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My parents live a rural small town un UT. They have to drive 70 miles to a proper hospital and any specialist as well as a Walmart. I had a conversation with them 2 years ago about moving to a little bigger town which would be a little closer me. I am a 4 hour drive away from them. They are trying to hold onto their independence by staying in this 2 stop light town because they won't be able to get around in a bigger town. They are 83 and in relatively descent health. Little medical issues are beginning to come about though. I worry when they have to drive 140 miles round trip for anything major, or even the Walmart run.


Any suggestions or experience with a similar issue?

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I'll tell you what happened with my parents. They currently live about 18 miles from their doctor/hospital/pharmacy etc. Getting rides is not that easy. But, we happened to visit a townhouse (family friend lives there in a GREAT area, over behind the country club, quiet, cul de sac) that is about 1 mile from the doctor/hospital/pharmacy and no trouble to get a cab, Uber, ride, etc. They fell in love with the place and say they are wiling to move in one next door!!! I'm ecstatic and hope they will follow through. So, if you can get them to visit a place that has what they need, they may see how it's possible. Especially, if it has large doors, handicap accessible bathrooms, one floor, etc. Of course, if they have no friends or family there, I'm sure it would be daunting.

What are the other seniors who live that small, rural town doing for their medical transportation needs?
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Sunflower48 Jul 19, 2019
I'm not really sure. I will look into that.
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Sunflower48, I can understand your concern, I would want the same thing if my parents had lived so far away.

Unfortunately, it will be extremely difficult to convince your parents to move because they know their town like the back of their hand. And they probably know everyone in town, too.

Moving to some place new would be too confusing, especially if your parents were still driving. They would be leaving their friends. That would mean new everything that is important to them.

The only way to have your parents move is when there is a medical emergency, rehab, then into some type of assisted living.

Back many decades ago, my Dad's parents lived way out in the county on a farm. Eventually it was time to move to the "big city".... well, actually more like a small village with two stop-signs. They bought a smaller farm. They lived and died in that village. That is what they wanted.
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Sunflower48 Jul 19, 2019
Thank you for your input!
It's so hard not to worry about how things will get worse and that they could have a car accident. They are happy to be independent where they are at but they do get frustrated when they have to make extra trips at far distances. And not having family close to help when they need it.
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I am assuming that you HAVE spoken to them in a civil manner. That's about all you can do. The end of life is all about loss, and people will try to put that off as much as they are able and for as long. It's an option. It will make it much more difficult for you when you have to do it all at once with the collapse of one or the other or both. But other than that you can hope they begin to see the light slowly and will move closer to you. My brother lives in one part of my state with no support and I in another, and both of us are older. Not a good thing, but then I am not about to tell him what to do and where to go. He is already feeling all the losses so badly. So I would just cross the bridges as they come, and meanwhile insert your "I sure would feel so much better having you more near me, and I sure would love if you would come and visit and see if there is anything here, near medical, that you might like. Please let me know if you ever would consider that because I would love having you closer." Good luck. For myself I sometimes wish I were NOT so close to medical, in all truth. If you get my meaning.
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Sunflower48 Jul 19, 2019
Thank you. Yes I had a civil conversation 2 years ago but my Dad got really defensive and I don't want to have that happen again. I guess I will have to let them be and manage each problem as they arise.
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