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Old 29-10-2018, 12:46   #16
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Re: Aging Parents

Scarlet,
First off, we are all different, we all have different experiences and different takes on things...
That is not to say that any one is better than the others, just different..

So, if you don't mind, I'd like to relate my own life's experiences and decisions in regard to my elderly parents, and the choices I made and what they've told me.

Okay, here goes...btw, this is going to be long...

I'm 57 years old...and was plotting a course on a chart and holding a compass course by hand, in the 1960's, before most kids rode a two-wheeled bike, and learned how to use a sextant to do a sun sight, and get an LOP, before I got a driver's license...

My Mom is 97 yrs old....and is sitting here at the kitchen table with me right now....she is bright and alert, reads newspaper everyday, pays some of her own bills, etc...but arthritis is pretty bad, so she has trouble writing much, and she can no longer cook, or drive, do laundry, for herself...and she uses a cane to help with her balance and walking when we go out to dinner, etc. (she has a "walker", but has yet to need it)
I'm here with here about 3 weeks each month...usually only gone 3 - 4 days at a time...(since my sister has moved to Florida now, in the past 3 years, I can get my her to come by for an overnight, or stop by during the week that I'm away...so, that helps some)

In 2004 my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's...and sitting at the this same kitchen table I had a conversation with my parents, where I promised that I would be here for them, no matter what...
I would be there to care for them, 24/7 if needed...
(of course, I didn't have a clue what I was actually up against....but I have kept my word, 100%...)

Except for when I've been able to get a sibling to come here for a few months, so I can go out sailing / cruising (like my Atlantic crossings in 2007), I have been here 3 weeks out of every month, since 2004!!
That's over 14 years now....(luckily, I can still do some work / consulting, etc...so, I keep myself educated in new tech stuff, and pay all my bills, I have a house of my own, as well as other things that take $$$$ on land....but being semi-retired and also trying to help my parents, means I've eaten into my cruising kitty as well...them's just the facts of life!)

My Dad passed away in late 2008, almost 10 years ago now, at age 86...he passed peacefully, sitting in his recliner, looking out at the water, with my boat at his dock..
BTW, my parents still sailed into their mid to late 70's...(last few years, they chartered, 'cuz boat maintenance was a bit too much for them at that age)
My Dad was always a happy guy, who worked hard and would give the shirt off his back to anyone that needed it more than he did...and with all the horror stories of how bad Alzheimer's gets, I know I got lucky, 'cuz my Dad was still a happy guy (for the most part), 'til the very end!
Caring for him, over those 4 to 5 years, was the hardest job I will ever do...and to quote Dickens, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

My Mom and Dad are the ones that taught me how to sail, navigate, cook, repair a head, etc...but so many many more things in life, Cruiser's Forum won't allow a post that long!

I had an absolutely wonderful childhood....not fancy or flashy, but we never went without...
And, we traveled!! And, we traveled!!! And traveled some more...
(in my early years, one of my brothers or my sister, might be with us...but since most of my siblings were already out of the house by the time I was an adolescent, it was many times just my parents and I)

By happenstance, here is what I wrote earlier today, in another thread (about head discharges):
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
I grew up boating and sailing in Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean, crossing the N. Atlantic, cruising the Med, etc...and (except for college and my sailing/cruising, have lived in Florida my whole life)
My first cruising was as a kid in the mid-1960's...started out with just spending a couple of entire summers in Bahamas and then the Caribbean for months at a time, etc...then continued on/off for decades, including many seasons in the Caribbean, multiple Atlantic crossings, a couple seasons in the Med, etc...
And, in these early days of "cruising" (1960's and 70's) it wasn't actually called that, we just called it "vacation" (with school / work in-between), but most just called it "boating full-time"...

