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Mother fell and broke her hip last summer and had to move to assisted living. She has not regained her ability to walk mostly due lack of motivation which she calls fear. Additionally she has urinary incontinence and sometimes fecal incontinence when straining.
Her baby brother (79) passed away Saturday. I am struggling to try to get her to the funeral in Colorado Springs. She requires assistance with almost everything and we do not have family or additional support. I am her primary caregiver and I work full time. I am already burnt out. I don’t think I can manage it. Any suggestions?

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First off, my sincerest condolences for your family's loss.

As far as travel, I agree with most everyone here - absolutely not. It's too much stress on her AND yourself. Even with a hired companion taking her, the stress is too much on your mother. And if your mother wants to challenge that, have her doctor help make the decision; I'm sure the doctor will agree to 'no travel'.

DebraJoy already offered the idea I came up with, and I concur - use FaceTime (or something similar) by mobile phone. Or have the funeral video taped, and have some of the attendees offer their input into the camera to your mother: (ex: 'Sorry you couldn't be here for the service, but we understand... the service was lovely... your brother will be greatly missed... ) - that will help your mother be a part of the moment, and others can express their sympathies creatively into the camera as well.

Best of luck!
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I am so glad to read through the comments re: travel for a funeral. I think one can be creative with being present for loved ones. My mother's sister is in a nursing home and a relative has more than once expressed her opinion that she 'strongly felt' that my mother visit her sister since it more likely be the last time they see each other in person. I looked into arrangements but can't bring myself to put my mother under this stress and she doesn't want to go. I have to say I find live video of great benefit for visits and I am in favor of this over actual visits. I missed another funeral earlier this year. My traveling to represent our family and to find care for my mother was too stressful. I stayed with my mother instead and we ended up watching a live video of the funeral mass and burial and it felt like we were just as present. For another funeral, I could not attend out of the country so contributed a photo collage memorial.
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Easy- no. Save both yourself and your mother hell. Find creative ways for her to honor her baby brother. Have a service that you create where she lives. As one who is still recovering from caretaking burn out- keep yourself (and her) from losing your health. Best wishes
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Hello,
I too am a caregiver for my mother. It would be a tremendous strain and stress on you to try to get her there and back and you would regret it. I Know a couple of friends who tried it and afterwards they were worn out. Other people may or may not assist you because of the risks. You shouldn't feel guilty explain it to your mother. And the bathrooms are too small. We want to please our parents but sometimes we have to say no. If she has an accident you will have to deal with it. But be compassionate, gentle and explain you'd like to but it's unsafe. Ask someone to send you a program and if possible they could video the service live. I've had to painfully deny my mother occasions to go places here at home. It hurts to see them feel sad but yet the safety risk were too high. You're a great person for being responsible but you need to take care of yourself first otherwise you can't take care of her. Hope this helps. Be encouraged!
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My Mum's sister died a couple of years ago and my Mum knew she would not be able to cope with the journey on top of the overwhelming grief she was feeling ( they were the last surviving siblings from what had been a huge family). I was also worried about how the whole experience might impact on her dementia, which gets worse with stress, so we made the decision not to attend.

Instead, my cousin emailed me the order of service and her nine year old daughter phoned us the night before to read out to us the reading that she had written herself and would be reading at the ceremony. At the time the service was taking place, we sat with candles, a picture of Auntie and went throught the order of service, adding our own prayers as well. It was really lovely and my Mum was made to feel included in the whole thing, without having the added stress of travelling. We sent flowers and my Uncle later sent a photo of the grave.

My condolences to you and your Mum. xxx
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DizzyBritches Jul 27, 2019
What a thoughtful family! That was lovely.
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I don’t have an answer but want to say Thank You for all the insight. I keep thinking I can take my husband with dementia on a trip. I realize now that I can’t and I am relieved to have it settled!! Sometimes it is hard to see the way it really is. The posts that were realistic have helped me to no end
eloise
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No. Perhaps you could get some one to video tape the funeral. Many religious services are now live streamed. She Should not be flying at her age. It's stressful enough for normal people
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There have been threads like this before. Sorry, I didn't read all the posts.

