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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?

I know it is sad. Just be honest with him. His facility is on lockdown due to the pandemic and he can not leave.
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Reply to haileybug
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California has a curfew, do not come here please. Lasting until Dec. 21st, or may be extended.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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What are the rules of the Assisted Living Facility? This is a mute discussion in many places - especially if the facility is in lock down.

If your father is able to buy his own ticket and arrange his own transportation to and from the airport, then he is able to negotiate with the AL facility on how he can integrate back into their community.
In that case, your only decision is if you accept him into your home after traveling on a plane. You have the right to say that he cannot stay in your home or come over to visit to protect your family - and him.

If he is not able to coordinate all aspects of his trip and is reliant on you to coordinate the plans, the answer is "No, but..." and tell him all the ways Christmas can be special this year even when he is far away.
In this case, start planning what you can do, and what kind of visit you will have when the threat has passed.
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Reply to MAP2013
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Traveling is simply out of the question, not only for his health but for the other residents & those heroic caregivers working in the facility. How would he feel if he carried this virus back to one of them & their entire families fell ill? If he is able to remember the restrictions/problems of WWII maybe that could be a good example. I've used that with my 87-yr old mother, telling her we need to do our part in this emergency.
Depending on the weather here in north Texas, I plan to bring Mom home for dinner on T-Day with my husband & me, but ONLY if we can enjoy the meal outside on the covered porch. It seems like the best accommodation... Fingers crossed it works out. Otherwise, I will stand firm and take her a homemade meal & pie.
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Dosmo13 Nov 19, 2020
If he is old enough to remember the "restrictions/problems of WWII", he will probably not see the comparison. (you may think your mom does, but I rather doubt it) First of all, for most restrictions, there was no choice...new automobiles were simply not available. There was no backlash. Steel was needed for the war effort and everyone understood why. Virtually nobody said, I'm not going to use blackout curtains because I don't believe the Japanese would really bomb us.
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One word, No!!!

That should be enough. Seriously, there is no reason in the world to allow this. No need for guilt either. I would feel guilty if I supported his delusional beliefs.

There is an extremely valid reason not to allow it. Life! When it’s a matter of life and death, the answer is a no brainer. Life over death!
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Tell him sorry, he can't stay with you because you won't allow it. You checked and the local hotels are all closed for the holidays, as are the restaurants and theaters, etc. Which is true, because doesn't Newsolini have the entire state pretty much shut down? Tell dad it's just not possible this year, that everyone is staying home for the holidays, period.

I have a friend who just posted this yesterday:

"Is there a word for some next level irony... when you follow all the d*mn rules, stay away from friends and family for 9 months, wear a mask ALWAYS, wash your hands incessantly, keep your kids in virtual school.... and you get covid from your boss... the designated infection control officer?
Asking for myself, because I’m wrecked.
I’m ready to go to the hospital, holding off as long as I can because they are over run right now, and my kids surely also have it, so whoever they stay with will probably get it.
The typhoid Larry who gave this to me has offered to keep the girls and drive me there, because he feels so guilty right now because he came to work when he knew his wife had it, then proceeded to hold an hour meeting with me in a smallish office. We both had masks on, but come ON.
Wtf is wrong with people."

She is very sick right now, the hospital is full to capacity, so all she can do is get a video appointment with her doctor this afternoon and hopefully, some meds that likely won't help. NO meds helped my DD when she was quite ill with covid back in January. My friend has 2 small children who are now terrified of what's happening with their mother.

Just a reminder that my friend & her boss were BOTH WEARING MASKS and her boss was not symptomatic with the virus; his WIFE had it, not HIM.

Lay down the law with your father. He's better off being 'depressed' than dead this holiday season. It irritates the heck out of me how much importance people place on 'The Holidays', as if it's the be-all and end-all of LIFE for petesake

Stay safe. THAT is the #1 thing to do this 'holiday season'.
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NeedHelpWithMom Nov 10, 2020
Another fantastic smart reply, Lea! I couldn’t agree more. We must be cautious!
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Get your tender loving caring "daughter hat on". wr;pight down all the "scary stuff" you can find and include his vulnerable ability to get the virus. "if I let you go and you got the virus,I would cary that guilt to my grave". "I can not let you go and that's it". Your dad has a mind set of rules that he has to abide by and so the above rule (you can not go) he will understand...Unless he is a real controller all his life. If you have a "bond" with him...you can do it. If you got some unresolved conflicts...deal with them first. Meet him where he is...he sees end of life and his current "want to". You are fortunate to "have your dad" and his active mind. Let him know your loving carying spirit and stick to...I can not let you go and that will not change.





