Family not visiting? Common?

  1. My grandma was placed in a nursing home a whie ago, I usually go with my grandpa to see her, and we try to go about once a week. In the last few months, though, between getting set up to start classes, and now classes starting, I hadn't been able to go in quite some time. Anyway...while we were there visiting, this other lady started talking to us, since my grandma was pretty much just sleeping the whole time. She was talking about what a funny lady she was, and he she enjoyed my grandma.

    Then she said something that really saddened me...she said she hadn't seen her childrne in like 20 years, and that they probably didn't even know which facility she was in. Her family doesn't come to visit her. Is that common, that families just dump residents off, and never see them again? She said after the money ran out for her kids...that was it.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   pyrolady
    Unfortunately that does happen. However, is your grandmother's roommate of sound mind? At times there are residents who sound perfectly logical and "with it" who actually aren't. Sadly enough though, many people are never visited by family once they are admitted into a SNF. The CNA's and nurses become their family - and yes, we are often the ones holding their hand when they pass onto the next life, we are the ones who cry with them and laugh with them and try to redirect the confused when they are convinced that they have to rush off now because they are late for a flight to Germany. Because, you see, in their mind they work there and need to get back. Please do me a favor - be a visitor for your grandmother's roommate....she too needs someone (whether really or not - in her mind no one is there). Thanks - from a DON
  4. by   -Midget-
    I'm not sure if this lady is her roomate or not, but I see her in the hall near my grandma often, since they both spend a lot of time outside their rooms. To me, this woman seemed to be of sound-mind, but I am not sure. It's hard to tell with some people. And yes, I will do you a favor, with pleasure.
  5. by   ear
    Quote from -Midget-
    My grandma was placed in a nursing home a whie ago, I usually go with my grandpa to see her, and we try to go about once a week. In the last few months, though, between getting set up to start classes, and now classes starting, I hadn't been able to go in quite some time. Anyway...while we were there visiting, this other lady started talking to us, since my grandma was pretty much just sleeping the whole time. She was talking about what a funny lady she was, and he she enjoyed my grandma.

    Then she said something that really saddened me...she said she hadn't seen her childrne in like 20 years, and that they probably didn't even know which facility she was in. Her family doesn't come to visit her. Is that common, that families just dump residents off, and never see them again? She said after the money ran out for her kids...that was it.
    Has she been in the nursing home for 20 years??? If not, there may have been problems before she even went into the nursing home. Families have rifts, and sometimes people dont speak for years. That could have been the situation. If she wants to contact her children, encourage her to do so, but overall, just visit and be supportive.

    pyrolady has a really great point, visit with her while you are visiting. It really doesnt matter if you are family or not. These folks love the visits.

    As far as it being common for people not to visit after someone is placed in Long Term Care, sometimes it is, some times it isnt. Most of the people that I have seen do have family, and they do try to visit. People choose the place I am now because of the wonderful care they get. It is usually a little further from their closest facility, but they choose us because of the reputation. Sometimes it means the family cant visit as often, but they can sleep at night knowing that the resident is getting good care.
  6. by   MAP1
    Sometime you see the kind of parent the person was when no one shows up at the bedside. It's sad but true.
  7. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from pyrolady
    Unfortunately that does happen. However, is your grandmother's roommate of sound mind? At times there are residents who sound perfectly logical and "with it" who actually aren't. Sadly enough though, many people are never visited by family once they are admitted into a SNF. The CNA's and nurses become their family - and yes, we are often the ones holding their hand when they pass onto the next life, we are the ones who cry with them and laugh with them and try to redirect the confused when they are convinced that they have to rush off now because they are late for a flight to Germany. Because, you see, in their mind they work there and need to get back. Please do me a favor - be a visitor for your grandmother's roommate....she too needs someone (whether really or not - in her mind no one is there). Thanks - from a DON
    I have to agree with this. At my last job, one of my bosses had a mom in an LTC that is really close to my house. Once in a while, he'd ask me if I'd pick her up and bring her down when I came to work. They took her shopping, to the baseball games that she loved so much, out to eat, etc. From time to time in between, she'd call for him and tell me she hadn't seen him in months, which I knew wasn't true. She just got mixed up. She always worried about him spending up all her money, when in reality her money was no where near enough for a private room in the lovely facility that was her home and he was subsidizing her stay there at great cost. When my boss and his wife had their kitchen remodeled, it was a project that took several months and she told me a number of times that she worried he was dipping into her bank account to pay for it. I know that there are people who rarely or never get visited, but I also know that even in some people who seem very much in the here and now, concepts like time become blurry and the recent seems distant and vice versa.
  8. by   lovingtheunloved
    Quote from MAP1
    Sometime you see the kind of parent the person was when no one shows up at the bedside. It's sad but true.
    Very, very true. I always try to encourage staff not to be judgemental of families that don't visit. We had a gentleman who the staff just adored, very sweet, loopy little fellow. He had four daughters, three of whom lived locally, and never visited. Bad, bad, daughters? We later learned that he had molested them throughout their childhood. You never know why no one visits.
  9. by   adrienurse
    Well there are the ones that just can't because of time committments and geography. Then there are the ones who don't come because they just can't cope with it.
  10. by   -Midget-
    Thanks for pointing out all the variables I didn't think of yesterday, guys. I guess that just goes to show that you should never make judgements about people's situations, since you never know the whole story.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    One thing that used to tick me off was this resident we had when i worked in LTC, who relied on donations for clothes, socks, etc. Her FAMILY was 3 MILES down the street, and doing fine financially (prominent family in that city). Their rationale for not visiting more than once a year? (actual quote) "We can't stand to see Mom like this". I was shocked. I wanted to say "Do you think 'MOM' likes BEING like this??? Sick AND alone???" So angry . And unfortunately not a rare occurance.
  12. by   adrienurse
    Yeah, ever notice that it's the ones with the money that don't bring stuff in? Cause they've figured out that if they wait long enough the stuff just appears (out of the kind nurses' pockets)!
  13. by   1st edition
    Try not to judge why families don't visit. Walk in a mile in their shoes . . . the mom or dad may have been great but they can't visit d/t work, coping skills, etc. Sometimes the grown child that is sooo attentive may be so d/t guilt, ie they didn't appreciate their parent before they went into LTC.
  14. by   Tweety
    You never know the bad blood between parents and their kids. You might be seeing an older mellower adult parent, but one who alienated their kids permanently through some rift 20 years ago you don't know about. They could have been a raving drunk alcoholic child abuser.

    My uncle had some very bad blood that never mended between him and my grandfather.

    It's sad, but you never know the whole story just by listening to the old one in the bed.

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