For a better understanding of what cruising was like back then (1960's and 1970's):

--- we'd anchor (Bahamian-Moor) for a week or so in one place (like Warderick Wells, in the Bahamas) and swim, fish, snorkel, spear lobsters (everyday!) in 10' of clear water, beach bon-fires / cookouts, water ski (my Dad was in the 10th Mountain Div, and loved skiing, but no snow in Bahamas, so he always had a big outboard for the dinghy, in the lazarette, just for water skiing), etc. etc...andduring that whole week or more, never ever see or hear another person nor boat!!
And, we were just a few hundred miles from home (ft. Laud)..
Our only way to know the rest of the world existed was from a couple US AM broadcast stations, or the BBC...
Occasionally (every couple weeks) we'd have a Bahamian fishing boat cruise by....but that's it)
We'd head for Staniel Cay for cold drinks and civilization, etc...
And, we'd also spend some time along Long Island, etc...and many times head down to one of our favs...Landrail Pt.

--- in the BVI, in the 1960's (and early 70's) we were happily surprised by the deep water, even close to the shore...
Although, few believe this story, it is 100% true (and my 97-yr old Mom is in the next room and will confirm it's accuracy!)...
We loved Peter Island, BVI...it was totally desolate and uninhabited back then..
We'd stern anchor, and slide the bow up against the beach with a few lines from the bow tied off to the trees on shore...we'd stay there for days or a week, 'til we needed fresh food or water (and similar to cruising the Bahamas, the only way to know the rest of the world existed was from the glow of the lights of Road Town, in the night sky...or the BBC..)
And a little personal background, too:
{please know that some of this is rather personal, and except for a couple close friends, some of this, I never talk about...ever..}

Although I majored in Physics, I have run my own electronics / communications firm since the early 80's...which has allowed me time to travel and sail quite often...(on friends boats, chartering and deliveries, as well as partnering in purchase of a Tayana 37, which we had for many years...as well as teaching others along the way cruising on their boats....I've owned and sold a few boats over the years, but was looking to go for it, and sail away on my dream boat..)

In 2001....I thought I had saved almost enough to head out cruising full time, and figured by 2003 or 2004, I'd have a new boat prepped and ready, and I'd be heading off for some more great adventures...
Started my boat search...and in late 2003, came upon my dream boat (okay, not really...but darn close)...
Closed the deal April 1, 2004....yes, April Fool's Day...

In Sept 2004, Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, made direct hits on me and my new boat, just 3 weeks apart from each other....and this part of Florida hadn't been hit with a hurricane in many decades!! (In late 2005, Wilma also was a direct hit...along with a couple glancing blows for a few others in 2004 and 2005)

But, I was undeterred!!
I thought I could handle caring for my Dad's Alzheimer's and still go out cruising...
Yep, I was delusional....or at the least, just optimistic!!
'Cuz over these few years, it was clear that caring for my parents was a full-time job!!
(just caring for my Mom these days is darn close to a full-time job)


Then reality hit hard!
Also in 2005, just 3 months before I was going to propose marriage, my girlfriend Teresa had a heart attack and died, on her 41st birthday (undiagnosed heart failure, apparently genetic)....that was 13 years ago, now....and as luck would have it, I had never been married before, nor had any children....and while there is now a girl that I'm planning a nice weekend with before Thanksgiving, there have been few that have turned my head in the past 13 years....so, while I am a romantic guy, it's also possible that some decades ago I would've been called a "confirmed bachelor"...

I was doing okay....but not too happy with life...but still realized I had it better than 99% of the rest, so no more tears from me...

I had planned on sailing across the Atlantic again, in 2005...but with the Hurricanes (2004 and 2005) and Teresa's passing (2005), things were getting pushed back...
My Dad's Alzheimer's was worse....and prognosis wasn't getting any better...
So, reality reared its head....and that was it...
But...

But then, Christmas 2006, my Mom asked me if I was still planning on "heading across", and I hemmed and hawwed, and didn't answer her...
My Dad was getting worse, and I knew she needed me there, not out sailing...
A few days later she just took me aside and said "you need to go...just go, sail across....we'll follow you on the chart, and it'll be like we're there too"..
OMG, I cried...right there on the spot....how could she know this?? How could she say this??
(btw, my eyes are a bit watery right now, as I'm writing this)

I have four older siblings, of 7, 11, 15, and 16 years my senior...all of which have lived 1000's of miles from my parents...where as I have lived (when not out sailing) only 200 miles away for many years...and being single with no children it was just assumed that I was fine taking care of my parents...and I was fine with and am still fine with it..

