Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: cheyne on January 25, 2013, 01:12:57 PM

Title: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6
Post by: cheyne on January 25, 2013, 01:12:57 PM
B/G:  My DS and DIL were married in July, 2012.  Due to the swiftness of the marriage (DS is in the Air Force), very few family/friends were able to attend.  DS and DIL are moving to the West coast for his assignment in April.  DIL's parents, DH and I are planning a reception/going away party for DS and DIL in Hometown before they depart for his duty assignment.  All family and most friends are being invited.

Problem:  I am in charge of getting all addresses for "our" side of the family.  I had to call several people to get their address as we usually communicate by phone, so word of the event has gotten around the family.  FIL called DH last night and demanded that we not invite Grandma Betsy (his mother, DH's grandmother). 

The problem?  Grandma is in a full care nursing home (she was just moved there from assisted living).  She has incontinence issues and episodes of confusion.  This means that one of her children (out of four) will be responsible for her at the party, and FIL is livid that whomever takes on that duty won't be able to enjoy themselves due to Grandma's need for nearly full-time care.

I am torn about this.  I want DH's aunt and uncles to come and have a good time, but I don't want to not invite Grandma.  What is my and DH's responsibility here as hosts?  I thought of hiring a nurse/companion for Grandma, but this will not go over well since her own children will be there.  (The quote from FIL was, "That would be stupid.")

I think my responsibility is to invite Grandma and let the chips fall where they may.  DH thinks we shouldn't invite Grandma and tell the family not to tell her about the party.  Any advice would be appreciated.



Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: amylouky on January 25, 2013, 01:19:36 PM
Your party, your decision. I'd look in to hiring the nurse/companion for Grandma, if you decide to invite her. Who cares if FIL thinks it's stupid?
Not knowing background, I find it really sad that he'd be livid about his mother coming to a reception for her great-grandson.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Kiara on January 25, 2013, 01:21:51 PM
Why on earth would hiring someone be stupid?  That's what we did for my grandfather at my grandmother's funeral.  Plenty of family was there, but we hired one of the nursing assistants from his nursing home.  Was worth EVERY PENNY, and no one thought twice about it.  Or if they did, no one ever said anything to us.

I'd also ask your son.  The party is in honor of him - does HE want his great-grandma there?
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Aquamarine on January 25, 2013, 01:22:22 PM
I would not invite her, it sounds to me like she probably would not even be aware of the party hence no hurt feelings would be involved.  A total care patient with incontinence issues is not a good thing situation to have at a party!

Perhaps some of the family could go visit her in the nursing home instead.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 25, 2013, 01:24:28 PM
Ouch. FIL sounds like a pill, preemptively speaking for a number of other people and claiming there's no possible way they could have a good time while looking after their mother. This may be true, or it may be that one of the four would be perfectly happy to help out, and he's just assuming they won't. Very rude.

That being said, if Grandma needs full-time care at the party, I think you need to make sure someone is there to take care of her, before you consider inviting her. You can ask around the family as long as you don't pressure anyone; or you can hire the nurse/companion--who cares if FIL thinks it's stupid? It's not his party or his money. If none of her kids want to take on that role for the party, then they have no standing to say the hired nurse "won't go over well."

I will say, though, in my family, this is the point at which we generally stop inviting elderly relatives to parties--full-time nursing home care with confusion and serious needs. In my experience the person doesn't really have a good time--either they are out of it and don't remember/understand what's happening, or if they're still with-it, they're just worried about transportation and other issues the whole time.

Could you not invite Grandma to the party, but then later bring a little of the party to her, with DH, DIL, and a small number of other relatives going to see her at the nursing home?
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: PurpleFrog on January 25, 2013, 01:31:27 PM
I've couple of questions that may affect my advice:

 How frequent are grandma's episodes of confusion? Have you seen grandma during these episodes? Does she become distressed/violent (this is no reflection on your grandma, just a common side effect to some of the causes of confustion in elder people), are crowds likely to make this worse? Is it possible that there are further complications you don't know about?

I can understand why one of her children would look after her, however I think they need to voulenteer not be given nochoice, otherwise iits too much like being invited to 'work'. Trying to look at it from FIL's pov, I suppose that they could be worried that whoever has grandma this time, may he forced to do so at every event.

If there are no other concerns about the effect of the party on grandma, then I'd look into a nurse for her, perhaps the nursing home could advise on this.

Eta multiple replys as I was typing
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: doodlemor on January 25, 2013, 01:34:05 PM
I think that grandma would find out about this sooner or later.  Unless grandma is completely confused I think that is would be nice if she could come to the party.  It genuinely might be the last time she sees some of the other relatives. 

Would it be possible to divide the care duties into something like half hour periods, so that no one person is overwhelmed?  Even if you do this, I think that you should still hire a nurse.

There are a lot of issues to consider here, though.  Would grandma's presence completely disrupt the party?  Is the venue suitable for whatever mobility issues that she may have?  Is grandma generally cooperative?  Would a strange place confuse her and make her disruptive?  If she came, and became loud and disruptive, would it be very difficult to remove her?

Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: guihong on January 25, 2013, 01:36:45 PM
FIL sounds less than pleasant, but he does have a point-someone would be watching Grandma all day (night?).   Also, is the party in the same city as Grandma?

I would find out if the nursing home has Skype capability.  If so, arrange for people to Skype into the nursing home during the party. 

My son is in a rehabilitation home and it would be equally as challenging to take him to a party. Someone would miss the entire thing.  But, his home has Skype and thus that's how we would include him in the celebration.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 25, 2013, 01:42:26 PM
This is not a wedding, so I don't think you have the same pressure to invite her that you might if it were an official rite.

But if you wanted to invite her, then I would say you should invite her, get the nursing home to find someone *you* can hire to care for her (whether it's transportation included or only "company and caregiving" would be influenced by logistics), and ignore FIL's "that would be stupid."

Because it's not his business. He's not in charge of his mother; she is. And you invited her, and as the hostess, you arranged a particular service or gift. Not his business. (also not his expense)

You don't need his permission; you only need Grandma's. And you don't even have to ask her permission so much as tell her that someone from the nursing home is going to come along. You don't have to discuss payment, etc., with her. That's your business.

He might discover that it's not as stupid as he thinks.

And I'll also say, Lynn2000 has great points.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: NbyNW on January 25, 2013, 01:49:21 PM
My mother had similar issues at the time of my nephew's wedding. My sister who was the mother of the groom had decided not to bring her to the wedding. My husband and I offered to pay for someone to come with her and be responsible for her care. Because her issues were not severe we were able to hire one of the young aides from her nursing home for what we considered to be a reasonable rate. It went very well with no problems and mom enjoyed it immensely. (This involved a road trip and an overnight stay.)

We were fortunate in that my Mom's confusion issues were more due to short term memory problems and she and we were generally able to take them in stride. My mother-in-law in her final years had full-on dementia which resulted in occasional loud fearful episodes. I'm not sure that hiring someone to go with us would have worked as well for her.

This might be a good solution for you though depending on your situation. I never regretted spending the money so that my mom could be with us.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: jedikaiti on January 25, 2013, 02:10:02 PM
Your party, your decision. I'd look in to hiring the nurse/companion for Grandma, if you decide to invite her. Who cares if FIL thinks it's stupid?
Not knowing background, I find it really sad that he'd be livid about his mother coming to a reception for her great-grandson.

My thoughts exactly. Personally, I just might invite Grandma but skip FIL.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Moray on January 25, 2013, 02:31:04 PM
This comes down to whether you want Grandma there, and whether you're prepared to arrange care/transportation. It sounds like you are, so go ahead and invite her and hire a caretaker/driver to handle her needs. Do be prepared, though. If she's declining, she may not be up for it and have to leave early.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Sharnita on January 25, 2013, 02:38:28 PM
I agree that the kind of confuion would make a difference.  If she gets scared/angry/distressed then even having a care taker wouldn't make it "worth it" to me. On the other hand, if she enjoys herself and  admires the young men, not realizing she is two generations older than them, then a care taker who cna maker sure she is comfortable would make sense.  Deciding who the care taker might be would be a second step.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: snappylt on January 25, 2013, 02:42:01 PM
I, too, encourage you to invite Grandma if you would like to have her attend.

Hiring an off-duty caregiver from her nursing home as an attendant for a few hours would relieve the pressure on her grown children.

Who knows, this might be one of the last opportunities for grandma and some family members to enjoy each other's company.  If she's a beloved member of the family, why not include her, too.  (I can't help but wonder if your FIL wants you all to plan to exclude him from family gatherings as he ages.)
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Secret on January 25, 2013, 02:44:24 PM
Honestly, I'm on the FIL's side.  My grandmother was in this condition at my wedding.  She was in a home.  There is a good reason most people are placed in long term care facilities.  They have more issues than the family living in the community can provide. (In our area, they are assessed and moved into a care home that fits their needs as soon as one becomes available).  Have you visited and spent time with grandma?  Is she actually capable of handling the entire event?  Does she require a nap or goes to bed early?  I need more info on grandma's state before I can judge the FIL.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: rose red on January 25, 2013, 02:46:53 PM
FIL sounds...pleasant. 

