My mother, who lives with me is 98. She has all her facilities, but unfortunately her vision is nearly gone, and her knees are really bad, hence all she can do is watch a little tv and read her kindle. We go out for lunch once in a while, but she really can’t handle much more than that. She walks with a cane or walker. I’d really like to take her on a little trip to give her a change of scenery, but I can’t think of anywhere that would be enjoyable. We could fly and rent a car if it’s not a long flight, but a big hotel is out of the question. I think somewhere she wouldn’t have to do much walking. Resorts and cruise ships are out of the question. We live in Michigan so Florida would be about the furthest we could go. Any suggestions on something we could do? I don’t think she’d be happy sitting in a condo all day or a hotel room.


Little trips can be local and only last a couple of hours. My mother enjoys going to nearby parks where she enjoys the scenery and watches the kids play. Sometimes we take a picnic lunch. She tags along when I take her great-grandson to the play ground or pool. In fact, Mom enjoys just riding along when I run short errands. She doesn't like to get out of the car and enter the stores much anymore so I have to make sure the weather is appropriate if she's going to wait in the car while I run in for 10-15 minutes. Often I just visit pick-ups or drive through windows when I take her along. We go by Walmart/other chain to pickup an grocery order and then stop at the Dairy Queen for a milk shake on the way home. Sometimes we just drive through the community she grew up in or past some building site that's been in the paper recently.
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Reply to TNtechie

My mother and I love cats, so once a month we went to the SPCA to pet cats. They had separate rooms with about seven cats in each room. I would check around until I found a cat in each room that enjoys sitting on someone’s lap. It was a treat for the cats because they got loving attention for a little while and a treat for us petting the cats.
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Reply to sunnydayclouds
NeedHelpWithMom Mar 18, 2019
No flying. If Mom can’t handle much more than a lunch out, navigating airports and narrow airplane aisles is out of the question.

Driving only. Keep it within 60-90 minutes of home, unless you two have a long, long history of harmonious car trips together. (And even if you do, age 98 + severe physical limitations is a whole different ballgame.)

Rent a big van or something more comfy/roomy for Mom, if need be. Heck, it’s only one day!

Are you close-ish to any of the adorable towns along Lake Michigan or Lake Huron? Any scenic state parks within a reasonable drive of where you live?

Keep in mind: Making things harder for yourself does not equal making it more special for Mom.

Don’t get so wrapped up in second-guessing Mom’s bucket list (or creating expectations) that it’s impossible for you to enjoy yourself.

You’ll have the memory of this trip longer than Mom will. Keep the stress level low. You don’t need a grand scale to have a lovely outing. 😃
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Reply to BlackHole

After my dad died, my sister and her two daughters and I took my mom on a road trip to places she had lived when she was first married. We had a great time. We stayed in small towns with small motels with handicap rooms. Went to where she was born, where she started school. To cemeteries.
We were in this one town where they had named a road for a woman who kept old folks back in the 30s. This woman didn’t treat them very nice my mom said. She thought it was awful that the woman had been honored. She said “You know there is not one person I could tell about this. They are all gone.”
All the people who could really appreciate this news had already died. She was in her early 90s and still in pretty good shape. She loved to travel. My nieces took her and my sister on a couple of other trips the next few years. I was working and didn’t go with but enjoyed hearing all about who they saw and what they did. Of course they made a lot of photos and then had fun scrapbooking for her to look through.
So if your mom had to move away from an earlier life she might enjoy seeing old haunts.
Oh and my mom loved presidential libraries. There were several of us in a large SUV so that would have been easier for us than for you with just you and your mom. But It’s a great idea to travel with your mom regardless of where you go.
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Reply to 97yroldmom

You are a very kind kid. So how about some sort of musical concert?

Best to you. And such a thoughtful question. And let us know what you choose.
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Reply to Segoline
NeedHelpWithMom Mar 18, 2019
Concert would be wonderful.
Why not a cruise? So many new and delicious foods. Shows. Everything built into the price. Easy access to a place to rest (her room). Use wheelchairs to keep tiredness down. Candi
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Reply to candi8

Have you asked your Mum if she wants to go on a trip? You say her vision is almost gone and she does little but watch TV all day. How is she going to 'see' the change in scenery?

If going out for lunch is as much as she can handle how would she manage a flight? Think of the lines ups to check in, clear security, the wait for take off and the confusion and congestion of landing, finding bags etc. I know my Dad who flew on long haul international flights up until age 83, could not manage a short flight now. Heck getting from the car to the terminal would exhaust him.

Now for a car trip, how long can she sit comfortably in the car? Does she have any issues with incontinence? Going out for lunch is one thing, but what about going out from breakfast lunch and dinner? You say going out for lunch wipes her out, how can she manage more than that?

Dad will be 90 in a couple weeks. He can manage one activity per day. And he has to rest the next day. So he could go to the doctor on Monday, rest of Tuesday, get groceries on Wednesday, rest on Thursday etc. He has to do his activities in the morning and he will be in bed most the day after he gets home.

I am curious why you panned a cruise or resort? I know of seniors in wheel chairs that do both and have a great time.
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Reply to Tothill
ShenaD Feb 10, 2019
She didnt plan a cruise. I think that was someone's suggestion. Bless you for your hard work. Sounds like you have a good schedule. My dad just watches tv and walks the house. Wont go anywhere.
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Definitely, a sweet, positive query! Michigan to Florida sounds like much more than a little trip.
Day trips are a good starting point, and you don't get into the hotel/bathroom situation. Is there an aide or another family member who can assist you? I find it's better with two, as it's almost impossible to watch someone every single minute. At some point, you need to visit the ladies room, too.
Do you yourself need a vacation. If so, is there someone else who could stay with her while you go away?
Back to day trips. Because of her vision and mobility, I would also think about music and nature (ocean, lake, flowers, trees), if that's something she enjoys. The Upper Peninsula is beautiful. That's a beautiful place to visit, it's quiet. There must be a lot to do in Michigan. Even a picnic in the car can be welcome.
If you are ready to go further, what about Niagara Falls?
If not a cruise, is she up for a boat trip on a lake or river? Or one that is guided by a naturalist? What about a day trip on a bus, with a guide?
Are there any Senior day trips available in your area, which would be customized her to age group, and also provide possible opportunities to converse with other elders?
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Rabanette

Bobbi...One of my favorite places is the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island right in your state. You and your mom could just relax at the hotel. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island, and so you would have to take a carriage into the little town, etc.. Have you seen the movie “Somewhere in Time”? If not, watch it. It was filmed at the hotel and other parts of the island and will give you a feel for the area. I would recommend going for the Lilac Festival June 7 - 16. You can make reservations on the internet, and I would suggest doing so now: You would leave your car on the mainland and take a ferry to the island, and a carriage will take you to the hotel. Spend time on the website, and you can see all they have. Things slow down at Mackinac Island, so perhaps it would be a good fit for your mom. I wish you all the best.
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Reply to 20Eagle16

My suggestion, is tiny little trips around where you live. Just part of a day" get a ways". I live in Los Angeles and we took a lady friend in her 80's who was almost blind, but could walk to a wonderful museum. She couldn't see the art work, unless up real close. But the view museum was great, a wonderful patio, etc. She really liked being out. Lot's of tiny trips & experiences have value. For me just going to a bakery (which I love) and enjoying the bakery experience means a great deal. Small gems have great value.
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Reply to HappyWill

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