Actually more than fine, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to do this...

Although in recent years my sister (11 years my senior) has moved to Florida, she and my Mom mix about as well as sea water and diesel fuel....so, while they can tolerate each other for a dinner out, or an afternoon drive, that's about it...
So...

So, here I am....coming up on my 15th year of caring for elderly parents...and forgoing the ultimate dream of full-time cruising until I die.
But, still living a GREAT life!
Still get to sail!
Still get to plan my next Atlantic crossing (next year?? or 2020?? who knows?)
Still want to spend more than a week in Azores and still wanting to visit Maderia, etc...and while I might only get to do some day sails or a quick weekend down the coast, I'm still hopeful...
But...

But, the single most important thing I'm going to write today is:

It was all worth it!
I would never trade any of the past 14 years of my life for anything!
I will never regret spending those last 4 to 5 years of his life with my Dad!
I love him! And, to this day I use the things that he taught me!

My Mom has just finished cleaning her hearing aides, and is reading the paper...
And, I would not trade these days for anything...
I turn and look out the patio door and see my boat at the dock (well I can see the mast from here) and know that I have some cleaning and maintenance to do tomorrow....and hope to get out on a weekend sail in the next 3 - 5 weeks, etc...
But, even if I could never sail again, this is all worth it!

The only regrets I have in life:
Not asking Teresa to marry me before she passed away..
Not spending more time with my Dad before he got sick (I spent too much time working)

So, Scarlet....
What is the answer to your question?
How do others do it?
Is there guilt?
What to do?

I'm not sure I have answered you directly, but...
But, if want an opinion...
Hmm...
Well, if you're elderly family is anything like my Mom and Dad, then screw the "cruising life" for now....spend the time they have left with them...
And, let them say when it's time for you to go!!
Maybe it'll be 5 to 6 months...maybe a few years...who knows...

I don't know you or your family, so I cannot be certain if my experiences are helpful to you...but, at least it was a good read, huh?

fair winds and much luck!

John

P.S.
While typing all of this I got an email from a client (that I quickly answered) and a phone call from another client (that I begrudgingly answered)...
And, when I looked back to this posting, I smiled...
Yep, I smiled...because I wouldn't trade what I have for anything...

P.P.S..
Just read Tellie's post...
And I agree....the choice was easy for me...but the reality of the job at hand, well it's the hardest job I've ever had...and I don't regret doing it!
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Old 29-10-2018, 12:52   #17
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Re: Aging Parents

I think the premise stated of "leaving them just when they need you most" does not apply to all situations. It assumes that just because they are aging that your precense is necessary. Perhaps its more reflective of the OP's feelings of guilt?

Case in point. My parents were healthy well into their 80s. We punched out and went cruising well before then. When they did become seriously ill, we came back and took care of them. Thankfully, for them & us, that didnt last long.
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Old 29-10-2018, 13:29   #18
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Re: Aging Parents

Scarlet,
Just to be clear, after this conversation with my Mom...I did decide to head across again...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
But then, Christmas 2006, my Mom asked me if I was still planning on "heading across", and I hemmed and hawwed, and didn't answer her...
My Dad was getting worse, and I knew she needed me there, not out sailing...
A few days later she just took me aside and said "you need to go...just go, sail across....we'll follow you on the chart, and it'll be like we're there too"..
OMG, I cried...right there on the spot....how could she know this?? How could she say this??
(btw, my eyes are a bit watery right now, as I'm writing this)
And, that next summer (2007) I headed from S. Florida to Azores and then onto Gibraltar....
Flew home for a few months..
And, later that year, headed back from Gib to Canaries...and then onto USVI....
Flew home for a few months...
Late spring / early summer of 2008, cruised back up from USVI to Florida...

