Can any1 help>


Registered User
May 6, 2008

I am hoping you can give me some advice to help me make a decision.

In summary, my Grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago after a fall and has progressively become worse.

She has been in a home for some time now and is doubly incontinent, confused and sleeps most of the time. She recently has become un-responsive and either looks confused, or fed up with not understanding (may just be my “positive” interpretation) and sleeps.

I was her favourite grandchild and my nan was a very proud person who I am convinced would not want me to see her like this; it is very upsetting for me to see her like this and I leave her in the main feeling frustrated that she is not in the right home (on going issuing with my mother which is allegedly being resolved – she is in a care home, not a nursing home and has been in/out of hospital due to a fall and UTI’s)

I have been thinking about whether or not I continue to see her; out of her five grandchildren only myself and my sister see her regularly and I feel I owe it to her because of everything she did for me. A long time ago, when I first got interested in girls she said you will still come and see me….and I did, she and my wife knew each other very well and got on – we often went to see her; she enjoyed going out getting sandwich stuff for us to make lunch.

My mother is not handling the situation very well, as despite what my wife suggest I cant put her under that kind of pressure asking her what she thinks; my wife see’s what it does to me and suggests I consider not seeing her.

Please help, I am very emotional typing this even tho I am at my desk at work.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
No-one can advise you on this one, but all I suggest is you examine your motives very carefully.

Who are you really trying to protect here? Yourself or your Grandmother?

You do not know how she feels inside because she is unable to communicate. You only know how you feel inside. How do you know your presence is not a comfort to her?

I can only advise you to try not to have any regrets when she dies. They are very difficult to live with.

Take care xx


Registered User
Feb 20, 2008
West Yorkshire
Dear MyNan
You have a choice about whether you go to see your nan or not. Its your decision. Your nan does not have a choice about her illness or its effects on her. Or about being stuck in a home. If you think its tough going to see your nan, then imagine how tough it was for your nan to come to terms with the diagnosis of the disease. You have the choice. Some people who dismiss the suffering of patients with dementia, need to think that one day it could also happen to them. There is no immunity or vaccine to prevent getting dementia. I hope that you can find it in you to make the decision that is right for you and your nan.
take care


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Blimey, the wisdom of the good folks who are members never fails to reach me.

I agree with them and the only thing I would say in addition is this.

Yes, you have a choice whether or not to visit.

You will not have a choice if you decide not to do so and regret that in years to come. It will be a done [or more correctly, un-done] deed.

I'd advise - if you feel able - to visit.

However, try to change your perspective. Consider it from her angle and try to step back just a little from the pain you feel.

Try to make the visits at a level you both can manage.

Explore how you might reach her, or at least visit without feeling personal pain too much.

Never forget that you can walk away - she cannot.

Try to enter her world or try to find ways - touch, inconsequential conversation, tit-bits of food she likes - to communicate.

Maybe make the visits very short, shorter than you would like, but short enough to be bearable.

Finally, always remember that she will not be here forever. Try to make the most - if only for yourself - of the time that remains for her.

It is worth a little anguish.

Just my thoughts - please feel absolutely free to ignore!


Registered User
Feb 17, 2008
please think long and hard before you reach your decision, only your can do that. the others has said great words of wisdom and I would like to say a experiance i have had in that I decided not to vist my grandad as he had become a different man and never know if you had been 2mins after you had left but now 10yrs on I wish I had gone to see him I loved him to bits and so miss him I would love to go to his alotment with him as we did years ago. only you can make this decision but please don't just think of now think of the future


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
I have to agree with the others here.

My husband is in a similar situation to your nan -- no speech, immobile, doubly incontinent and asleep almost all the time. In addition, he gets repeated infections.

By chance I posted this earlier this afternoon.

I asked CN (thankfully on duty this morning) if he thought I was just prolonging John's agony by insisting on having him treated.

He said no, John was still able to get pleasure from my visits, and the attention of the carers. He said that even without speech, John would let us know when he was ready to give up.
My question was not about visiting, I'll continue to visit him every day for as long as it takes, but about whether I was doing the right thing in insisting that his infections are treated.

But the charge nurse's reply could equally apply to you and your nan.

She may not respond much, but I'm sure she knows you are there, and values your visits. She may not have too many pleasures left. Please continue to let her know she is loved.