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My father is saying it is the biggest event of his life to come visit for Christmas and if he doesn’t come he will get very depressed. He is in an independent living facility that has been on lockdown during pandemic. He want to fly halfway across country to see California. Not necessarily us. I get it, he needs to get out. But he is not considering the risks flying of getting sick, then potentially giving it to us, the elderly, compromised person, who would give him a ride, not to mention bringing it back to facility where he lives. How do I make him understand it is not about him and we are all making sacrifices during the holidays and everyday? Not to mention the guilt he is placing on us to keep him from getting depressed if we don’t comply?

The “I’ll be depressed if you don’t take me there” is the equivalent of a little kid threatening to run away if Mom doesn’t get them the toy they want. Emotional blackmail and passive aggressive.

It’s not like everyone else can travel and he can’t. It’s hard for everyone. But the more people think the rules don’t apply to them, the longer this virus will last.

Tell him he doesn’t have to be depressed if he decides not to be! Making you responsible for his emotions is just manipulation.
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FamilyNeeded Nov 8, 2020
Heartless response!
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Is it likely that your father is mentally capable of flying across the country? If your father does so, would he be accepted back into his care faciliity?
Is this "the disease talking" or is this something realistic that your father could actually plan and implement.
I think if the latter is the case I would make it clear to him that in Covid times that is not something you can allow, that depression may be an outcome and you would attempt to help him negotiate care for himself if that happens. That these are tough times with no easy answers, and sad times for so many, but sadly in this case the tough answer is that much you will miss him, he is not welcome to come visit.
What terribly sad and hard decisions we are all faced with now.
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DrBenshir Nov 9, 2020
You are so right. It doesn't sound like Dad can make the arrangements himself. It is also unlikely that he understands the implications of what he wants to do. The total isolation for 2 weeks after his return would be excrutiating.
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You could say to Dad, "We have put off any celebrations until 2021, and we will surely invite you to come then, if you can just hold on awhile longer",
"We love you!".
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AT1234 Nov 8, 2020
2021 may not come for him. We that live with someone in lockdown go from week to week, test to test. His reality may be very different than yours. When it works for you he may not remember you. I’m watching this destroy my mom from a window. I took her out and home with me for a week I couldn’t care for her properly, we did all the rules they required then it was glorious I picked her up. It made all the difference and I’d thought I could keep her with me but I couldn’t. The quarantine was 14 days when we went back and she never go through that again. Consider everything. My mom understood and was willing to try it.
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Amyjow, does your Dad understand that he would need to wear a face mask from the minute he gets into the airport, the whole flight, and into his destination airport? If he doesn't realize that, that might change his mind.

Also, there is no social distancing in the plane. All the passengers are placed next to each other. Hopefully his seat-mates and those in front of him and behind him don't have the virus.
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If he's capable of understanding Covid and the effect it has had on the entire country, I think it's reasonable to tell him that you, too, are depressed that the holidays can't be like they usually are, but you're doing your part to keep the virus contained and you expect him to do the same.

That said, he's an adult, and if he's competent, I guess he can go where he wants. I think it's highly unlikely his place would let him waltz right back in again when he returns, so you might point out that he's going to be quarantined for 10-14 days and stuck in his own place until such time as his facility allows him to be in the general population again.

I think a lot of our older loved ones realize they "can't buy green bananas," so to speak, so holding off another year to do something isn't a guarantee they'll be around in a year. We can't acquiesce to every desire and want, but we need to be cognizant of the different perspective they're coming from. Remember, too, most of these people lived through the polio epidemic and lived before vaccines, and yet they've survived. They probably think the rest of us are a bunch of wimps. :-)
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MargaretMcKen Nov 5, 2020
Perhaps they think they don't have much life left to lose! However that's not how infection works - they can catch it on the plane and give it to everyone they have come to visit. Thanks, Grandpa!
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Just learned today that California's considering restrictions on Thanksgiving holiday travel. No timeline or details available as of yet. Best to stay tuned, for possibilities may be limited.
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I feel badly for the entire world with this pandemic but it doesn’t mean that I will compromise how I feel about the situation and nor should you.

