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ATTENTION MIDDLES AGED TRAVLLERS TRHOUGHOUT THE WORLD!

ATTENTION MIDDLES AGED TRAVLLERS TRHOUGHOUT THE WORLD!

Old Aug 13th, 1998, 12:32 PM
  #1  
dimi
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ATTENTION MIDDLES AGED TRAVLLERS TRHOUGHOUT THE WORLD!

I'm hoping that anyone between the ages of 55 and 65 can help me with this.

Here's the problem: my mom (58 yrs. old and a breast cancer survivor but in good general health) and step-father (62 with chronic emphezeyma and a lung capacity of 20% but still doesn't require to carry around oxygen) want to go to Italy in May of 99 for 2 1/2 weeks. Their sample itinerary would be JFK to Bari, Italy, Bari to Sorrento, Sorrento to Rome, Rome to JFK. Unforunately, and despite my best efforts, I am trying to explain to the both of them that my step-father should not make the trip with her since he cannot walk or climb steps, and Italy in general does not have portable wheelchairs readily available for them to use on a daily basis. Besides, don't you think it is unfair to my Mom to have to make this once in a lifetime trip pushing a wheelchair. No offense to those wheelchair bound by any means. Please give me your advice in hopes of convincing them of the right thing to do in a case like this. I appreciate and all responses. Thank you. Dimi
 
Old Aug 13th, 1998, 02:43 PM
  #2  
Geri
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I'm 65 & my spouse is 70. We make adjustments and tradeoffs all the time. Those old folks will figure out the best things for themselves and do just fine, by their standards. But do keep up the good advice, we appreciate what our kids have to say .. and sometimes we heed it.
 
Old Aug 13th, 1998, 03:37 PM
  #3  
joyce
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I understand your concern as I experienced a similar situation. My mother was slipping mentally and her friends thought she was fine. They and she insisted on taking a tour of Europe. She had to be sent home(alone) in middle of tour,which was scary...but not the disaster I imagined. They will probably work it out on their own. It might help to have them plan together "all the details"..such as, where they will acquire a wheelchair..how they will manage luggage, etc. Sometimes seeing the "nitty gritty details" can change a "rose colored fantasy" into reality. He might be happy to occupy his time in a museum, while she does something more active. Take a deep breath...stay calm. I'm sure they appreciate your concern and input. But people are going to do what they are going to do despite all the good advice. Good luck!
 
Old Aug 13th, 1998, 03:38 PM
  #4  
Louis Dameson
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If that is what they really want to do, don't take it away from them. I am 75 and my wife is 81. We both know that if we really want something -- DO IT NOW -- IT IS MOST LIKELY OUR LAST CHANCE.

It is up to them to live their lives at the fullest.
What you can do is help them with the arrangements. Make certain that the airlines have a wheel chairs for him. They provide somebody to push it. You also get on the plane lst.

If you tell me that wheelchairs in Italy are not available, that is bunk. Help them made arranagements.

If he is too proud to take advantage of a wheelchair when available then that is a different story. If your Mother is dying to go the Italy then set him straight. If he does not want to go, have him stay with you while your Mother goes.

Help people to do what the want. The important thing in life is how you die.

 
Old Aug 13th, 1998, 07:57 PM
  #5  
Colleen
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I am 62 and my husband is 68. He has a physical disability and walks with crutches but not very far at a time. We are preparing for our third trip to Europe in 3 years. To cope with the slower pace my husband requires, we find making home exchanges work best for us. We can go one day and stay home the next...it's not like we're paying big hotel bills if to sit around. Also, the exchanges include an auto so we do a lot of just driving around and stopping in villages for lunch, etc. When we are in a city, my husband parks himself at a sidewalk cafe with a newspaper and I go exploring. How it would work for your mom and stepfather depends on attitude. Is she independent enought to go it alone for a hour at a time? Is he cooperative about being left or will he feel abandonned? That's something they must work out together. If they are willing to make the compromises involved, stay out of the way and let them
enjoy themselves. You will find the airlines helpful with wheelchairs...it's really kind of nice to have the assistant who knows just where to go for luggage and how to get thru customs, etc. We have found people friendly and helpful. Do limit luggage to what your mom can handle along! We have one good-sized piece that has a strap to which we attach a gym bag. The meds go in a backpack for which my husband takes responsibility. I am taking your e-mail address and will send along more if I think of something. Hope they go and enjoy...maybe they can't do everything you would but let them have the memories they can.
 
Old Aug 14th, 1998, 10:33 AM
  #6  
millie
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Mess out! Your estimation of the "right" thing to do is not necessarily that of your parents, who are, after all, the ones going on the trip. Let them make their own choices and decisions-- they seem to have done pretty well so far!
 