If you think Grandma can handle the party, invite her.  If you are willing to pay for the caregiver, do so.  It's none of FIL's business how you spend your money or who you invite to a party you are hosting.  It's also not for him to decide what is stupid.  As the host, it's your money, your party, your choice.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: lurkerwisp on January 25, 2013, 03:17:41 PM
I kind of agree with Secret.

Also I'd like to add that I sincerely wish that my own grandmother had either not been invited or been invited with a nursing assistant to keep her on her better behavior for my wedding.  While not confused and having only very mild dimentia, she continuously spouted vile horrible comments behind our backs during the ceremony and demanded that my mom (her DIL) stay with her so she'd have someone to hear her string of anger for the entire reception.  If someone could have been there to wheel her away from things when she started in on the verbal abuse it would have been much better for the entire family and less uncomfortable for the guests as well.

Granted, OP, your grandma situation may be nothing like me.  It's up to you to be the judge of whether or not this would be a good idea.  If you know Grandma well enough to know she's not likely to be mean-spirited or unhappy to be there, then definitely invite her.  Grandma may also choose to decline an invitation.  Since you said she suffers from incontinence, she may not want to risk embarrassment in front of near-strangers.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: JeanFromBNA on January 25, 2013, 03:33:48 PM
I would not invite her, it sounds to me like she probably would not even be aware of the party hence no hurt feelings would be involved.  A total care patient with incontinence issues is not a good thing to have at a party!

Perhaps some of the family could go visit her in the nursing home instead.

She's a person, not a "thing." 
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Roe on January 25, 2013, 03:40:43 PM
I would not invite her, it sounds to me like she probably would not even be aware of the party hence no hurt feelings would be involved.  A total care patient with incontinence issues is not a good thing to have at a party!

Perhaps some of the family could go visit her in the nursing home instead.

She's a person, not a "thing."

She didn't call the grandmother a thing, she said "incontinence issues are not a good thing to have."   
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Mikayla on January 25, 2013, 04:04:30 PM
I agree with those saying ignore FIL and try to include her, assuming this is a mild stage and she'd get some enjoyment out of it.  However, the elephant in the room is your DH, since I'd think he gets an equal vote.  Why does he not want to include her? 
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: SPuck on January 25, 2013, 04:28:57 PM
I don't think it is a matter of should she attend but can she attend. My grandmother was able to attend my two of my cousin's wedding, but the time my second cousin's wedding occurred she was already beginning to go mentally. At this point she wasn't able to attend my brother's wedding, and she won't be able to attend any future wedding. You realistically have to take into account what she can do, and make a hard decision if she isn't physically and mentally capable even with a care attendant.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Yvaine on January 25, 2013, 04:32:17 PM
I would not invite her, it sounds to me like she probably would not even be aware of the party hence no hurt feelings would be involved.  A total care patient with incontinence issues is not a good thing to have at a party!

Perhaps some of the family could go visit her in the nursing home instead.

She's a person, not a "thing."

She didn't call the grandmother a thing, she said "incontinence issues are not a good thing to have."

No, JeanfromBNA is correct--if I remember anything I learned about grammar in school, "thing" is referring to "total care patient" not to "incontinence issues."
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: cheyne on January 25, 2013, 04:55:29 PM
Thank you all for your replies!  You've brought up issues I didn't address in the OP, and much food for thought.  I will try and address them now.

First, this party is in a small town.  Think very small, no hotels within 35 miles small.  There will be "local" people there driving over 100 miles one way to attend.  The guest list is about 250 people.  DH, DD and I live 750 miles from the venue.  DIL and her parents are doing all the planning, invites ect...we are paying for half the party.  We will be staying about 40 miles west of the venue, arriving the night before the party which will start the next evening at 6 pm.  Grandma's nursing home is 35 miles east of the venue, so we would have to drive 75 miles each way if we were to take her there and return.  I am not willing to do this, as we are the hosts and need to be there early and stay until the last dog dies.  We are driving back home the morning after the party.

I haven't seen Grandma since Grandpa's funeral in Sept. 2011.  She was mobile with a walker, needed assistance with the restroom and seemed a bit "out of it" but wasn't loud or beligerent at that time.  Full disclosure is that I don't like her at all, but I am not the GOH for this party, DS and DIL are.  Also I am not a witch and wouldn't invite the entire family except her especially when she is old, sick and feeble.  I can and will be a grown-up about her presence (if she comes) and treat her with the same courtesy as any other guest. 

I think that DH would like her there or is at least neutral about the idea, but he doesn't feel it is up to us to arrange and pay for transportation and a nursing person for her to attend.  The logistics of those arrangements may not work with us being so far away.

This may be a moot point, as PP's have stated.  Grandma may be confused enough that she won't realize if she is invited (or even going to a party) or not.  I will take a PP's advice to ask DS how he feels, and I am going to bite the bullet and call FIL and ask about her mental state.


PS.  FIL is a Pill.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Moray on January 25, 2013, 05:00:12 PM
So, how to DS and DIL feel about this?
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 25, 2013, 05:28:19 PM
This is a party, not a wedding. She's out of town; I wouldn't invite her.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: DavidH on January 25, 2013, 05:49:38 PM
To me, the key issue is her mental state and whether she is likely to enjoy the party.  If she is too confused to enjoy it or know what it is, the I see no reason to invite her.  If you think she would be able to enjoy it, then the logistics become important. 

If you decide to invite her, I think you need to carefully consider how she will be taken care of.  It might be very embarrassing for her to have one of her children and particularly her son taking her to the bathroom, more so if she has incontinence issues. Finding a way to pay for a caregiver for the evening if you decide to invite her will likely be a better situation for everyone.

Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Phoebe on January 25, 2013, 05:50:26 PM
I was going to say invite her with a hired nurse from her facility, someone she's familiar and comfortable with (figuring if she gets confused, that person might be the best able to take charge of the situation).  My thinking was that since DS is moving so far away that this might well be his and his great-grandma's last chance to visit.  But given that she lives only 35 miles from the venue, perhaps it would be better for DS and his new wife to visit her at her "home" for lunch or some such thing before they depart.  In familiar surroundings, she'd probably be a lot more at ease and maybe the confusion would have less chance of appearing?
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: kherbert05 on January 25, 2013, 06:08:07 PM
You need to stop and think what is best for Grandma. Have you been around her at the time of day the party will be? How does she function at that point in the day?


I've dealt with different relatives in similar conditions. We found that they do not cope well at busy, loud, evening events. Even having an attendant doesn't work because the elderly family member becomes scared and failed to recognize the attendant. Instead they would cling on to a relative they did recognized.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Sharnita on January 25, 2013, 06:14:00 PM
I am not sure that I agree it isn't FIL's business - he is her son. Out fo curiosity, who does see her more often? Or is there anyone in the family who has a relatively good handle on how she is and what her physical and mental state is and how she would react to that stimulation?

Does FIL see her fairly often?  Is he clear on how she does daily or weekly?

I think that sometimes loving and well-meaning relatives who have less contact can sometimes be overly optimistic regarding the abilities of somebody in this situation.  There can be a variety of reasons for this, not the least of which is that the patient in question will "cover" for brief visits, while the family who are around all the time tend to see the confusion/anger/whatever.

I agree that a visit from DS when he can give grandma his undivided attention and there is less stimulation seems like a better choice to me.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Peregrine on January 25, 2013, 06:14:44 PM
One thing that hasn't been mentioned, and is perhaps the reason FIL is saying hiring a caregiver isn't a good idea. 

Grandma may latch onto her children to do her personal care and monitoring and not allow a hired caregiver to do so if her children are there.  We ran into a similar issue with my Grandma when she was in an assisted living facility.  We found out that Grandma would tell the attendants, rather vociferously not to worry about doing chores like the laundry because her daughter (my mother) would be in to take care of it.  Then she would tell my Mom that the aids weren't doing it for her.  My Grandma had dementia related issues as well, but this was going on very early on in the disease process, she was just more comfortable with her daughters taking care of her, than a hired aid.

Elder care issues are extremely complex, and I am pretty willing to cut the FIL some slack on this issue.  Granted I don't know the whole situation, but it sounds like FIL is probably a lot more familiar with the day-to-day issues that Grandma is having.  If it were me, I would encourage son to make a quick afternoon visit with his new bride to go see Grandma at her nursing home, if he is so inclined.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: catrunning on January 25, 2013, 06:22:02 PM
As one who has had years of caring for bed-ridden, confused and incontinent parents, OP may be taking on more than she can handle if grandma attends.   FIL sounds like a pill, but taking care of someone in that condition is hard and occasionally very dirty messy work and it sounds like he already knows that.    He probably should have responded more diplomatically, but there were times in my life when I was so tired and stressed out that I might have responded in a similar matter about my own parents.   

Perhaps OP could get a "second opinion" from one of FIL's siblings or other members of the family more involved with grandma on a day to day basis.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: YummyMummy66 on January 25, 2013, 06:26:24 PM
I work with seniors in their homes and  I have recently started with a new client in a faciity that is well known in our area.

