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Old 11-22-2016, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,170 posts, read 8,694,591 times
Reputation: 6167

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It's been a crazy year; lots of work and I'm thankful for that - however -

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday but I find working it around having to go to my father in law's home is hard for others as well.

My FIL is now 94, lives in his own home and has caregivers. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 bladder cancer in September 2016 and we have hospice care visiting weekly. He seems to be doing fine (according to the hospice workers) and claims he has no pain. Originally, hospice told me they are summoned anywhere from 1 to 6 months but who knows, right? My FIL was in 2 wars and is a tough guy.

He lives an hour from us. My husband is willing to "stop by" and see him but does not want to take him out to eat. We did that last year and there were some tough moments. I'm really conflicted - our son will be with us and he works in the restaurant field and he is off on Thanksgiving, probably the first one ever.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make the day enjoyable for my FIL? I mean, sometimes, he doesn't even remember things; my husband doesn't want to upset the routine the caregivers have going on - looking for some creative ideas.

I suggested packing a picnic basket and taking him to a nice park. My husband doesn't like that idea b/c I think he wants to keep him close to home. (My husband is not good with taking his dad to the bathroom, etc and I think that's what he is worried about).

I'm looking for success stories where you felt like your elderly relatives were pleased with what you did.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:59 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 37,649,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
I
I suggested packing a picnic basket and taking him to a nice park.
Make it simpler... take the turkey dinner to him in his home. Enjoy it with him and his caregivers in familiar surroundings!
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,035 posts, read 17,354,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Make it simpler... take the turkey dinner to him in his home. Enjoy it with him and his caregivers in familiar surroundings!
That usually works the best.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:45 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,789 posts, read 54,455,776 times
Reputation: 31098
When my mother-in-law was that age, she was in an adult family home with 5 others. They did a full-blown turkey dinner, with all the trimmings. We would go visit her in the early afternoon, then go home and finish cooking for the 14 family members coming to our house for dinner. This went on for 13 years until she passed at age 95. As long as your FIL is in his own home, I would suggest eating your family dinner early, say 3-4pm, then take a plate over to him after, at his usual dinner time, and visit while he eats.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,101 posts, read 3,461,680 times
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Agree about not taking your FIL out; if you don't want to cook, just order a reheat TDay dinner from Publix or Boston Market (though you're almost out of time, most of these deals have to be ordered by today for pick up on Wednesday). If you prefer to eat at your own home, go over to your FIL's with an assortment of his favorite desserts (usually elders have a sweet tooth). Bring enough desserts for his caregivers, too.

I'd strongly suggest you plan some sort of activity pre- or post- dinner. Maybe your husband has some old family photos or slides?? It's surprising what oldsters that seem a bit foggy, can remember when shown an old picture. When my FIL (sadly now deceased) was 90+ we brought him a photo of his college fraternity...and he instantly reeled off the names of almost everyone (20+) in the photo!

Just a thought, enjoy the day.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:41 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,141,183 times
Reputation: 10910
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
It's been a crazy year; lots of work and I'm thankful for that - however -

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday but I find working it around having to go to my father in law's home is hard for others as well.

My FIL is now 94, lives in his own home and has caregivers. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 bladder cancer in September 2016 and we have hospice care visiting weekly. He seems to be doing fine (according to the hospice workers) and claims he has no pain. Originally, hospice told me they are summoned anywhere from 1 to 6 months but who knows, right? My FIL was in 2 wars and is a tough guy.

He lives an hour from us. My husband is willing to "stop by" and see him but does not want to take him out to eat. We did that last year and there were some tough moments. I'm really conflicted - our son will be with us and he works in the restaurant field and he is off on Thanksgiving, probably the first one ever.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make the day enjoyable for my FIL? I mean, sometimes, he doesn't even remember things; my husband doesn't want to upset the routine the caregivers have going on - looking for some creative ideas.

I suggested packing a picnic basket and taking him to a nice park. My husband doesn't like that idea b/c I think he wants to keep him close to home. (My husband is not good with taking his dad to the bathroom, etc and I think that's what he is worried about).

I'm looking for success stories where you felt like your elderly relatives were pleased with what you did.
In your shoes I would arrange to have the meal at FIL's house. Do the whole thing take out.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:38 PM
 
419 posts, read 257,090 times
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When my grandfather was no longer well and with a bit of dementia, we could no longer take him to dinner. What he loved doing was to just get in the car with family and take a ride. He loved riding the roads, seeing some of his old haunts and remembering when he worked on the roads. We'd take him by his boyhood home, some of the old towns he knew well, and maybe up to Woodland Beach to see if any ships were going by and to remember happier times.

If you want Thanksgiving at your home, then by all means take him a full meal when you've finished. If you, hubby, and son would rather go out for Thanksgiving to a restaurant, you should without guilt. Maybe you could take a Thanksgiving meal from the restaurant to your FIL? Even if someone has already brought him Thanksgiving dinner, he'll always have yours for the next couple of days. Then if he feels like it, take him for a ride. The older folks I've known seem to like simplicity and just spending a little time with family.
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,888 posts, read 25,323,560 times
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I think everyone else is right on. Just take him a meal and visit for a while.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:07 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,164 posts, read 20,470,249 times
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Eating at home is a lot easier than taking him to a park. It's hard to know what the weather will be like, what the bathroom facilities at the park will be like, if there's a nice spot to eat, etc. Ask the caregiver what they would suggest for Thanksgiving, you bringing a meal or just bringing some dessert. Offer to feed the caregiver too.

Even if your FIL doesn't know that it's Thanksgiving, he'll enjoy the visit and the meal. My dad never knows what day it is anymore and when he was still coming to my house, we had lots and lots of birthday parties for him...I'd make cupcakes and we'd light a candle and sing to him. He really enjoyed the party and feeling like he was still important enough to celebrate.
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Old 11-24-2016, 10:18 PM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,561,639 times
Reputation: 20505
^^^
That is really sweet, great idea.
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