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  • December 12, 2017, 10:31:07 AM

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Author Topic: Why Can't You Visit Us?  (Read 3040 times)

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cleverkate

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Why Can't You Visit Us?
« on: December 06, 2017, 11:12:25 PM »

About two years ago, my mom and I invited my grandmother to come live with us a few months after my grandfather died as we knew she hates being alone. She agreed and everyone in the family was ok with this, including the daughter who has power of attorney.

For unknown reasons, the daughter has only visited twice, which is very odd. In both cases, she acted strangely while she was here. She has invited us over to her house and we've gone.

The problem here is that we (the four of us - me, my mom, her sister and Grandma) traditionally spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together wherever Grandma is. This year, my aunt wants us to come to her house after Christmas and I'm 98% certain she doesn't want to come over Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. She's not married, I'm fairly certain she's not dating, and she has no children. So I suspect she'll spend those two days alone.

I probably wouldn't have too much of an issue except that it's a huge pain in the rear to take Grandma anywhere, especially if it's someplace other than a doctor's appointment. We have to drag out her ramp and her wheelchair that she uses to get out of the house (she uses a walker in the house). We have to get her ready which includes changing her clothes, having her go to the bathroom and putting on her shoes and hear her fuss about it the entire time. We have to load her wheelchair, walker, and special toilet seat in the car. We have to remember to take a change of clothes and her diapers. In this case, we have to take the gifts over too and hope there's enough room in the tiny little car. It's a lot of work. The entire process takes about 60 min. and must be done in a fairly specific order. Then when we get home, I get to do it all again, but in reverse. The process usually takes 30 minutes. And let's not forget that we have to do all of this twice - because we have to go through the process again when we get to my aunt's house and leave from there.

It's much easier if my aunt were to just come over here to our house. All she has to do is put the gifts in the car, change her clothes, go to the bathroom and that's it. The entire process takes five minutes to leave and five minutes when she gets home.

I don't know what her issue is with visiting. We've tried to be very accomodating. I don't know if there's a problem because of the pets (an odor or pet hair), she has pets too. I don't know if it's because my parking area isn't close to the house and there's a little walk (no more than when Grandma was in assisted living). It could be because of my father - he doesn't participate in anything because of his mental health issues - he could make my aunt feel weird. It could be that she has an anxiety disorder such as a fear of leaving her house. She mentioned that she doesn't go out much. She can now do her job from home and she said that she orders groceries online and has them delivered to her house. She even pays extra to have the veterinarian come to her house. It would certainly explain her odd behavior the two times she visited us.

I'm supposed to respond to her via email (she doesn't answer her phone) about us visiting her after Christmas. I'm going to agree to go over, but can I basically explain that it's a pain to visit anyone with Grandma and ask why she can't visit us? I was planning on telling her that if there's something that's a problem for her, she can tell us and we won't get mad and will try to fix the problem. Of course, I would try to be more tactful with my wording.

Any suggestions?


I'm going to go ahead and mention that over the last 10 years (before Grandma lived with me), if anyone wanted to see her, they had to go to her place. The only time she ever left her house was for doctor's appointments. She even missed her sister's funeral and her other granddaughter's wedding because she didn't like to go anywhere due to bladder and mobility issues.

jedikaiti

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 11:21:38 PM »
I'm going to go ahead and mention that over the last 10 years (before Grandma lived with me), if anyone wanted to see her, they had to go to her place. The only time she ever left her house was for doctor's appointments. She even missed her sister's funeral and her other granddaughter's wedding because she didn't like to go anywhere due to bladder and mobility issues.

Wait... which "her" - aunt, or grandma?
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lakey

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 12:22:00 AM »
i would absolutely ask her why she doesn't want to visit at your home. I cared for my elderly parents, so I do understand the difficulties of taking your grandmother out of the house. Not only is it a lot of difficulty for you, but this is very tiring for the elderly person.
If your aunt has some reason for not going to your home, would it be possible for just you and your mother to visit your aunt and not take your grandmother? It would mean your aunt wouldn't get to see her mother, but at least she would have the company of you and your mother. She should be able to understand that it is too hard on your mother to take her out of the house.