's
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Reply to DKelso34
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Give him your lecture. Then chances are he won't bother you about it any more.
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Reply to Dosmo13
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You say he wants to fly halfway across the country to see California, "not necessarily us". Many suggestions here, e.g. using internet, might enhance family relationships. That would be nice, of course, but it wouldn't satisfy his desire to "see California". If, as you suggest, relationship is not his primary interest, he may just really want to GET OUT after months of lock down in a seniors facility! I'd use family members, if I could, as an excuse to go anywhere!
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Reply to Dosmo13
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Tell Dad "not this year, maybe next (too many things closed down now due to COVID)". Hope that will still give him something to look forward to. Let him plan...that's half the pleasure of a trip. Many things he wants to see, places he wants to visit are closed down now, or so you tell him (you don't need to know for sure, but you can guess) "Next year, Dad!"
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Reply to Dosmo13
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Thank you for asking this question - I’m in a similar boat myself with my mom.

IMO one thing to consider would be if he could remember to wear a mask properly. If not, that is a big risk to him and to you guys.

The isolation of covid on the elderly is cruel...the isolation of getting VERY sick and possibly dying alone in quarantine is very cruel. This pandemic creates some very hard choices. For me the latter is worse - for myself and my mom - so I act accordingly. Maybe get as many people online as possible to talk to your Dad on/around the holidays, and start talking about a blowout party as soon as the pandemic is over? Bombard him with contact and things in the mail in the meantime? I’m rambling but also thinking for myself here as well...make the most of a bad situation and try not to have it be worse?

Best of luck and I’m all ears on your solution!

PS like so many I have ( very easy) asthma BUT on the few occasions it turned on, it is so difficult to turn off. Days on end of lungs hurting and feeling like I can’t quite get a full breath is claustrophobic and rather unnerving. So for covid I imagine that feeling but many times worse ....I do not wish that experience on anyone, for that reason I am very cautious with this pandemic, for myself and my mother.
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Reply to Madisoncuckoo7
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There is no great answer to this problem. The best you can do is arrange for Dad to join you through video for a family meal. Send in a fancy catered meal with all the trimmings, including sparkling grape juice or wine if he is permitted. Get someone in the facility to set up live video with you at the appropriate time. You may be having lunch while he has dinner. Everyone can see him and talk to him, and he can see everyone. It's not the same as hugging and kissing people we love, but it is better than nothing in this age of COVID-19. In fact, I suggest doing this on a weekly basis to help him feel more involved with the family. You might have to script things to keep younger members of the family involved but it will be worth the effort.
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Reply to DrBenshir
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Watercolor,

You posted earlier. Can you share what tests you are speaking of please?

It’s confusing. We keep hearing conflicting advice. I personally would be very cautious to be on a plane at this time because Covid cases are on the rise again. I most likely would not travel right now.

The last report I read about said the sanitized areas in an airplane last for a week. Who knows what is true. What have you heard?
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Imho, I do not advocate that he take this trip. Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Older people like to read.

Get him copies of news paper articles, copies of ehat ever local or state orders are in place. Get him data on the deadliness of Covid to Sr citsens
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Reply to lacyisland
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Here's a question, will his medical insurance cover him if he gets sick in another state? My Mother has Medigold and it only covers her if she is in an approved Ohio hospital.
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Scheryl Nov 8, 2020
Great point to bring up Frances. Scheryl
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This may sound crazy, but are you able to go visit him during the holidays? The latest studies show that traveling by plane is not as dangerous as many of us had feared as long as you follow all health guidelines, stay masked, etc. You could stay at a hotel and get tested after you arrive and then be able to spend some time. It's not the trip he wants, but maybe, if planned safely, he can get to see you.

I know this may not be a popular suggestion, but it's worth at least a thought.
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watercolor Nov 8, 2020
Unfortunately, the latest tests on airplane air show that it is not nearly as safe as previously reported. My only suggestion is that you and the rest of your family try to chat face to face online with your dad as frequently as you can.
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I am writing this from a different perspective. I am 72 & live in a Senior Living Facility. We have had no cases of Covid, are monitored daily, as are staff. My nephew (wife) are traveling by plane at Christmas, to visit me, my daughter and her children, staying at her house. I know that if I join them, I will be quarantined for 14 days when I return home, which I totally accept!   (Can the rules at your dad's facility guide you)?

I dearly want to see them, however..., I believe I need to think of my own life (I have several lung issues), and the lives of my daughter and grandsons, plus those of my neighbors in the facility. I am also thinking of my daughter's grief if I die. So, I am going wait and see how things are before making my final decision. I may only go for Christmas Eve/Christmas morning, at least lessening my exposure. You might want to find out the rules at dad’s facility, and use those as a guideline.  Also, you might ask yourself: would I rather incur dad’s wrath, or deal with his death? - or the death of one of your children?

