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To say she shouldn't visit?

(70 Posts)
Thistledew Fri 27-Jan-17 11:33:21

- I'm not actually going to be saying anything, but would like views on whether I should support my DMum in saying this, or suggest alternatives to her.

DDad is elderly and frail. He has a degenerative illness that in all likelihood is now in its final stages. He is mostly bedbound and has problems with continence. He is no longer able to wear his dentures and has real problems feeding himself. Although he has hearing aids, he struggles to listen to conversations, especially with strangers. His mind is also going- he has periods where he is not oriented in place and time, and even when he is lucid, he loses words and finds it very hard to hold a conversation. This is the very sad decline of a man who was always supremely intelligent, physically fit and very self sufficient and reserved.

I have a half sister and half brother from DDad's first marriage. They have adult children of their own. They have not been close to DDad since they got their own families, meeting maybe once a year if that. DDad does not really know any of the grandchildren, and would struggle to identify them in a photo.

His children and grandchildren have always been welcome to visit, but have never bothered.

DM let my siblings know last year that DDad was declining and suggested they make the most of visiting. It has only been since late last year that he has declined to the level described above. They have visited a few times since.

One of the grandchildren has been saying for several years now that she will come and visit, but has not done so, and several times has make and cancelled plans to come at the last minute, usually because she was going off traveling somewhere. She has now decided that she will come and visit.

She is a stranger to DDad. He will find it more stressful than enjoyable to have her visit. She will get little from it other than to look at an old man who is no longer capable of holding a conversation with her. DMum is at her limit caring for DDad and doesn't need any more work.

Is DMum BU to say that she shouldn't come and visit? Would I BU to have a conversation with my niece and spell it out that she has left it too late?

MrsSkeffington Fri 27-Jan-17 11:36:06

Yes I think you would be unreasonable- he's her grandad and is entitled to see him. Also think it would cause family rifts

mouldycheesefan Fri 27-Jan-17 11:36:57

It sounds like because your mum told people to come and visit, niece feels obliged to do so. Perhaps if your mum just says that's really kind but he is quite poorly at moment and won't know who you are then that would relieve her of the obligation she feels.

Cheby Fri 27-Jan-17 11:38:43

Given you said he has periods where he is not oriented, I'm assuming there are periods when he is. So I would wait until one of those times and ask him whether he would like her to visit or not.

lalalalyra Fri 27-Jan-17 11:41:59

I think she should be allowed to come and see him, but when you say visit do you mean staying over etc? Your Mum certainly shouldn't be expected to host people, so if she's coming she should stay elsehwere, but she shouldn't be banned from coming.

MoMandaS Fri 27-Jan-17 11:42:14

I think you could have a conversation where you gently get across the state your dad's health is in now and make it clear she needn't feel obliged to come - she might be relieved to be let off the hook, as it were. You could say that your dad was very pleased she had been planning to take the trouble but he would rather she remember him in his healthy state, but if she still wants to visit she's welcome.

LittleBoat Fri 27-Jan-17 11:42:35

Yanbu. But keep it simple and don't use emotive language such as 'it's too late now'.

Just say visitors are distressing for him at the moment and you'll let them know if this changes.

Sirzy Fri 27-Jan-17 11:43:10

I can understand your frustration, and I am reminded about a comment by a friend of mine who died young who said "I know the end must be near, everyone who hasn't been close for years is coming to visit"

But if you or your mum try to stop her then you will be seen as the villains, and it sounds like neither of you need that extra stress. Let her visit even if it just to stop herself from feeling guilty!

Thistledew Fri 27-Jan-17 11:43:18

He is her grandfather in name only. It is sad that no relationship was fostered when she was a child, but she has had a decade of adulthood in which to form a relationship should she have wished, but she never did.

He has said that he does not particularly want her to visit. I think he feels very uncomfortable around strangers because he knows how much his body and mind are letting him down. He has always been a proud and somewhat solitary man.

thewindisfullofghosts Fri 27-Jan-17 11:50:32

I don’t agree that she is entitled to see her grandad. The only people with any ‘entitlements’ here are your DDad and DM. If your DDad would be upset or distressed at her visit, and your DM would find it too difficult, then I think you have a gentle conversation with her about it is the way to go. When my DDad was ill, there were times when he couldn’t face visitors. I would have looked very dimly on anyone trying to assert they had a ‘right’ to see him. My aunt and uncle requested my sister and I stay away when she was in her last days, and although it made us very sad as we loved her, and were her last living relatives, we understood and respected the request. Hopefully your niece will be able to do the same.