And since then, it's been a few weeks in Bahamas, a few weekend sails down the coast, a few day sails....(and a charter on the west coast)...

Just wanted to be clear, that when my Mom said it was better than I go, I went! (but, also got a sibling to stay with them while I was away...)

Fair winds and good luck..

John
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Old 29-10-2018, 13:40   #19
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Re: Aging Parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
I'm older now, but I'm from a military family where separation was the norm since I left Montreal for Chicago where I went to university and then proceeded with the rest of my life away from my parents. Not in a house on the other side of the city from my parents, but in a house in another province (or state). Separation is a military reality so for us kids not being there, that is the norm.

I am watching a close friend and his wife give up significant dreams in their retirement to support his dad who is entering the frail stage. At first it seemed the right thing to do for my friend but now he is begin to resent the time demands of his chosen decision.

I was a social worker in the largest hospital in Canada's Emergency room and psychiatric emergency. I often had conversations with "kids" who were looking after a parent who was either very frail or had Alzheimer. They found the demands on them in this supportive roll to be overwhelming sometimes but they motored on with it because they felt they had a moral obligation to do so.

I would remind them they also had a moral obligation to their own spouse, their own kids to not be run down, stressed out, burned out; to be there for them. I think many parents want their kids to have their own life. Help is appreciated, but not burdensome help.

You have to find your own way in your decision, good luck.
THANK YOU FOR THIS COMPASSIONATE POST!

It is that we must all find our balances for what is right. What has worked very well for KA4WJA John may not work for others of us, for reasons as varied as we all are. Good on John, and everyone who has made that decision. The "we take care of our own" attitude has long been an ideal in our society. Just sometimes, it is all too much. John has grown in compassion and knowledge (at the very least) from his decision. None of us know before we go cruising in what we may gain. Some of us may know in our hearts that we are not up for care taking. And some will figure out a way that we can do some care taking and also get in some cruising.

Most newbies never go international with their cruising. If you stay coastal, or nearby (as the Caribbean is to the US), you are only a plane flight away. You may not "get there in time", but often one does. It may be okay with you and the parents.

Ann
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Old 29-10-2018, 18:55   #20
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Re: Aging Parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Scarlet,
First off, we are all different, we all have different experiences and different takes on things...
That is not to say that any one is better than the others, just different..

So, if you don't mind, I'd like to relate my own life's experiences and decisions in regard to my elderly parents, and the choices I made and what they've told me.

Okay, here goes...btw, this is going to be long...

I'm 57 years old...and was plotting a course on a chart and holding a compass course by hand, in the 1960's, before most kids rode a two-wheeled bike, and learned how to use a sextant to do a sun sight, and get an LOP, before I got a driver's license...

My Mom is 97 yrs old....and is sitting here at the kitchen table with me right now....she is bright and alert, reads newspaper everyday, pays some of her own bills, etc...but arthritis is pretty bad, so she has trouble writing much, and she can no longer cook, or drive, do laundry, for herself...and she uses a cane to help with her balance and walking when we go out to dinner, etc. (she has a "walker", but has yet to need it)
I'm here with here about 3 weeks each month...usually only gone 3 - 4 days at a time...(since my sister has moved to Florida now, in the past 3 years, I can get my her to come by for an overnight, or stop by during the week that I'm away...so, that helps some)

In 2004 my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's...and sitting at the this same kitchen table I had a conversation with my parents, where I promised that I would be here for them, no matter what...
I would be there to care for them, 24/7 if needed...
(of course, I didn't have a clue what I was actually up against....but I have kept my word, 100%...)

Except for when I've been able to get a sibling to come here for a few months, so I can go out sailing / cruising (like my Atlantic crossings in 2007), I have been here 3 weeks out of every month, since 2004!!
That's over 14 years now....(luckily, I can still do some work / consulting, etc...so, I keep myself educated in new tech stuff, and pay all my bills, I have a house of my own, as well as other things that take $$$$ on land....but being semi-retired and also trying to help my parents, means I've eaten into my cruising kitty as well...them's just the facts of life!)

