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Older son visiting.
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 11:10 AM
Joined: 7/17/2017
Posts: 342

My 29 year old son and his wife will fly in tomorrow for a 4 day visit. Im getting a little stressed over my ability to have my “A game” on for their visit. Im worried that after a day or 2 when Im tired, he will see the difference in his dad, and I want to appear “normal” a little while longer. We have a busy schedule for them while here to include visitng family on my wifes side, visiting the beach, and going for walks along the river, but I know that normally, I dont do well when Im out of my daily routine.

How have some of you handled visits by family? I have been open and honest with my kids about my condition, but they have not really been around me long enough to notice any changes.

PS - How old do kids need to be before the parents quit paying for their flight tickets?

Jo C.
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 3:27 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11106

Oh Andrew, I too have wondered at what point do parents stop paying for airline tickets for adult children?   You really made me laugh.  Thank you.

I wonder if this is more about your own perception about yourself, or if it is really about your son or perhaps a bit of both.

I am willing to bet that your son would be willing to have you pace yourself a bit more.   You can honestly tell him that this is part of, "Best Practices," or that medication makes you a bit tired.  You are his wonderful Dad, and Andrew; you are wonderfully spoken, are truly a very, very nice person who is very thoughtful, and have a great sense of humor . . . yep; you are a treasure.

It is only four days and you will do just fine if you pay attention to your body's needs and honor them.  alz+ did this on her journey to her family.

We have our four adult kids, with a spouse, a fiancee and a grand coming for a week across the Fourth.  While I do not have dementia, I have significant arthritis in my knees from old injuries and cannot have surgery for them.  I find that the pain from over-doing seems to bring with it a flareup and when that happens, it can even cause a feeling of deep exhaustion and even weakness.   Most unpleasant.

It can also be very tiring to have all that commotion going on that one is not used to.  Both my husband and myself do feel that.

Frankly, I so enjoy visiting with them; simple meals and we will go out, we will order in, and one day, the kids will cook . . . . if they want to do more of that, I am going to be the first to say, "Okay."  Frankly, I really like ordering in. 

The need to pace the activity; especially when one is out and about in different spaces, with a lot of stimuli, and out of one's routine; well, that can be a bit of an issue with dementia.   It can be tiring and unsettling which can start a cascade of unwanted dynamics.   So; pacing is good.  And . . . there may even be a time in which the kids may go and do something by themselves.

I have no problem saying I am going to go get a bit of rest and then retire to m'lady's chamber and spend an hour or so of quiet time reading or whatever.  Respite and recouping.   You can do that and give yourself a bit of space and respite.

I think being open and honest and letting them know you will have to pace yourself, and there will be times you want to get some rest.  Then just be your delightful self without apology or blinking an eye.  It's all good.   Pacing and a bit of rest would be far more sensible than actually overdoing way out of your routine and suffering unintended consequences.   If it starts to get overwhelming or unsettling, use your polite reason/excuse and use the bedroom with a shut door to regroup and recoup.  It's all good. 

We are also absolutely fine with the kids going off by themselves.  They will go to Disneyland; the big museum, and the Huntington Library . .  we will not be going to any of those mentioned above; it is just too much of long, long, long days and walking, walking, walking long distances AND we have already done it so often with them in the past.

Anyway, when the kids go someplace by themselves, we find ourselves using that for a bit of respite. That is another option.

Letting yourself be you, doing what is best for you, will let you be the Dad you want to be, and it is about quality . . . . . not quantity.

Remember:  It is only four days, it is not permanent. 

I send warmest thoughts and best wishes for you to have a great time with the kids, airplane tickets not withstanding.


Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 6:40 PM
Joined: 7/17/2017
Posts: 342

Thanks Jo C for the excellent response and the nice words for me.

Yes, I do tend to over analyze things, so maybe it wont be as bad as I think. Last summer, we had our little 4 yr old granddaughter for 7 weeks. She definitely kept me busy, but I survived, so 4 days with grown kids should be easy.

Im use to taking about one hour each afternoon for a nap, or at least down time. I wont hesitate to do so with them here if needed.

Me, a treasure...maybe buried treasure.....Remember years ago when Geraldo Rivera opened the safe of Al Capone...big build up in the media, and the safe turned out to be empty, so no treasure.

Sorry to hear about the painful knees.

It will be a whirlwind visit, and like any severe storm, the aftermath might be devastating, but nothing some rest wont heal.

Thanks again.

Jo C.
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 11:24 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11106

My intuition tells me that you will have a good four days and all will go well.   If you are like my husband and me, we tend to collapse into easy chairs after the kids leave and stay put for a day just settling ourselves in and breathing.

Happy wishes coming your way,


Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 3:07 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18848

When they are no longer in school or

I use a Southwest credit card exclusively so have miles. I look up how many miles are needed and tell them that is what I will contribute. If they wait until the last minute the extra is on them.

We always fly Southwest when available. My husband, the Navy fighter pilot, insisted.

