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 Bringing grandchildren to visit 
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Bringing grandchildren to visit
My Mother (died Sept 19th at 104) had eight grandchildren. All of them are teenage or older. It was a discussion in our family the last year of Mother's life - when she had severe dementia - if the grandchildren should visit her or if they should remember her as she was four or five years ago. At the last, she knew none of them anymore. In fact, she didn't know me.

When our ten year old granddaughter visits Dale, he and she become children together - and very frankly, it drives me crazy when they are running in the house. Neither one of them wants to sit and do anything together. They just want to play 'hide and seek.'

I have not seen this subject discussed.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:28 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
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Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
ooops ... I should have said 'eight great-grandchildren.' I left out the 'great.' She was that too.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:30 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Not being there and having to deal with cleaning up any messes they may be making, or having lots of noise, I think it sounds great! I wish my dad could play with his grandsons, or even take a walk with them. The time will come when he is bedridden, like my dad, and you may look back on this time of child's play as a wonderful time. Just my thoughts, and like I said, I'm not there to deal with the "downside" of their play. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:33 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Just my 2 cents, this is life, unless the children or grandchildren are so young that they are frightened, I feel it's important for family to stay and work together, thru the good and sad times.
Take Care, Gerry

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Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.


Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:37 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
I am in agreement with all here, my husband so enjoyed the grand children and it brought life into a very quiet household, I'll admit they didn't run around the house because of Jim's limitations but his eyes would light up like a Christmas tree when they came for a visit, in fact the weekend when he passed all of them were there and they would each visit with him for awhile and at that point Jim was practically comatose but somehow I know he was aware of them being there, all of that Sat, Sun and Monday the day he passed all 6 of them sat on the floor around a very large square coffee table and made pictures for him to take on his journey, those pictures were so expressive of themselves. They were so good when in the master bedroom you didn't even know they were in the house of course my teenage son entertained them some with the Hoyer life and the Son in laws took the kids to local places to eat and there were 6 of them under the age of 11.

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Irene Selak


Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:14 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 343
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Your granddaughter will have wonderful memories all her life of running and playing hide and seek with her grandfather. What a blessing that Dale can run and play!!
Could you possibly go for a walk or go outside to garden while they are romping to give yourself a break at the same time?

The first question you ask about exposing children to the end stage versus leaving them with the good memories is a tough one. It probably depends on the child/family and the age of the children.

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Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:37 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:20 am
Posts: 184
Location: So Cal
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Hi Leone,
I'm jumping on the bandwagon. Although I know it may be nerve-wracking to have them encouraging each other in being mischievous I have a feeling Dale has a wonderful time with your granddaughter because there are no expectations from her and no hesitation on his part, he can be himself. I say let the fun continue. I know Ken light up when he sees children, whether it's our own grandchildren or just small kids passing by in a store. Sher

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Sher (53) married 29 years to Ken (66) who was diagnosed with LBD in 2008, but it most likely began many years before.


Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:26 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
To all who responded:

I agree that Dale and his granddaughter will have lasting memories of this precious time. However, there is more to the story than I wrote. (Isn't that always true?)

Dale's daughter in law spends every visit talking to me non-stop in broken English that I can barely understand - while Dale and her 10 year old autistic daughter, Dale's granddaughter, play. (His DIL is the widow of Dale's bipolar son who died in prison in 2009.)

My very complicated involvement is probably the reason I am less than relaxed during their visit. I have tried to make the situation as normal as possible but the 10 year old often leaves in an episode. On the last visit, the DIL said the child was having trouble with 'making change' in school. Thinking I was helping, I laid some coins on the table. The little girl ran from the house in tears. Hopefully, she will outgrow this behavior.

Some day, Dale's family will need to be examined to see a genetic component in all this. It is brilliance mixed with mental illness.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:22 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 463
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Leone,

Just some quick questions to think about:

Does Dale enjoy his granddaughter's visits?

Is Dale the one getting stressed out during these visits or is it you?

Is it the autistic grandchild or Dale's daughter in law that causes the stress?

Or did it start with Dale's bipolar son? (Believe me, I know what damage can be done when someone is bipolar. My sister is bipolar and her children suffered for it.)

