Maybe your mother's visit can be postponed until your father has back up care.

    Answer by jmpj8107 at 10:20 AM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • Thank you all for responding so quickly!

    jmpj8107 - My sister believes that she can handle whatever comes her way. She is an artist and said she has a lot of friends in her community who are willing to help out if needed.... She also says that if dad needs a doctor - "there are doctors on Cape Cod" and sticks by that argument :-/ She is very aware of my father's condition. Has stayed with my parents for weeks at a time. My mother also has her own health issues that I worry about (diabetes, high blood pressure...) but they all tell me I am overreacting.

    Comment by grace61 (original poster) at 10:34 AM on Jun. 30, 2011

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