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Re: staff visiting employer in hospital

(178 Posts)
ChangeyNamey1893 Fri 17-Nov-17 00:51:12

My MIL recently became critically ill after a long illness. She was cared for at home by a maid.

She got very ill and eventually had to go in to hospital where she sadly died a week after being admitted. During the week she was in hospital we only had immediate family visiting (her husband, her children, their partners, her brothers and her husband's siblings).

Later when arranging the funeral the maid was told which days would be best for her to attend. She had a bit of a go at FIL and made it clear she was annoyed and upset that she hadn't been allowed to visit in hospital (he ignored this).

Were we being unreasonable to not have her visit? I wouldn't expect to go and visit my boss on his deathbed! This maid although nice is prone to being over emotional and also a source of irritation and exasperation for MIL.

KenAdams Fri 17-Nov-17 00:53:14

Maid? Is this in the UK?

MrsOverTheRoad Fri 17-Nov-17 00:53:25

Maid? Are you in a country other than the UK?

Was this woman your MIL's carer for long? If not, then you were right to say no to visiting.

If however she knew MIL over many years then it might have been nice for her to visit.

ZaphodBeeblerox Fri 17-Nov-17 00:56:14

Sounds quite cold and odd - if she cared for your MIL for a long time she may have well wanted to say goodbye. And similarly it seems odd to restrict her grieving to certain days of the funeral. You’re very unlikely to get any advice with perspective on a largely UK/US based site though given most people here don’t have long-term maids or multi-day funerals... so not sure what you’re after?

Redglitter Fri 17-Nov-17 00:56:41

A maid seems a strange term to use

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Fri 17-Nov-17 00:59:06

If this maid was caring for her throughout her long illness, she might have become quite close to your MIL.

Possibly closer than son in laws

CaledonianQueen Fri 17-Nov-17 01:04:32

How long did your Mil's carer (maid) work for your mil?
As someone with severe disabilities requiring 24hour care, I am very close to my carers. As much as they are an employee,( unless the carer was agency) this woman was likely the closest person to your mil. A bond develops between a carer and cared for, a deep friendship and affection for each other. Unless your mil explicitly made it clear she didn't want to see her carer, I think it was wrong to not allow them a chance to say goodbye.

ChangeyNamey1893 Fri 17-Nov-17 01:11:48

She'd worked in the house for five years (cooking and cleaning i.e. a maid) but not in a caring role until the last few days.

Weird that someone would suggest she was closer to MIL than MIL's son. She wasn't.

MIL couldn't make anything clear in the last few days.

Fair enough if people don't feel able to comment on their views of a situation they have no experience of. I was just asking for opinions.

Cavender Fri 17-Nov-17 01:21:04

It’s not the same relationship as a boss in an office though is it?

This is a person who provided care for your MIL, every day, in her home for five years. Cooking and cleaning is still care. Domestic staff at that level are involved in their employers’ live in an intimate way.

Of course she had a close relationship with your MIL. She wouldn’t have been asked to provide more personal care otherwise.

I do think that not allowing her to visit, even briefly, before she died was cold and unfeeling.

I hope you aren’t expecting that she’ll provide care to your FIL in the same way?

I suspect the family may have broken the relationship if you’ve demonstrated she’s “just staff” rather than part of the household.

OldWitch00 Fri 17-Nov-17 01:23:37

if you trusted her enough to be her carer (even for a few days) I would expect you to trust her to visit and be reasonable with the length of stay etc.
she has known your mom for 5 years...of course it's reasonable for her to say goodbye while she is still alive.

FeelingAggrieved Fri 17-Nov-17 01:26:17

She was in the home for 5 years in a much closer role than most other employee/employers. Yes. It was unreasonable to not let her visit. And cruel.

ChangeyNamey1893 Fri 17-Nov-17 01:26:38

No, we're not Cavender we've learnt our lesson from this disastrously unplanned for chain of events. What happend was not what anyone wanted.

Fair enough, we were unreasonable.

Seeingadistance Fri 17-Nov-17 01:30:45

I have no experience of families having a maid, but I do have experience of visiting being restricted when people are dying in hospital or hospice. I'm a church minister, so one aspect of my work involves supporting those who are seriously ill and dying. In my experience, when someone is close to death, visitors are restricted to close family members only. I've been involved in situations where long-term friends were asked not to visit in the last few days of someone's life and those friends understood and accepted that.

