Monday, May 21, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Even if they're fit, elderly parents need help moving

Q: My husband's parents live in another state. They are in their 80s but quite compos mentis and still play the occasional nine holes of golf (more than I can say for myself).

After almost 50 years in the same house, they are moving to an apartment. They have done everything to get to this point, like getting rid of stuff (huge job), selling the house, finding an apartment they love, hiring the movers, etc., by themselves.

I have told my husband it would be good if he went up there to help. I have told him how stressful and exhausting a move can be even for younger people. He has asked them if they want him to come, but they have not given a definitive answer. My view is he should just tell them he's coming. I doubt they will tell him not to. I don't want to keep nagging, but I feel strongly that my husband should be there. But they are his parents. What do you think?

In-Law

A: I think you're right, and as spouse you have extra leeway to give a kick when needed. "They need you. I'm through being subtle." If applicable: "We'll want our kids to do the same for us someday, so set the example now." If you don't have other responsibilities keeping you home, then go with him.

As most of you know, I'm not normally of the impose-yourself school of family relations, but this is ridiculous. Even with a professional, full-service, pack-and-unpack move, someone still needs to make food runs, answer 1,000 questions, manage temporary housing and set up basics, including furniture arrangement.

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