Old Aug 18th, 1998, 07:45 AM
  #7  
Seamus
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I had a similar circumstance a few years back, a beloved companion with a chronic condition unable to walk very much, but truly resentful of and resistant to a wheelchair. I framed it this way - "I love you dearly and want to share this experience with you. Your incapacity may slow down the pace of what we do but will not decrease the shared pleasure. If you will agree to use the wheelchair I will agree to push it, and we will do our best to enjoy ourselves." OK, it sounds a little corny, but the trip created treasured memories that are doubly good now that she is gone. And as an unexpected benefit, people went out of their way to accommodate the person in the wheelchair - putting us at the head of lines, etc. If your mother had the guts to successfully fight breast cancer, negotiating a few steps in Rome shouldn't be insurmountable!
 
Old Aug 18th, 1998, 08:10 AM
  #8  
maggie
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I'm in my twenties and traveled with my family extensively when I was growing up. A few years ago I lost my mother to cancer and I can't tell you how thankful I am I had those trips with her. About a year before her death she and my father made a trip to Hawaii with friends and despite the fact that my mom was not in the best health my father and her friends have all been very happy they took the trip. You have so many special memories from traveling, I think you should encourage your mother and stepfather to go and let them have this opportunity to share some wonderful times together, even if they can't see everything they want to. There's a lot to experience, the food, the people. They will have great laughs. Why don't you check out a medical supply company and rent a motorized wheelchair so your mother won't have to push it?
 
Old Aug 18th, 1998, 09:19 AM
  #9  
Elaine
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Dimi,

I'm sure you're very worried about your parents and I don't blame you. However, I'm sorry to tell you that your worry isn't a good enough reason for you to stop them from going. I've noticed that many people (and I've done it myself from time to time)start to treat aging people like children who don't know what's best for themselves. Barring
Alzheimers or some other mental problem,
people don't give up the right to make their own decisions. Almost anything, including wheel chairs,car services to meet them at stations and airports, etc can be gotten for a price.
Help them get the facts without hitting them over the head with your opinions. They may decide to modify the trip to make it easier, or not. It will be their decision and responsibility and happiness or difficulty if they go, but it will be your fault if they don't go because of you.
I really do sympathize with your concern, but grit your teeth and let whatever they decide happen.
 
Old Aug 18th, 1998, 09:19 AM
  #10  
Elaine
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Dimi,

I'm sure you're very worried about your parents and I don't blame you. However, I'm sorry to tell you that your worry isn't a good enough reason for you to stop them from going. I've noticed that many people (and I've done it myself from time to time)start to treat aging people like children who don't know what's best for themselves. Barring
Alzheimers or some other mental problem,
people don't give up the right to make their own decisions. Almost anything, including wheel chairs,car services to meet them at stations and airports, etc can be gotten for a price.
Help them get the facts without hitting them over the head with your opinions. They may decide to modify the trip to make it easier, or not. It will be their decision and responsibility and happiness or difficulty if they go, but it will be your fault if they don't go because of you.
I really do sympathize with your concern, but grit your teeth and let whatever they decide happen.
 
Old Aug 18th, 1998, 09:19 AM
  #11  
Elaine
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Dimi,

I'm sure you're very worried about your parents and I don't blame you. However, I'm sorry to tell you that your worry isn't a good enough reason for you to stop them from going. I've noticed that many people (and I've done it myself from time to time)start to treat aging people like children who don't know what's best for themselves. Barring
Alzheimers or some other mental problem,
people don't give up the right to make their own decisions. Almost anything, including wheel chairs,car services to meet them at stations and airports, etc can be gotten for a price.
Help them get the facts without hitting them over the head with your opinions. They may decide to modify the trip to make it easier, or not. It will be their decision and responsibility and happiness or difficulty if they go, but it will be your fault if they don't go because of you.
I really do sympathize with your concern, but grit your teeth and let whatever they decide happen.
 
Old Aug 18th, 1998, 09:20 AM
  #12  
Elaine
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Posts: n/a
Dimi,

I'm sure you're very worried about your parents and I don't blame you. However, I'm sorry to tell you that your worry isn't a good enough reason for you to stop them from going. I've noticed that many people (and I've done it myself from time to time)start to treat aging people like children who don't know what's best for themselves. Barring
Alzheimers or some other mental problem,
people don't give up the right to make their own decisions. Almost anything, including wheel chairs,car services to meet them at stations and airports, etc can be gotten for a price.
Help them get the facts without hitting them over the head with your opinions. They may decide to modify the trip to make it easier, or not. It will be their decision and responsibility and happiness or difficulty if they go, but it will be your fault if they don't go because of you.
I really do sympathize with your concern, but grit your teeth and let whatever they decide happen.
 

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