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To think my family is going to fall apart?

(56 Posts)
Marylou62 Sat 23-May-20 09:06:53

I am one of 5. 4 brothers and me. Elderly parents (80 and 83) both with serious underlying health conditions. I live 300+ miles away and although furloughed haven't visited as following rules and worried I could take the virus to them.
Wife of DB3 (SIL )won't be told anything. She is a difficult woman but lovely with my rather cantankerous DF. She is still working full time as a carer, in and out of numerous clients houses.
I knew DB3 who is furloughed had been inside their house with DN 13 as DM let that slip.(to install a TV) I have tried to reason with my parents about this but they are adults.
I have an awful feeling that I will never see them alive again as I know they have been shopping and to the garden centre. I have told them this.
DB4 has had the virus and shops for them, collects medication etc but even he doesn't go in their house. DB2 has taken items to them and leaves them by the back door.
DB2 rings today to let me know that my DM has been taken to the Drs by DB3 with a temp and breathlessness..Dr took blood but says highly unlikely to be CV?! DM now home.
DB2 then tells me that DB4 is absolutely fuming as when he took shopping to DM a few days ago (didn't tell me as they know there is nothing I can do and will worry) he put the shopping on the step, rang the bell and went to the gate..When DM opened the door there standing behind her in the tiny porch was SIL!
They both rang DB3 who was very blase and stated that she wears PPE and washes her hands. Which even tho I'm sure is true WHY IS SHE VISITING!
DB4 has said if our parents do get the virus that he will never talk to DB3 and SIL again..DB2 has said that they could get the virus from any one of the uneccessary trips to the chemist, shop, garden centre..
DB2 told me that he has tried to reason with DPs. DB1 who works abroad has too. DB4 who knows what the virus feels like has tried to reason with them.They have all tried to tell their brother that he could have to live with the consequences of knowing that they might have been the ones who bought the virus to DPs door but he's certain that they are careful.
There is no answer is there? I'm helpless. Even if I rage at my SIL it's not going to make a difference. I feel sick, helpless, angry and so so worried that this will fracture my family.. I think it already has. Thanks for listening.

Pandapotato Sat 23-May-20 09:10:15

Your parents are adults, who can make their own decisions. They don’t ah e to let her in if they don’t want to.
Raging about this is only going to make you feel bad in an already tough situation. You only hurt yourself by being upset about things you can’t control.

OneForMeToo Sat 23-May-20 09:16:07

Any of their trips or even drop off by other people could give them covid. Yes nobody should be visiting but you can’t pin the blame on them either if they do catch it.

Nanny0gg Sat 23-May-20 09:20:09

Unless she forces her way in it's your parents' decision.

isabellerossignol Sat 23-May-20 09:20:49

If your parents are of sound mind then they will know the risks and have made their decision accordingly.

If they're not of sound mind then presumably someone realistically needs to be inside the house at times to take care of things.

Marylou62 Sat 23-May-20 09:21:38

That's my point! But DB4 who saw my SIL in the house directly behind my DM with a weakened immune system can't understand why SIL took the risk. It's DB and SIL who are going into the house and not saying to DPs who invite them in..' we won't come in..We won't put you at risk.'.

TidyDancer Sat 23-May-20 09:22:18

I don't blame you for how you feel and I would be as angry as you are at your DB and SIL. But your parents need to take a stand here.

Sn0tnose Sat 23-May-20 09:24:21

I do completely understand why you are feeling so upset and frustrated. Your sil and DB3 are fucking idiots and their willingness to increase the risk to your parents would definitely affect (ruin) any future relationship I had with them.

Having said that, your parents need to take some responsibility here. You can’t be upset with your sil for visiting them without being equally as upset with your parents for letting her through the door. Or going for a wander around the garden centre or the supermarket.

It’s utterly shit all round flowers

Marylou62 Sat 23-May-20 09:24:54

It's a grey area whether my DM is of sound mind.. She is very ill and very confused at times.
But would you all go in even if invited? or say no thanks..I want to keep you safe?

isabellerossignol Sat 23-May-20 09:27:54

But would you all go in even if invited? or say no thanks..I want to keep you safe?

It really depends. How are they coping with cleaning etc? I go into my elderly mum's house because she's unable to clean and the risk of food poisoning from a dirty kitchen and toilet are probably realistically greater than the chances of her catching Covid from me.

Marylou62 Sat 23-May-20 09:28:52

. Thanks..yes I am equally upset with them all..but as I said in my OP. My SIL won't be told anything. she knows best. My family will not recover from this even if my DPs don't get the virus..It's what DB4 is so angry about..That they don't just deliver at the door like the others

isabellerossignol Sat 23-May-20 09:29:18

On the other hand, I don't go into my in-laws house because my MIL is able to keep the house clean so all she needs is her shopping delivered.

CurlyEndive Sat 23-May-20 09:29:50

I hope your parents are ok, OP. Remember that even for high risk people, they're still significantly more likely to survive than not.

I would be angry with SIL too. But I agree that your parents need to accept responsibility if they get ill, both for the unnecessary shopping trips and for letting SIL visit.

dontdisturbmenow Sat 23-May-20 09:29:58

There is no right and wrong. Your parents are making a choice and are happy for their SIL to visit. Maybe she helps with cleaning and other things that are needed.

Maybe she does very good precautions. Everyone has different views on how to approach this virus. I myself don't think the situation is bad if SIL is indeed being very careful, wears PPE and indeed washes her hands before she comes in.

slothbyday Sat 23-May-20 09:31:16

It's such a hard position to be in and we have to trust that people are making decisions based on what they think is the best thing.

If your sil is a carer for others then she could argue that it's no different to being a carer for your parents and she is effectively adding an extra appointment to her daily rounds - obviously she might be moving the virus between each house but feels that your parents need that care and it's a risk worth taking.

My parents are in their 80's and have been struggling at not seeing anyone - they've been asking us to visit and we've been clear we can sit on the drive and talk but I do think we would probably go into the house if we felt there was the need to do so. One of my siblings went nuts at another for sitting on the drive as it wasn't an essential journey a couple of weeks ago blah blah blah but they didn't know half of the reasons, story or rationale. Just as each of you don't know the rationale for each other's actions.

We have to manage the physical and mental health of the elderly and I am not convinced all out isolating and shielding then is the way to do it without damaging other aspects

Xenia Sat 23-May-20 09:31:39

The parents are humans and can take their own decisions.

Marylou62 Sat 23-May-20 09:32:40

My DM can still cook and clean. But I get your point. But SIL should still NOT be standing right behind my DM in a tiny porch.
I went to see a friend who was very poorly. She stayed in her bedroom whilst I had a quick clean and restock..I didn't go any where near her!

PuppyMonkey Sat 23-May-20 09:33:40

If SIL is a profession carer, isn’t this all ok? She’s wearing PPE? confused

toinfinityandlockdown Sat 23-May-20 09:33:53

I think for your own sake, you need to make peace with the fact that your parents have made different choices to what you would like. I am supporting someone in their 80s and despite my very very best attempts to ensure they never have to leave the house by getting shopping and medicine , they have said they would rather die than spend a large chunk of what could be the last years of their life alone. I wish they didn't feel this way, but it is very much their mindset. I have to respect that.
I don't think raging against your SIL or DB will change anything. All it will do is damage your relationships. If, God forbid, anything did happen to your DM you will need each other.

Didiusfalco Sat 23-May-20 09:34:15

To what extent is your sil providing care for them, even in an adhoc way? It was never the case that care should be withdrawn. I’m torn between thinking they are irresponsible and thinking that actually you’re lucky to have a sil who is prepared to be so hands on in looking after your parents.

Marylou62 Sat 23-May-20 09:38:40

I'm sorry I can't highlight..but Sloth you make a good point..as do all of you.
She doesn't wear PPE at my DPs.
I know my DPs are lonely.

Runmybathforme Sat 23-May-20 09:38:42

If your SIL is a carer, it is to be hoped that she is fully aware of infection control procedures. Do your parents need help with cleaning etc. ? If she didn’t visit, would they manage ? If your parents do contract the virus, it seems probable that they contracted it from their trips out.

Clancey Sat 23-May-20 09:44:48

I’d be very suspicious as to what SIL’s up to OP, people like her don’t ever do anything for nothing.

Marylou62 Sat 23-May-20 09:46:34

Did..you are so right. I do thank my lucky stars that 3 of my DBs are very near and able to care so well for my DPs.
I do visit as much as I can and blitz the house and shop and set my DMs hair etc. (SIL doesn't clean for them. That's not a critisism)
I often wonder if I had known about the future with elderly poorly parents whether I would have followed a boy to Cornwall and stayed?
I wouldn't have ever raged at my SIL. My OP I suppose was how to deal with the potential fall out between DB3 and 4.

Lampan Sat 23-May-20 09:48:54

I can understand it’s worrying for you but just need to point out that there are few things more frustrating that a far-away relative (who isn’t involved in day-to-day support in normal times) sending orders from afar

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