Erase your guilt because the way I see it, you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.

Of course you have empathy. So do I. Your dad will get through these tough times. We all will.

We must be smart. Your post has already shown that you are smart! Being cautious during these difficult and challenging times is very smart.

Your dad is blessed to have a very wise and caring daughter.

Take care.
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First off, they are now saying that flying is pretty safe as the air inside the plane is being recycled so often it's pretty pure. That only works as long as everyone on the plane is wearing a mask. As for the rest of the trip I'd say that you got a lot of good advice here.
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Pandemic paranoia runs deep. I saw one state TV ad that shows folks saying they are returning to doing all their normal things, just as safely as possible. How many good, active years does he have left? Time is ticking for all of us. A pandemic doesn't pause actuarial tables. I wouldn't deny him this pleasure. He may have very few pleasures at this stage. I would just explain what the government mandated safety requirements are now and if he still wants to go, just make sure he gets an aisle seat.
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Harpcat Nov 8, 2020
Actually they say aisle seats are the least safe because of all the traffic going by
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I'm in California. We've been a hotspot all along and Governor Newsom has been quick to close down targeted counties, if not the whole state.

With the virus on another rise yet again, and many numbers soaring higher than the original shut down parameters, the truth is that it isn't safe for compromised people to be able to travel here.

It is also a fact that there's really no serious distancing on airplanes, so there was already a high risk for exposure even before the covid numbers were on the rise.

Try to try to reason with Dad - - show him how the numbers are on the increase. If he can't be reasoned with, then you just have to tell him NO, that traveling right now is a hazardous idea that presents an unreasonable risk.
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Midkid58 Nov 8, 2020
My Dh has been traveling the last couple of months (against my better judgment, but I have no say in this) and he has commented on the OBVIOUS signs that airports and esp. airplanes are being cleaned with MUCH more vigor and eye to safety. Still--it's a risk.

At least Delta, the only airline he'll fly, has 'distancing' no middle seats are assigned and the restrooms are cleaned as best as possible. Food is all prepackaged and the flight attendants are very cautious.
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Not sure how old your dad is. We have friends older than us, that have plenty of energy and are capable of flying independently.
If dad is capable, I say let him.
I would check flying and airline restrictions. Does California have restrictions? Also, will he have to quarantine when he returns?
Make sure Dad understands all that is required. Carpe diem. Happy holidays!
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Another question--Would you even be comfortable with having your father come stay with you over the holidays? Where is he coming from and what is the infection rate there compared to where you are? And of course there's the travel and potential exposure during that. You and your father haven't been in each other's "bubble" so you would be putting each other at risk unless he quarantined at a hotel or something like that. We have children and grandchildren who live nearby and we haven't been in each other's houses since March--and we are in a state with one of the lowest infection rates in the country. We visit outdoors, and even then we wear masks (easier than trying to make sure everyone stays far enough apart). We are for sure not loking forward to our northern winter!
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AT1234 Nov 8, 2020
It’s been very hard on residents, very hard. I don’t know if he’s had any local family doing any kind of visit (window or plexiglass) but I am local to my mom and I’m telling you he prob feels like it’s the last one on one he will ever experience with you. No guilt here I’m in same boat, I get it.
Let me also say different areas are in different phases of this we’re in Texas where numbers are soaring again. I couldn’t put her on a plane going anywhere because their lockdown IS a lockdown no coming and going unless it’s to a hospital. So you might check with the facility before you go any further.
We spent her birthday/ All holidays masked outside and they’ve had multiple positives. Please check where he’s at first. If the allow it and he's negative and quarantined weigh that too.
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It’s really ridiculous to think we can have normal holidays like in the good old days. I find it interesting that Americans and others too, just do not want to sacrifice for the greater good. Can you imagine Brits saying they didn't feel like doing the black outs during the German's invasion? Yet, people act now like big babies when asked to wear a mask. You need to be blunt but kind. And by the way no one can MAKE anyone feel guilty. That’s on you if you accept it. Set boundaries and do what’s right for you. You’ve been given some good suggestions here.
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Dosmo13 Nov 8, 2020
For the Brits, I think being bombed was more frightening than getting sick. Would be for me, too. The enemy we face is silent, unseen and uncertain. We know ways to avoid it, but not as simple or temporary as blackouts. Isolation is what is hard to endure, esp. for the elderly I think. Every normal social activity is curtailed. Maybe the enemy with a face, someone to blame, is easier to cope with. I think Americans are coping pretty well for the most part. Of course there is some complaining and rebellion. Americans cherish personal freedom!
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LIfe is depressing for all of us. Tell him no and that's that. COVID is spreading nationwide.
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You tell him no. He cannot see California now; they have new restrictions so visiting and traveling is not what it was. Flying itself is not that risky although he will have to wear a mask. But getting to the airport, etc is more of a risk and he is then exposing all of you. The facility where he lives may have some quarantine rules as well so he would have to quarantine for 14 days when he gets back.