Please do not try to keep up. Tell them you need a

Mimi S.
Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 7:30 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7029


You have told your kids. Then no acts; be honest. You want them to know what is happening to them.  Maybe you can't participate in al the activities. Tell the what you can do.  And if even that is too much, then cut back further.

You do want them to understand what is happening to you.

Relax and enjoy. Rest when necessary and it may be more than usuao.

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 8:20 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18848

hoping day 1 went well
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 7:29 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4405


I don't have much to add to the great advice already extended. Just relax enjoy, be yourself as you are now, don't overdo and you will have a great time. It's better that our adult children understand our vulnerabilities and limitations.

Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:19 AM
Joined: 7/17/2017
Posts: 342

Thanks Jo C, JFKOC, Mimi, and LLee for your excellent advice and comments.

We had a good time, played a few board games. I made sure we played early because my brain has a tendency to go to bed before I do, so early games mean I have a chance to win.(I still lost)

Taking the kids for a walk along the river this morning, followed by a trip to Voodoo Donuts, then relax and spend this afternoon at my mother in laws house. Hopefully, too many people talking wont be hard to keep up with, but in most cases, it is.

Made it to bed by 930 last night which is late for us. I enjoyed my quiet time morning bible study before anyone else was awake. Love my quiet early mornings.

Thanks again

Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 10:08 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18848

My husband took a book! Actually he almost always took a
Jo C.
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 7:56 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11106

Good going thus far, good for you!  Voodoo donuts, sure sounds yummy.   Good for the quiet times in the morning, gets the day off to a very good start.



Iris L.
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 3:14 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16569

Our culture wants us to be always on the go and almost in a frenzy of activity.  Why can't we embrace the quiet and the contemplative?  If we do, we are looked down upon.  I am finally embracing my own quiet and contemplative side.  Thank you, alz+, for reminding me of the peace found in nature and rocks and clouds.

Iris L.

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 11:23 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2546

I'm going to jump in and share our experience with something very similar. DH's parents - we'd been totally forthcoming with them about what DH was going through, diagnosis, etc. I know it was hard for them to accept their sons was diagnosis with dementia.

Finally my FIL very politely ask if he couldn't come spend 4 days with us. Of course we said yes. DH was nervous waiting for his dad to deplane, when I ask him about it he said he didn't want his dad to worry  too much about him. Of course it broke my heart but I just said his dad was coming to be with him, period and to enjoy time together. 

Day one was low key and I don't even think we left the house. Day 2 we left and did something. I could tell DH was really 'acting' like things were fine, I don't know if his dad picked up on it. Then came day 3....... it was a very off day for DH. When I'd gone outside with the dogs my FIL came up to me and with tears in his eyes said "now I see it and I'm so sorry." I kept my composure and said don't be sorry, just be his dad. Which he did.

You can only be yourself - others will adjust around you. Enjoy the visit and relax for several days after the visit.


Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2018 10:11 PM
Joined: 5/4/2018
Posts: 5

Hi Andrew!  How was the visit?  I'm very interested to hear how it went.  I have a semi-similar situation, but in reverse.  I'm the older daughter that visits my mom.  Is there anything your son could do to put you more at ease?  My mom is much more advanced that you at this point (she often doesn't know who I am), but she still tries very hard to keep up appearances.  Sometimes she'll say, "I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I think I'm having a bit of a problem with my memory occasionally."  I want to help her maintain her dignity, so any insight would be excellent.  I hope you had a nice visit.  And, for the record, I started paying for my own plane tickets 12 years ago - when I was 22....
Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2018 11:18 AM
Joined: 7/17/2017
Posts: 342

Thanks for all the responses.

Visit went well. They are late sleepers so my morning routine was the same each day which helped. We went for a few walks along the river, drove over to the Oregon coast, and played lots of cards and a croquet set in our back yard. A few times I needed a small break to recharge, but mostly I kept up with them, and was in bed each night by 9. After they left, all the extra brain power it took to stay focused took its toll, and I was very tired, and had really bad cognitive issues for a few days. However, well worth the effort!

Posted: Friday, June 29, 2018 9:36 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3560

andrew - glad you posted this and got all the advice I needed for this weekend!   

My husband's son and grandson are coming for 2 nights and my private escape room doubles as "guest room" so I will be "sleeping" with husband.

when my daughter comes to visit now it is better I let her and my son witness me in full on ALZ mode so they understand the situation.

the worst is I fear both of my kids are showing signs. so distressing I can not even post about that.

when I visited them out west this spring my grandkids behaved warmly towards me but I could tell they knew I was not "right" and their mom is still icy to me. I would leave the room if something went weird and collect myself, then return.

ALZ is nothing to be ashamed of but some things are very odd and people are clueless about how to respond. I quit expecting much out of anybody ad that is still working.

This weekend I am avoiding my guests as the son has an intensity that triggers my mouth to operate in all its glory. Yikes!

your visit was a wild success! well done and thanks to all for Andrew's pep talk and advice. love you all.