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Vacationing with elderly parents can bring unexpected pleasures

August 28, 2010 |  5:17 am


While many people might think of a vacation as time to get away from family, there are many reasons to take a vacation with elderly parents, including bridging a generation gap.

Rosemary McClure tried it. And liked it. And wrote about it in her It's All Relative column.

"Traveling with parents to places that were important in their earlier lives can be important and meaningful for their life review and give the younger generations traveling with them insights into the ways that their parents' or grandparents' lives have shaped their own," says USC psychologist Bob Knight.

That was certainly true in my case, McClure says. She mingled with relatives, listened to their Southern drawls and learned about customs that had seemed alien. People dressed up on Sunday morning to go to church, were polite to one another, expected to be addressed as "ma'am" and "sir" and loved to go to Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby and a favorite pastime for Louisville residents.

-- Mary MacVean

Illustration credit: Blair Thornley / For The Times