My Dad passed away in late 2008, almost 10 years ago now, at age 86...he passed peacefully, sitting in his recliner, looking out at the water, with my boat at his dock..
BTW, my parents still sailed into their mid to late 70's...(last few years, they chartered, 'cuz boat maintenance was a bit too much for them at that age)
My Dad was always a happy guy, who worked hard and would give the shirt off his back to anyone that needed it more than he did...and with all the horror stories of how bad Alzheimer's gets, I know I got lucky, 'cuz my Dad was still a happy guy (for the most part), 'til the very end!
Caring for him, over those 4 to 5 years, was the hardest job I will ever do...and to quote Dickens, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

My Mom and Dad are the ones that taught me how to sail, navigate, cook, repair a head, etc...but so many many more things in life, Cruiser's Forum won't allow a post that long!

I had an absolutely wonderful childhood....not fancy or flashy, but we never went without...
And, we traveled!! And, we traveled!!! And traveled some more...
(in my early years, one of my brothers or my sister, might be with us...but since most of my siblings were already out of the house by the time I was an adolescent, it was many times just my parents and I)

By happenstance, here is what I wrote earlier today, in another thread (about head discharges):


And a little personal background, too:
{please know that some of this is rather personal, and except for a couple close friends, some of this, I never talk about...ever..}

Although I majored in Physics, I have run my own electronics / communications firm since the early 80's...which has allowed me time to travel and sail quite often...(on friends boats, chartering and deliveries, as well as partnering in purchase of a Tayana 37, which we had for many years...as well as teaching others along the way cruising on their boats....I've owned and sold a few boats over the years, but was looking to go for it, and sail away on my dream boat..)

In 2001....I thought I had saved almost enough to head out cruising full time, and figured by 2003 or 2004, I'd have a new boat prepped and ready, and I'd be heading off for some more great adventures...
Started my boat search...and in late 2003, came upon my dream boat (okay, not really...but darn close)...
Closed the deal April 1, 2004....yes, April Fool's Day...

In Sept 2004, Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, made direct hits on me and my new boat, just 3 weeks apart from each other....and this part of Florida hadn't been hit with a hurricane in many decades!! (In late 2005, Wilma also was a direct hit...along with a couple glancing blows for a few others in 2004 and 2005)

But, I was undeterred!!
I thought I could handle caring for my Dad's Alzheimer's and still go out cruising...
Yep, I was delusional....or at the least, just optimistic!!
'Cuz over these few years, it was clear that caring for my parents was a full-time job!!
(just caring for my Mom these days is darn close to a full-time job)


Then reality hit hard!
Also in 2005, just 3 months before I was going to propose marriage, my girlfriend Teresa had a heart attack and died, on her 41st birthday (undiagnosed heart failure, apparently genetic)....that was 13 years ago, now....and as luck would have it, I had never been married before, nor had any children....and while there is now a girl that I'm planning a nice weekend with before Thanksgiving, there have been few that have turned my head in the past 13 years....so, while I am a romantic guy, it's also possible that some decades ago I would've been called a "confirmed bachelor"...

I was doing okay....but not too happy with life...but still realized I had it better than 99% of the rest, so no more tears from me...

I had planned on sailing across the Atlantic again, in 2005...but with the Hurricanes (2004 and 2005) and Teresa's passing (2005), things were getting pushed back...
My Dad's Alzheimer's was worse....and prognosis wasn't getting any better...
So, reality reared its head....and that was it...
But...

But then, Christmas 2006, my Mom asked me if I was still planning on "heading across", and I hemmed and hawwed, and didn't answer her...
My Dad was getting worse, and I knew she needed me there, not out sailing...
A few days later she just took me aside and said "you need to go...just go, sail across....we'll follow you on the chart, and it'll be like we're there too"..
OMG, I cried...right there on the spot....how could she know this?? How could she say this??
(btw, my eyes are a bit watery right now, as I'm writing this)

I have four older siblings, of 7, 11, 15, and 16 years my senior...all of which have lived 1000's of miles from my parents...where as I have lived (when not out sailing) only 200 miles away for many years...and being single with no children it was just assumed that I was fine taking care of my parents...and I was fine with and am still fine with it..