With assistance and learning, an autistic child can learn (over time) to handle her autism and control many of her behaviors. But the child can't do it alone. She needs more than her mother for support. An autistic person, child or adult, needs to trust someone who is trying to help. Could the girl be picking up on the atmosphere in the house? Could this be preventing an opportunity for trust to grow (both ways)?

You're in a tough spot, having to care for Dale, protect him and still give him an opportunity to be with his family and his family the opportunity to be with him. I don't envy you.

Can his DIL pitch in and help clean up? Maybe the two of you can help Dale and his granddaughter play in a more constructive, or at least less destructive, way. Can you have a heart to heart with the DIL and point out that she's (I'm guessing here) half your age and you need her to help get things back in order and calm Dale and her daughter when needed?

If this doesn't work and you can see no other way, I think you have to tell the DIL that she can bring the child over on a restricted schedule - say once a month. But I'm not saying this for Dale's sake. I'm saying it for yours. Dale obviously depends on you, so you need to draw the line when the situation becomes overwhelming, as it certainly sounds like this one has.

A bit of similarity (though in an off-hand way) from my mother's life - she had a second marriage with a man who had two adult daughters. One of those daughters had suffered brain damage from a childhood illness and had never been taught to do many basic things. My Mom taught her to read, make change and behave more appropriately in public. Mom's husband died 5 years into this marriage, but the
daughters continued to press Mom for attention. This stressed Mom out horribly. I finally screened Mom's calls and diverted these two women, not letting them talk to her. It may have seemed cruel, but I had my mother to protect, and Mom had enough to deal with just getting through her own life.

So don't worry about what anyone will think if you need to limit access. Dale is your priority and you are your priority. Don't worry about anyone else.

Take care of yourself.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:02 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Thanks for your post, Kate. Dale does enjoy the child's visits. The visits are rare because they live 2 hours away. The child receives regular psychiatric care and, in general, is thriving in school. Tragically, she is on medication for the rest of her life.

Dale's DIL is a LPN (Licensed practical nurse) who would be willing to work for us. The problem is mine since she speaks broken English and I don't understand much of what she says. I have a housekeeper; there is no mess.

My original comment was not supposed to be about Dale - but about the fact that my mother's great grandchildren did not see her for about a year before she died. My sister felt that since my mother no longer knew them, it would be better for the children to remember her as she once was. That was the conversation I intended to start.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:49 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Leone - perhaps this suggestion is WAY out there, given all of your responsbilities, but what about learning a little of your DIL's native language through CDs that can be played in the background, and maybe when your husband is napping (and you aren't!)? Or get her to teach you and your husband some of her language - would his attention span hold? Is the granddaughter bi-lingual and able to communicate verbally? If she has some verbal skills and can be your translator, perhaps that would help too. (don't know what her level of autism is, and what her abilities are, obviously!) Just some ideas.... Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:46 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Thanks for your input, Lynn. I'm smiling because learning the Filipino language is not high on my agenda. We lived in Germany for 10 years and didn't learn German - though that was my mother's native tongue. We also lived in the Greek part of Cyprus for 5 years and didn't learn Greek. There's no hope for us. :lol:

Our (autistic) granddaughter speaks fluent English and I don't believe that Filipino is spoken at home. She has a grown sister from her mother's previous marriage. No one but the mother speaks with an accent. She also has a baby nephew from her grown sister's brief marriage. They rarely visit us. The two hour trip is too far. I own her car and pay for her car insurance. As I said, it's VERY complicated!

I spend my 'hobby' time studying for an adult class I teach at church every Sunday. I also play the organ when the organist is away. Dale is not learning anything at this point.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:26 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Leone - I had to laugh at your last post. Sounds like me and algebra, or just about any math! Some people learn languages easily and others don't. It DOES sound like a complicated set of family dynamics.
I wish you all the best and hope you can find some help and peace, Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:32 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
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Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Thanks, Lynn. I know my limitations! :P I also know that I'm too old to change. :oops:

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:37 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Bringing grandchildren to visit
Leone - we're never too old to change, are we? I hope I'm not!!! (at least some things......) One of my kids' girlfriends in middle school gave him some excellent advice a few years ago that I still think is great and I try to follow - do one good thing for someone else every day, and learn at least one new thing a day! As a CG, I'm sure you already do many more than one thing a day! LOL Anyway, hope you and everyone has a good day today. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:52 pm
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