If the grandmother is now in a full time nursing facility coming from the assisted side, then I can tell you, she needs 24/7 coverage.  When you enter a full time facility, there are reasons for doing so.   

I can understand FIL's comments about not being able to enjoy the party if his mother was there.  While all of us would like our family to be in attendance, unless you have been with certain patients, (not knowing grandma's condition), you really don't know what you are dealing with. 

My new client, I am only with two hours for companionship, but yesterday, I spent most of those two hours walking halls an such because she was so confused and could not seem to settle down.

Yes, I am sure you would like to invite grandma, (and to me, as long as the ones doing the inviting do not care about possible outbursts, etc.,)  then it is really no one else's business), but my question to you is, "Who will be responsble for grandma?".  Is it usually up to her four children that take on this responsibility?  If so, then I would be asking each of those children if they are willing to take on that responsibility and if not, if your DIL and DS or whomever is willing, would the children mind if a full time caregiver was provided for the event if grandma would like to and is able to attend the event?

You have already stated you will not be able to. Your children will not be able to, because it is their event.  So, by inviting grandma, her care is going to fall on others and those others are the ones who should be consulted about grandma attending the event.

Also, others have stated, send the invite to her and see what she wants to do.  I would really try and inquire as to her health, if she is able to come.  Alot of times, depending on their state of confusion, too many people/noise might agitate them and cause them distress.  Also, most incontinence issues are no problem, they can be dealt with by weaing depends, but I have had clients who when have made a bowel movement, tend to play with said bowel movement. 

There are many issues here that need to be addressed before sending an invite directly to grandma.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: kareng57 on January 25, 2013, 07:03:05 PM
I am not sure that I agree it isn't FIL's business - he is her son. Out fo curiosity, who does see her more often? Or is there anyone in the family who has a relatively good handle on how she is and what her physical and mental state is and how she would react to that stimulation?

Does FIL see her fairly often?  Is he clear on how she does daily or weekly?

I think that sometimes loving and well-meaning relatives who have less contact can sometimes be overly optimistic regarding the abilities of somebody in this situation.  There can be a variety of reasons for this, not the least of which is that the patient in question will "cover" for brief visits, while the family who are around all the time tend to see the confusion/anger/whatever.

I agree that a visit from DS when he can give grandma his undivided attention and there is less stimulation seems like a better choice to me.


I'm inclined to agree.  OP has said that she hasn't seen Grandma for 1 1/2 years, and she could have deteriorated quite a bit during that time.  Even if FIL does not see her daily, it's quite likely fairly regularly and I think people need to at least listen to his concerns.  And even if she doesn't normally become belligerent, it's quite possible that she might during a long drive and in an unfamiliar environment.

As a PP said, a quiet visit to her in her care-home might be the best alternative.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: doodlemor on January 25, 2013, 07:31:07 PM
Initially I thought that inviting grandma was a good idea, but now in the light of more information I think that grandma should stay in her nursing home.

A year and a half is an incredibly long time for a dementia patient.  My own mother changed drastically in that period of time.  It's sad to say, but grandma quite likely isn't "grandma" any more.

My mother got very active, belligerent, and tried to take her clothes off at every opportunity.  She was loud and very physical, and actually broke out of the nursing home's fire door at one point.  Even if the grandma in this thread is fairly docile in the nursing home, she may become very different if taken out of that environment.

FIL sounds like an annoying person, but even an annoying person can be right at times.  I think that this is one of those times.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: rain on January 25, 2013, 08:09:48 PM
I've not read all the replies - I think that the reception should be recorded  and played


I was once hired to assist a young man at his sister's reception (we were seated at the head table & I fed him).   He was physically disabled, and had some mental impairment, but completely understood what was going on.  He really enjoyed himself.

I was also the carer for my G-ma at family events - I had to help her walking, in the bathroom, etc...  she was not confused, but wore out easily & would leave early.

my (ex) FIL has confusion  and balance issues & is in a care center.  He does not go to family events unless they are in his former home (where ex MIL lives).  The confusion, etc stresses him out so much it has an adverse impact on his overall well-being.  {I wish it were different but it is more important to do what's best for ex FIL, I've always invited them to DS's birthday parties, school events, etc. even though they live hours away and they are my ex-ILs}
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: DoubleTrouble on January 25, 2013, 08:18:50 PM
Given the additional information, my vote would be to not invite Great-Grandma. As previous posters have mentioned, dementia tends to get worse at night when the patient is tired & needs their medication. Plus if DS has not seen Great-Grandma for a while & her condition has deteriorated it may be distressing for him to face that reality at the party; better to have [what could be the final] visit in private.

A nice going-away lunch at her facility is a good compromise.

FIL sounds like an annoying person, but even an annoying person can be right at times.  I think that this is one of those times.

I always find that one of the more annoying aspects of life ;)
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not? Update post 36
Post by: cheyne on January 25, 2013, 08:35:08 PM
OP here.

I spoke to DH, called DS, then bit the bullet and called FIL.  DH said that he would like his Grandma there, but didn't want to put-out his dad, aunt and uncles.  DS told me that Of course he and DIL would like grandma there, but if it wasn't possible he and DIL would be happy to go and visit grandma at the nursing home the morning before the party (wearing their party clothes to boot).

So with this in mind I called FIL.  We actually had a nice chat and I was able to get a lot more information from him than from DH.  Grandma is in a wheelchair full time.  She is able to get herself to the restroom most times, but will have the occasional accident.  She tires very easily and can not stay up for longer than a couple of hours without a rest.  She does need some assistance in the restroom, but not full body transferring.  Her bouts of confusion are sporadic with good days and bad days.  Not literally days, as she sometimes has bad weeks.

After talking to FIL at some length, I told him that I was inviting Grandma.  However, her invitation will be mailed to Uncle Keith (all her mail is delivered to Keith, she gets nothing mailed to the nursing home).  When the invite arrives, it is up to her children to decide if she's lucid enough to understand and physically able to attend.  It may seem like the coward's way out, but I think we have made the right decision.  We haven't seen Grandma in 16 months and have no idea of her physical/mental state-her children will be the ones taking care of her and/or dealing with the fallout so they should have the right to decide if they are able to do that.

~Respectfully snipped~

Yes, I am sure you would like to invite grandma, (and to me, as long as the ones doing the inviting do not care about possible outbursts, etc.,)  then it is really no one else's business), but my question to you is, "Who will be responsible for grandma?".  Is it usually up to her four children that take on this responsibility?  If so, then I would be asking each of those children if they are willing to take on that responsibility and if not, if your DIL and DS or whomever is willing, would the children mind if a full time caregiver was provided for the event if grandma would like to and is able to attend the event?

I read this post after making the decision, but this about sums up the way DH and I feel about it.

I want to thank everyone who replied to the OP.  You all made me think and even encouraged me to reach out to FIL to get his view of the situation.  I now have to email DIL with the finished guest list and addresses. 
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: gramma dishes on January 25, 2013, 08:45:39 PM
...   But given that she lives only 35 miles from the venue, perhaps it would be better for DS and his new wife to visit her at her "home" for lunch or some such thing before they depart.  In familiar surroundings, she'd probably be a lot more at ease and maybe the confusion would have less chance of appearing?

I agree with Phoebe,  Double Trouble, kareng57 and others who mentioned the same thing. 

If you're really in doubt, call the facility where she lives.  Ask to speak to the nursing director there.  Just ask her:  "Would she enjoy this party, or would she just be lost, confused and uncomfortable?"  Chances are they'd tell you the truth.  If she would get nothing out of it, she should stay "home" where she feels safe and her routine is not disturbed.

I like the idea of the HC visiting her briefly all by themselves if that would be feasible at all.  If it does turn out to be the last time he sees his Grandmother, it will have been a private meeting where he could concentrate solely on her.  If she remembers, great.  But in any case, HE and his new bride will and regardless of how that turns it, it will be meaningful to them.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: doodlemor on January 25, 2013, 09:46:12 PM
i think that you have made a wise decision, cheyne.  Let her adult children decide.

Best of luck with your party!
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: kudeebee on January 25, 2013, 10:18:36 PM
I, too, think you have made the right decision with sending the invite to an uncle and letting the children decide if she comes.  I think it would be much better if ds and dil, perhaps even you and dh, went to see her at the care center.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 25, 2013, 10:59:03 PM

If the grandmother is now in a full time nursing facility coming from the assisted side, then I can tell you, she needs 24/7 coverage.  When you enter a full time facility, there are reasons for doing so.   


This is why I am voting now for NOT inviting her to the event and instead sending your son and his wife to spend a little time with her at her nursing home.

Grandma has been carefully monitored in her living situation, and she has been given as much assistance as possible to KEEP her out of the nursing facility. That's what assisted living does.

If the professionals watching over her have given up on assisted living, then she's really not in condition to travel for 45 minutes to an hour (even if it is 35 miles) for a long party, and then travel back.

Though I will say, I love your solution--you know she is welcome, and the folks who will bear the burden can make the decision.

