My dad's having emergency surgery days before we leave for my son's out of country wedding. What do I do?

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My son is getting married out of the country. The wedding has been planned for more than a year. We are supposed to leave in a couple of days. However, my 94 year old father fell last night and is having hip replacement surgery. He has been the caregiver for my mother, 94, who has dementia. They live in the middle of no where a day's drive away from me and 14 hours away from my only sibling, a brother. It is clear that they will need 24 hour care at home or in a facility. I have great guilt for wanting to go to my son's wedding. I feel if I don't go I will let me son down. I feel I am letting my parent's down for not being there. My brother left this morning and can be there all this week and next. I plan to go, using my remaining time off from work, when we return. I did speak with Dad and he insists we should go to the wedding. I am so torn. Their part-time household help is able to stay with my mom around the clock but Dad was complaining about paying her. Keep in mind my dad is frugal but has plenty of cash to hire people. What do I do?

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Kabeebna, My parents live in a very rural area. My Dad had hired one of the women prior to his fall. She was supposed to work a couple of days a week (she has others that she cares for) . The other woman is a caregiver that became available when her previous client passed away, so good or bad timing depending on how you look at it. She has been doing this for years and many people know her and recommended her. She had cared for people they know. She wants as many hours as she can get. She is a real sweetheart. Her oldest daughter, 25, is also helping. The two main ones have worked out their schedule and who does what tasks. We are lucky in that regard and I hope it continues to work out. We are trying to have someone (my brother, aunt and me) down there every weekend to give a break to the caregivers and to visit. It is a different situation in the country than what is available in a suburban area like where I live. It is still hard with them being far away. I still feel bad not being there but I think, for now, things are as OK as they can be.
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That's such great news! I'm so glad you were able to resist the urge to stay home, and that it went so well! Thank you, you just demonstrated for all of us that we can do the same, and good things can happen if we let go and go do the other things that make life good, and that encourages me to do more of the same, too. Good for you! I'm so happy for you!

ps. Where did you find your three wonderful women?
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Update: We went to the wedding and everything was beautfiul. I'm so grateful I could be part of the special day for my son and his wife. I bought international minutes for my phone so I could talk to Dad and my brother every day. He was always in good spirits. When we returned, I went and helped him move from the hospital to the rehab facility. I will return for Father's day. The situation at their house is stable for now. My mother needs a "sitter" and help and three wonderful women are willing, available and work well with my mom. Our goal is to bring Dad home after rehab and retain the help. I think he would get better care and be happier at home.
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Did you go the wedding?
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I agree with all the above. Jeannegibbs is right about the rehab center. My mom had a partial knee replacement about 15 years ago when she was in her late 60's, and she spent several weeks in a rehab center afterward. If your dad does go to one, he will get plenty of attention and will be kept pretty busy with physical therapy and going to activities and meals. Won't have much time for moping about you being gone, won't be at home to feel tempted to overdo it by waiting on your mom when he should be resting, etc. It might even end up being a much needed break from caregiving for your dad. If you could find out before you go if rehab placement is part of the plan, you could go and enjoy the wedding with even more peace of mind.
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Absolutely go! It isn't as if you are abandoning your parents with no options for care. And fortunately this didn't happen while you were out of the country, making it more difficult to arrange for more care.

Go to the wedding!! Enjoy it. Give your son and new daughter-in-law your full attention. I'll bet they don't get that often, since you are caregiving.

It is possible that Dad will be released to a rehab center, and only Mom will need the extra care at home.

Dad may fuss about the extra cost. Fussing will give him something to do. :) If you think it would help, suggest that he consider enabling you to go as a wedding present to his grandson.
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I can feel the angst this situation is causing for you. I'm inclined to think about your dilemma this way - Your son will marry once (hopefully), missing the wedding could be something you always regret. Undoubtedly you've been there for your parents in previous situations. There will be lots of opportunities for you to be there for your father and mother as he recovers. Allow your brother to take the lead now, while you enjoy your son's wedding.
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I have to agree. Go to the wedding!
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Go and enjoy. Let your brother handle. If there is time, contact hospital social worker and ask for in home care provider referrals, tell brother to interview a few while he is at home with mom and maybe try out a few for a few hours to help out. Since your mom isn't able to care for dad, doctor and case mgr may be able to arrange for nursing care along with PT and OT at home. This could be covered by insurance if ordered by doctor.

Good luck, don't miss this wonderful opportunity, I'm sure all is in good hands!
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I hope you'll decide to attend your son's wedding. You are SO lucky to have a sibling that is able... and willing... to be with them. They will need ongoing support and you're able to help when you return. Check in by phone or email with your brother while you're gone and he will pass along to your parents that you're staying in touch. With your dad's blessing, try not to beat yourself up over this. You may need to hire caregivers for them which can be a real process. Often, it ends up being a crew of people, some of which are not a good match for your parents, especially with their different needs. You will probably be of more help to them in that way than being at his bedside while he's in the hospital. Best wishes to your son and his bride to be. Enjoy their celebration :-)
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