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Family Situation Stressing me out!


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I have a family situation that is driving me crazy...I thought I'd try to get advice from the hive. My Dh's paternal grandparents live in a different state than their children (my FIL and DH's Aunt). It would be a 24 hour straight through trip to drive and see them (point being they are far away). All their grandchildren also live quite far away. Anyway....this past spring Grandpa had a heart attack and was in the hospital. FIL or Aunt did not go there right away. They did go weeks later. Then as he was recovering Grandma fell and broke her collarbone and hurt herself pretty badly. While she was in the hospital (again, nobody went up there) Grandpa was at home but had heart pains so he drove himself to the hospital and was admitted again. They eventually both went home and are weak and slow. We went to see them in June and helped do some things around the house but we could tell that they weren't doing well. DH told FIL that but FIL just said they were too stubborn and wouldn't move. They told us when they were there that they wanted to move and were thinking about putting the house on the market. Anyway...Grandma's collarbone never healed so they have to do surgery again. However, she was admitted into the hospital because she didn't pass her stress test. They found that she has an 89% blockage in her main artery and she needs a stent but they are afraid she would not be able to tolerate the medicine she would need afterward so they are testing the med on her before hand and will see. She has a tentative surgery scheduled for later this month for her stent and has no idea if/when she will get surgery on her collarbone. Through all this both of them have been driving.

 

DH and I think that FIL and Aunt need to do something! They shouldn't be driving and they can't take care of themselves. Are we wrong to think that FIL and Aunt should step up and take care of them? There is nothing holding them to that state except that Grandpa wants to get a lot of money for his house but nobody is hurting financially. I don't know if I want sympathy or advice but I really needed to vent. It's so hard to see this situation since I am not used to it....My family takes care of my grandparents very well. Is it even our business? If they lived where we do (and where FIL, Aunt and all their grandchildren live) we could go there and help them out and take them dinners, etc. I would want to do that. Grandma is a very proud woman so you know she has to be hurting if she says that she wants Meals on Wheels. *Sigh* Thanks for listening.

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I think that if possible the family should step up, but that that is not necessarily the children. Sometimes those closest in emotion are least able to see how things really are, or at least least able to be forceful about stepping in where they are not wanted. I encourage you to think more broadly about this.

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That's just it...even though they say that they want to move I don't know if they will if their house doesn't sell first even though financially it would be possible even if the house doesn't sell first. They are in their 80's. At what point should their children say to them 1. They can't drive themselves anymore and 2. They either need to move into assisted living or to the state where everyone else is?

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Whoever is close to them can talk to them. My parents are 86 and 91 respectively. It was a process. I'm far away from my parents and some of my siblings are close by. The ones close by have pitched in to take them places. But I was the one who convinced my dad to give up the car. When the "you're too old" argument met with fierce resistance, I was able to convince him with the "you'll save money by not having to pay for a parking space etc.":D

 

As far as where they live, I think respectful discussion is the way to go. My brother swooped in and tried to simply tell my parents that they were going to be packed up and would live with him in his state far away. That went over like a lead balloon. When he complained to me, I pointed out that if he felt that strongly about taking them in, he could move his own family and go live where my parents wanted to. My brother wasn't so happy with me for saying that but I do think that my parents should have some say in where they live. We did discuss though issues that they would need to consider - transportation, health care, assistance etc. and they did make a choice to go into a retirement community that has access to all of that.

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Thanks Jean. I like the idea of giving them other good points about not driving. As far as moving...they say that want to move here. It's not that they doing want to move...they just want their house to sell before they move.

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Well, I agree that FIL and aunt should step up, but if they won't, then someone else should. If they are willing to move, are they willing to move to assisted living near you?

 

:iagree: Some times older people just need help with a bit of direction and the knowledge that if they take that step there will be someone there to help.

 

One other thing, as far as driving, go through their Dr. When my dh was passing out for no apparent reason I asked the Dr while dh was sitting there if it was ok for him to drive. WELL>>>> I did the same when they figured out why he was passing out and got the driving restrictions removed. The Dr really can be a driving force(no pun intended) in this issure.

Edited by mom4him
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