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Author Topic: Hospice etiquette  (Read 17482 times)

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Crazy Cora

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Hospice etiquette
« on: April 10, 2016, 08:29:48 AM »
My MIL is in hospice. My BIL's girlfriend seems to have taken over as "hostess" of the situation. Yesterday she thanked my son and his family for visiting Grandma. Is that overstepping or is my dislike of this woman making me petty?

Clareish

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 08:41:24 AM »
You're not really giving enough information. On the face of it, I have absolutely no issue with anyone thanking anyone for visiting, so I'm assuming there is quite a bit more context here which you hadn't written about. I always try to think if someone (anyone else) had taken the same action, would I be upset? Would I laugh it off? Would I not think anything of it?

PlainJane

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 09:04:29 AM »
Is your MIL living at BIL and his GF's house? (or are they caring for her at her house?) (or the main caregivers?) If so, I can see this as appropriate.

If she is at a stand-alone hospice, then it is odd.

And, I agree, the background not given might color my response.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 09:07:46 AM »
Hmmmm.....I work with seniors in their homes and have worked a few hospice cases.  Most times it is family that visits and I have heard, "Thank you's" for stopping by.  I don't think there is anything wrong with saying a thank you for visiting.

That being said, I have a SIL that sounds exactly like your SIL.  When my father in law died, she tried to butt into everything, like my MIL and her two sons, (one my husband, the other one, his brother and boyfriend of said SIL), couldn't handle it on their own.   My BIL does let her rule the roost in his own home, or should I say Motel room that they live in, but my dear husband is perfectly capable, thank you very much.  If anyone needed help, they would ask for it.   She even said she would go thru all the legal papers.  Um, that would a no, you will not.   

So, I get exactly where you are coming from. 

In this instance, I would let it go.  But, for other things, I think it is up to your BIL and I am assuming your husband? or any other children of said MIL to handle the main care/decisions, etc. of your MIL.   And like my dh had to do, you just might have to tell her to butt out on certain things.   Unless, she is in their home, then that might change the dynamics somewhat. 

HoneyBee42

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 09:10:10 AM »
Is she also taking on the task of primary caretaker?  If yes, I would consider it absolutely normal for her to be thanking visitors for coming.

Although it normally falls to family, it's also not uncommon for it to be someone who is the SO of the closest family member (geographically, because quite frankly, geographic closeness matters when you need to have someone advocating for the patient whose doctor's office screwed up leaving the potential for pain meds to run out during a holiday weekend--this happened with my paternal grandmother when she was dying of cancer, and my mom was primary caretaker).

Crazy Cora

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2016, 09:26:44 AM »
I was afraid if I starting on the story of J it would turn into a book. To answer a few questions, she is not my SIL, just a GF of about 5 years. She has a history of bulldozing. MIL is in a hospice facility. J is in no way a caregiver. She has inserted herself into family matters that are clearly none of her business. BIL doesn't seem to see anything wrong with it. She makes everything about her. When we were meeting to make a decision about MIL's future, J told me the story of how her mother passed and how wonderful and dramatic it was. I've been a part of my husbands family for 40 years  and was trying to do my part to help my husband deal with his mother's final days. I really didn't care about her experience - there were no parallels whatsoever.
I told you I could go on and on.

Crazy Cora

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2016, 09:29:52 AM »
Most of the family lives within 10 minutes of the facility so MIL has someone with her almost constantly. And she's never liked J for her pushiness. If anything, my son and his wife should have thanked her for visiting....imo

Crazy Cora

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2016, 09:42:33 AM »
My DIL stated it perfectly. " I think what it boils down to is knowing your social ranking in the situation.  She thinks her place is above the rest of the family, without actually having a reason for it.  She can't empathize enough to realize that it might not be about her and that maybe other people are actually hurting more than she is."  Thank you, E, for putting my thoughts into words!!

CocoCamm

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 10:22:04 AM »
My MIL, who I don't dislike, does this sort of thing and it chaps my hide so I don't blame you for being annoyed. It's annoying when someone who is not the host or organizer thanks you for coming like you are somehow doing THEM a favor when in reality your presence has zip to do with them.

rigs32

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 10:36:14 AM »
I understand where you're coming from. But one thing stood out to me. She's "just a girlfriend of five years".  I'm "just a girlfriend of seven years" and it's been used as a reason for some of SO'a family to treat me poorly.

Mary Lennox

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2016, 10:43:35 AM »
After 5 years together, she's not "just a girlfriend", she's your BIL's long-term partner. I think the stress of the situation combined with your obvious dislike of her is making this bigger than it is. It sounds like nothing she does will ever be right in the eyes of her in-laws.

lmyrs

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2016, 10:50:07 AM »
Agreed with the above. This "seniority" in the family stuff was used against me and still is and I've been married for 10 years, together for 17. Thank god not by everyone so the couple that do are easily enough avoided.

Thanking someone for coming isn't a rude action. She may be pushy and you may intensely dislike her but it's not rude to say thank you.

Semperviren

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2016, 11:02:40 AM »
This would irk me (and I presume it irked your son, since he mentioned it). I don't think it would be out of line to say with a smile "Of course! Why wouldn't I visit my grandmother?"
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 11:08:19 AM by Semperviren »

Crazy Cora

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2016, 11:08:59 AM »
This would irk me (and I presume it irked your son, since he mentioned it). I don't think it would be out of line to say with a smile "Of course! Why wouldn't I visit my grandmother?"
Yes!

Vall

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Re: Hospice etiquette
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2016, 11:45:23 AM »
In my family and my DHs family, a partner of 5 years is definitely a part of the family.  I understand where you're coming from but I'm not comfortable deciding how close another person feels to other people.  Maybe she does feel especially close to her partner's mother even though those feeling weren't returned.  While I would expect her boyfriend to take a stronger role during this time, maybe he wants someone (her) to step in for him.  Does he seem to have a problem with her overstepping or does he seem more relieved?  That would be a big clue.  Basically, I would tread lightly making judgements in this situation.

Saying thank you doesn't seem like such a bad thing.  Sometimes people don't know what to say and word things awkwardly--especially when under stress.  Maybe she was just grateful for all of the support that her boyfriend's mother is getting.