GreenBird

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 12:27:25 AM »
First I'd check with Grandma and see if she would prefer to go to Aunt's despite the hassle of getting there.  I know she fusses, but if being there is a highlight for her, it may be worth continuing to go. 

With Aunt, I wouldn't try to address this in an email - I think the odds of offending the aunt are pretty high.  Since you're willing to go this year, I'd go ahead and go and see if there's a few minutes to talk to her privately in person about her coming to Grandma next year.  Maybe just focus on how you're noticing that it's getting a lot harder, time-consuming and tiring to get Grandma out the door with the ramp, wheelchair, walker, etc., and you'd like to maximize Grandma's visiting time because she really enjoys seeing Aunt.  And see what she says.  At least in person you can change tactics or bail on the conversation if it's clear that it's not going well. 

Maybe another approach would be to invite Aunt over for a couple of hours on a random Saturday in January or February after the holidays are over and all of the Christmas hoopla has quieted down.  Then if she declines, maybe you'd have an opening to say, "well, we'd love to have you visit sometime - please let me know if another day would work or if there's anything that would make a visit easier for you!" or something like that. 

And keep in mind that while Aunt doesn't have Grandma's physical challenges about leaving the house, if she does have substantial anxiety issues about leaving her house, it isn't necessarily easier for Aunt, it's just hard in a different way. 



YummyMummy66

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 05:28:21 AM »
You say Grandma was coming to live with you for a few months, is that still the case or she is now with you permanently?

As someone with an ailing parent, I say, let Aunt know that that will not be possible.  It is no longer feasible for Grandma to travel.   Do not make an elderly person go to all that trouble jsut to make her daughter happy for whatever reason.   It is about Grandma now.

Could Grandma have gone to live with this daugher?  Was this option offered by her other daughter?   

I think I would stop by Aunt's house and have a chat with her.  Let her know what it will not be feasible for Grandma to travel.  First Grandma does not want to travel.  Second, all of the work that goes into that travel, (you do not need to go into detail about what you must do unless specificallu asked), is very hard on Grandma.  She is exhausted for days afterwords.  It is not that you do not want Aunt to see Grandma at her house, this is just now the reality of the situation.

Since you think Aunt might have issues and you do not want to keep her from her mother, I would broach the subject with her.  Ask her if she would be more comfortable visiting after the holidays with her mom when everythign queits down.   Does your dad ever leave the house?   Is there a place for Aunt and Grandma to visit for some alone time?   I would try to go this route.  If you think it is about your dad, somehow get dad out for a few hours while they visit.  You don't have to let dad know.  Just get him out to do something while you know Aunt will be visiting. 



Momof2Pekes

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 09:39:44 AM »
I'm going to side with not putting Grandma through all the hassle of taking her out (and the hassle is also on you, too).

Perhaps the aunt wants some one-on-one with Grandma, though. Is there any possible way that she could come over and the rest of you folks be somewhere else for an hour or so (like go to a movie) then come back and all be together for a little bit?

I don't know if that is the aunt's issue or not, I'm just trying to see all sides. If she's just not comfortable getting out of the house, then feel free to ignore.

lowspark

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 10:03:30 AM »
I would just state the facts in the email:

It's too cumbersome and uncomfortable for Grandma to leave the house for anything other than a doctor's appointment. We'd love it if you could come over here instead.

If she replies negatively, then I would ask her if there is some reason she cannot or does not want to come to your mother's house. I wouldn't necessarily put that in the original email, but instead wait for her to actually say so if that's the case.
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TracyXJ

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 10:09:51 AM »
I'm going to go ahead and mention that over the last 10 years (before Grandma lived with me), if anyone wanted to see her, they had to go to her place. The only time she ever left her house was for doctor's appointments. She even missed her sister's funeral and her other granddaughter's wedding because she didn't like to go anywhere due to bladder and mobility issues.