I also admire you for having a longer conversation on the phone. I bet you think a lot better of her son now.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: JoyinVirginia on January 26, 2013, 12:15:25 AM
I am coming in late to this thread, but you have made best decision. My mother is in nursing home, in wheelchair. She used to enjoy going out to eat, and to family events. Them her continence issues progressed to where she could not travel more than ten miles or so. Your FIL sounds very practical and direct, always a good thing from my view. You are doing three right thing by letting the children decide.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: crella on January 26, 2013, 01:43:57 AM
It's a tough call. How does Grandmother herself feel about it? Do you think she'd like to go? Does she remember the people she's going to see?

MIL has dementia, she was in Stage 5 around the time our son was getting married. She wanted to go, even though it would be in Tokyo, 3 hours away by bullet train. Her memory was about 1 minute and a half at that time. We hired a nurse she likes very much to accompany us. We were away two nights, because MIL can't handle sudden change, so getting up early , getting on the bullet train, getting off it and heading to the hairdressers for the Saturday afternoon ceremony would have been too much. We went up to arrive at her usual dinner time, and she had dinner and went right to bed, and then she had all morning to be filled in again on what was happening that afternoon.

There was some confusion at night, some sundowning, but that was par for the course for her at that time, even at home, and the nurse handled it beautifully.

On the train on the way up it was a constant stream of 'My what fun to ride the train. Where are we going?' 'To T's wedding' 'You didn't tell me he was getting married, I have no formal clothes with me' ' I brought your favorite lace dress' 'Oh good' over and over......at the reception 'what are we doing here, again?' 'T and E are getting married, look over there at the table at the front' 'Oh my don't they look nice...why are we here?'  but, funnily enough, if we show her the pictures she tells us all about it. While they may very well forget almost all of the trip, at moments during it, they will remember and understand why they are there, and are happy. Those moments are what we did it for, I guess, even though we knew she might not remember any of it the next day.  She's still proud that she went.

It's a tough decision. FIL may be fearful of disruption, and he may be assured by a caregiver being present. We conferred with her home helpers and care manager, and her doctor and went ahead. Good luck making the decision.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Aquamarine on January 26, 2013, 12:09:42 PM
I would not invite her, it sounds to me like she probably would not even be aware of the party hence no hurt feelings would be involved.  A total care patient with incontinence issues is not a good thing to have at a party!

Perhaps some of the family could go visit her in the nursing home instead.

She's a person, not a "thing."

She didn't call the grandmother a thing, she said "incontinence issues are not a good thing to have."

No, JeanfromBNA is correct--if I remember anything I learned about grammar in school, "thing" is referring to "total care patient" not to "incontinence issues."

I corrected the original post to make my meaning clear.  My grammar may not always be correct, I work in a field that uses incomplete sentence structure, abbreviations and writes things in an abbreviated manner all the time.

Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Roe on January 26, 2013, 06:12:19 PM
I would not invite her, it sounds to me like she probably would not even be aware of the party hence no hurt feelings would be involved.  A total care patient with incontinence issues is not a good thing to have at a party!

Perhaps some of the family could go visit her in the nursing home instead.

She's a person, not a "thing."

She didn't call the grandmother a thing, she said "incontinence issues are not a good thing to have."

No, JeanfromBNA is correct--if I remember anything I learned about grammar in school, "thing" is referring to "total care patient" not to "incontinence issues."

I corrected the original post to make my meaning clear.  My grammar may not always be correct, I work in a field that uses incomplete sentence structure, abbreviations and writes things in an abbreviated manner all the time.

That's the way I read it because I was definitely giving you the benefit of the doubt. I figured anyone on eHell would never refer to a person as a thing.  :) 
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Aeris on January 26, 2013, 09:29:38 PM
I agree with others that you've made the best decision here by handing the responsibility for the decision to the ones who would ultimately be responsible for her care at the event. I also have to echo a few posters regarding the unrealistic optimism that family members may exhibit when they are not the ones most intimately involved in care.

My aunt just thought my father was being a big meanie pants when he kept insisting that when she came to visit for a week, she please not plan a jam packed schedule of outings and shopping trips and long car rides with my grandparents. My aunt thought it was good for my grandparents to get out of the living facility and do fun things. But she had no idea, or refused to see, how little they could really handle that level of activity. My dad was the one who was at the facility for a few hours every.single.day. He had an extremely good idea of what they could and couldn't handle, what level of care they really needed, etc.

Invariably, they would cover and try to seem more spry than they really were, and invariably they would either get sick or take a nasty fall shortly after all the exhausting activity of her visits.

The reality was that they were exhausted by even taking the 20 min drive to my parent's house. It was far kinder to them to visit them on their turf, where they were comfortable, had care immediately available, and didn't have to manage an uncomfortable car trip of any duration. 35 miles is a *long* car trip for someone in a wheelchair/assisted living situation.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Minmom3 on January 26, 2013, 11:12:43 PM
Aeris - sad that your aunt didn't believe your father about the parental limitations.  Maybe your father could get aunt to listen to the parents day to day caregivers, who could give her an accurate picture of their abilities.  I think it's very hard to surrender your 'vision' of your parents when they're on that long decline down hill, and you don't see them often enough to really know how things have changed from what they used to be.

My mom is in assisted living, and has been for 3 years now.  There are days when she's full of vim and vigor - BUT - she still won't know where my bathroom is, she eats incredibly small portions and expends great effort trying to give you food off her plate because she has too much - and she's exhausted when you get her back home.  And that's just driving her to my house for a holiday dinner where she does nothing but sit there while people wait on her, and fill her plate, and then drive her back home again.  Days where she's not full of vim and vigor, you go pick her up, you get her to one planned-on place, and cut it short because she's tired and needs and wants to go back to bed, so you do NOTHING that day except drive to her place, run an errand, take her home again, and then go home yourself. 

It's worse than taking a toddler to Disneyland, because you can pretty well gauge what a toddler is going to be able to do, most of the time.  You know their quiet times, their meal times, and their energy levels, and you can plan around them.  With an old person in declining health, my experience is that you really can't plan a day knowing that it WILL happen.  It might and it might not, and you'd best be gracious about it, because NOT being gracious isn't going to do anybody any good, and will only make the day more difficult than it has to be.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: mj on January 27, 2013, 10:13:46 AM
I think you did the best thing, OP.  Lots of good advice and points of view in this thread.  I just want to add, even getting a caregivers run down on how Grandma is day to day in the facility is not going to be an accurate view of how it will go for her in an unfamiliar environment.  Facilities set up to take care of her will be the best for her day to day, so taking her out of the schedule and structure provided there often times disturbs patients. 
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: rigs32 on January 27, 2013, 06:58:50 PM
I hope that if no one wants to take responsibility for grandma there won't be hurt feelings.  Of course you have hosting duties, but whoever brings her will most likely have to leave early when she is ready to go.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: bopper on January 28, 2013, 09:18:11 AM
When is the last time you visited grandma? When is the last time FIL visited grandma?
Like others I ask because which of you has a better handle on how confused grandma is?
Will she know where she is? Will she majorly disrupt the party?
How much stress will it cause her to have an outing?

Also ask yourself why you are doing this....so you won't feel guilty or so Grandma feels included? Does Grandma even know she is included?

I would consider asking people at the nursing home and other of her children their opinion.

Edited to add:  Seeing the OP's update, I think she made a good choice but sending the invite to one of Grandma's children.  That way they are saying they are including grandma, but the choice is made by the people who know her capabilities and would be the ones to have to take care of logistics.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Pandora on January 28, 2013, 12:29:24 PM
" I thought of hiring a nurse/companion for Grandma, but this will not go over well since her own children will be there.  (The quote from FIL was, "That would be stupid.")'

 Why exactly would this be stupid? t's done all the time.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Sharnita on January 28, 2013, 12:34:15 PM
" I thought of hiring a nurse/companion for Grandma, but this will not go over well since her own children will be there.  (The quote from FIL was, "That would be stupid.")'

 Why exactly would this be stupid? t's done all the time.
I am not clear from what OP has said who would actually pay for this.  I thought that at one point she indicated that her DH felt that getting Grandma there was not their responsibility.  If grandma or her kids would have to pay and if she would not know or would be upset then it might be stupid.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: gramma dishes on January 28, 2013, 01:16:12 PM
I'm in my early seventies (very early  ;D) and I have to accept with regret that someday the Grandma in this scenario might possibly be me. 

I think right now, while I'm still of sound mind (debatable perhaps) and body, that if I were in the grandmother's shoes I would NOT want to attend this event.  If I wouldn't know where I was, if I didn't recognize most of the people there including those getting married, if I were concerned about incontinence, if I did not travel well, if I was costing someone else money and interfering with the enjoyment of others because someone had to bring me there, drive me home, and "look after me" throughout the entire event -- *whew* -- I would NOT want to go!! 

