Author Topic: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6  (Read 14409 times)

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cheyne

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Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6
« on: January 25, 2013, 02:12:57 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.



« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 03:18:10 PM by cheyne »

amylouky

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 02:19:36 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.

Kiara

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 02:21:51 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?

Aquamarine

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 02:22:22 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.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 01:10:07 PM by Rosewater »
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Lynn2000

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 02:24:28 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?
~Lynn2000

PurpleFrog

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 02:31:27 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
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doodlemor

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 02:34:05 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?


guihong

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 02:36:45 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.



TootsNYC

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 02:42:26 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.

NbyNW

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 02:49:21 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.

jedikaiti

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 03:10:02 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.
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Moray

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 03:31:04 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.
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Sharnita

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 03:38:28 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.

snappylt

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 03:42:01 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.)

Secret

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 03:44:24 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.