My main thing would be her incontinence. There is no way you are going to get you and her in a plane bathroom. I personally would not go thru what is needed to fly.
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As is the case with too many situations, money helps. If mom has the funds, you can hire companion care to make the trip with her and take care of her needs all along the way. Just call a home care agency.

If that’s not an option, I wouldn’t attempt it. It would be a very, very stressful three day trip for you and, frankly, may put mom in the hospital. Frail elderly do not handle travel well, particularly air travel.
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I would not fly her anywhere with her issues. Ask a family member attending the funeral to take photos or even facetime or skype with her/you so she feels included and gets a sense of closure if she needs it.

Sometimes we just have to go the easier route in life.
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IMHO, your mother is not able to travel by airplane. That would not only be a nightmare for YOU, but think of the flight attendants. They have a responsibility to their passengers and having someone like your mother on board would be added to their duties.
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NO...
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The trip would be unpleasant for her. with the technology we have today, why not use skipe or other media so she can be there via technology.
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If you can't go she can't go. End of discussion. If you can handle the trip and Mom really really wants to go, put her in highly absorbent disposable garments after toileting her right before the flight. Bring a change of clothes and 2-gallon zipper bags in your carry-on. If there is a problem she will have to wait until you land. This also means getting the shortest flight possible, or if not a direct flight, a long enough layover for Mom to get fed and cleaned up between flights. This is an expensive trip for Mom's benefit only, and will be her last one. If she isn't motivated make sure she does not feel guilty about not going.
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Do not go, she's not suitable for hours on a plane. It's your job now to make good decisions for her, &u. Don't feel bad about doing what's right. Maybe you could get the funeral videotaped for a fee, or watch it online. Good luck.
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I agree with zzzzzz78759. Does she WANT to go? Maybe she doesn't care if she goes or not. How will you feel after she passes if you didn't take her and she wanted to go? If you go, get a DIRECT flight and ask for seats up to the front. Airlines have many services if you tell them ahead of time. Have a local hotel have a car waiting for both of you. Make use of the sky captains. Keep her fluid and food to a minimum for the day before. There are many heavy duty products for urine and fecal incontinence. Bring a transport chair. You might even think of a compartment in a train where you can change her often. However she is not the only consideration. You have to think of yourself too. I didn't attend either of my children's weddings. Not for your reasons but I am too claustrophobic to travel. It is sad to not to be able to do everything you want. But such is life. Make your choice and don't regret it.
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I am dealing with a similar situation. My cousin is in bad shape about an 8 hr flight from where we live. Mom and Aunt visited his sister for 6 weeks (hooray!!) 2 years ago,, but mom has declined a lot since then. We talked about it, agreed she would not be able to go if the worst happens ( long flight, cousin they visited being busy planning funeral, etc) Sooo. Aunt and 2 cousins told mom they "would get her there and take care of her"... After being upset, hubs and I said.. go for it. Then I told fav cousin that she needs to be sure mom is near bathroom in plane as she has "accidents", and to be sure she can fit in there with mom.. you get the picture.. Then Mom visited Aunt a few weeks ago.. now Aunt has called Mom and told her they talked to cousin, and explained Mom wont be able to go. Mom is OK with this,, Maybe the last visit showed them I don't make this stuff up... wishfull thinking is great.. but not realistic. We'll send flowers and call, but we are not going.
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What exactly is your "plan" if she pees and poops all over her clothing in the airplane and the entire plane begins to smell of urine and feces? Why would you do that to HER as well as the passengers in the plane?

You said that "she requires assistance with almost everything." There is no room in an airplane lavatory for two people - so you won't be able to assist her with toileting.

The entire travel plan is illogical - and I would advise against it.
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anonymous828521 Jul 25, 2019
Absolutely! agree with dragonflower.
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I shared my recent travel nightmare down the thread but I forgot to mention something else that happened to us.