I would not want to be a burden or an embarrassment to others there that I loved, even if I had no idea who the heck they were at the moment.  Does anyone care how SHE feels (or would feel if she knew) about this whole thing?
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: crella on January 28, 2013, 03:52:41 PM
If it's your only grandchild getting married, or something like that, you may very well want to go  :D Disruption is one thing (and in many cases that can be minimized or eliminated), but costing a little money, maybe making some more work, I didn't see it as a big problem. It's family. While MIL didn't know why she was there unless we told her, she did recognize our son and thought our DIL was a very pretty bride, so mission accomplished, even if we had to point them out to her for her to re-realize it 50 times  :D If she had had no idea who anyone was it wouldn't have made any sense in taking her, but even though she didn't perhaps enjoy or understand the occasion to the degree we did, she was happy in the moment, and for her that's the most we can expect. I would not do the same thing for something like a family reunion. In that case I'd recommend family to visit her the next time they're in the area.

I  agree with the OPs decision. If you are going to undertake something like this, someone who knows that family member's condition intimately should make the final decision. I was MILs primary caregiver (still am, but now she's been hospitalized with some severe symptoms so it's not 24 hours a day like it used to be) and I knew what times of day are bad for her, what sets her off, her fears etc. so everything was planned down to the last detail.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Sharnita on January 28, 2013, 04:42:00 PM
crella, it sounds like maybe your experience with confusion/dementia is happy confusion.  I have had some experience with that.  I have also seen some angry/scared confusion.  I agree that the forst might be worth Grandma attending even if she is confused but if she is experiencing the second, it might be unkind to everyone.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: katycoo on January 28, 2013, 05:21:31 PM
What does your DS/DIL want?  The party is in their honour, I think their feelings should be considered.

If they want her there, I'd hire a nurse to assist her, and leave FIL out of it.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Sharnita on January 28, 2013, 05:26:24 PM
What does your DS/DIL want?  The party is in their honour, I think their feelings should be considered.

If they want her there, I'd hire a nurse to assist her, and leave FIL out of it.

Since FIL (and his siblings) seem to have seen her much more recently than OP, her DH, DS/DIL and they would have a better idea of how she would or would not deal with the situation I don't think you can leave them out of it.  Making a decisions bout whether this will work, even with a nurse, when you haven't seen her for over a year does not make any sense.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: crella on January 28, 2013, 05:29:35 PM
crella, it sounds like maybe your experience with confusion/dementia is happy confusion.  I have had some experience with that.  I have also seen some angry/scared confusion.  I agree that the forst might be worth Grandma attending even if she is confused but if she is experiencing the second, it might be unkind to everyone.

I agree completely. In stage 4-5, MIL was quite confrontational and sometimes physically violent. At the time of the kids' wedding, she was on new medication for a few months and her moods were manageable with distraction. If she had been in the state she was in one year earlier, there was no way we could have taken her. That's why it's better for those who see her most often to decide if the OPs grandmother can go or not.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: katycoo on January 28, 2013, 05:59:10 PM
What does your DS/DIL want?  The party is in their honour, I think their feelings should be considered.

If they want her there, I'd hire a nurse to assist her, and leave FIL out of it.

Since FIL (and his siblings) seem to have seen her much more recently than OP, her DH, DS/DIL and they would have a better idea of how she would or would not deal with the situation I don't think you can leave them out of it.  Making a decisions bout whether this will work, even with a nurse, when you haven't seen her for over a year does not make any sense.

They can make enquiries diectly with the staff at her residence to assess whether she is up for the trip.

But if I was being thrown a wedding reception and someone else decided that my great-grandma wasn;t coming without asking me, I'd be very irritated.
At least if i was involved and heard the nursing home say she wasn't up to the event, or not with it enough to have any clue what was going on, or had lost vital functions which would make attendance unpleasant for all, I'd understand.  But FIL seemed only concerned about the family's burden which can be relieved.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Sharnita on January 28, 2013, 06:23:45 PM
I don't see where that is true since it sounds like he is opposed to hiring a nurse as well. And the nursing home might not be able to speak as to her behavior outside the nursing home for obvious reasons.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: katycoo on January 28, 2013, 06:30:07 PM
I don't see where that is true since it sounds like he is opposed to hiring a nurse as well. And the nursing home might not be able to speak as to her behavior outside the nursing home for obvious reasons.

Yes - but doesn't explain why other than it is 'silly'.

And maybe the nursing home can't.  But I'd still try.  My impression is that FIL is blackballing any option of GM attending without adequate explanation.  And I'd want to make an informed decision before just not inviting a much loved family member.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: cheyne on January 28, 2013, 08:00:27 PM
Nothing new to update, but I will answer Katycoo's questions.  DS would like grandma there if she is up to it.  If FIL, Aunt and Uncle feel Grandma is good to go Aunt will take her to the venue.  If they feel that her condition isn't up to travel, DS and DIL will visit Grandma at the nursing home the day of the party. 

The reason DH and I have decided to let grandma's children make the decision is that they see her on a weekly basis.  We haven't seen her since Sept. 2011 and have no idea about her current state of mind/body.  We know what we are told, but haven't observed her KWIM? 

With HIPPA laws being what they are, I wouldn't even attempt to call the nursing home and ask about her physical/mental state.  As the wife of a grandson I am hardly next of kin.

Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: katycoo on January 28, 2013, 09:31:53 PM
Fair enough.  I hope it works out that she is able to attend.

Can I ask why its been so long since you've seen her?  Do you not live nearby?
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: kareng57 on January 28, 2013, 10:28:29 PM
Nothing new to update, but I will answer Katycoo's questions.  DS would like grandma there if she is up to it.  If FIL, Aunt and Uncle feel Grandma is good to go Aunt will take her to the venue.  If they feel that her condition isn't up to travel, DS and DIL will visit Grandma at the nursing home the day of the party. 

The reason DH and I have decided to let grandma's children make the decision is that they see her on a weekly basis.  We haven't seen her since Sept. 2011 and have no idea about her current state of mind/body.  We know what we are told, but haven't observed her KWIM? 

With HIPPA laws being what they are, I wouldn't even attempt to call the nursing home and ask about her physical/mental state.  As the wife of a grandson I am hardly next of kin.


You're doing the right thing.  At the end of the day, you really have to trust the decision to the next-of-kin who see her on a fairly regular basis.  It can be very difficult for the next-in-line relatives to assess these things - (I know you're not doing this, I'm being hypothetical) - they might see Grandma once every six months, and perhaps it was on one of her rare "good" days, and they think that Grandma ought to be fine for a party like this. As annoying as FIL might be sometimes - he might simply be aware that Grandma will not have a good time at the celebration even if they hire an attendant.  An attendant can certainly help with feeding/mobility - but if Grandma is terribly confused about where she is, he/she probably cannot help with that.


Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: kudeebee on January 28, 2013, 11:11:42 PM
i am glad that you are going to let fil and siblings make the decision about bringing grandma to the reception and that you will be accepting of the decision that they make.  It is so easy to just say hire a nurse, hire a caregiver, but unless you have a loved one in the nursing home that you are responsible for and interact with on a regular basis you probably don't realize that that doesn't always work like you would think it would.

Also, you (as in you and dh) may not be able to take grandma out of the facility. It would probably have to be cleared with the person who has poa.  And I would assume that is fil or one of the other siblings.

You have given several key pieces of info in your posts:
You have not seen grandma in over 16 months.
She is in a full care nursing home.
She is in a wheelchair full time.
She needs help with the restroom.
She suffers from incontinence.
She gets confused.
She tires easily and lasts about 2 hours, then needs a nap.
You are planning a large party of around 250 persons.
You and dh are the hosts, ds and dil are the guests of honor.  so you will be busy with party details and not have much time to interact with grandma anyway.


These are all indicators to me that it might be best to not bring grandma to the reception, even with a caretaker. 
She only lasts 2 hours, yet you are going to spend almost one of then getting her in a car and riding to the event and then out of the car.  This will be tiring enough in itself.  What type of vehicle will grandma be traveling in?  will it be easy to get her in and out?  Will there be room to transport the wheelchair?  She may also be worn our for several days after the event.
Will one of you be able to give her any medication that she needs to take, assuming there is no care giver there.  what will you do if she refuses to take it?
She can help herself for the most part in the restroom. Most toilets in nursing homes have the bars right alongside the toilet seat; most venue handicap stalls do not have them this close.  So someone will have to assist her on and off or be in the stall with her to lock the wheelchair and steady it for her.
What if she has an accident?  Is there one restroom that would be out of commission during the time someone cleans her up or is there a handicap stall that is big enough to allow someone to assist her?  Will she be allowed to keep her dignity if this happens?  How would you handle the dirty/wet clothes? 
What if she will have nothing to do with the caretaker, if you hire one?  What if she only wants FIL to help her at the party or uncle?  Will they feel comfortable helping her with bathroom duties or cleaning her up? 
What if she becomes confused as to where she is or who people are?  Will the amount of people who are there upset her?  Will she become disoriented, scream, get mean?  Will she become stubborn or hard to handle?  Do you want this to be the memory of grandma that the party guests have?
What if she wants to go home shortly after she arrives?  Is aunt willing to turn right around and take her back, missing out on the celebration?

While I understand your immediate family wanting her there as you have not seen her for a long time, remember that she is not the same grandma that you remember last seeing.  Her life situation has changed.  She has a new home, a new routine.  For many elderly persons, taking them out of that routine, out of the familiar surroundings, away from familiar people can be very traumatic for them.

