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How can I persuade my elderly aunt not good idea to visit.

(34 Posts)
Bermeir Thu 17-Jan-13 08:49:06

My aunt lives in an area where it is due to snow heavily friday and snow lightly on friday. The temperature there is below freezing so likely to stick. She wants to come down to a family party (a 100 miles from her home) on sunday. She is very independent and really 'good for her age'. I don't want to offend her by saying she is not up to it. Actually her age is not the main issue; it's just the blooming awful weather. We're worried about her driving in these conditions. Help!

Bags Thu 17-Jan-13 08:52:07

Have you told her you're worried about her driving in bad weather? And, if so, what did she say? If she isn't concerned, why should you be if she's an independent adult?

Does she have winter tyres? Snow chains? Other ways of coping?

Greatnan Thu 17-Jan-13 08:52:15

There are plenty of warnings about not driving unless it is absolutely necessary- perhaps you could point them out to her?

Greatnan Thu 17-Jan-13 08:54:48

Bags - post crossed . I doubt if many drivers in England carry snow chains or have winter tyres. As Boris Johnson said about buying de-icers for airports - is it worth it for conditions that happen so rarely? I fear it will be some years before it is generally accepted that driving in bad conditions needs a different technique/equipment.

Anne58 Thu 17-Jan-13 08:55:51

It's only Thursday today, if there is some heavy snow before Sunday, she might decide for herself that it's not the best idea.

Bags Thu 17-Jan-13 09:01:12

We have winter tyres. It's worth it here, mainly because of hills and lack of gritting in the more remote places.

Bermeir Thu 17-Jan-13 09:11:36

Good suggestions all. She will be driving alone, too. We'll try to point out the weather forecast to her, and hopefully, she'll decide it's too dangerous. Her age doesn't help, but I wouldn't want anybody driving in these conditions unless really necessary.

Greatnan Thu 17-Jan-13 09:12:04

I have all-weather tyres as I don't have the facilities/space to change my tyres twice a year, but I carry chains (which I have never had to use) and I have a little 4 x 4. It does seem odd that I can get out every day here in a ski resort at the height of Snowdon, when England is grinding to a halt.
The snow plough was clearing the road outside my flat , and our car park, at 6 am. I will have to clear a foot of snow off my car before I drive down to the village, but I rather enjoy it - the snow is very fine and powdery and is easily dealt with by a soft sweeping brush.

Nelliemoser Thu 17-Jan-13 09:32:31

I dont know where you live but there are severe weather warnings over central England all over the weekend.

I have decided not to cross the Peak District to see my DGS this weekend. All the Roads get closed very quickly up there. They are impassible until the snow has stopped and they can get out and clear and grit them.
This is a quote for Yorkshire and Humber

Issued at - 16 Jan 2013, 11:23
Valid from - 18 Jan 2013, 04:00
Valid to - 18 Jan 2013, 18:00

As the weather breaks down, an area of snow looks increasingly likely to spread from the southwest. Winds will strengthen and blizzard conditions are likely, especially over high ground. Accumulations of more than 10-15 cm of snow could well occur quite widely, with the risk of 25 cm or more over high ground.

Clearly there is the potential for some severe disruption, and the public are advised to watch for updates to this warning and to be prepared to alter travel plans.

Look at the forecast for you area and read it out to the said Aunt in all the gory details.

Nelliemoser Thu 17-Jan-13 09:52:31

greatnan It can be cleared when its all settled but trying to clear it while its still falling its like p***ing in the wind.
A lot of vehicles get stuck on the roads in the UK because they have gone out without heeding the weather conditions or the forecasts and get stuck. This then stops the ploughs and the Gritters from getting through.

Stay in when its snowing hard anywhere. I doubt if all weather tyres are needed in most of England. If I lived up in Buxton I might think differently.

Ariadne Thu 17-Jan-13 10:02:45

The staying in bit is a hard decision to make when you're working. I remember vividly leaving a cold but sunny Kent in the morning, to go to work, then, as I crossed the downs, being confronted with snow, and finding it snowing heavily in Bromley. Used to spend half the day congratulating myself for getting there, and half the day worrying about getting back.

I did, however learn not to trust the phrase "snow flurries" flurries my a***!

