Enabling Family and Friends - page 2

Do you ever observe overly solicitous and pampering friends and relatives of utterly obnoxious, complaining, ungrateful, pains in you know whats, and wonder? Why? Why do they feed the bear? Why do... Read More

  1. by   KatieMI
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Nevertheless, there are a few (usually wives) every year who insist upon feeding him, pulling up his blankee, holding the water glass for him and even (and this shocks me) wiping his butt. I haven't ever observed husbands doing this for their wives, but I suppose it does happen from time to time.
    I'd seen in wives >> husbands, husbands >> wives, children >> parents, brothers/sisters >> siblings and in all other possible combinations.

    The factors affecting it are too multiple to count. Some people are just entitled 100% of their lives. Some think that wiping their butts and holding straws are included into their hospital (and sometimes particular hospital) stay program. Some think that their loved ones are too weak/sick/in pain/etc. to do even the easiest things themselves. Some misunderstood something long ago and cling to the ideas (I'd seen a woman refusing to do anything at all with her left upper extremity - because she was told after having mastectomy 25 years ago that exercising the said extremity by any imaginable mean will cause lymphedema. She wore a homemade sling 24/7 and was served and waited upon by her large family for those 25 years - and everybody in the family expected nursing staff to do the same, of course. Ditto for family members requesting their loved ones to be spoon-fed or even PEGed because some SLP scared them with "risk of aspiration" horror stories). Some have very complicated family dynamics, in fact more complicated and pathologic than whatever really is going on with them.

    With time, I came to conclusion that mine and some other people's lives are, in fact, going on into completely parallel universes and it makes little sense for me to spend time and energy on trying to unlock these alternative universes' laws. If I see signs and symptoms that people are ready for a change or things are completely getting out of control (for example, wife requested RNs to call her every time before administering every med and do it only after her permission), I act. If not, I educate and do and do what have to be done and move on with my own, much more interesting, life.
  2. by   kbrn2002
    Only every day, and that's in LTC where I don't have the luxury of knowing the particularly overbearing family members will go away when the patient is discharged. Trust me, you learn to find ways to deal with them. Overall I guess I'd rather deal with the PITA families than the residents whose families live right in town and are seemingly invisible and impossible to reach, even in emergencies.
  3. by   cardiacfreak
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Because he's in the hospital and that's what she assumes she's *supposed* to do? I've always tried to educate family members to let the patient do things himself -- as he's able, of course. Nevertheless, there are a few (usually wives) every year who insist upon feeding him, pulling up his blankee, holding the water glass for him and even (and this shocks me) wiping his butt. I haven't ever observed husbands doing this for their wives, but I suppose it does happen from time to time.
    I had a hospice patient who was being cared for by her husband, son, grandson (he was 18), and son-in-law. Four men taking care of this dying woman, and they did an excellent job.
    You're right it doesn't happen very often but it does occur.

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