So no, I don't think you were unreasonable.

I do think, though, that the maid is herself grieving, and that understanding that this is probably her way of expressing that might help you all. I don't know the situation, but maybe she is worried about her future employment and is finding it difficult to express that worry directly, so it's coming out as a complaint about the past which can't be changed.

Condolences to you.

Cavender Fri 17-Nov-17 01:31:32

No doubt Changey it was a stressful and distressing time for you all. Not the easiest time to make decisions.

I’m very sorry for your loss.

MrsOverTheRoad Fri 17-Nov-17 01:36:11

She was some kind of housekeeper by the sound of it. "Maid" is an outdated expression.

OP it sounds like you should have let her see MIL.

ChangeyNamey1893 Fri 17-Nov-17 01:47:02

I do hope those of you who've said I'm unreasonable will remember this and , when you're sitting vigil by your mother's death bed, you'll let all her friends, colleagues, cleaner, maybe lawyer, dentist...anyone who express an interest...file past her. When you're in that situation I think you'll try and avoid anything unnecessarily stressful for your family member.

oldlaundbooth Fri 17-Nov-17 01:48:56

Yes she should have been allowed to visit. Crikey.

oldlaundbooth Fri 17-Nov-17 01:49:39


OlennasWimple Fri 17-Nov-17 01:51:41

Seeingadistance's post is very sensible

Sorry for your loss flowers

Italiangreyhound Fri 17-Nov-17 01:53:06

ChangeyNamey18938 I am very sorry for your loss.

If it had been my mother I would have allowed the maid to visit (I;ve livedin a country where they use the term maid, which in the UK would suggest she lived in). Was it your FIL, her husband who made the decisions. If so, he was the right person to make the decision and he did. So presumably it was not your decision or responsibility IMHO.

However, it was my decision I would have allowed it.

But I can really see both sides.

When my mother died, in a nursing home. Some of the staff cried and were upset, they had cared for her for a while and it was actually touching to see that they were moved by her death. They had grown close to my mum and cared for her. It is a different relationship to family. I feel there is room for both kinds of relationship.

I also wonder if the maid asked to visit or not, if she did, I do think your FIL should have allowed it. But if she did not ask then there is no point complaining now. Plus attention now should be on your FIL and your dh and the other chief mourners. But do remember she will be grieving too.

mumisnotmyname Fri 17-Nov-17 01:54:27

This seems really sad for the maid, I say this as someone who has lived overseas and actually had maids for a number of years. When we moved back to the UK we all cried at saying goodbye and no one was dead. I fact our last maid went to work for another family we knew so we got to hear updates about her. YABVU, I am sure it wasn't deliberate but it was unpleasant.

Italiangreyhound Fri 17-Nov-17 01:57:35

A maid who is in the home for 5 years is not the same as a lawyer or dentist. Please don't allow yourself to be distressed by this now. It is not a huge factor.

I lost my mum last year and it was very hard, just waiting for her to die, sitting by her bedside. To be honest my sister and I were happy to get away for a bit because it was a very heavy time. I think this has been very stressful and difficult for you. Maybe you just see the maid as an employee but others are saying that she was a member of your mum's household in a way.

Please make your peace with her and be grateful your mum had someone around her, aside from family, who cared for her. It's a difficult time. Cut yourself some slack.

Italiangreyhound Fri 17-Nov-17 01:59:35

mumisnotmyname with respect your post is quite harsh. The OP has lost her mum. This is not the same as moving house or staff/colleagues going to work anywhere else. Sitting vigil at your mother's deathbed is very hard indeed.

ChangeyNamey1893 Fri 17-Nov-17 02:00:46

I don't believe she asked to visit.

Idk, my feeling is still that at the time of death people around you need to be there to support you. Like ItalianGreyhound presumably the staff at the nursing home were there to support your mum and, ultimately, you.

I don't believe the maid would have supported my MIL. As said in the OP, the maid is, was, a source of exasperation and annoyance for MIL. She means well but she can't reign in her emotions (one of MIL's wishes was that no-one was to cry in front of her and we respected that).

Italiangreyhound Fri 17-Nov-17 02:03:53

Yes ChangeyNamey1893 the staff were there to support my mum and by doing this helped me and sis.

If the maid did not ask to visit that does seem very odd. And now an unnecessary source of discomfort for you OP.

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