The trip my senior mom and I took to see our grandkids (and her great grandkids) was wonderful but it did take its toll! Because my senior mom has off and on back and feet pain, uses a cane, and has other health issues, I encouraged her to ask for the preboarding that many airlines offer. On the way there, she just did NOT want to. She's very spunky and independent (and then can't figure out why I am so spunky and independent ) and felt she should do it all on her own. As a result, though, she had a very difficult time boarding each plane. It's amazing how much more difficult it can be for an elderly senior to walk down an aisle that has people in the seats compared to walking down an empty plane.
On the way home, she was thrilled, delighted, and totally exhausted. As a result, she did opt for the preboarding. What a blessing it was for her! Everyone at the gate was so sweet to her, very helpful – many going way out of their way to help her. And such a relief for her to get settled comfortably in her seat without having to worry about running into people or trip on luggage in the aisle.
It can be really hard for our aging parents to accept help from others, but it can be such a big help for them AND for us. And that can often be a good way of putting it to them. My sweet mom is so caring and giving. Once she realized the extra help for her could be a blessing to me AND to others she wouldn't end up bumping, she felt much better at accepting the extra help.
So next time you fly with your aging parents who need some extra help, I highly encourage you to encourage them to reach out and accept what is wonderfully offered. A blessing to them, a blessing to others, AND a blessing to you! Happy travels!!!!
P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. Thank you.