Actually more than fine, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to do this...

Although in recent years my sister (11 years my senior) has moved to Florida, she and my Mom mix about as well as sea water and diesel fuel....so, while they can tolerate each other for a dinner out, or an afternoon drive, that's about it...
So...

So, here I am....coming up on my 15th year of caring for elderly parents...and forgoing the ultimate dream of full-time cruising until I die.
But, still living a GREAT life!
Still get to sail!
Still get to plan my next Atlantic crossing (next year?? or 2020?? who knows?)
Still want to spend more than a week in Azores and still wanting to visit Maderia, etc...and while I might only get to do some day sails or a quick weekend down the coast, I'm still hopeful...
But...

But, the single most important thing I'm going to write today is:

It was all worth it!
I would never trade any of the past 14 years of my life for anything!
I will never regret spending those last 4 to 5 years of his life with my Dad!
I love him! And, to this day I use the things that he taught me!

My Mom has just finished cleaning her hearing aides, and is reading the paper...
And, I would not trade these days for anything...
I turn and look out the patio door and see my boat at the dock (well I can see the mast from here) and know that I have some cleaning and maintenance to do tomorrow....and hope to get out on a weekend sail in the next 3 - 5 weeks, etc...
But, even if I could never sail again, this is all worth it!

The only regrets I have in life:
Not asking Teresa to marry me before she passed away..
Not spending more time with my Dad before he got sick (I spent too much time working)

So, Scarlet....
What is the answer to your question?
How do others do it?
Is there guilt?
What to do?

I'm not sure I have answered you directly, but...
But, if want an opinion...
Hmm...
Well, if you're elderly family is anything like my Mom and Dad, then screw the "cruising life" for now....spend the time they have left with them...
And, let them say when it's time for you to go!!
Maybe it'll be 5 to 6 months...maybe a few years...who knows...

I don't know you or your family, so I cannot be certain if my experiences are helpful to you...but, at least it was a good read, huh?

fair winds and much luck!

John

P.S.
While typing all of this I got an email from a client (that I quickly answered) and a phone call from another client (that I begrudgingly answered)...
And, when I looked back to this posting, I smiled...
Yep, I smiled...because I wouldn't trade what I have for anything...

P.P.S..
Just read Tellie's post...
And I agree....the choice was easy for me...but the reality of the job at hand, well it's the hardest job I've ever had...and I don't regret doing it!

Thank you for this post ka4wja. I was touched.

As every situation is different and brings many different reasons for making the choices we make, I would never say my decision was better than someones else's nor judge the decisions of others. Everybody wears a different pair of shoes than their neighbor. It's amazing how confident I used to be in the choices I made in my younger years. Now confidence is replaced with caution and more thought that doesn't just take my feelings into account. But for me, I would have given up all my sailing dreams, the thousands of hours it took to make every penny I worked for to see that dream come true, if I could only just spend one more day with my Dad. I had so much left to say and ask that I thought could wait.

One of my favorite songs by Kenny Chessney.....








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Old 30-10-2018, 11:26   #21
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Re: Aging Parents

Very helpful and enlightening replies, thanks to all.

We did it somewhat backwards, and are not full time cruisers. My in laws live on Vancouver Island, we'd lived in SF since the late 70s. My m-i-l died in 2010. We sold our house of 20 years and moved into a rental, figuring we'd have to support him soon thereafter. Fast forward an entire six years and he was still ambulatory but fading and growing Alzheimers. We moved here in 2016, got rid of everything in six weeks. [That's why I am amused, at best, in reading those repetitive "How can I sell everything and move onto my not-yet-purchased boat in the ten years I have left on my schedule?" type posts!!!]

