A sweet and lovely ride [AP News # 124]

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Hello it’s Mikol and Carolyn here.
Today Mikol is going to share something just amazing with you.

My own aging parent – my Mom – is 88, still active, and lives alone. In those 88 years she has seen many wonderful places and enjoyed a great life. After my Dad passed away 2 years ago, I have spent a lot of time trying to give her things to look forward to.

I have a list of strategies for keeping her from getting depressed and slipping downward emotionally – but this is one I call “positive anticipation” is definitely one of the best. And one of my favorites too because I get to spend more time with my Mom.

So this time around I asked her if she wanted to visit one of the most beautiful places I know – Lake Tahoe. Mom had never been there with us and I thought this would be a great opportunity to show her something new.

But she told me she couldn’t. She thought she couldn’t take the altitude (6000+ feet above sea level) because she used to have asthma.

So I spoke with Carolyn who has a nursing background, and she said it would be fine. I called Mom back and (gently) challenged her assumption. And finally, reluctantly, she agreed to join us for the week. Great!

We picked her up and drove the 3.5 hours to Lake Tahoe. We watched for altitude problems, breathing difficulty, racing heart, whatever. And nothing!

A beautiful week of perfect weather passed and we got to do something Mom hadn’t been expecting.

The Truckee River at Lake Tahoe offers rafting trips. They basically involve floating lazily down a mild river with very mild rapids here and there.
Would Mom like to try it? Yes!
Other than helping her in and out of the raft and one bump which landed her on her butt, it was a sweet and lovely ride. And a great story to tell her friends back in the retirement community.
Then we took her to the casinos later that evening and to top it off she won $600!
So it was certainly a beautiful experience taking Mom with us on vacation. We feel so blessed to share these joyful moments and to be able to provide the means for her to enjoy herself. If you would like to do something like this too with your aging parent…

Here are our 3 Tips For Vacationing With an Aging Parent:

  1. Challenge the perceived barriers you/your parent may have for trying something new. It is very common for an aging parents to have irrational fears based on false constructs and untested assumptions. So first know the facts. Then use “how” and “what” (instead of “why”) question to start a dialogue. For example,

    “What if we see if the altitude bothers you and if it does, we’ll get one of those portable oxygen tanks for you?”

    This will help you avoid making your aging parent defensive, and ensure the conversation stays positive, focused and conflict free.

  2. Encourage your aging parent to get out in nature. Whether it’s in a wheelchair, with help, or just a drive, try it. Beauty can uplift the spirits and give you both a new perspective.

  3. Offer alternatives to your aging parent to accommodate any disabilities. Never used a wheelchair? Try a lightweight one you can rent. These things can truly opens up a new world.

So that’s it for now. Thanks so much for reading. We hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. We’ve certainly enjoyed making it for you!

Carolyn & Mikol

Last Updated ( Monday, 30 August 2010 19:54 )

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