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I had something come up that kind of shocked me, and out of nowhere. Want to know what others thought and would do, or if anyone has had similar a situation. I had a family member ask if he could take my dad out fishing, was upset that my dad doesn't get to go out and do stuff, that's a quote.


He wanted to use my dads boat as well. Also my dad is a big guy over 6 foot tall and 230 lbs, cannot walk, can stand for transfer but his balance is bad, he's a huge fall risk, he has a limited range of movement with arms, can't cast, even getting him in and out of a car is difficult. Said person who asked, is a 5'7 male. I told him it would not be safe for my dad to do that because of his balance issues and a wheel chair being on a floating dock, as well as transferring my dad from his wheelchair to a boat on the water would not be safe, said boat is a bass boat, no rails to hang onto, floor deck is low, seats sit high above the boat edge, so getting dad out of the boat would be near impossible as well. I used to fish with my dad all the time on this boat, I know it well, I'm familiar with fishing, so I was really shocked that this family member would not grasp how unsafe that would be and I was fully aware of that. And also dad does go out and do stuff, but it's hard because my dad doesn't like to do much, doesn't like going to movies, can't read, can barely write, cannot walk, can barely stand, dad fights with other people. That the reason he lives with me. My dad likes to go out to eat, watch westerns and country music videos. We go for drives in the country, he loves that, likes to look at the crops, likes to go out for lunch or dinner. He goes to a farmstead that he really enjoys, and minor league baseball games.


Has any one else struggled with this kind of stuff? This family member is usually busy with marathons and traveling, welcome to come and visit when he or anyone else wants and he rarely does.


Also any ideas anyone have for a guy like my dad, things I can take him to do that he might actually like. Thanks all.

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I learned from my inlaws that one's idea of fun changes as we age. They had traveled and were social people. But years later, they declined invitations to events with noise and commotion. Even family gatherings wore them out. As I get older, I understand it better. Thing is that friends and family see our parents, remember what our parents used to love to do and used to be able to do. Since they're often not caregivers themselves, they don't know how much effort is involved for the loved one and the caregiver. When we say it's not possible for our loved one to attend, they judge and yes, that hurts. But it's up to us to be the responsible adult, assessing the location, weather, accessibility, our loved one's health and safety, and what we ourselves are able to do.
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I had a similar experience when my then boyfriend invited my dad to a baseball game. Dad has a feeding tube and multiple health issues. I thanked him and said he needs to help dad in the bathroom and administer medication through the tube. He made a surprised face. They watched the game at home on TV.
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My nephew, behind my back, arranged to take my Dad out of state for his wedding (no, I was NOT invited).

Thankfully, Pop told me about a week before. I called my sister and informed her nicely that I didn't have the legal right to tell her or her son what to do - but if anything happened to Dad, she was and would be totally responsible for him while he was out of state.

Long story short, her son married 30 miles away instead of 7 hours away. And no, again I was actually informed that I was NOT invited.

That was cool - no gift necessary!

Yes, it hurts when people assume you are treating a loved one unfairly. What the nephew didn't know is I actually asked my dad if the nephew was right. I asked him if he felt I was keeping him from doing anything he wanted to do. My dad was very happy with my care and chose me to help him, not my sister and definitely not my nephew.

I believe if you explain that if they take your dad out on the boat, they are responsible for anything that could happen - this kind of changes a lot of people's minds.

Good luck to you! I know, I pray for my sanity every night :)
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I get exactly what your dealing with. My FIL loves to fish at 93, on O2 and with a walker. His cabin involves going down 15 steps to the dock, then onto a float boat with lots of rails and seats ( the bass boat is not even up for discussion!) It takes both my hubs and his cousin to get this done, and it is pretty tricky and only done maybe twice a year. It is the high point of his summer.... but I would not recommend it for the faint of heart or someone who has no experience with this! I think your relative has good intentions... or indeed just wants to use the boat. Figure this out first...
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I get exactly what your dealing with. My FIL loves to fish at 93, on O2 and with a walker. His cabin involves going down 15 steps to the dock, then onto a float boat with lots of rails and seats ( the bass boat is not even up for discussion!) It takes both my hubs and his cousin to get this done, and it is pretty tricky and only done maybe twice a year. It is the high point of his summer.... but I would not recommend it for the faint of heart or someone who has no experience with this! I think your relative has good intentions... or indeed just wants to use the boat. Figure this out first...
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I'm not sure where you live, but old folks here sometimes like to fish from the pier, which could be a fun outing as long as the relative understands what his role would be and your dad's limitations. I like the idea of a nice fish dinner afterwards too.
Other than that, yeah, I agree with the others that he really only wants access to the boat.
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I am not sure who the relative is and that might say more about why they have the interest, Perhaps they have good memories fishing with your dad and want to relive them? Not enough information there. I however understand how this person feels. My father in law has dementia and is now in long term care. He used to be VERY active up until a few years ago. Every Friday the boys get together at a restaurant for breakfast. Since going into care, my father in law has not been able to go. My heart breaks for him because now he just sits in the facility getting worse. I suggested to my partner that we should hire someone to take him Friday mornings as Ii would want a change of scenery myself. My partner took his dad a few weeks ago and he loved it. Sometimes people looking in from the outside have the best intentions. I am glad you take your father out for drives and to do the things he is still capable of doing. I hope someone does that for me one day.
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I like A1 Texas' response - invite this extended family member to go on an outing with you that your father enjoys - but not fishing. Make sure the outing involves transfers and such, so the family member can see what is involved in moving dad from point a to point b.

If dad seems at all interested in fishing, this could easily be accomplished from the shore. A boat doesn't need to be involved - specifically for the reasons you mentioned.
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My suggestion is to ask your family member to join you and your dad for one of your outings to a baseball game or dinner. This would give them a handle on what your dads capabilities are and the work involved on taking him on outings. This should give him insight on why it wouldn't be a good idea for the fishing adventure.
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I think you are handling this very well! Perhaps suggest that Fishing Relative take Dad out to a nice fish dinner!
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That's what I was thinking. A) he underestimates how much help you Dad need doing everything and b) he just wants to borrow the boat.

Thank him for his concern. Make a safer suggestion if he just wants to take your Dad out and, if you are good with it, offer to let him borrow the boat so he can go out with an able bodied friend.
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NO Dad can't go for the reasons you have written. Does the family member actually just want to borrow the boat to go fishing and thought offering to take dad out would allow him to use the boat. If it is appropriate I see no reason why the boat can't be loaned if you or dad has no objection.
You are doing an excellent job doing things with Dad that he enjoys. You don't need to listen to these "do nothing, know nothing" interfering relatives. Relax you are in charge.
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I would also be concerned about your Dad being on the boat. I don't think this family member realizes how difficult taking care of your Dad can be with transferring from car to wheelchair and then no railings on the boat. Is this family member asking to take your Dad so he can use the boat?
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