It is hard for us to realize someone that we love so much and have not seen for a long time has gotten older and cannot do the things we remember them being able to do.  Sometimes we need to look past our desires and wants and do what is best for the elderly person.  It is hard for us to realize that someone, due to age, medical issues, or disabilities, just can't attend the functions/activities anymore.  it isn't fun for them like we think it would be.  In fact it can be very stressful for them.  And, if people really want to see them, they can make a short visit to the care center.

And, for those wondering, I am dealing with my mother who is in the nursing home and has been for 3 years. (And have also dealt with a fil and aunts/uncles in care centers.) At the beginning we could take my mom out and did up to a year ago. Now it would be way too traumatic for her to go out.  She has not done well on the few trips to the doctor that she has taken the last few months, even staying in her wheelchair with a cna with her and me meeting her at the doctor offices.  However, she loves to have people come and visit her in the care center and have a cup of coffee with her.  she can show her guests off to her friends and will talk about it to the care center workers and fellow residents for days after.  We take her pictures of events and share them with her.  She loves seeing them and hearing about it.  So, i speak from experience with her and seeing others in the care center on a fairly regular basis.

JMHO
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: JoyinVirginia on January 29, 2013, 12:06:08 AM
Kudebee, I have similar situation. My mother has been in nursing home several years. She used to be able to transfer from wheelchair to car, then forgot how to do it. Now when she is in upright wheelchair her blood pressure drops, do she us in reclining wheelchair all the time.  And it would be out of the question to use a handicapped restroom unless there were two people in there to manage her. This is why we don't take her out anymore.
I think fil was very wise to clearly voice his concerns well in advance of the event. The people responsible need to make the decisions. Another thing that could happen to mess up the party, what if grandma did come and then had accident in bathroom that made a mess so part of your ladies restroom at the venue would be unusable? incontinent means accidents and odor and changing clothing and embarrassment for grandma. Anyone who wants to visit grandma should go to the nursing home to see her.
I have been in the position of helping my mother who could not stand, and was dealing with a non handicapped accessible bathroom, and had subsequent accident that cut short the outing. Not fun.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Aeris on January 29, 2013, 02:12:54 PM
Kudebee, I have similar situation. My mother has been in nursing home several years. She used to be able to transfer from wheelchair to car, then forgot how to do it. Now when she is in upright wheelchair her blood pressure drops, do she us in reclining wheelchair all the time.  And it would be out of the question to use a handicapped restroom unless there were two people in there to manage her. This is why we don't take her out anymore.
I think fil was very wise to clearly voice his concerns well in advance of the event. The people responsible need to make the decisions. Another thing that could happen to mess up the party, what if grandma did come and then had accident in bathroom that made a mess so part of your ladies restroom at the venue would be unusable? incontinent means accidents and odor and changing clothing and embarrassment for grandma. Anyone who wants to visit grandma should go to the nursing home to see her.
I have been in the position of helping my mother who could not stand, and was dealing with a non handicapped accessible bathroom, and had subsequent accident that cut short the outing. Not fun.

I agree. And I think the aspect of this that some people aren't fully seeing is that once you've crossed certain lines, it's "not fun" for anyone involved, including the elderly family member.

Sure, if the elderly family member is both physically functional enough and mentally aware enough that the overall experience is a net benefit for them, great. But for a whole lot of people that just isn't true anymore. And if it isn't true, then it's not fair to the elderly family member to put them in that position where they are exhausted 20 minutes into a social engagement, or confused and frustrated by their surroundings, or terrified of hurting themselves or having an accident, or embarrassed by accidents or the level of disruption they feel they are causing to the event, etc.

Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: goldilocks on January 30, 2013, 03:49:59 PM
I can sympathize with this situation.

Every year - we take a huge family vacation in a campground site.  We rent cabins, but there are way more people than cabins so you have people sleeping on the floor, 8 people to a bathroom, etc.  The activities are ALL outdoor centered, and it's hot.

This is the type of setting my mother hates, so I've never invited her.  Last year my brother did.  So, not only was she miserable, but she attempted to make me miserable as well.

She didn't want to go on the boat, go for a walk, or even just sit and observe.  SHe wanted to just sit in her cabin and watch TV.  Fine you think?  No, because then she was quite angry that I didn't spend the entire time sitting with her.  I finally just took her home 3 days early.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: gramma dishes on January 30, 2013, 04:26:05 PM
I can sympathize with this situation.

Every year - we take a huge family vacation in a campground site.  We rent cabins, but there are way more people than cabins so you have people sleeping on the floor, 8 people to a bathroom, etc.  The activities are ALL outdoor centered, and it's hot.

This is the type of setting my mother hates, so I've never invited her.  Last year my brother did.  So, not only was she miserable, but she attempted to make me miserable as well.

She didn't want to go on the boat, go for a walk, or even just sit and observe.  SHe wanted to just sit in her cabin and watch TV.  Fine you think?  No, because then she was quite angry that I didn't spend the entire time sitting with her.  I finally just took her home 3 days early.

Since your brother was the one who invited her, why didn't HE stay indoors sitting with her?
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: supotco on January 30, 2013, 05:34:18 PM
I have a lot of sympathy for this kind of thing. Some relatives of ours used to rail about how horrible and cruel my Dad and his siblings were for not taking my grandmother out of her care home for the day. Unfortunately, one of the reasons she was in the care home was because she had advanced dementia, and had no idea who any of us were. Any outings would have gone horribly wrong.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Miss Understood on January 30, 2013, 11:01:29 PM
I'm in my early seventies (very early  ;D) and I have to accept with regret that someday the Grandma in this scenario might possibly be me. 

I think right now, while I'm still of sound mind (debatable perhaps) and body, that if I were in the grandmother's shoes I would NOT want to attend this event.  If I wouldn't know where I was, if I didn't recognize most of the people there including those getting married, if I were concerned about incontinence, if I did not travel well, if I was costing someone else money and interfering with the enjoyment of others because someone had to bring me there, drive me home, and "look after me" throughout the entire event -- *whew* -- I would NOT want to go!! 

I would not want to be a burden or an embarrassment to others there that I loved, even if I had no idea who the heck they were at the moment.  Does anyone care how SHE feels (or would feel if she knew) about this whole thing?

GrammaDishes, don't worry too much.  Reading this forum one would think that every person (particularly every woman) over 60 is demented and impossible to deal with.  That has not been the case in my experience.  The only relative of mine who became "senile" (as we called it then) became so in her 50s and could still even then travel on her own (she just couldn't figure out what was going on with conversations or tv shows).  My parents and their siblings (other than the afore-mentioned aunt) all lived into at least their 70s or mostly 80s with no dementia.  My DH's parents are still going strong at 90 and no dementia happening.  It's not a given.  (And the people I am speaking of, during most of their lives, ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, smoked constantly, and had cocktails before dinner.)
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: YummyMummy66 on January 31, 2013, 05:35:34 AM
I'm in my early seventies (very early  ;D) and I have to accept with regret that someday the Grandma in this scenario might possibly be me. 

I think right now, while I'm still of sound mind (debatable perhaps) and body, that if I were in the grandmother's shoes I would NOT want to attend this event.  If I wouldn't know where I was, if I didn't recognize most of the people there including those getting married, if I were concerned about incontinence, if I did not travel well, if I was costing someone else money and interfering with the enjoyment of others because someone had to bring me there, drive me home, and "look after me" throughout the entire event -- *whew* -- I would NOT want to go!! 

I would not want to be a burden or an embarrassment to others there that I loved, even if I had no idea who the heck they were at the moment.  Does anyone care how SHE feels (or would feel if she knew) about this whole thing?

GrammaDishes, don't worry too much.  Reading this forum one would think that every person (particularly every woman) over 60 is demented and impossible to deal with.  That has not been the case in my experience.  The only relative of mine who became "senile" (as we called it then) became so in her 50s and could still even then travel on her own (she just couldn't figure out what was going on with conversations or tv shows).  My parents and their siblings (other than the afore-mentioned aunt) all lived into at least their 70s or mostly 80s with no dementia.  My DH's parents are still going strong at 90 and no dementia happening.  It's not a given.  (And the people I am speaking of, during most of their lives, ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, smoked constantly, and had cocktails before dinner.)

GrammaDishes....ditto.  I first posted based on my experience with someone in a nusring home/facility with 24/7 care as related to this particular post.    But, I also work with many seniors in their own homes who still have their "sound" mind, but cannot do quite what they used to.  One client is 93, one client is 91 and he still drives, (I care for his wife).  So, just because someone gets older, does not mean that they will automatically have dementia.    I think most people posted to the OPs original post and question.  Every case is different. 

I live in an area where living to an old age is common and that is why the need for people like me, caregivers for seniors.  I work with many different clients and many different scenarios.  Also, as with dementia and Alzheimer's, there are many different levels, care, etc.  No one case is different and we base our services around each client's needs at any time, which can change constantly.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: goldilocks on January 31, 2013, 08:07:33 AM
I can sympathize with this situation.

