Author Topic: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6  (Read 14227 times)

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catrunning

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2013, 07:22:02 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.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2013, 07:26:24 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.

kareng57

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2013, 08:03:05 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.

doodlemor

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2013, 08:31:07 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.

rain

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2013, 09:09:48 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}
"oh we thank thee lord for the things we need, like the wind and the rain and the apple seed"

DoubleTrouble

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2013, 09:18:50 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 ;)

cheyne

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Re: Invite Grandma or not? Update post 36
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2013, 09:35:08 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. 

gramma dishes

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2013, 09:45:39 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.

doodlemor

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2013, 10:46:12 PM »
i think that you have made a wise decision, cheyne.  Let her adult children decide.

Best of luck with your party!

kudeebee

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2013, 11:18:36 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.

TootsNYC

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2013, 11:59:03 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.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2013, 01:15:25 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.

crella

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2013, 02:43:57 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.

Aquamarine

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2013, 01:09:42 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.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 01:35:50 PM by Rosewater »
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Roe

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2013, 07:12:19 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.  :)