You did not cause Corona virus so no need to feel guilty; you will need to call him on that too. If he is living in IL on his own in an area where he has no other family, Christmas is just one day, What does he do the rest of the year? Lots of us are not seeing our families this year.
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There are travel restrictions for many states. This is a useful website. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/us-state-travel-restrictions-covid-19/index.html CA does not currently have restrictions, but check the state your father lives in. Also check with your father's facility. They may not let him back in after the holidays if they don't have facilities to quarantine and test residents. He should not be traveling to another state at this time when the pandemic is raging across the country.
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You should first check where he is living and make sure he could even come back. At my moms place, if you leave you can’t come back. You have to give up your place. You could get him on Skype and share the holiday with him. Why’s he so far away? Any chance on moving him to a closer facility? I could not get in to see my. I’m for eight months, but I did visit with her everyday through her window. Maybe you could send 15 small gifts to the facility where he’s out and ask them to give your dad once each day leading up to Christmas and then have him open them by Skype.
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If he can make **all** of his own travel plans then there's little you can do to stop him from coming to California. You can tell him that you will not be picking him up at the airport and that he will not be allowed to visit your home because of quarantine. Turn the tables on him and say "Dad, if you come to California and put me in the position of having to choose between seeing you and keeping my family safe I will choose to keep my family safe but I will get very depressed." See how he likes it.
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Decide if you want him to visit for the holidays. It is your home and your life. He can not just "invite himself" into your home. Though, I would lean in the direction of making this happen if it was my mom (my LO with beginning dementia).

I agree with others to check with the facility about restrictions before making any plans. He may have to go through 2 weeks of quarantine when he comes back.

Is he "with it enough" to wear his face mask consistently, keep appropriate social distances, and wash his hands frequently or will he need a companion to travel with him to help him maintain these safeguards?

Does he have the finances to pay for round trip tickets for himself and a travel companion?

Since I have travelled via air during this pandemic, please be aware:
Airlines are enforcing mask rules rather strictly.
Planes are full -no empty seats.
On arrival to your home, to take a full shower (including washing hair).
On arrival to your home, to place "travel clothes" straight in the wash with a laundry sanitizer and laundry detergent.
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I agree with NYDaughter
If he can make ALL the arrangements himself he can make the trip.
BUT I would also add this, Tell him in advance that he will not be welcome in your house unless he quarantines in a hotel for 2 weeks. That means no leaving the hotel room for 2 weeks prior to visiting your house.
Also add that you are not having a large gathering and that no more than "X" number of people will be allowed in the house at a time and everyone will wear a mask and everyone will "social distance" this means no hugs, no kisses.
And I would remind him that if at anytime during the time he is visiting if ANYONE feels ill then he will not be allowed to visit.
Tell him that this year is not going to be the way anyone wants it. It is not going to be a large family gathering. It would be best to wait until the trip can be made safely.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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My DD and her hubs live in CA. I have not seen her this year. And I won't. They won't travel and won't let us come to see them. It's been really hard--we also have kids in WA and same thing--haven't seen them all year and won't.