Wait... which "her" - aunt, or grandma?

I think the her in this bit is the aunt.  And it pretty much sums up why she can't visit.  It's as hard for her to travel as it is for Grandma, only she doesn't have anyone there to help her get ready and drive her. 

If I'm not wrong about which her, then I don't get why the OP is confused that Aunt doesn't visit.

bopper

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 01:05:31 PM »
Some thoughts:

1) Have you told "Aunt" what you need to do for Grandma to get her out of the house? She may not know the effort.
2) How much stress does this put on Grandma?  If Grandma is cool with it vs. she gets out of sorts when not at home? Is it good for her to not only be in her house?
3) Aunt may need to be accommodated...it sounds like she is being accommodating in that she is not asking you to come for Xmas Eve or Xmas, but only afterwards. That may be  because she is setting a boundary re: your father, or she has agoraphobia or pet issues or parking or whatever.
4) Does your Aunt always come to you?How often do you visit her? If there are 4 of you and 3 live in one place, then every 4th visit should be to her.
5

oogyda

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 01:42:49 PM »
I would just state the facts in the email:

It's too cumbersome and uncomfortable for Grandma to leave the house for anything other than a doctor's appointment. We'd love it if you could come over here instead.

If she replies negatively, then I would ask her if there is some reason she cannot or does not want to come to your mother's house. I wouldn't necessarily put that in the original email, but instead wait for her to actually say so if that's the case.

Exactly this.
Better yet....talk to her either in person or on the phone.
I think it's unfair that you might expect Aunt to know what all is involved in getting Grandma out of the house. 
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JoW

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 02:37:14 PM »
I suspect the Aunt has issues - either physical or mental - that keep her from leaving her home.  It may be as simple as not having transportation.  If the drive is not too far the solution is simple - either someone from your household picks her up or hire a taxi to do it. 

Is there anyway you (the OP) can visit the Aunt now in her home without bringing Grandma?  That would allow you to assess the situation. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 03:43:38 PM »
I'd invite her to your home for a visit. If she turns it down and suggests you bring grandma to her, state that it's just too difficult for you to take grandma but if she'd like to come pick her mother up for a visit then you'll be happy to work around her schedule.

If she say's she can't do that, then ask her if there is something that you can do to better accommodate her as a guest in your home. Ask if she would like for you to come and get her if she no longer likes to drive.  If she turns that down, ask if the animals bother her.

But after offering those two options, I have to say that I'd just give up.

kudeebee

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2017, 10:07:40 PM »
I would talk to aunt and tell her that it won't work for you and your mom to bring Grandma to visit her after Christmas.  It is too hard on Grandma to make any outing other than for medical appointments.  if she says why, give a brief explanation--it involves upsetting Grandma's routine, tires her out to change clothes, get in and out of car, etc.
If she says anything about seeing Grandma, tell her that she is welcome to visit Grandma at your home anytime. 
If she says she can't, ask if there is any specific reason.  Realize that she may not directly state a reason.  if she does, hopefully it is something you can deal with.  If she doesn't give a reason, don't press but state that you and your mom will try to visit her after the holidays.

lkdrymom

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Re: Why Can't You Visit Us?
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 05:34:46 AM »
People just don't understand the amount of work it takes to get an elderly person somewhere.  Last week I popped into my father's AL to take him to the bank.  Took me 45 minutes to get him out the door.  Even when he was living on his own traveling with him was difficult because he insisted on running to the ER for every ache or pain.  Relatives were upset with me for not wanting to bring him to a wedding that was a plane ride away. If I had taken him I knew he would find some excuse to visit an ER while we were there.

The sad truth is that is mom cannot travel and aunt cannot travel, then they won't get to see each other very often.