(Closed) Would you go on vacation if your parents were hurt/ill?

posted 3 months ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
15464 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

If they need around the clock help and your aunt helps when she’s around, then they need to figure out start to do when she needs or wants to go away.  Refusing to pay for a nurse for a few days is not a valid excuse to not give the aunt some time off. I think it’s unreasonable for them to expect her to be there 24/7/365 to care for them and give up ever going on a trip again, be it a weekend driving trip or a once in a lifetime trip. 

Post # 4
Member
9380 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Would I? No. Do I understand and recognize that other people have different relationships with their parents and that dropping everything to take care of them might not make sense for them? Yes. 

Post # 5
Member
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

My Father-In-Law died last year after a 2 year battle with cancer. Towards the end of his dads life, my husband struggled with traveling across the country for a work trip just in case something suddenly happened and he wasn’t able to get a quick flight back. We took vacations during these 2 years because we didn’t want to put our lives on hold. 6 months before he died, we moved 4 hours away for my husband’s job. We drove a LOT to visit his dad, be there for doctors visits, etc. We were visiting with family right after we moved and a distant relative basically asked why we don’t visit/help out more than my Brother-In-Law does. I had to stand up for us and say that we just moved, are working full time, and do drive to visit/help. It didn’t help that my Brother-In-Law lived with Father-In-Law and looked like the golden child at the time.

Your grandparents should pay for their help especially because they can. Your aunt has no obligation to stop her life to be their caretakers. You have no idea what type of relationship that your aunt has with her parents.

Post # 6
Member
816 posts
Busy bee

I very rarely take trips, so when I do, they are a big deal. I would, and have, cancelled a trip and lost money in order to attend a funeral of someone who was important to me and my parents. I would do the same if someone close to me was suddenly on their deathbed.

But honestly I would not want to cancel a trip because a relative was leaving the hospital and refusing available services due to preference, and with the expectation that I would take care of them. If I was put in a position where an injured relative had stranded themselves in their home, and I was the only family member who could realistically provide them with necessary care, then yes, I would feel compelled to do so. Though I would likely distance myself from that relative after the incident was resolved to avoid future expectation like that.

And vacation or not, I would not be willing to become an on-call caregiver for someone in perpetuity. But fortunately that’s not how the dynamics in my family work anyways. 

Post # 8
Member
6939 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

I try not to judge how others handle these situations. My husband’s father (before we were married, though we were engaged at this time) was very sick and I guess you could say was “on his deathbed” for quite some time. Was my husband supposed to become a total shut in this entire time and not have any sort of life/have fun at all because his dad was dying? His father was literally in the hospital for 4+ months before he finally passed away. About 2 months in he and I went to a concert and I posted a picture of the band on social media. My husband’s aunt (his dad’s sister) called him and basically put him on blast for having a good time while his father was lying in the hospital. What was he supposed to do? Sit by his side the entire time? She made him feel like dirt for simply having one enjoyable evening with me. Oh, and did I mention his father was abusive towards him so he had all these confusing emotions going on anyway during this entire time? But of course his aunt didn’t know any of that but all she could think about was how her nephew was “failing” her big brother by attending a concert. 

Sorry for the mini-vent but this was just one tiny example of how you just don’t know what’s really going on behind the scenes. 

Post # 8
Member
716 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Without knowing their relationships with on another, I can only judge based on how I would treat my parents. It’s kind of shitty. 

However, children don’t ask to be born. Parents knowingly take on the role of caretaker, it shouldn’t be an expected response from their children. A child doesn’t owe that to a parent, and the belief that they do can quickly become toxic.

My guess is this isn’t the first time their daughter hasn’t been there for them, so I would imagine their relationship has been strained, or at minimum unconventional, long before this incident and this didn’t come as a great surprise.

 It doesn’t mean anyone’s a bad person here, and it sounds like you care deeply for your grandparents and don’t want to see them suffer. They will suffer though if they place an unfair expectation on their daughter and if they don’t ask for help. You can encourage them all day long to accept help, but it ultimately has to be their choice. Otherwise, they’ll like be upset with any and all help.

Sometimes all we can do is respect people’s wishes. Some people wish their children would feel in debt to them, and wish they didn’t need the help of strangers. If  that’s the path they want to stay on, there’s not much you can do, and that’s a really difficult place to be, I’m so sorry.

Post # 9
Member
15464 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Well if she’s only been there for a few hours one day, then it seems they don’t necessarily *neeeed* her around?   They’re not on their death bed and would pass away while she was away, so I think I can see why she’d opt to go on a trip as planned.  What would she do otherwise?  Sit at home and wait for them to need her for a few hours?