Elegran Thu 17-Jan-13 10:02:52

greatnan Snow in Britain causes problems just because most of the country is not as high as Snowdon, or as landlocked as Switzerland. We don't get the definite weather change which gives a fall of deep but fine snow, and then keeps it as snow that can be shovelled away.

The temperature in this island surrounded by seas fluctuates up and down, and the wind changes, so that we get shortish falls of snow, followed by milder spells, several times a day, repeatedly.

The snow is not fine and powdery, it is soggy and melts as it lands, then when the temperature drops a bit it freezes into ice and another layer lands on top of it. It is the ice that makes for dangerous driving conditions.

To keep all the roads safe, whole battalions of snow-ploughs would need to patrol continually 24 hours a day, getting the inch or two of snow off every road the moment it fell, and before the first layer became half-melted and froze.

j07 Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:41

So long as her brain power is intact, I would leave it up to her.

Greatnan Thu 17-Jan-13 10:09:11

Thank you, Elergran! ( I live in France.) I appreciate the differences in the type of snow but, believe me, things here would soon stop moving if the snow ploughs did not clear it continuously. There is very little economic activity here, apart from logging and farming, so ski tourism is vital and that is probably what motivates the commune to keep the roads clear.

Greatnan Thu 17-Jan-13 10:10:16

Oops - sorry for typo - Elegran.

merlotgran Thu 17-Jan-13 11:01:04

My nephew has taken the decision not to visit his grandmother on Friday. It's a three hour drive for him and although he wants to see her (she is very, very frail now) he is worried about getting home if the weather deteriorates. My brother is recovering from a chest infection and has also decided it will be wiser to stay at home as they are two hours away. I think they have made the right decisions. Putting yourself at risk because of family commitments is not necessarily wise.

Greatnan Thu 17-Jan-13 11:08:13

And of course you are not only put yourself at risk, but other road users. I believe some gritters and emergency services could not get through because people had abandoned cars on the roads.

harrigran Thu 17-Jan-13 11:12:20

Err on the side of caution, hypothermia is a rel risk when you are older. We will be watching the forecast before visiting GC at the weekend, although only 20 miles from us it can be a different world in bad weather.

Nelliemoser Thu 17-Jan-13 12:09:04

I think a lot of people seriously understimate just how bad our British weather can be and ignore advice.

From ignoring advice not to travel at all. Not to drive or walk through deep flood water, stand on slippery rocks watching storms at sea, to going on long journeys in snowy cold weather without warm clothing, welly boots or such and or sleeping bags and hot drinks in case you do get stranded.

Having warm clothing or emergency blankets etc could easily be the difference between surving or not.
Take extra care this weekend.

Granny23 Thu 17-Jan-13 12:36:51

Bermeir Is it possible for your Aunt to come by train with perhaps someone meeting her at the station? You obviously have more faith in the weather forcasts than I have. We have had snow alerts for a week or more but only one actual snowfall which melted as it landed.

gillybob Thu 17-Jan-13 12:41:35

The thing is merlotgran that family commitments are very often exactly that. Well in my case they are anyway. For me, not going to mum and dads or my grandmas because of the weather is simply not an option.

Lilygran Thu 17-Jan-13 12:45:57

'My aunt' could be a frail 85 year old or a robust and adventurous 50, Bermeir, you don't say. I happily drove all over the country when I knew I could deal sensibly with most eventualities including digging the car out of a drift, walking to a refuge or spending the night in the car. I wouldn't dream of doing so now because I know I would not be able to fend for myself. Perhaps your aunt knows what her own limitations are. BTW, will you be calling back to see what valuable advice has been offered on your OP?

Greatnan Thu 17-Jan-13 14:36:32

Bermeir did post a reply, just after 9 a.m. She says her aunt is 'good for her age' so I am guessing she is not a fit 50 year old.

cheelu Thu 17-Jan-13 14:45:14

Bermeir IMHO its ok to speak to your Aunt about your concerns because its not what you say, its how you say it..

Better out than in... but when it is going out dress it up well x x

Lilygran Thu 17-Jan-13 15:09:56

Yes, she did, Greatnan. But I don't have your confidence that 50+ wouldn't be thought of as old and decrepit by a 40 year old! Some of the grans on Gransnet are young enough to be my children grin