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Is it wrong to stay in a hotel when I visit my elderly parents?

Ticklishchap

One Too Many
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This is a question I am discussing with my partner, my friends and now my online community at FL.

I have recently returned to London from a visit to my parents, aged 91 (father) and 87 (mother), who live in a cathedral city in central Southern England. I am a 56 year old man: my partner is a somewhat older chap than me and has a few health issues himself.

My father has Alzheimer’s and is almost silent most of the time, frail in some ways but also quite mobile and able to climb to the top of a three storey house. My mother is starting to have memory lapses and never, ever stops talking. Some of the things she says are aggressive and hurtful. While I am happy to do my best to help them, I came home from the visit worn down and almost traumatised because I felt that I had no moment of guaranteed peace.

Staying in a nearby hotel for a few nights on my next visit would enable me to unwind at night and get ready quietly and peacefully in the morning. It would make me more effective at helping them. Would that be an unkind thing to do? I would be interested to know what others think and benefit from your experiences as well.
 
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Tiki Tom

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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Oahu, North Polynesia
I don’t think staying elsewhere should be a problem. Of course, good communication is the key. See how your parents feel about it, but be firm if need be. We have, on occasion, done the same thing and have been able to argue it based on space/transportation/location issues. So, no, I don’t think you are being unreasonable or cruel for not wanting to stay under the same roof. It’s more a matter of how you approach your parents about it. Best of luck!

You are blessed to still have your parents around. Right now we are dealing with an upcoming surgery for my 88 year old mother in law, so I’m very sympathetic.
 
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GHT

I'll Lock Up
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New Forest
Reading between the lines, I get the feeling that you are beating yourself up. It's like, for goodness sake TC, they are your parents, is a few hours out of your life something to stress over?

Well, actually, yes it is, you have to ask, how would you feel if your off spring told you that for (whatever reason) they won't be staying in the family home, because, because, because.

What I would do is not tell your parents that you are staying elsewhere, rather, sell it to them that you feel that their time and privacy are something that you respect and to that end, et cetera and so on.....................
 
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My mother's basement
Am I reading too much into what I’m thinking you mean by “some of the things she says are aggressive and hurtful”?

In other words, do her hurtful remarks have to do with you and your partner’s “lifestyle”?
 

Ticklishchap

One Too Many
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London
I don’t think staying elsewhere should be a problem. Of course, good communication is the key. See how your parents feel about it, but be firm if need be. We have, on occasion, done the same thing and have been able to argue it based on space/transportation/location issues. So, no, I don’t think you are being unreasonable or cruel for not wanting to stay under the same roof. It’s more a matter of how you approach your parents about it. Best of luck!

You are blessed to still have your parents around. Right now we are dealing with an upcoming surgery for my 88 year old mother in law, so I’m very sympathetic.
Thank you very much for that. To be brutally honest, I didn’t feel very ‘blessed’ on my last visit because communication was so bad and my mother has become so verbally aggressive. I would like to feel blessed again, of course, and genuinely wish to help. I think the distance of a hotel would give me the perspective I need.

Best wishes to your mother in law and wishing her luck.
 

Edward

Bartender
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London, UK
My wife and I have similarly discussed a hotel stay for part of our next visit to my parents in Ireland. Not as challenging a situation for us, but my parents are in their mid seventies, and my mother has Parkinson's, which gives her some tough days. Dad is basically her full time carer now, and gets a bit stressed and out of sorts when the routine is disrupted or visitors wear my mother out with conversation. He'll tell us he'd love us to come for a month or whatever, but I don't think he can cope with the "noise" in the house. We've not been able to get over since 2019 with the covid and health complications of our own. but when we last went over for Christmas we did end up going out of the house for the day most days just because it seemed easier on Dad.

I would say if staying elsewhere lets you manage a challenging situation better and make a difficult visit as pleasant as possible, do it. Like @GHT I think the key is how you sell it - "to give you space", "not to crowd you", "so we can all enjoy spending time together without you having to clear up after us", that sort of thing. I've had friends in a similar situation to your own; (much to our surprise, in their case adopting a child who became the grandchild the parents never expected caused a very significant thaw - not a solution that would suit everyone, however!).
 

STEVIEBOY1

One Too Many
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1,042
Location
London UK
I have been in this situation, although not as bad as yours, if you feel that you may be better to stay in a hotel nearby, then go for it, it will give you a decent night's sleep and break, this may be extra beneficial, especially, if in view of their situation, you may have to go see them often. You need to look after yourself and as well as their issues, you need to consider you and your partner too? Take care, look after your self and stay safe and well. S.
 

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