FIL in Palliative Care at a nursing home and DD visiting | Bub Hub
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  1. #1
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    Default FIL in Palliative Care at a nursing home and DD visiting

    Hi all

    I am after some advice/guidance/opinions please. Apologies in advance for the long post.

    DH's dad has recently been discharged from hospital after a 4.5 month stint there into a nursing home for palliative care. He is 79 and DD (19 mths) is his first and only grandchild. He has never been able to do much with her as has been ill/weak since she was born. He has kidney cancer which they are no longer going to treat with AB and for the last month or so he has been actually quite fine. I think initially everyone thought he was going to die within a couple of weeks

    When he was in hospital we would take DD every 2-3 weeks when the weather was nice and MIL/BIL would put him in a wheelchair and bring him outside.

    We were going to take DD at the weekend to see him at the nursing home, same system as before, bring him outside to the garden. Now there are storms all weekend so outside is not going to be an option. I am not at all comfortable with her being in the room. She will be touching everything/opening doors/pulling things and I am really getting myself quite worked up. I suffer from anxiety at times and DD was very sick with an infection at 10mths old which nearly killed her, so I am know my anxiety is linked with this.

    I know the whole time we are there MIL and DH will keep trying to put DD on FIL which she doesn't like as she is not a child that will sit and she is too young to try and keep entertained with a book/games etc. Its caused a big argument this morning with DH as although he is happy to go along with my wishes/feelings I know that he is also frustrated that FIL can't see DD very much. I feel like I am being pressured into backing down. I think my other concern is once we go there into his room we'll be expected to go all the time, which we don't have time for, we both work FT and are in the middle of building a house.

    He wears a pad and I just can't stop thinking about what if he hasn't washed his hands properly, or if there is poo and wee on the surfaces/bed/clothes. I guess I think that because its palliative care there are still going to be people around who are sick that the nurses deal with before going into FIL's room, but they're just not being treated as such.

    I also get cross that despite not being told to call DD certain names (for some reason he likes to call her booby) he still does and it annoys the crap out of me. Its not that hard surely??? That then gets my back up and I wish we'd never gone in the first place.

    I am also pregnant which is making more emotional than normal I think

    I feel like in order to keep the peace I have to back down but then I think why should I, its not mine or DD's fault that its raining this weekend, and I am really really uncomfortable about it.

    Am I being an unreasonable b*tch? Please be gentle, I've had an awful morning.....


    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Honestly, I would take her but if she starts to act up just explain you have to leave and can come pick up your DH later?
    If it was a once off I'd say skip it, but winter has just begun and chances of it raining most weekends are quite high.

    I would definitely go though, you'd hate to regret not going down the track it's hard, we faced the same issue when my MIL was in palliative care. We didn't want to take DD (who was young) but it was one of those things, those couple of minutes she got to see DD was so good for her and made her so happy.

    Good luck I hope you and your DH are doing ok with your FIL being so sick. Such a stressful time.

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    mrswhitehouse  (06-07-2016)

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    Hi @Molros I understand where you are coming from. Not much good advice here I'm afraid. I'd normally say just try it and give it a go and try not to worry about the hygiene, it might not be that bad but if your DD nearly died then I really understand why you have developed an anxiety about it. Can your DH take her on his own sometimes? Or would that not help your anxieties about her health? I'd just make it crystal clear to your DH that you may have to pull the pin and go for a walk with her. Or maybe you can leave her in the room and go for a walk/get coffee if your anxieties are getting the best of you (or would that seem rude?)

    I'll have similar issues when visiting my folks in the UK at xmas. How does one keep a 3 yr old and incontinent dementia/schizophrenic patient in the same room, entertained for more than ten minutes? Hm. It'll be my partners first time meeting my mother too so I'll have him to worry about as well. My dad lives in a tiny one bedroom flat and not the happiest person on the planet. Fun times ahead!

    At least with my 3yr old I can prop him on the couch with an ipad. 19 months is really difficult age to corral into a quiet activity.

  5. #4
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    I have previously worked in a nursing home and I also wouldn't want my children in the rooms. Though to keep the peace could you go into a family/lounge room maybe for a quick visit? Maybe also take sanitiser for DD hands when you are finished.
    Also at that age does he change his own pad or do the nurses do it? Majority where I was the nurses changed there's and not actually the resident.

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    We took our boys into hospital and then the nursing home when their grandad went there. We knew he didn't have long and it was important to us they spend time with him and it was also good for him too.
    I always carry hand sanitizer in my handbag and are big on it anyway as I work in health.
    The nurses attended to FIL though and were always discreet explaining what they were doing and we would go out while they did what they had to do. We would often wheel FIL to the garden area as there was more room there but when we were in his room, if the boys started getting restless we would leave. Sometimes I would take one ds to visit then dh would take the other later. This meant each had one on one time with their grandad which was often easier.

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    mrswhitehouse  (06-07-2016)

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    I would take DD. My late granny as I called her was in a nursing home for last 18months before she passed.

    The highlight of her week was myself taking DS up every Friday to visit. We had morning tea together each week and she loved it. DS was 3.5 when she passed and having visits from us away put a huge smile on her face. He understood when she passed as we had been with her just a few hours before to say or farewells.

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    mrswhitehouse  (06-07-2016)

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    What we did in this situation when DH's Grandma was in a nursing home was we would stay for 10-15 minutes with the kids, and then I would take them for a drink at the cafe up the road or to the park for a bit leaving DH to visit with her and then we would go back, stay another 5-10 minutes and go. She loved seeing them, and they her, but at 1 and 3, there was a limit to how much noise she child deal with and how still they would be! Would something like that work?

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    SuperGranny  (07-07-2016)

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    Do they have a lounge or dining area? Where I work there is a big dining area with big couches and tvs and they often have families with young children meet up there and turn the channel over to kids shows

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    When my DD was 2yo, I took her to visit my grandmother about 4 times a week in the nursing home and they both loved it. My grandmother was in a nursing home for a year before she passed away.

    I do think your being unreasonable. You don't have forever with your FIL, so let him call your DD whatever nickname he wants and just ignore it. I think it's sad that you say you don't have time to go all the time because of work and building a house. After he's gone, you'll still have work and the house, but your DH won't have his father anymore.

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    Ok here are a few ideas. Hopefully with a bit of planning you can have an OK experience.

    Set a time limit with your DH, (make an excuse if need be, we can only come for x time as we need to get to x activity).

    Call ahead and let nursing home know you are coming - a good nursing home will then make sure FIL is clean, washed, fresh linen and ready for you.

    Ask to use the family room/lounge and take a large sheet or blanket for your DD. That way she isn't playing on the floor and can let her crawl walk without worry about dirty floor.

    Take a new novelty item for her, can be cheap as chips. Maybe some bubbles, some stickers. This might keep her away from things you don't want her to touch.

    If you are worried about germs, take clean clothes/shoes for DD and give her a quick wipe down and change once you leave (in the boot/back of car).

    Take lots of photos!!! The photos of my 2yo nephew and his great grandma are so special now she is gone.


    As far as the nurses treating other sick patients (I'm assuming you mean infectious like flu, gastro). These things are a nursing homes worst nightmare and even in the palliative setting infection control would be taken extremely seriously. No nurse wants a heap of confused 80y/o with vomiting and diarrhoea!

    hopefully if they are expecting you they will have FIL set up and won't need to attend to him for an hour or so.

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