Author Topic: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6  (Read 14847 times)

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katycoo

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #60 on: January 28, 2013, 07:30:07 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.

cheyne

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #61 on: January 28, 2013, 09:00:27 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.


katycoo

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #62 on: January 28, 2013, 10:31:53 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?

kareng57

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #63 on: January 28, 2013, 11:28:29 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.



kudeebee

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2013, 12:11:42 AM »
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
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 12:13:42 AM by kudeebee »

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2013, 01:06:08 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.

Aeris

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2013, 03:12:54 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.


goldilocks

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #67 on: January 30, 2013, 04:49:59 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.

gramma dishes

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #68 on: January 30, 2013, 05:26:05 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?

supotco

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2013, 06:34:18 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.

Miss Understood

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #70 on: January 31, 2013, 12:01:29 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.)

YummyMummy66

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #71 on: January 31, 2013, 06:35:34 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.

goldilocks

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #72 on: January 31, 2013, 09:07:33 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. 

Elegiac

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #73 on: January 31, 2013, 09:18:52 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.

kareng57

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #74 on: January 31, 2013, 02:08:03 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.