Elderly mother headed to Banff, Canada

wodkaDecember 26, 2008

My mother, who will turn 84 in January, has been asked by my 65 year old cousin to go with her to Banff, Canada at the end of January. I know I sound like "Debbie Downer," but I have expressed my concerns, which include:

Mother recently diagnosed with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia); also has diverticultis, and if she doesn't watch what she eats, has serious pain; arthritis in her knee; etc. She was born and raised in the South, does not know anything about getting around on ice or in cold weather. The last few times she has flown, she's developed vertigo and has taken weeks to recover.

My cousin is very self-centered, and I worry about her not paying the proper attention to my mother. I used to be not so overly protective until we lost our dad two years ago, and Mom leaned heavily on me.

My husband said just not to worry about it, just let her go, which I am doing. But any advice on what she should do to prepare for the trip, what to watch out for, how to get around, would be greatly appreciated. I know she needs to have long underwear, good hat, gloves, coat and boots, but what else?

BRRR - I get cold just looking at Banff's website.....

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NO NO NO--do not let her go. I have been to Banff and it is beatiful but not in Jan for a person her age. Spring or fall, but with someone who will take care of her. Does she have a passport? Must have one. Medical?? Canada does not accept Medicare. Please do not let the cousin talk her into this trip. It could be life threating. If she really wants to go, look for a senior tour from June-Oct. At this time she will need good winter clothes and good winter boots. In fact I buy my boots on line and they are made in Canada.
Would they be driving? Ice and snow?
I am in mid 70's and know enough to stay off the road during winter conditions and do respect the weather.
Also if I remember, Banff does cater to the skiers.
Remember, tours for seniors, passports, warmer weather.
Good luck

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 10:12PM
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mariend, thank you for your quick response. I forwarded your info to my mother last night, but have not heard from her. I'm sure partly because my cousin is with her now, visiting for the weekend. I have already told my mother that if she feels like she simply has to go, to take all of the precautions, but if anything at all happens to her, that we will hold our cousin accountable! (I'm only partly joking.....)

The ironic part of it all is that my brother-in-law (sister's husband) is Canadian. His father spends more time here in the South, especially during the winter, because of the frigid temps. I really don't get where my mother is coming from. This whole trip came up very suddenly - it's a group trip that my cousin has had planned for months. One of the women recently backed out, and that is when she asked my mom if she was interested. I pray that it falls through. When it does, maybe we could plan a trip in the summer, if she still insists on going.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 11:15AM
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mariend, just received an email from my mom. She told my cousin as soon as she arrived that she was not going. I'm thinking your message might have helped convince her, so thank you and thank God! A part of me feels guilty (I was raised Catholic, so guilt comes honestly, ha.) I know at her age she is in a hurry to enjoy life as much as possible, but she already does, on a daily basis. She is going to call me tomorrow after she takes my cousin to the airport. Maybe, God willing, if her health (and mine) remain good, perhaps we could plan a trip to Banff in the warmer months. Lake Louise does look beautiful.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 7:27PM
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I would give this info to her doctor and see what he says about her traveling. If I were in her shoes and was comfortable with the trip I would go and no one would have the right to stop me. This type of thing is a real pet peeve to me. I hear senior men saying, my wife or my daughter won't let me eat what I want to eat, or I am not allowed to smoke, etc.. What a terrible thing to live a productive life, raise a family and then all of a sudden someone is stepping in and saying NO to simple pleasure at this point in your life.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 3:02PM
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Do not, I repeat, do not let her go to Banff in January. It is so cold it will make arthritis pain feel like you are experiencing razors ripping flesh, and the arthritis could make it so she can't go fishing or hiking winter paths or anything. Let's not even get to the other problems she might encounter.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 7:54PM
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