So we moved up to Vancouver Island, and are taking care of him. It gets harder every day. My wife is the primary caregiver, and now has to make ALL his meals. We have a huge property and work is never ending. Everything my in laws planted when they moved here 23 years ago from Ontario is not native and wrong for all sorts of reasons. We've been hacking back as much as we could. It's a daily grind.

We had to import our cars, the boat, get all the paperwork done, I got a PR, my wife is a citizen, lots of work there alone.

It is a real burden on all of us, but especially her.

Oddly, there is little resentment, actually none at all regarding my now 97 year old f-i-l.

Where some resentment asserts itself is towards my brother-in-law, who lives in Vancouver. He used to visit every month, now somewhat less. When he comes, he has stopped bringing his own car, which requires one of us to drive an hour to a ferry to pick him up, although he has started to give us gas money. He never warns us more than a day ahead of time, so my wife has to do hurry up shopping. He stays for two or three nights, does nothing but eat, sleep, and tell us what we should be doing around the house but never lifts a finger to help.

Resentment? Yup, it can take the strangest, unforeseen forms.

Boating related: I sailed our boat up in 2016, trip of a lifetime, and get to sail here. First time our boat ever saw snow, and I'm getting used to these things I knew used to exist when I was a kid in NY, but forgot in California: seasons!!!

Good luck. Remember: balance is everything.

We don't get out much anymore, but we're going to a matinee at the local playhouse/theatre this afternoon.
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Old 30-10-2018, 21:43   #22
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Re: Aging Parents

Stu, I'm just up the road in Qualicum Beach, boat is moored in Comox. You are going through a rite of passage that some that move to the Island experience. Those on the mainland see you as their personal taxi. You're probably a "nice guy" and don't like to make waves, but in this case you need to be assertive. I went through this very scenario and was warned by another who moved over here that mainlanders will use you for taxi services.

You need to say something like: "There is a bit a preparation planning your arrival, we need a little more time to be ready for you so more advanced warning would be really appreciated. And with all the work around the house and working with Dad's alzeihmier, we can get exhausted easily, especially as we age, so it will be very helpful to us if you could bring your car as your trip over and back is a four hour affair for me driving back and forth."

You can tell him to buy gas at PetroCan as their points are linked to the More card used by Save On. Save On has a program that links their points to discounts when using the ferry, I think each card saves $10, so round trip $20. Your brother in law can take advantage of this program.

Good luck in ceasing your taxi service, I went through something similar. A friend from North Vancouver who had a friend here called for me to drive her to her friends in Qualicum Beach (I know, why doesn't her friend pick her up). I did it once and that was that. Another friend had the same experience. You just need to take a gentle stand.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:57   #23
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Re: Aging Parents

It is unreasonable for an elderly parent to expect their children to drop all and manage their end of life care.

The conversation needs to start when the parents are lucid and understanding. If my goal is to retire on a boat and my parents were landlocked then they would have to agree to (at some point) to relocate near the water and I could compromise with local/regional cruising.

Alternately they might be fine with moving into a managed care facility and stay landlocked.

I have always lived globally and the idea that I would drop everything and relocate to where my parents are to take care of them, as I said is unreasonable.

In my case both my parents have passed and were divorced. My sister co-located her family with my mother (my sister's choice) and managed my Mother's decline through cancer over about 2.5 years. My mom died at home.

My Dad remarried to a much younger woman who managed his decline and eventual passing of "basically" old age and he also died at home.

My current wife is currently living remote from me, managing the care of her father through cancer. It's a separation of living conditions for us but it is a choice we made and is working pretty well.

Once again, I would say that anyone who has not considered how they will manage their own decline and end of life is being selfish and to expect their kids to drop everything is irresponsible.
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Old 09-11-2018, 12:43   #24
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Re: Aging Parents

i would say you may regret not being there for your parents. you can always go boating but not the other way around. just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:42   #25
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Re: Aging Parents

It is a dilemma.

