General Etiquette > Family and Children

Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6

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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

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?

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.

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.

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.


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