What the distance sibling doesn't see is the intense decline of the parent once the visit is over. The elder sinks back into reality. Often, they've forgotten the visitor even came. That happened after my brother and his wife visited us when our mom was getting very ill. She had looked forward to the visit for weeks. My brother and his wife came for the planned time, and then went back to their distant home. Afterward, Mom continued to ask me when they were coming. She was still looking forward to their visit. She had completely forgotten the real event. It nearly broke my heart to tell her they had been here over the weekend, but I couldn't lie about that. Dreadful stuff we caregivers have to do.