My father is 95 yrs old, has dementia and is in a wheelchair, my mom is 88 and also in a wheelchair. They are currently in memory care. I am seriously considering not bringing them to my sons wedding. They will need help getting there, help while there and assistance getting back to facility. I’m sure family members will step in to help, but I will be a nervous wreck worrying about them. Am I just being too selfish? Will they even remember what’s going on?? They are both confused on most days. I don’t want to be the “bad” person here. Wow, guess I answered my own question. Still would like your opinions. Thanks.

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Just yesterday, when discussing something I really wanted to try to arrange for my dad, my good friend asked "Are you doing this because he really wants it or because you think he should want it?" I think we all do a lot of projection of our own desires onto our caregiving for our parents. We want them to want to be at the wedding, or graduation, or birthday party. I've found my dad doesn't enjoy activities with lots of people, noise, activity. He far prefers hearing the stories about the event when I tell him about it (over and over and over). I think your parents would far more enjoy a visit with the new bride and groom sometime later where it's not just a whirlwind of activity and noise. I know you want your family all together at this special time but it really will limit your enjoyment and it won't bring joy to your to your mom and dad, only confusion and exhaustion. Go, enjoy the wedding without them. Bring them pictures, stories, and a slice of cake after the fact.
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Reply to jkm999

It would be better if your son and his bride, if they'd like to, made a detour specially to see his grandparents soon after their wedding. Take some cake and the photos and the service program, and make a fuss of them.

If your parents are confused on most days, I should have thought the full wedding experience would be an exhausting ordeal for them. It has nothing to do with your selfishness, it's about whether they would benefit and whether they would bring extra joy and pride to the occasion.

I'm sure your son would be very proud of them no matter what; but he'd never forgive himself if something awful happened to them because the wedding was just too much.
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Reply to Countrymouse

Spare them, yourself, and your guests the stress and leave them home. It's probably best for all.

My uncle insisted on bringing my aunt w/Alzheimer's to my parents' 50th anniversary party at a restaurant 9 years ago, and it was way too much for her to handle. She was confused and spent a good 45 minutes wailing in the bathroom while her daughters comforted her before they finally decided to take her back home (almost 2 hours away).

My dad, who was in the early stages himself, was very upset to see his sister in such distress. It was the last time much of the family ever saw our aunt, and it's a sad way to have to remember her.

My parents went to see her a few weeks later, and they had a lovely, peaceful visit in the comfort of her own home.
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Reply to Jenelle83

I went to a wedding a few years ago and there were some ill grandparents moaning (pain?) throughout the ceremony. This completely spoiled the wedding and was even a little scary. They probably didn’t even know they were there. This was extremely sad and upsetting for all the guests.

If your parents are able to sit quietly and enjoy, by all means, have them there. Hire someone (or 2 people) to completely get them ready, to sit with them throughout the event and to take them home. If you can’t hire someone, appoint a family member to help in this way.

Give yourself a break for this special family event.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
NYDaughterInLaw Apr 29, 2019
I agree with everything you wrote except "If you can’t hire someone, appoint a family member to help in this way." No one wants to be appointed to take care of two old and confused people with lots of medical problems.
No its not wrong. And for the reasons you have discribed.

This topic has been discussed on the forum. I personally would not do it. They will have no idea what is going on and will get overwhelmed easily. This is YOUR day. There will be so much to do. Like said, you are going out of your way for 2 people who will not remember it. Then the incontinence. Do you really want to have to change two people in a public bathroom? In your wedding attire?

There was one member whose Mom already had a caregiver. They paid the caregiver to bring Mom to the wedding. Attend to her the whole time and take her home when she was ready. It worked for her.

I think another member mentioned the couple went to the facility so grands could see them dressed.

Look at it this way, would you be doing it for you out of guilt or for them. Because if for them, they will have no idea what is going on.
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Reply to JoAnn29

You have no obligation to take elderly parents to a wedding.  After all, it is the bride and groom's day so unless they (bride and groom, that is)  are insistent, then I would not bring them.  What would be the point, really?  Doesn't sound like the elderly grandparents would enjoy it and it is not about them anyway.
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Reply to rovana

We think our folks would like to be part of the 'day' but sadly, it just doesn't work. Mother will go a few places, but she wants to leave 20 minutes after she gets there. And if nobody fusses her, she gets mad.

I took her to her 70th! HS class reunion and she looked probably one the worst there. She did manage to get her walker over the rough ground and we found a shady place for her to sit, but she was very upset by the varying degrees of aging she saw amongst her classmates. (I think out of a class of about 250, there were about 40, plus their caregivers.) Nobody fussed at her, none of her closest HS friends are alive anymore..she herself looked old, much older than the 87 she was...and then one gal gets up (former cheerleader) and leaps onto the picnic table bench and proceeds to lead them all in some old fight songs. The sad, sad difference between this woman and mom (honestly, most of the women) was the final straw and mom wanted to go home. Maybe 30 minutes, as I had told her I wasn't hauling her 50 miles to eat a sandwich and turn around and take her back home.

I would take videos and such of the wedding day and show them to the folks after the fact. My dad did make it to my daughter's wedding, but he was unable sit up so we had to bring him in on a gurney type thing--he fell asleep and snored...then when the ceremony was closing he wakes up and starts talking, very loudly that he needs to go to the bathroom.

I have no idea if he was aware of where he was. In fact, my sweet daughter was a good sport about it, but I kiboshed him coming to any other weddings.

We are torn between wanting 'family' there, but we need to weigh in how checked in or out the elders are. My MIL came to a baptism and confirmation of 2 of our grandkids a couple weeks ago, She had NO IDEA who they even were. And the kids didn't know who she was.

All the events, while ignored by others, made me really, really sad. I hate seeing the decline and I hate the demands they make that they come to all things--or worse, say to wait until the day of and cancel on us.
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Reply to Midkid58

You might make a sweet video of them wishing the couple well on their wedding day. We did that and it is a treasured keepsake. My parents didn't want to travel to my niece's wedding. It's very hard on them away from familiar surroundings. Ask them if they want to go and if they say no, as you suggested, leave it at that.
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Reply to pch111

You'd be doing everyone a tremendous favor by not bringing your elderly parents and letting everyone whose at the wedding enjoy the day and celebrate the happy couple. You are mother of the groom. Don't you want to be fully present for him?

Most couples are lucky to get 5-minutes with each wedding guest. What are your parents going to do with themselves the other 235 minutes?

And I have been that family member who, in formal attire, needed to help my MIL, also in formal attire, into a bathroom stall. Somehow when one is wearing an evening gown and heels, a bathroom stall feels like the size of a shoebox.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

I don't think it is wrong not to take them and in fact, I encourage you not to take them. People with dementia become nervous, anxious, agitated and confused when they are removed from their normal routine/surroundings. It would be so hard on them as well as everyone around them.

Early on in my mom's dementia I took her to my aunt's funeral (her sister-in-law) and with all the people coming up to hug her and love on her but she had no idea who they were she kind of shut down. She was so much more confused than normal for a couple of weeks after we returned home. It was just too much for her. Emotional and sensory overload.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to 12LittlePaws

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