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My in-laws are in no condition to travel. My MIL has a neurodegenerative illness, is wheelchair bound, and needs help with all her activities of daily living. My FIL has anxiety, depression and ataxia.


My in-laws have a little cabin in the woods and they want to go there for the summer. The cabin is not ADA accessible. The bathroom is cramped even for someone able bodied. And it's isolated.


They keep bringing it up with me and my husband. They haven't asked for helped outright but they keep making comments like "how do we rent a car at the airport?" or "how do we get the cable turned on?" I believe they ask these inane questions in the hopes that my husband and I will take it upon ourselves to make it possible for them to go to the cabin.


My husband and I believe it's a terrible idea for them to go to the cabin. But, my in-laws know how to manipulate my husband. I refuse to travel with my in-laws because MIL should not be away from home for more than a few hours let alone a half day's worth of travel.


So do we ignore them (they can't get it done without lots of help) or take it seriously and call a family meeting? If they leave indy living, they both will decline fast. It's crossed my mind that they may have given up.

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In-laws have accepted that they cannot make the trip to the cabin, and want to rent it out. Lots of work for hubby and me to get it ready because they cannot travel anymore. I was prepared to deal with the cabin last year, but my inlaws insisted they were going, which never did end up happening.

Their cabin could have been dealt with last year.

Last year we could have called a family meeting to get all us kids together to clean out the cabin together. But this year, that's nearly impossible as all the sibs have their own family things going on.

This will be summer number three of fixing my inlaws' bad decisions.
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NYDIL, Just read your comment about not wanting to make another of their escapist fantasies come true. I understand. Just ignore my suggestion.

Any chance that they hid some cash in the cabin? Do they own it? Guess it needs to be cleaned out if they won't be returning. That is alot on your plate, so yes, call a family meeting.
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Rent an RV, park it next to the cabin, bring a caregiver for their short vacation.
Yes, have a family meeting.
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freqflyer and Babalou: their rent at the indy living includes meals, activities and exercise and they would not get that at the cabin. It's also very cluttered with decades of memories and cannot be rented out that way. They both are concerned with getting their stuff from there but there is too much for them to do themselves and they have no place to put any of it. I don't believe it's a good use of their time to go through old clothes and books. The only thing I believe they would benefit from having with them are the picture albums and those I can get next time I'm there, which will be sometime this summer.

For Easter, one of my sisters is helping me get them connected to a new parish. They seem lost and fearful and I believe this has much to do with why they are grasping for things that are familiar. We're hoping that if they regain a spiritual connection they will recognize that they are in no condition to make the trip let alone be away from all the services they need.
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Just another thought...are you folks renting this cabin out to offset the in-laws' IL costs? Something to look into. You can go to a site Like Vacation Rentals By Owner ( VRBO) and see what the going rate is. Yet another reason they can't go...it's rented!
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NYDaughter, do the in-laws pay rent at their Independent Living?.... thus that's a lot a money down the drain not being used... they still have to pay for rent, utilities, meals, etc., it doesn't stop for vacations.

Hopefully they are like my parents where they wouldn't let go of a dime if their life depended upon it. Thus might have second thoughts of playing Henry David Thoreau because of the cost. Heavens, they would need to stock the pantry at Walden Pond, so more cost.

On the other side of the coin, it's kinda interesting that they feel like they are still young enough to enjoy going to the cabin, spending time in the woods. When was the last time they were there? If it has been awhile, I bet they forgot how much work is involved with a closed up cabin just to get it up and going for the season.
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Thank you all for your thoughtful answers. I don't have the energy or desire to make another of their escapist fantasies happen. I want them to stay put and focus on the important things like acceptance of what their life is now.

golden23 - Whether it's a week or a summer, it's the same amount of work to make it come to fruition.

I finally feel like they are "stable" - safe at the indy living where they get meals and activities and people who look out for them - that I don't want to mess up this delicate balance. Thank for the reality check! I know I can always count on you wonderful posters. - NYDIL
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Agree with the others. This does not sound feasible Is there an alternative you could suggest and help them accomplish so they can have a bit of a wilderness experience? Maybe a lodge nearby with facilities for wheel chairs, people around, a good view of the surroundings, easy access...? Maybe family could spend some time there too to keep an eye on them. All summer sounds unrealistic but a couple of weeks or a weekend might work.
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I think it would be nuts to do this. If you guys are POA, ignore the silliness and use your judgement as to whether to tell the rest of the family. the logistic of such a trip would be stressful for healthy people. For these guys it would be a disaster.
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I say definitely a good idea to have a family meeting. Skype if you all don't live close to each other. Anticipate siblings' reaction / responses to this idea. Plainly state it must be a joint venture if choosing to do the cabin thing. Do not take this upon the 2 of you. M88
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Yes, I would call a family meeting without the couple there. This totally unrealistic request sounds like they have declined mentally. I hope you and your husband have talked about how easily they manipulate him and come up with a plan to help keep that from happening in this situation. They will not like it or be able to understand it but they need him to be their grown up son and not there little boy who needs to obey or please mommy and daddy.
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Really tough call. I don't have any suggestions or answers but hope others do. If they have given up, it might be the place to go for their last months/days, but it might also just be that they want to enjoy a summer in the cabin, private and peaceful.

Do you think you could hire any home care for them in the cabin, or is it too remote? I suspect though that the home care they want would be you and your husband.

It wouldn't hurt to have a family meeting to determine if anyone else is on board with providing care for them, but if a plane ride is involved, the cabin must not be very close, so family care alternating between family groups doesn't sound feasible.

And the fact that it's isolated makes the proposition even riskier. I'd be inclined not to support the idea unless one or other of the family takes them up for a weekend, then back to IL.
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