Every year - we take a huge family vacation in a campground site.  We rent cabins, but there are way more people than cabins so you have people sleeping on the floor, 8 people to a bathroom, etc.  The activities are ALL outdoor centered, and it's hot.

This is the type of setting my mother hates, so I've never invited her.  Last year my brother did.  So, not only was she miserable, but she attempted to make me miserable as well.

She didn't want to go on the boat, go for a walk, or even just sit and observe.  SHe wanted to just sit in her cabin and watch TV.  Fine you think?  No, because then she was quite angry that I didn't spend the entire time sitting with her.  I finally just took her home 3 days early.

Since your brother was the one who invited her, why didn't HE stay indoors sitting with her?

Because for some odd reason, she felt it was my responsibility. 
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Elegiac on January 31, 2013, 08:18:52 AM
My grandma is a sweet lady who has alzheimers. It is not bad enough to put her in a nursing home yet. She has great days where she is lucid and can remember a lot.

That being said, a party would be overwhelming for her. She comes to family functions, but often excuses herself to do dishes or something to get away from the crowd.  I think it would be best if your son and his wife visited Grandma in her home - that way, she's comfortable in a place she recognizes, but there are also nurses to help out if need be. I am sure grandma would appreciate the visit, and no one would have to worry about looking after grandma, etc.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: kareng57 on January 31, 2013, 01:08:03 PM
I'm in my early seventies (very early  ;D) and I have to accept with regret that someday the Grandma in this scenario might possibly be me. 

I think right now, while I'm still of sound mind (debatable perhaps) and body, that if I were in the grandmother's shoes I would NOT want to attend this event.  If I wouldn't know where I was, if I didn't recognize most of the people there including those getting married, if I were concerned about incontinence, if I did not travel well, if I was costing someone else money and interfering with the enjoyment of others because someone had to bring me there, drive me home, and "look after me" throughout the entire event -- *whew* -- I would NOT want to go!! 

I would not want to be a burden or an embarrassment to others there that I loved, even if I had no idea who the heck they were at the moment.  Does anyone care how SHE feels (or would feel if she knew) about this whole thing?

GrammaDishes, don't worry too much.  Reading this forum one would think that every person (particularly every woman) over 60 is demented and impossible to deal with.  That has not been the case in my experience.  The only relative of mine who became "senile" (as we called it then) became so in her 50s and could still even then travel on her own (she just couldn't figure out what was going on with conversations or tv shows).  My parents and their siblings (other than the afore-mentioned aunt) all lived into at least their 70s or mostly 80s with no dementia.  My DH's parents are still going strong at 90 and no dementia happening.  It's not a given.  (And the people I am speaking of, during most of their lives, ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, smoked constantly, and had cocktails before dinner.)


Your second sentence is pretty unfair to posters here.

Of course most of us know people in their 90s who live independently and are reasonably healthy.  The fact here is that Grandma is in a home because she needs 24-hour supervision and has some degree of dementia - it wouldn't make any difference whether she was 50 or 90.  What needs to be considered is how well she could handle the trip, would she understand what the party is all about etc.  And the family members who see her most often are the ones most qualified to make the decision.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: gramma dishes on January 31, 2013, 09:25:46 PM
 ???  I don't think it's unfair.  She makes perfect sense.

She means that on this forum we all talk about our own personal experiences and those of our friends and colleagues --   people we know personally and what they have sometimes had to deal with. 

Because subjects usually only come up when they present a problem and become an issue that has to be dealt with, those kinds of situations caused by dementia and other problems of aging get mentioned a lot on this site.

Rarely does one come here and discuss the wonders of aging and how it makes people so much wiser, smarter,  more patient and more fun to be around.   Not because it isn't true for many, many people, but because it doesn't cause any problems that need to be discussed here on this forum.

I'm pretty sure that's what she meant.   :)
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: kareng57 on January 31, 2013, 09:31:16 PM
???  I don't think it's unfair.  She makes perfect sense.

She means that on this forum we all talk about our own personal experiences and those of our friends and colleagues --   people we know personally and what they have sometimes had to deal with. 

Because subjects usually only come up when they present a problem and become an issue that has to be dealt with, those kinds of situations caused by dementia and other problems of aging get mentioned a lot on this site.

Rarely does one come here and discuss the wonders of aging and how it makes people so much wiser, smarter,  more patient and more fun to be around.   Not because it isn't true for many, many people, but because it doesn't cause any problems that need to be discussed here on this forum.

I'm pretty sure that's what she meant.   :)


Perhaps you read it that way, but I did not.  I think it's very unfair for her to have insinuated that most posters here consider anyone over 60 to have dementia.  I'm not far from that age, myself.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: gramma dishes on January 31, 2013, 09:46:24 PM
???  I don't think it's unfair.  She makes perfect sense.

She means that on this forum we all talk about our own personal experiences and those of our friends and colleagues --   people we know personally and what they have sometimes had to deal with. 

Because subjects usually only come up when they present a problem and become an issue that has to be dealt with, those kinds of situations caused by dementia and other problems of aging get mentioned a lot on this site.

Rarely does one come here and discuss the wonders of aging and how it makes people so much wiser, smarter,  more patient and more fun to be around.   Not because it isn't true for many, many people, but because it doesn't cause any problems that need to be discussed here on this forum.

I'm pretty sure that's what she meant.   :)

...   Reading this forum one would think that every person (particularly every woman) over 60 is demented and impossible to deal with.  That has not been the case in my experience.  The only relative of mine who became "senile" (as we called it then) became so in her 50s and could still even then travel on her own (she just couldn't figure out what was going on with conversations or tv shows).  My parents and their siblings (other than the afore-mentioned aunt) all lived into at least their 70s or mostly 80s with no dementia.  My DH's parents are still going strong at 90 and no dementia happening.  It's not a given.  (And the people I am speaking of, during most of their lives, ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, smoked constantly, and had cocktails before dinner.)

Perhaps you read it that way, but I did not.  I think it's very unfair for her to have insinuated that most posters here consider anyone over 60 to have dementia.  I'm not far from that age, myself.

Please, please reread her sentence.  She makes clear that she's referring NOT to life in general, just to the posts that crop up here for the reasons I mentioned.  She doesn't imply that most posters on here think all older people have dementia, just that many situations come up that deal with tactfully and diplomatically handling those people who do.

And to me, if you're approaching 60 you're still a spring chicken!  This whole thing started, unfortunately, because I mentioned being in my seventies.   

(For the record:  My mother was 98 when she died and was sharp as a tack till her last breath.  My Dad had severe memory loss in his early seventies.  I'm pretty sure we all know it's not "everybody" over a certain age.)
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: kareng57 on January 31, 2013, 10:29:24 PM
???  I don't think it's unfair.  She makes perfect sense.

She means that on this forum we all talk about our own personal experiences and those of our friends and colleagues --   people we know personally and what they have sometimes had to deal with. 

Because subjects usually only come up when they present a problem and become an issue that has to be dealt with, those kinds of situations caused by dementia and other problems of aging get mentioned a lot on this site.

Rarely does one come here and discuss the wonders of aging and how it makes people so much wiser, smarter,  more patient and more fun to be around.   Not because it isn't true for many, many people, but because it doesn't cause any problems that need to be discussed here on this forum.

I'm pretty sure that's what she meant.   :)

...   Reading this forum one would think that every person (particularly every woman) over 60 is demented and impossible to deal with.  That has not been the case in my experience.  The only relative of mine who became "senile" (as we called it then) became so in her 50s and could still even then travel on her own (she just couldn't figure out what was going on with conversations or tv shows).  My parents and their siblings (other than the afore-mentioned aunt) all lived into at least their 70s or mostly 80s with no dementia.  My DH's parents are still going strong at 90 and no dementia happening.  It's not a given.  (And the people I am speaking of, during most of their lives, ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, smoked constantly, and had cocktails before dinner.)

Perhaps you read it that way, but I did not.  I think it's very unfair for her to have insinuated that most posters here consider anyone over 60 to have dementia.  I'm not far from that age, myself.

Please, please reread her sentence.  She makes clear that she's referring NOT to life in general, just to the posts that crop up here for the reasons I mentioned.  She doesn't imply that most posters on here think all older people have dementia, just that many situations come up that deal with tactfully and diplomatically handling those people who do.

And to me, if you're approaching 60 you're still a spring chicken!  This whole thing started, unfortunately, because I mentioned being in my seventies.   

(For the record:  My mother was 98 when she died and was sharp as a tack till her last breath.  My Dad had severe memory loss in his early seventies.  I'm pretty sure we all know it's not "everybody" over a certain age.)


All right, I will not pursue it any further on this forum.  However, I think this particular poster ought to know that she has offended quite a few people.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Mikayla on February 01, 2013, 11:48:25 AM
Karen, I read it more the way you did.  I agree with the underlying sentiment that people here are sometimes too quick to diagnose/bring up dementia.  Heck, I also think that applies to almost any mental health condition.

