“We thought it would be a cinch”…..famous last words for many of us for sure! I love today’s guest post for so many reasons. Kathryn Atkins, founder of Writing World, LLC, made me laugh, cry and nod my head in agreement at her trip with her mother (then 98, now 103) in a “mere” 90-minute car ride. I know you’ll enjoy her post and I sincerely hope we see more posts from Kathryn in the future on Travel with Aging Parents!
P.S. I was not surprised to see that Kathryn is a professional writer as I felt like I was in her car even though the blog is just a few paragraphs!
It’s 90 miles from Sacramento to Chico, CA—that would be about an hour and a half by car. Mom was 98 at the time (she’s 103 now), and was and is still quite lucid, stable with a walker, and beats us at dominoes. My brother and I thought a car trip to the funeral service for one of her few remaining relatives would be a piece of cake.
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The minute we got out of the familiar five-mile radius from her home she became very agitated. Nervous chatter about the countryside, all the cars, the big open spaces, bumps in the road, and many questions filled the car for the entire 90 minutes. We would never have expected this from her, but we can only guess that the “shock” of being in unfamiliar surroundings caused her nervousness. It was a surprise, because she had never acted that way before. But then, we hadn’t taken her outside of the city in months.
It turned out all right. We attended the service, she was the “belle of the ball” because of her age, but she really didn’t enjoy it. We didn’t either. It was a good thing we hadn’t planned an expensive plane or train trip. At least in the car, we had the option of turning around, and the trip was short.
Our advice: take your loved one on a “trial run” before you assume that they can handle a longer trip. As I say, we were floored, but were lucky it turned out okay.
Great advice Kathryn and thanks again for sharing! Interested in guest posting? See the TWAP home page for further instructions!