From a larger perspective, as for having to talk with your dad about this, from my perspective, as the "aged" person, please empathize, with him. Do NOT tell him you understand, because you really don’t. Remember the words, “until you’ve walked in my shoes….” 

And, also, as a former Minister, and Bereavement Specialist, please recognize that the isolation of Covid, in general, has been extremely difficult for us. Add that to the holidays, and it's very depressing.  Like me, he may already be grieving many things: the loss of his home, the loss of family, and now comes the loss of family traditions.

A word of caution, if you decide he can’t come this year, do not promise that you’ll be together next Christmas. Most likely you’ll hear “but I may be dead then!”  (We may be old, but we can still be manipulative”!)  It would be far better to say “there will be other opportunities for us to get together.”

And, agree it will be disappointing and sad for you too. But love simply cannot overcome the potential danger of Covid.

Check with the facility to see what they are doing for the residents (not that this replaces family!) Can they help your family Zoom. My facility lets residents borrow a laptop to use and helps them set it up. (sometimes this needs to be scheduled in advance.)  He is not the only one in this position. If he doesn't have a computer/laptop, could your family go together and buy a cheap model that would allow him to zoom?  

Plan ahead for things to talk about. The following are questions that could be asked either before the holiday or when you're all together:  

1.   What would you miss the most about not gathering with family?   If done when family is all gathered together, you might want to involve grandchildren. Family can talk about specific gifts. What about family games that were played? Did grandpa and Tommy always watch a sports game on TV. Can they do it now?
2.   What are some of HIS favorite memories of Christmas (memories of when he and his wife hosted, or came to visit).  If he has some dementia, ask about favorite Christmases when he was a child.
3.   Recall Christmas “memories” of things that went wrong: when mom’s pie’s burned, the year Santa showed up in Atlanta when we went south to visit A. Lela?
4.   Take a number of photos, and make a collage. Gather family memories and put in a scrapbook. Send it to him ASAP so he can look at it whenever he wants.
5.   Have grandchildren write him letters about Christmas, etc.
6.   If he was in the service, ask what that was like.

But, if he persists in coming, you are most certainly within your rights to set boundaries.  Have him stay at a hotel and limit hours if needed. (And don't feel guilty! Too many times during this pandemic, caution as been thrown to the wind, and cases escalated!

Stay happy, healthy, and enjoy the holidays.
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DrBenshir Nov 9, 2020
FYI I can highly recommend GrandPad for seniors to videochat with family. I bought one for my 93 y.o. mother and it is easier for her to use than her phone.
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when my father’s dementia was in its early stages (about 7 years ago) we travelled via plane on a family vacation. I knew that the confusion might be worse but I was not prepared for what happened. After all, Dad had always loved to fly. While the flight itself was uneventful, when dad stepped off the plane several states away from home, he was completely disoriented. Most nights he didn’t know who we were. When we boarded the plane for the return flight, he panicked because he couldn’t find Mom who was right beside him. We almost got kicked off the plane. I Could go on but won’t. I felt so sorry for him and my poor Mom who couldn’t leave his side.

Even with mild dementia, air travel did not go well even with several family members with him. I cannot imagine how my father would have handled a trip alone. And during a pandemic? I wouldn’t advise it. FaceTime isn’t the same but it’s a better bet than a long trip.

I hope you can come to terms with this often-ugly disease. Wrapping my head around the harsh realities was the hardest thing for me.

Praying for peace for you both.
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Reply to Suz123
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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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Reply to Beewise
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Tell him that you have rules you have to comply with. They mean that if he comes, you will not be able to pick him up from the airport, he can’t stay with you, and you will only be able to meet him in the open, everyone wearing masks and staying 6’ apart. That is what you will HAVE to do. Let him work out that it’s not going to happen.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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In this forum, I keep seeing situation after situation presented where elders are being unreasonable, self centered and demanding. Just because they are "seniors" doesn't mean their kids or grandkids, who are often also "seniors," must jump to or yield to the unreasonable. A lot of us kids of "seniors" are still working well beyond when our parent(s) retired, due to the need to support them. We are also responsible for managing their household, their medical and financial needs, just everything. Right down to toilet duty round the clock.

Your father's demand is unreasonable. We are living in a time akin to WWII, where sacrifices were necessary for YEARS. And you say you are elderly and immune compromised yourself.

I would tell father he's free to do what he pleases, but out of health concerns for yourself, you cannot provide local transportation or a place to stay or make other contact with him at this time. Until a vaccine is available.
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Reply to BBS2019
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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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Reply to Beewise
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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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Reply to JoAnn29
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oh an to add something about the person I knew.......they were young under 50.
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Reply to wolflover451
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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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Reply to wolflover451
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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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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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Reply to FamilyNeeded
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Marylepete Nov 8, 2020
😱 Oh my
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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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Reply to Marylepete
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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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