But the phrasing in question was too inflammatory.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: crella on February 01, 2013, 01:29:26 PM
The OP is about grandmother, who is in a wheelchair, 'confused' (which usually means some impairment), and has a family event coming up. Very nearly the situation we were in when our son got married almost three years ago(no incontinence at that time), so I talked about how we did it and what precautions we took, because we've been through it. A number of us seem to be caregivers of elderly with a variety of problems. I feel that I may as well give somebody the benefit of the lumps I have on my head :D
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Minmom3 on February 01, 2013, 10:18:32 PM
One could also consider that the posts HERE are artificially skewed for age and dementia, because as somebody else said, we come here and talk about it because it's causing us stress of some kind, ongoing or emergent.  We don't come here because our elderly parents are fully functioning and don't need our help and "Whoopee, life is EASY!"  We come here for advice on "HELP, WHAT NOW" because the elderly relative either wants something it's not easy for us to supply, or has needs something it's going to be difficult to supply, and the relative is in denial about their abilities, or we and other relatives are in denial about the elderly persons abilities and faculties - and the work and the stress and the discussion and the lost sleep and possibly tears are going to fall on US, for whatever reason.  Because we're adult women (and a few men) and it lands on us to handle it.  Sometimes or all the time.  And we want advice, and comfort to help us handle it.  So we come here, and we DO get advice. 

So, I agree that it looks worse than it is in actuality across the populace, but HERE is where we get the help we need...  And we really need it.   :'(  It ain't fun being the one looking at the wreckage of your relative, who can't do anything she used to do, who can't always finish a sentence because she's forgotten how it started.  Who needs help we don't always now how to give.  These are our internet friends, and they help us and comfort us.

And I am seriously grateful for it, because even if I don't have a particular problem I'm reading about, it may crop up later, and I'll remember how it was recommended to handle it, and by golly, that's a big help TO ME.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: crella on February 02, 2013, 06:31:20 PM
Quote
Reading this forum one would think that every person (particularly every woman) over 60 is demented and impossible to deal with.  That has not been the case in my experience.

I meant to add to my last post that I certainly don't think that everyone over 60 has dementia.   Those who brought it up, were talking about their own families. If you have someone in your family with it, and talk about it, that in no way is stating that all elderly have it. In my case, one out of four grandparents had it, and none of the great-grandparents (and great granddad lived to be a spry 101-year-old), but both my in-laws (had) have it (FIL has passed). So, I know that everyone doesn't have it.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: bopper on February 04, 2013, 12:26:52 PM
[quote author=Miss Understood link=topic=124479.msg2878168#msg2878168

GrammaDishes, don't worry too much.  Reading this forum one would think that every person (particularly every woman) over 60 is demented and impossible to deal with.  That has not been the case in my experience. 
[/quote]

Ah, but on this forum people only post if they are having etiquette or other issues so they only post about the problem people.   One reason for these problems could be personality and one could be medical/dementia.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not?
Post by: Miss Understood on February 06, 2013, 10:23:11 PM
???  I don't think it's unfair.  She makes perfect sense.

She means that on this forum we all talk about our own personal experiences and those of our friends and colleagues --   people we know personally and what they have sometimes had to deal with. 

Because subjects usually only come up when they present a problem and become an issue that has to be dealt with, those kinds of situations caused by dementia and other problems of aging get mentioned a lot on this site.

Rarely does one come here and discuss the wonders of aging and how it makes people so much wiser, smarter,  more patient and more fun to be around.   Not because it isn't true for many, many people, but because it doesn't cause any problems that need to be discussed here on this forum.

I'm pretty sure that's what she meant.   :)

Yes, that is what I meant and thank you for expressing it much more eloquently than I did.  I understand that my post upset some posters to this thread and that was not my intent - I probably should have PMd Gramma Dishes, but I see this trend in so many threads, that every older person who is acting in an unpleasant way to the OP must be either a) suffering from dementia or b) (and this is what really annoys me) told that she should be checked out for it in order to humiliate her even though the OP has no reason to believe she has it other than the annoying behavior.

Not to mention the numerous threads where older women are automatically vilified for jealousy and resentment of younger women (witness the recent thread in which a woman who "howled" in pain due to an ice skate blade being stomped on her foot is called an "old bat" who is obviously jealous of the teenager who stomped on her foot, notwithstanding the fact that just about everyone in a skating rink at any given time is pretty young so I doubt the "old bat" was targeting her hatred at young people, maybe just the young person who stomped on her foot with an unsheathed ice skate blade.)  Again I am diverting attention from the OP's issue so I will shut up now. 
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6
Post by: cheyne on April 10, 2013, 02:22:06 PM
Grandma came to the reception with bells on!  Aunt Kathy brought her for supper at 6 and Grandma stayed until the "special" dances were over at 9:00.  She seemed to be rather sharp that night, no trouble with memory or incontinence (that I could tell) and said she had a good time and "Wouldn't have missed it for the world".

Thank you to all posters who replied to the thread.  Not a very exciting update about Grandma, but boy were there some etiquette tempests otherwise.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 10, 2013, 02:50:45 PM
Grandma came to the reception with bells on!  Aunt Kathy brought her for supper at 6 and Grandma stayed until the "special" dances were over at 9:00.  She seemed to be rather sharp that night, no trouble with memory or incontinence (that I could tell) and said she had a good time and "Wouldn't have missed it for the world".

Thank you to all posters who replied to the thread.  Not a very exciting update about Grandma, but boy were there some etiquette tempests otherwise.

Glad to hear she was able to attend and had a good time!
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6
Post by: Twik on April 10, 2013, 03:33:05 PM
Great to hear!

... now, what about those "other" tempests? Should we be breaking out the popcorn?
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 10, 2013, 04:02:51 PM
Waiting with a nice cup of coffee to hear the other stories!
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6
Post by: crella on April 10, 2013, 05:54:36 PM
I'm really glad to hear that it went well! I'm happy for you.
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6
Post by: gramma dishes on April 10, 2013, 07:51:51 PM
That's really wonderful!!  Glad it turned out so well.  Sounds like Grandma's presence provided some warm memories.

Now ... what was that about other "tempests"?  I believe that requires examples!   ;D
Title: Re: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6
Post by: cheyne on April 11, 2013, 11:26:18 AM
Perhaps I should have said "Faux pas tempests" instead.  We had a few doozies, but they weren't exactly etiquette nightmares.

B/G  This party was held in Bride's Hometown.  DH and I live about 750 miles away.  DH and I paid for half of the party but really had no say in decorations, food choices, venue or anything else.  I was a bit bothered by this and we did feel like guests at a party we were hosting (or at least paying for).  MOB had a "vision" for her daughter and was not to be swayed on it.  DH and I decided to "go with the flow" and just show up and smile.  MOB is a lovely person and to be honest I didn't care "enough" to make a fuss about anything. 

1.  During supper my DH tells me that his father just told him that the lady bartender (at the venue) has two kids with Uncle Gordon and no one in the family knows.  The kids are in their 40's and were a product of a late teenage liaison.  Thank Deity I wasn't eating at the time or I would have choked.  I have been married to DH for 20 years and FIL picks our son's reception to drop this bombshell?  DH and I kept our mouths shut so no one else heard about it that night.

2. The immediate family was asked to be at the venue at 4:45 for pictures and to meet each other.  This only included the parents, siblings (and spouses) and grandparents of DS and DIL.  When DH and I arrived, there were over 70 people there from DIL's side.  DH and I met MOB but FOB was no where to be found.  Pictures were taken, but no pics of both sets of parents with the B&G because we couldn't find FOB (he was hanging out with his family in another room).  All the extra people there made it difficult to corral people for photos, that's why we went early to avoid this.

3.  We had 3 special dances; Bride & Groom, Bride and FOB and Groom and MOG.  The songs were short so they lasted about 10 minutes total.  There were about 20 children there under the age of 12.  The kids were all over the dance floor running, shrieking, falling and crying.  I didn't expect silence or all eyes on the dancers, but just a little respect for the 10 minutes of dances would have been nice.  Since none of the kids belonged to our side of the family I didn't say anything.

4.  The group of older men in the corner judging the attractiveness of the Brides sorority sisters, loudly.  Yeah that was nice.

5.  My mother's drama.  Mother got it in her head that she wasn't getting enough attention as GMOG so she forced my father, sister, nephew and nephew's fiance to leave at 8:30.  Mother is a narcisist and a female dog, so they do as she says.  I was disappointed for a bit as I thought that just once she would do the decent thing-but I got over it quickly.  This is one of many reasons that we live 1000 miles from my parents.

6.  The screaming, running, completely out of control children.  During the dinner, speeches (two) and dances the kids just went nuts.  No one was correcting their behavior in any way.  These were kids from the bride's side of the family so I could not do a thing about it.  They were running into people (one girl almost knocked my Dad down, he's 70 but very healthy so she hit him hard), throwing stuff and just causing general havoc. 

7.  The DJ who would not play the music on the playlist.  One of the Bride's sorority sisters is into Techno, the DJ was interested in the Sister, so we listened to a lot of Techno.  The playlist had Country and Classic Rock but we had Techno.  Ugh.  I did get up there and gave him a few songs to play which he did and the dance floor was full.