Author Topic: Invite Grandma or not? Update pg 6  (Read 13996 times)

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Aeris

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2013, 10:29:38 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.

Minmom3

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2013, 12:12:43 AM »
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.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

mj

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2013, 11:13:46 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. 

rigs32

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #48 on: January 27, 2013, 07:58:50 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.

bopper

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2013, 10:18:11 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.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 10:23:29 AM by bopper »

Pandora

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2013, 01:29:24 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.

Sharnita

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2013, 01:34:15 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.

gramma dishes

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2013, 02:16:12 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?

crella

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2013, 04:52:41 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.

Sharnita

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2013, 05:42:00 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.

katycoo

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2013, 06:21:31 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.

Sharnita

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2013, 06:26:24 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.

crella

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2013, 06:29:35 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.

katycoo

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2013, 06:59:10 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.

Sharnita

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Re: Invite Grandma or not?
« Reply #59 on: January 28, 2013, 07:23:45 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.