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I haven't been away from home for several years. I retired a year ago, so I don't need a vacation. But, my husband wants to go to a WW2 convention and I am going with him. My mom is 88 years old and lives alone. My brother stays with her three or four days a week. However, he won't do anything for her except in an emergency. He will take her to a doctor or call for an ambulance. She is doing OK right now. We will be leaving in mid - October. But she tells me she might need me and to send her the hotel phone number and dates I will be gone. I told her I would. Two days later she asks if I sent the letter. I didn't yet. I tell her I will send it in a couple of days. She repeats that she may need me. And that she guesses she will have to call the hotel if she does need me. I feel guilty when she says this. She has no one to help her when there are problems except me. There are no friends for relatives left. I don't want to have to never go away for a week until she dies. The conference is a week. I can't make it shorter. If there is a health emergency I have to come home early, but hoping not. I could make phone calls from the hotel for her if necessary. She is not trying to manipulate me. She has anxiety disorder (I have it too), plus she does have health problems.

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Can your mother dial 911? Does she have a medical alert system? Does your brother live close enough for her to call him? Do you have a cell phone? I would think that would be far more effective than a hotel number. Also, why not just send her the letter she wants now. You can send an update if the information changes.

I don't know a lot about treating anxiety, but I would think it would be helpful to realize that you are not dependent on a single person or thing for emergencies. If she does need help while you are gone it makes far more sense for her to reach out to someone who is physically closer. She can notify you from ER or after she has been helped.

If Mom really is not capable of calling 911 or her son or pushing an alert button, then she should probably be in respite care while you are gone. If she successfully lives alone, that seems kind of drastic to me, but it is an option.

You deserve an outing. Your husband deserves to have you travel with him. Go. Have fun.
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Oh, and should you feel guilty? Hmmm. Will that relieve Mom's anxiety? Will it improve your husband's enjoyment of the trip? Will it make it less likely that Mom will need some help? If you can think of any good that would come from feeling guilty, have at it!
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Your mother and you are extremely 'lucky' that your brother lives so close. It's his responsibility to take care of your mom while you are gone. I agree... In the long run, it'll be healthy for you and your mom to be away for just this short time. I've decided to take a trip for 4 days in November. My mother is going on 87 and lives with me. I don't have any siblings to help, so I'm going to ask neighbors, church friends and anyone else (that I trust) to keep an eye on my mom while I'm gone. Sure, I'll worry... I always do... but, I know I have to get away and I think it'll be better for both of us for a while. You're also extremely fortunate to have a wonderful husband. Enjoy your trip. Your mom will be fine.
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Hadnuff, so if, God forbid, your mother did get sick or have to go to hospital, your brother would see that she did get looked after even if he didn't personally do the caregiving himself. So she'll be absolutely fine, whatever happens. So go to the convention, decorate your husband's arm, relax and have a wonderful time. And don't forget to smile! xxx
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njny1952, same here, only child, and once I went away for a weekend it was very difficult because I was scared silly that something would happen to my parents [who are in their mid-90's and still live in their own single family home]... my parents wouldn't let strangers in the house so having a caregiver stop by would be an insult... [sigh].

Yet when my parents were my age, they were traveling all over the place without a care in the world. I keep wondering when will my time come as I am aging, too.
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Sure you make lots of calls for her to solve stuff, and that is great. I hope my kids will do that for me when phone calls are difficult for me. But realistically, what kind of thing would need to be solved RIGHT NOW, before you get home? Only an emergency, right? And emergencies are already covered by 911, the alert button, and your brother. Non-emergency? Wait.

It is really so wonderful that you and your mother are a comfort to each other in dealing with your anxiety disorders. I am so glad you have each other! But truly, you can both be separated for a week without terrible things happening.

Are you being treated for your disorder? Maybe your doctor or therapist can help reassure you about this outing.
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It would help you relax and enjoy the time with your husband....so go ahead and hire a sitter for 12 hours a day staying overnight. Give the sitter and your Mom your cell phone number and have a great time. Everyone deserves a break!
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Look at it this way. You could be right in the same town with her, be in the dentist's office having a procedure done, and be relatively out of touch in an emergency. Since you don't live with mom, nothing much has changed except your proximity to her.

If an emergency arises, and she contacts you, you can call 911 (the only route you should take in an emergency) and call your brother to alert him. He can then meet her at the hospital. Have your brother call her every day while you're gone.

Buy a Realtor lock box for your front door (You should have one even if you don't go away) in which you keep the key to the house. They generally require one to push a 4-number combination to open and access the key. If she keeps her storm door locked, be ready to instruct paramedics (on the phone) to break the storm door lock; they'll get the combination from you so that they can get in the house. Tell them everything they'll need is in an envelope on her fridge. Tell them you're out of town, but will immediately be contacting her son who lives close by as soon as you can.

In a big brown envelope marked PARAMEDICS (in bold-tipped Magic Marker) put the following: a list of her medications and dosages; a list of her primary ailments, for instance: Diabetic; Congestive Heart Failure; Mild Parkinson's Disease; include your contact information and your brother's contact information.

They now have everything they need to get your mom professional care even if NO ONE is available to go with her. These precautions should be taken even if you WEREN'T going out of town.

And don't hop the next plane, for Heaven's sake. Get hold of your brother, ask him to meet her at the hospital, wait an hour or two and call the emergency room to find out if she's just there for a tune-up or something more serious is going on.

When your brother gets there, have him call you on his cell if he has one and let you talk to mom to reassure her that she's going to be just fine; her son is going to watch after her, and if it's anything serious, you're on the next flight home.

Have a wonderful trip. You deserve it.
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The only time you should feel guilty is if you've done something illegal or immoral. Going on vacation is neither of those things, so NO, don't feel guilty.

GO and have a GOOD TIME.
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freqfllyer--I know! At my age, my parents were having a blast without a care in the world! This is one big problem for me as I prepare to retire--I want to have some fun and get away while my husband and I are healthy and active, but it is just so hard to leave on a reasonably carefree vacation, knowing my mother is alone. Every time I have gone away, she has shared complaints, frustrations, etc. She even told me that she would never have left her father alone, but she never was his caregiver except for a weekend or two. Sometimes she is very nice and part of her wants me to go and have a good time, but I think she just gets scared or something. I often feel I have no freedom--I know I do, but I have to work so very hard at getting it and feeling relaxed about it all. I envy the folks who are writing in who just do it! I am still working on growing my tough bone. I must be a slow learner!
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