My Mum is 94 and still lives in her own unit. We have a holiday house nearby and we live there for a month or two at a time, cook her meals, visit etc.
The problem with dropping everything to look after a really old parent is that you are getting old yourself and do not have that many active years left to do adventurous things.

I will not put myself in a position where I am solely responsible for Mum's care - luckily she has a good war widow's pension which helps pay for a carer.
I guess we have chosen an in between path and I am very lucky that I have a caring wife who is wiling to go along with it too.


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Old 10-11-2018, 04:59   #26
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Re: Aging Parents

My experience with USA hospitals has been dismal at best. I’ve come to the conclusion that the hospitalized person, no matter the age, needs an active and commanding surrogate to keep an eye on things, on a daily basis at least. I know that sounds harsh, it is, and well deserved for the experiences I’ve had with my family. I don’t want to go into detailed descriptions but I’ve had a couple of instances where the hospital would have killed the patient without outside intervention.

Fortunately it’s been a few years since I’ve had to deal with the hospitals and perhaps they have improved. Here’s hoping.

None the less I avoid hospitals like the plague. There are times they are necessary, a necessary evil. It’s like leaving your boat in an unknown boatyard with a to do list and expecting them to take good care of it. It happens, or so I’ve heard.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:03   #27
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Re: Aging Parents

I have unconditionally offered for my father in law to live with us so my wife can manage his care in house. He refuses to leave his home so she lives there. Who's right? I am proud of her for what she is doing but TBH he is being totally unreasonable.

My sister-in-laws mother is in her 90's and set fire to her apartment (kitchen fire, no one hurt) and the apartment owner basically said she has to have live in care or has to leave.

She refused to leave her "neighborhood" even though she was basically a shut in and never went out. The siblings untimately moved her into a (very nice) home. She went in kicking and screaming but 6 months later is loving it.

Of course we have all read the horror stories of homes and I agree one has to actively review, audit and manage the situation.

No matter what I refuse to end up a burden on my kids.
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Old 12-11-2018, 20:33   #28
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Re: Aging Parents

I have assisted in three close family member's end-of-life passages and I flatly refuse to put my children through the same ordeal. I realized that it's my choice to manage my own exit from this life but I insist that I do it under my terms and conditions. This may well mean that my exit will occur earlier than needed, however, I know that if I postpone my final actions, the choice to complete them may be taken from me. It's profoundly morbid, I agree, but the slow decay and consumption of young people's time is something that I cannot abide.

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Old 12-11-2018, 21:32   #29
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Re: Aging Parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


You need to say something like: "There is a bit a preparation planning your arrival, we need a little more time to be ready for you so more advanced warning would be really appreciated. And with all the work around the house and working with Dad's alzeihmier, we can get exhausted easily, especially as we age, so it will be very helpful to us if you could bring your car as your trip over and back is a four hour affair for me driving back and forth.">>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks, so much. Great input. Sometimes the "obvious"...
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Old 12-11-2018, 22:13   #30
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Re: Aging Parents

OK, my father passed while we were sailing in BVI 18 months ago. It was expected, but not during the trip. When we made the decision to take the trip, the docs said it would be weeks not days. Well, that turned out not be be true.

So let me be a bit tactical here. We were prepared, we had everything setup.

Note he following is from a friend that summarized the steps today (independent of this discussion) while he deals with the same:

1. Execute a Medical Power of Attorney – make sure it’s someone that will operate in your best interests and will be available to the Hospital/care-provider staff 24/7.
2. Execute a Durable/General Power of Attorney – as above, but for financial matters, can be the same person as 1 or not…
3. Have Advance Directives and give a copy to the folks in #1 & 2, Primary care physician, Attorney, Medical facility.
4. Put every asset into a Trust.
5. Have a Will.

As conditions change – modify any/all of the above as appropriate.

Make sure the folks identified in 1 & 2 understand and agree to their responsibilities beforehand.


It not a fun experience, but we were prepared. Had we not been prepared, it would have been much less fun.
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