ShowMePotatoSalad Fri 27-Jan-17 11:53:28

She is being unreasonable. I can tell you aren't happy that she's not made much effort with her grandfather in the past but also not happy that she now wants to. Sounds like she can't win. No one should stop her from seeing him. I don't understand how it could cause him distress. She's only going to sit by his bed, hold his hand, say a few words to him?

ShowMePotatoSalad Fri 27-Jan-17 11:55:16

It is sad that no relationship was fostered when she was a child

He has always been a proud and somewhat solitary man.

Not sure why it's her fault that she doesn't have a relationship with him, given the information above.

ArcheryAnnie Fri 27-Jan-17 12:02:37

if he's said that he doesn't particularly want this absent grandaughter to visit, then that's an end of it.

It's a perfectly usual thing for people in very poor health not to want distant friends, relatives to visit them, just as some other people want visits. It might upset the prospective visitors, but that's too bad - it's not about them and their needs. Just say that he's not well and would rather not have visitors.

Underthemoonlight Fri 27-Jan-17 12:03:26

Yabu just because you are your fathers second family doesn't mean the first family don't count is fault is it that he doesn't know his grandchildren? Surely he should of maintained something with his first family? I think it's nice that they want to see him and it's wrong for your family to deny them that.

Bluntness100 Fri 27-Jan-17 12:04:43

I think she should be allowed to visit, he is her grandfather and if she wants to see him one last time she should not be denied this.

ArcheryAnnie Fri 27-Jan-17 12:06:46

What if he doesn't want to see her, Bluntness?

BluePancakes Fri 27-Jan-17 12:08:15

I am in a similar position (to the grandchild) and I think YANBU.

My Grandad has Alzheimer's and on the request of my Nan, we've not seen him for the past 2 years as it would be too upsetting for him. We don't live local, so would only see him 6-monthly plus family events beforehand (though we would speak on the phone). He has now deteriorated so is now in a home (not to mention his cancer has spread), and I do feel sad that I probably won't ever see him again, but his mental well-being is more important. I still speak to my Nan, my Aunty gives regular progress updates and sends us photos (we likewise send photos of us and the kids), but I understand that he would be very confused and upset if we showed up for our own selfish reasons.

ohfourfoxache Fri 27-Jan-17 12:08:16

I think she should visit- if she doesn't then it could stay with her for the rest of her life, either that she could have visited and didn't, or that she was prevented from visiting.

However, I would have a conversation with her in advance and tell her exactly how poorly he is. She needs to be prepared if she does visit, but she may prefer not to visit if she knows the truth.

Whatever happens she should not be staying with them and she will need to organise her own transport/accommodation as needed.

ohfourfoxache Fri 27-Jan-17 12:09:38

Oh Christ, he doesn't want to see her? Missed that bit sad

mellowfartfulness Fri 27-Jan-17 12:09:54

If her visit is going to be popping in to sit with him for a few minutes, I think it would be fair to let her come. If she's planning to stay with them in their house, sleep there etc., then she's being absolutely unreasonable. There's no way your mum should have to host a virtual stranger while caring for her terminally ill husband. And your dad would clearly be uncomfortable having someone around for a prolonged visit.

If it's a long journey, she'll have to get a hotel or something. She simply can't stay there, it's not fair on them.

Stormwhale Fri 27-Jan-17 12:11:55

Yanbu at all. All it would do is cause a proud man distress. It is too late, you are right. I wouldn't care what the reasons are for her suddenly wanting to visit, be it guilt, pity, regret, whatever, she would not be coming and upsetting my frail family member for her own selfish reasons.

mellowfartfulness Fri 27-Jan-17 12:12:02

Should add that if he finds the idea of even a short visit upsetting, he should be allowed to veto it. His needs and wishes come first, then your mum's.

MissMrsMsXX Fri 27-Jan-17 12:12:32

She's not entitled to see him, but she will probably live with horrific guilt if she doesn't and terrible anger at you if you stop her. ou can say that the visit has to be quick because he will find it stressful, so no more than half an hour at a time. And you can insist she makes her own accommodation arrangements.

You have the capacity here to do something very kind for someone who you don't have to, I think you should take it. If her parents weren't close to your Dad it's hard to say she should have been.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 27-Jan-17 12:13:45

I don't think you should prevent her from visiting! It would be harsh, yes she has upset you but this is not about you or your DM.

If she wants an argument have it after the visit. Not allowing her to visit would be passive aggressive imo

MissMrsMsXX Fri 27-Jan-17 12:14:12

Why didn't your Dad pursue a relationship with her?

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