Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Aging Parents

For the first time in over 15 years, I am not going to Florida for a week with my parents for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Most years I have flown down, the last 4 years I have driven down and spent the better part of a week with them.  They are both in very poor health.  I visit every 2-4 months, usually for 2-4 days.  I notice how tiring having an extra person in and out of the house is for them. So I decided that spending a week is not a good idea for them (or for me.)  If I am spending less then 4 or 5 days, driving down does not make sense as it is 12-14 hours drive time each way.  So I need to fly for shorter visits. 

Mom has been in very poor health for a couple of years.  The time to make travel plans if I am flying for Thanksgiving or Christmas was 2-3 months ago, and honestly at that time she was in crisis mode and every time my phone chimed I braced myself for a message saying she was dead.  She is tougher than anyone thought, she is still hanging on. I have flown down a couple of times for a crisis that looked like the end, and it was not.  Every time I leave I brace myself for this being "the last time."  The "last visit" gets harder to do - the more times you I do it.  

So, I am flying down to see them for a long weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I fly down on a Friday, and home on Monday.  This gives me two full days, only three hotel nights (the house is full with family and caregivers.)  I keep reassuring myself that this is enough.  

I am going to Lexington for Thanksgiving with my sweet hubby this year, only the second time I have done that since 2008.  


  1. So sorry for what you and your parents are living through. Not easy. I hated those "last visit" visits, which as you've experienced sometimes continue for years. I wish you a sweet and happy Thanksgiving. You are a good son!

  2. Anonymous11/15/2016

    I've had similar crisis modes with my stepfather over the past few years. I know how you must feel. Enjoy your holiday.

  3. Best wishes to you.

  4. No matter how ole we get we tend to think of our parents as always being there and being the same; then reality hits you in the face and you realize they aren't immortal and still in their 30s and 40s.

  5. I often feel guilty about not living on the doorstep when my father has been ill and I've had to drop everything and dash back to the uk to support him. I console myself with the idea that at my age my parents no longer had parents of their own to look after and were free to enjoy life and do whatever they pleased whenever they liked.
    I don't consider him to be a burden but I'm mindful of the fact that many of my friends and colleagues have worn themselves out in caring for and running the lives of their elderly parents, to the extent that they themselves were too old and exhausted to enjoy life once they were free. Which may sound harsh, but old people are living so much longer nowadays and when they become dependant on their own ageing children for everything, those children are at risk of missing out on the retirement they have worked so hard for.
    I once explained this to my father and he took it on board. But I still feel guilty at times. It's a difficult choice to make.

  6. My best to you. I know what you say. Your choices are wise.

  7. I am an orphan but this post ressonated with me because the Prof's parents are becomming more frail now.....we are spending christmas with them this year......and i am glad we can do it x

  8. Never a fun part of life when the roles get reversed and your parents are so frail and elderly. I lost my parents at relatively young ages but we directed care for my mother-in-law w/Alzheimer's until her death. Those were rough years dealing with her issues and raising children.
    Everyone does the best they can given the situation, at least I like to think they do.