On our flight TO our destination, our assigned seats were in the very last row. For those of you who have never had the misfortune of being in the very last row of an airplane, the seats in that row do not recline! My husband and I were were in quite a bit of PAIN as a result of this. He is almost 3 months post-op from back surgery, still in pain and still dealing with stiffness. I pulled a muscle in my lower back 18 months ago and it has never fully healed and just my luck, I strained it that morning while putting my suitcase in the car! I could not move in my seat without being in significant pain! I needed to adjust and re-adjust through out the 3.5 hour flight because I was so uncomfortable and every time I did, the pain got worse. But on the positive side, the last row is closest to the bathroom.

If first class or business class plane tickets aren’t an option (because they are quite a bit more expensive than regular coach seats), you might end up in the back row of the plane. You can always ask to switch seats but you simply cannot count on others to be willing to switch seats. I think most people would for an 88 year old but you never know what kind of people will be on your flight. And not everyone can physically handle the last row.
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CaregiverL Jul 28, 2019
I thought of another positive of being in last row ...if that’s possible...there’s no kid kicking at your chairs!
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Send flowers. That's it. YOU don't have to go and don't try to take your mother!
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No I took my mother for a five hour drive to see her dyeing sister then she had a TERRIBUL bout of CHF STILL RECOVERING!!
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Absolutely NOT!. He is gone. She is not making him happy or comfortable by flying across country. If She wants to do something - and is able to - let her donate to his favorite charity, donate to taking care of lost animals or something useful.
She cannot and should not take on this burden, nor should you.
Please do not take her on this unnecessary journey.
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There is no reason to try to make that trip.  It will be upsetting for both of you.

Hugs!
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Honestly? A lot of people with this level of disability don't attend funerals in the next town let alone across the country, and nobody faults them for it. Sometimes we just have to accept things as they are instead of trying to make them into what we wish they were.
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anonymous828521 Jul 25, 2019
Bravo Cwillie:)
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No, no, no
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If she is mentally, financially able maybe she should go. I know I would want to.
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Does your mam really want to go ??? If not I would not take her. It Will be a strain on you and her.
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This situation is difficult enough to manage in a stable situation. In the air or on the road? A nightmare! Don't even think of it!
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Keepurheadup, I sure hope you're not receiving pressure from relatives to fly your mom (unable to walk and incontinent!) to the funeral. I live with my 91yr old dad as his full-time caregiver. I think my 3 brothers think our dad, who used to be a tall, strapping 250lb farmer, now a shrunken 160lbs frail and must use a rollator, is frozen in time in their minds and just as capable of getting around as he was 5yrs ago. Even if he didn't have very mild incontinence, in his current condition I would never subject him to all that could happen trying to fly him across the country. A 5 hr car trip is enough of a challenge with many stops and getting him and his rollator in and out of the car and restroom (I stand outside and hold the door open for him entering and exiting...I don't think I've embarrassed anyone yet). As others have said, with today's technology surely someone can be responsible for live streaming or recording the event(s) and maybe even record some personal messages from relatives for your mom to watch. You know best her condition and capabilities or lack thereof. That should be enough to satisfy relatives as to why mom won't be attending. And no guilt tripping allowed. I missed my dear mother's funeral due to extenuating circumstances, but I have many wonderful memories of her that trump attending a funeral. All the best to you.
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I'm so sorry for the loss of you uncle. My mother's younger brother (83) passed away in February. He lived about a three-hour drive away. Mom had not seen him since my Dad's funeral in 2013. Mom suffers from cognitive decline and broke her hip the previous April, but my brother and I took her anyway because she said she wanted to go. It was sad and she cried but has never mentioned him or the funeral again. My uncle had no children and his wife had already died so there really were not a lot of people at the service. Only one of my cousins showed up, so it was not as if she were going to get to visit with a lot of relatives. Her 4 brothers are now all gone.

I say don't take her, especially since you have to fly across country. It was difficult enough to drive for a few hours. I can't imagine taking Mom on an airplane with all the hassle that involves!
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