How often should adult children visit elderly parents?

I know of someone who lives within 20 minutes driving time of her aging parents, and she visits them only about 3 times a year (holidays), and calls them about once every 2 months. She never offers them any help whatsoever. Her days are wide-open, and she clearly has the time. I think this is terrible. My opinion is that if an adult sibling lives near their aging parents, that the adult sibling should visit their parents at a minimum of once a month, preferably more. Personally, I would say once a week, or every two weeks would be second best. I might add that she does accept money from them, in other words, she takes, but she does not give back. Would like to hear opinions on this subject!

I live 15-20 minutes from my day, whom I love but do not like. I see him at least once a week.

This is way too open-ended a question to be resolvable by debate; I think it’s gonna wind up in IMHO.

Every parent-child relationship is different, and I don’t see how we can prescribe a general rule for how often the average adult child should visit their parents.

“As often as is acceptable to all the parties concerned” would be the generic answer, followed by “and it’s not really any of anybody else’s business”. Is there a reason the OP is so eager to tell the “someone” of whom they speak that she’s not visiting her elderly parents enough?

I am not that fond of my dad either. I live about 2.5 hours away from him. I don’t see him that often, but that’s also a facet of the fact that he lives with family neither of us are very fond of. I call him weekly though.

Accepting money from them does put a different twist on it. But really it’s between the parents and the kids. And really, parents should accept that their kids have lives now, apart from them. You can’t expect to see your kid once a week, that’s frankly ridiculous*, I don’t see anyone once a week except my coworkers and my SO.

*Unless the kid and the parents are happy to see them. I know parents whose kids are always visiting and mooching and the parents, while they love their kids, would be happy to not always have to be available!

If I didn’t take my dad cooked food on Sundays, he’d be subsisting on pop-tarts, cheerios, and apple juice.

Yep, it’s really between the family members. My grandmother had 10 kids and for as long as she was alive (she died a few years ago at age 104) her grown kids visited her every day - all of them. Typically everyone would stop by on their way home from work, or taking my cousins somewhere. This was a piece of cake since everyone lived within a mile or two of her (deliberately - they’ve tried to buy the houses on either side of her whenever they came on the market).

Some of my cousins are similar with my aunts. One of my aunts sees or talks to her 5 daughters every day, though two live out of town, and when she retired her son bought a duplex so she could live next door to him.

I moved 600 miles away from my parents just so I wouldn’t have to visit more than once a year. When I lived closer, I got nagged a lot to do something I didn’t want to do.

Really, OP, what other families do is none of your business. And if this sibling is your sibling, it’s probably still none of your business. One sibling doesn’t have more responsibility than another, just because she happens to live closer.

Whenever their cage needs a hosedown.

And it’s best not to wait more than two weeks between times, believe me.

I live about three hundred miles away from my parents. I visit them every couple of months. I call them weekly. I don’t take money from them (nor do they take money from me).

He can’t make a sandwich? How awful.

I probably see my parents in person about 5-6 times a year, but I talk to them at least once a week at the very least. We usually do Facetime between my wife’s phone and my mom’s iPad pretty frequently as well.

My brother, who lives in Houston with the parents sees them once a week or thereabouts, and helps out a lot around the house with them, since they’re getting elderly and Dad’s Parkinson’s disease keeps him from doing a lot of what he’d otherwise do. Mom’s just very small (4’11") so there’s a lot of stuff she might be able to do if she was taller, that Andy takes care of.

I can’t imagine just leaving my parents to their own devices if I lived 20 minutes away.

I was being hyperbolic, of course. But cold cuts and bread are about Dad’s limit. He was honestly surprised to find out there was a difference between real hot chocolate and that powdered crap, for instance. He’s pushing 80, has been widowed since '06, and just never learned to cook. He’s also very forgetful and bad about following directions, so frozen dinners often turn out badly. My wife, two of my sisters, and I bring him stuff he can microwave.

I’m a big fan of my parents, but we live very far apart. Some years I only see them at Christmas. Others we manage a second or third visit there, here, or somewhere between. We usually speak weekly.
When I lived much closer (1-2 hours) to grandparents, I think we only saw them a few times a year.

As often as bearable, unless you’re a family of bears, in which case, never.

You are correct, sir!

Watch Tokyo Story (1953).

I haven’t seen my father since 1987. We exchange emails every other month. He’s 80 and lives in Phoenix. I have no plans to see him or go to his funeral when the time comes. I do not love him, or care for him or even like him. Any chance at a normal relationship was lost decades ago.

My mother lives near Pasadena, CA. I saw her for the first time this century last year. She is 77. I do not love her, but I do care for her and would do more to help her if I could. She gives me $40 a month. I have tried to get her to stop, but she insist. I have no plans to see her again.

My brother see her about once a week. He lives in Pasadena. He and I don’t talk to each other.

I live in San Francisco. I’m on disability. I’m a urban hermit. I don’t like traveling.
IMHO parents have a responsibility to the children they bring into this world, but beyond that anything else is extra and nothing should be expected.

I live a couple thousand miles away from my parents. I go see them a couple times a year if I can. Even if I lived closer I doubt I’d be visiting them every week, that’s frankly stupid.

Everyone’s parents are different and of course the answer tailors to the person.
I had a good relationship with my parents. They’ve both passed. I always make a habit of telling people to see their parents while they can & to love them while they’ve got them. I only say that because, there’s just so many more times that you can.

And then you can’t.
I won’t get into the whole “my parents remains are being held hostage in urns on one of my selfish sister’s mantles and I couldn’t see them if I wanted to” issue.

I live 3 hours drive from my mum, dad died a few years back.

I speak to her on the phone every sunday night at 7:30. I like routine and I’ve told her not to call me during the week unless it’s urgent. If I didn’t give her boundaries she’d call whenever something panicked her (which is basically every 30 seconds) so this way she knows she has to figure shit out for herself and stop panicking over rubbish. It works, she’s been trained.

I see her 2-3 times a year, now my kids are older they like going up to visit to get away from the city every now and then, especially my daughter.

As afar as the OP goes, it totally depends on the individual situation. Don’t judge another person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes as the old saying goes.

Then you can judge them all you like, cos you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.

Why would you presume to tell another human being how they should manage relationships that have nothing to do with you, especially when you have no idea what factors are involved?

Maybe they don’t like each other. Maybe each time she visits, the daughter gets a ration of shit from her parents about the way she’s living her life. Maybe [any of a thousand different possibilities].

If you live close to your folks, by all means visit them as often (or as little) as you wish, and be grateful that total strangers aren’t criticizing you for the infrequency of your visits.