Post # 10
Member
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I would say in this case it does seem weird, but it’s hard to know her reasons. My parents took care of my mother’s parents for several years when they started to decline. We moved them to our state, found them an apartment nearby, and my mother would go over once a week to clean, several times a week to drop off extra food, and whenever anyone had an appointment (to drive). Eventually they got so bad they were moved to a home, but my grandfather wouldn’t let any nurses in to help my grandmother. One night she fell, he tried to carry her back to bed and then they both fell, and she broke her sternum. At that point, my parents redid part of the first floor of our house to create a room for them with a bathroom, installed a ramp and other features, and moved them in. My mother became their full-time caretaker and as much as she loved them, it drained her. I was still in high school and my siblings were younger. I saw my mom impacted so heavily and it broke my heart. I know it wasn’t their fault, but I could see the huge toll it took on her. My grandfather wouldn’t trust anyone else. My dad stepped up by working even more while my mom couldn’t and taking more care of us kids and the pets (I had two younger siblings and we had like… two dogs and 5 cats I think). I sometimes helped but I think they wanted us kids to have as “normal” a life as possible, and I was very involved at school. 

After many many years of this, we had a family trip planned for Mexico. As the date got closer, my mom got more and more nervous about leaving (my cousin was coming to look after the house, the pets, and my grandparents). Eventually she decided she couldn’t go, but we should all still go. I remember pleading with her that she needed this more than any of us, and that we wouldn’t go if she couldn’t. She was very stubborn, but my cousin and my father talked her into going. It was a hugely healing trip for us all.

My mother cared for her parents until her mother passed away, peacefully, in our home. She then took care of her father until he too passed away, a year later. She took an entire year off work and she and my dad traveled quite a bit the year after. I think they needed to bond again and just rest after those stressful and disconnected years. I did not help very much but we were all so impacted that getting back to life as “usual” was very strange and almost uncomfortable. The day after my grandfather passed away, my mother took my sister and me out to lunch, at a simple casual restaurant just down the street. It felt strange even to have that simple pleasure again, as my mom wasn’t stressed worrying about her dad and telling us we had to hurry. We were just all so used to it. I’m proud of my parents for what they did but I will tell you it had such a huge impact, on all of us. My mom was superwoman but she was in a way “gone” for a few years and it was just so nice to have her back. She tells me even now that she never wants to put us through that, and is adamant she wants to be in a home, which makes me sad. But she knows first-hand just how hard it was, and just doesn’t want to inflict that on us.

Obviously our case was very different for us, but we needed that vacation as a family. It’s easy to say someone nearby and retired should do it, it’s much harder to be the one taking care of others full-time as the expense of your own life, especially when they refuse any outside help. Maybe your aunt sees that it is going down that path and doesn’t know if she even wants to be the sole caregiver for her parents. It’s really hard. It’s unfortunate that no one lives close by to help her. Are you guys willing to send money or come help when she needs a break? What is the long-term plan for this couple in their 90s who won’t let outsiders help? It sounds like your family is expecting your aunt to fall on her sword because she is closest and the daughter and retired. In my opinion, the whole family should help however they can. In my parents case, there wasn’t really anyone else, just occasional help from the cousins.

I agree that she could have canceled this trip, and I would have if I was her. But to say it’s selfish for her to go on the trip, idk… to me it’s selfish to expect her to carry this burden basically alone. 

Post # 11
Member
234 posts
Helper bee

It’s a little unclear from your post, who is refusing to hire in home care? Is it your aunt or your grandparents?

Post # 12
Member
619 posts
Busy bee

I think that it is not your place to judge. You aren’t there, you have absolutley NO idea what goes into taking care of them or what your aunt does on a normal basis. Elder care is not all roses and sunshine, it’s far more involved than most people even realize. Your aunt may need a mental break, and TBH if someone is refusing to accept help, I can see how they could be extremely difficult to take care of. Perhaps this is her (misguided) way of trying to get them to see that they need a nurse or rehab center. You say they are normally independant, but you dont know if they only seem independant becasue of her assistance or what. 

Post # 13
Member
619 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
@laurana1:  Your situation sounds alot like my husbands. His mother looked after her father in law for years until he passed. She said while she was happy to give him those extra years, it ruined her, her marriage and she promised herself she would never do that to her own kids. It’s so so so much pressure on someone that people don’t realize how crushing it is to never get to live for yourself while they are alive. And someone criticizing them for going on a vacation when they have never walked two steps in their shoes, let alone a mile, is extremely rough.

Post # 14
Member
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2021

Why should your aunt be punished because your grandparent refuses to go to rehab or hire a nurse? Either they did so assuming that labor would fall on your aunt, which is wrong IMO, or they themselves don’t feel they need any extra help. If they are mentally sound, that is their choice. 

Post # 15
Member
4318 posts
Honey bee

Caring for elderly parents is hard.  And just because she has the time and is local doesn’t mean she needs to be there for them 24/7/365.  If they require around the clock care, they need to either pay her or pay a professional.  

Are you local?  Can you go help while she is away?

 

The topic ‘Would you go on vacation if your parents were hurt/ill?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors