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Grandma has advanced senile demetia. Would you visit with DCs (1 & 3)?

(17 Posts)
blowninonabreeze Thu 13-Aug-09 20:33:55

My lovely grandma lives several hours away from us in a nursing home and has very very advanced senile demetia (no recognition, no speech, loud shreiking and shouting only,)

I will be visiting the area where she lives shortly with my DDs and it would feel very wrong to not visit her. However it won't be possible to visit unless I take the DDs with me. (I am travelling alone and know no-one in the area)

The DDs are 3.4 and 1.4. I have gone before when DD2 was a few months and slept through it in her car seat. Obviously this is different.

I think in my heart I'm worried that I can't let my children see her (and the other patients) as I'm not sure I could explain it well enough to DD1. But equally I can't imagine being in the area and not visiting my Grandma.

What do you think?

blowninonabreeze Thu 13-Aug-09 20:36:13

Typing this has kind of answered my question for me. I really don't think I can go.

I think I may phone her nursing home in the morning and have a chat to them about it. I don't even know if they would allow children of that age in?

fishie Thu 13-Aug-09 20:37:45

will your grandma recognise you? can you arrange for someone in the care home to spend 20 mins with children?

blowninonabreeze Thu 13-Aug-09 20:40:40

My grandma won't recognise me no. She hasn't for several years. Or anyone else sad

herbietea Thu 13-Aug-09 20:44:25

Message withdrawn

anonandlikeit Thu 13-Aug-09 20:48:06

If it were me I would go & take the children.
Even if you only spend a short time there i am sure you will be pleased to spend some time with your Grandma.
It really won't harm your children, all people are different & I actually think it can only be a healthy thing to allow children to see people regardless of disabilty.
As for how you can explain your grandmas behaviour, just be honest but appropriate for your dc age.

The only thing that would stop me taking the children would be if for any reason it would be harmful to your grandma.

I hope you enjoy your trip whatever you decide

blowninonabreeze Thu 13-Aug-09 20:49:30

I think I agree, possibly if it was just DD2 I would go.

TBH it shocks me (and I've worked in mental health!) and it can upset me, although thats because I'm thinking of how she was IYSWIM, which DD1 won't have.

I am going without the children in October.

anonandlikeit Thu 13-Aug-09 20:52:24

You are right it will be more upsetting for you than for your dd's.
Your dd may be curious & ask questions but is less likely to be upset than you are.

blowninonabreeze Thu 13-Aug-09 20:54:52

anonandlikeit - I was answering herbietea. Thanks for your thoughts.

My only concern about the impact on my grandma would be if one of the children were upset (might upset her?) or if I had to abort the visit suddenly because of them - I might end up disrupting her for no reason IYSWIM - although TBH I doubt she'll register we're there.

The DDs have been present during the illnesses and death of 2 other great grandparents and I haven't had this anxiety. I can't explain why - Maybe because of the unpredictability of grandma - she yells and shrieks randomly etc.

supersalstrawberry Thu 13-Aug-09 20:57:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

supersalstrawberry Thu 13-Aug-09 20:58:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NorbertDentressangle Thu 13-Aug-09 20:58:47

I used to take my DC to see both my Grans who were in care homes, but with one Gran I had to stop at the point her dementia made her quite aggressive (verbally and , to some extent, physically).

I just felt that it would be too scary for my children to see her shouting and confused. She wouldn't have recognised any of us by that point either which would have confused DD who was old enough to have noticed.

In your shoes I'm not sure I'd take the children but I would phone and speak to the care home staff to gauge their opinion in case shes calmer and more receptive due to meds/change in her condition etc

fishie Thu 13-Aug-09 20:59:08

blowing of course you will be upset because you know how your grandma was, but they (esp yoru dd2) don't have that experience.

i don't generally think it is a good idea to hide stuff from childre, but if it were me i wouldn't take them.

because then you can tell them how she was and show them pictures. they will have that idea of her, not what has happened now that she is unwell.

blowninonabreeze Thu 13-Aug-09 21:01:53

It's a special EMI unit for dementia (i think?) although they do have a day room, I'll call them tomorrow.

I just can't imagine being there and not going, but at the same time the thought of going really worries me.

Thanks for all your thoughts

NorbertDentressangle Thu 13-Aug-09 21:02:06

Also, I meant to add that your DC may be able to be "looked after" by a member of staff there if needed.

The staff where my Gran was were fantastic and were so good with my DC when I visited, taking them (with my permission obv!)to find them a biscuit from the kitchen etc

supersalstrawberry Thu 13-Aug-09 21:17:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hayes Fri 14-Aug-09 01:33:38

My Gran has dementia she still lives at home my mum and grandpa care for her with support from social services. She no longer knows who her great grandchildren are. She can't remember her grandchildrens name (me, sis etc) but knows which daughter they belong to. I haven't taken my kids for a wee while now, it is upsetting when she asks who's this wee girl you have with you? my dd is 7 and she doesn't understand this. She always tells my dsd she looks just like me when I was her age hmm

Its a very cruel condition. I can really sympathise with you

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