We're all in this together--maybe this pandemic will help us to think globally and not so selfishly.

We're just doing a very small Thanksgiving and Christmas with whatever of the 3 families here healthy. Then months from now we will have a full family blowout 'halfway to Hallowthanksmas'.

And yes, we are more than aware that our 90 year old mothers may very likely have had their 'last' traditional Christmas.
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I would say if he is cognitively able to travel, observe all the safety rules, quarantine for 5 days in a hotel and then get tested and wait for an “all clear”, and is willing to do the same on his return home, then tell him to knock his socks off. I know many people who are traveling, have several friends who are flight attendants and they say it is very safe.
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LoopyLoo Nov 9, 2020
It's "very safe", said flight attendants. Well that seals it. Throwing away my masks now!

I mean no disrespect to flight attendants. It's a hard job and doesn't get near the respect it deserves. But FAs aren't nurses, doctors, researchers, or scientists.
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No one should travel, period, or this country will keep fighting the pandemic for the next 5 years.

If all of us (non-essentials) would have stayed put, completely, for the first lockdown, this could have ended long ago.

Every, “but I need to go ——-“ could cost tens to thousands of others their life.
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I would continue to tell him, via voice and in print, how serious this virus is and all the strict rules to control it and how we all have to abide by it no matter how hard it is. It is for his life and everyone else’s. I would tell him that once you can all get the vaccine for this, maybe by summer, you will be able to get together.

If he does not have a computer, or tablet and if you can, get him a tablet or IPad, so that you could do FaceTime calls. Even though that can be done on a cell phone. The tablet gives a much larger picture, so it seems more real. We having been doing that with my sister and family quite often. We have about 5 different connections at one time. It is so nice. We get to see families in different states. Update conversations together. See how the children are growing, laugh together. It is quite wonderful. Once he would have that I would think he would use it often.
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Tell him 'YES'! Think about him instead of yourself at this moment! How would you feel in his situation? Would he let you visit without trying to make YOU feel guilty about wanting to come? The recovery rate for this virus is over 99% that includes elderly! They have already come up with wonderful things to help those who do contact the disease. Like HCQ and Regeneron! I would tell him 'YES'.
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Marylepete Nov 8, 2020
😱 Oh my
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What if he does get covid and dies? That would be horrible and at his age it would be a strong possibility. Also, spreading it to you and your family and the patients at the home. I wouldn't do it.
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BBS2019 Nov 8, 2020
Not to mention spreading it to other airline passengers, airport and airline personnel.
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wow a tough one. However, I would just tell him that until things get straight with this virus he is not allowed to visit, find out if you can zoom with him or some other way, but you do NOT want to catch the virus and be sick and lose work/money nor do you want him to possibly get sick and take it back to where he stays.  Ask him if he wants to possibly end up in hospital being sick?  I know someone who got sick (thank God they did not end up in hospital) and they had fever for 5 days, super tired/weak, wheezy (with 2 breathing treatments), couldn't hardly eat, loss of appetite......so that I am guessing was a "mild case".  Tell him that once things settle down you all can get together again, if it hurts his feelings, it can't be helped.  tell him that you love him and that you will find a way to "see" him whether thru zoom or another type of technology.  wishing you luck.
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oh an to add something about the person I knew.......they were young under 50.
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I skimmed so if this was mentioned, sorry. OPs profile says Dad has Dementia. One good reason why he should not travel alone. Even in the early stages people suffering from a Dementia can get confused and disoriented. I have also been watching videos where if you are unwilling to wear a mask on a plane, you are asked to get off. He has to go thru Security. Be able to understand commands. Be body searched. If he gives airport security any kind of problem, he will not be allowed to board.

There is a problem if he can't understand that he has been in lockdown for a pandemic. If he leaves, they may not allow him back until he guarantines for 14 days. Where is he going to go?

I agree, sorry Dad not this year. We are just staying home. You can plan a trip when things get better. Just keep saying No.
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Talk to the Social Worker at the facility he is living in. Maybe she can negotiate with him in person and make him understand the enormity of the situation he wants to get in .. for him and for you.
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