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Should I confront family members ?

seashells

New member
Sep 15, 2020
4
Hi everyone,

Hoping to get some advice on this board.

My dementia suffering Grandfather has recently moved into residential care.

For the past year or so - he's been living with my father and has received hardly any calls/visits/acknowledgements from his two other relatives. (Cousin and one other son.)

It's absolutely shameful that his other son and my younger cousin don't care and don't seem to bother. I get so angry. They are just a disgrace.

Now that my Grandfather is in the care home I have decided to confront them.

How should I approach it? Diplomatically?

All I want is for them to show some love and care. send some cards, a simple call ....is that so hard? I shall wait til my Grandfather passes before I truly let them have it. But for now....my grandfather needs to have some connection to them.

Anyone else experienced this?

Thanks so much.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,074
West Hertfordshire
Maybe his other son should show some interest, but a cousin?

is there a rift of any sort, or does he just not bother- any reason why?

Can you MAKE him show an interest? I doubt it? So I would question if it was worth it.
 

seashells

New member
Sep 15, 2020
4
My cousin is my age. 30.

Our grandfather was amazing to us - all throughout our lives.

Cousin just isn't bothering. he lives 15 minutes from my Grandfather in Somerset and hasn't visited or called him in months and months.

Standard selfish young person, I guess.

I plan on asking him simply to make an effort and warning him he will regret it when GF passes.
 

seashells

New member
Sep 15, 2020
4
Maybe I should have edited that better - the jerk is my cousin - so my grandfathers other grandchild :)
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,039
It's sad @seashells but some care and some don't and I don't think you can change them, I say this from experience.

Perhaps you could give them a tactful reminder that your grandad would love a visit or even a card once in a while although I tried that but it made no difference, I tried the less tactful approach which didn't work either.

Good luck with whatever you do but don't expect too much.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
410
We have the same issue .....but with much longer gaps.
I would advise you just to try and not think about it...it ain’t worth any of your time. Just enjoy time with your grand dad and try not to get angry with them. I am trying this and feel a lot better for it
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,859
Chester
This won't be what you want to hear, but I don't think anything you say will change their behaviour and if you try to prompt them and they ignore it, where does that leave you. i think you need to leave it as it is, for your own mental health.

My brother rarely visits my mum, despite being unemployed and having funds to easily afford to travel. I was very upset by it for a long time, but nothing I said made a blind bit of difference and it just wound me up.

I had some counselling, which mainly dealt with other issues, but I did talk about my brother, and I no longer worry about his lack of seeing mum and assistance to me, he's made his choices, and I have no control over them. I suspect he will be heartbroken when mum dies, and perhaps some of his behaviour is avoiding confronting these emotions as he can't handle them. He is certainly terribly upset if I phone to inform him of some issue with mum, but does nothing to come and see her.

It did me a lot of damage getting upset about his behaviour and I have now managed to let it go, but it isn't needed and without professional help I wouldn't have been able to.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
889
High Peak
It's often like this in families. On DTP people often refer to absent relatives as 'invisibles'. When it comes to caring for a person with dementia there are those who do it and those who appear not to care.

My brother was an invisible and all the caring fell to me. I've often thought about reproaching him but to what end? He isn't going to change or feel any differently. But it may cause a permanent family rift - do I want that? It made little difference to my mum if my brother visited or not.

The other side of this: is it right to judge others by our own standards? The invisibles may have their reasons for not getting involved. Sometimes people are so upset their relative has dementia, they just can't face it.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
223
A cousin is a more distant relative and has a lesser moral obligation in my view than a son, especially if he is a cousin once removed, which seems likely if he is 30 (i.e. of a younger generstion than your dad)

Perhaps you and your brother should talk more, if you can pull that off?
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
671
some people turn out to be family carers my sil has cared for her mum, brother and auntie because she was the one there and a carer in her job for decades. some just cant even imagine how to care or know where to start. i might be being generous but i was the carer in my family for my mum and my grandmother and now my husband. i can manage that but i will never care for my father who is the same age roughly as my husband. i dont talk to him so its my sisters turn who was a bit incapable of caring before but i have no contact with either and dont want to have contact. my childhood was rubbish. i would leave your brother and cousin where they are. they know where your grandfather is its up to them if they visit. i wouldnt push it, theyve made their decision rightly or wrongly and it is them that are missing out. enjoy being with your grandfather. its them that is missing out.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,418
South coast
Im afraid its like that in families and I doubt that anything you say will change anything.
My brother never visited his mum when she was at home and only once visited when she first moved into her care home. I phoned him when she reached end of life, but even then he did not come.

Let it go.
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
508
Mid Lincs
My OHs son didn't bother with him and only lived 20 miles away. I used to get so up set on his behalf. However, they don't interfer either and my OH doesn't appear to realise, so I just get on with it.
You can't make someone care and I believe in many cases it's a case of burying ones head so they don't have to face the problems.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,306
Rest assured that when subject of inheritance comes up, they will be first in line!
Different people react differently when confronted with difficult situations.
Some when faced with a Lion, will run, other will stand, a few will even embrace it.

Bod
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
475
I am only a couple of years older than you. My younger brother is the same. He can't face it and unfortunately was around at home when dad started showing signs of dementia and being really difficult so their relationship was strained.

However he lives 10 minutes walk away and I live seven hours drive away and he has yet to visit dad after 18 months.

I have gone through various phases of anger and sympathy with it but of course it makes no difference.

Here's what I did:

- Acknowledged that I had to do the best I could for Dad. I have done this and I will continue to do this. I know this way I can live with myself and be proud of how I stepped up. He cannot say the same, but that's his problem.

- I called him and asked him if he wanted to be kept informed of what was going on with dad - if he had a fall or any news, good or bad. He did, so we agreed how he wanted to be contacted - text, calls, etc. I had stopped telling him anything but surprisingly he wanted to know.

- I reminded him that dad's diagnosis has an average prognosis of five years and that the vascular dementia in particular can indicate that he could have another stroke at any time. I told him I don't expect him to change and that I won't tell him what to do - he can do what he wants but he should understand that dad will not be around forever.

Once I had, as compassionately as I could, imparted this knowledge I then completely dropped it. I keep him informed. He still has not visited. But I can sleep at night knowing I did the best I could and younger brother cannot come back to me and say I didn't tell him about what the diagnosis means for dad's lifespan or that he was not kept informed. What he chooses to do with that knowledge is entirely up to him.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
551
I think I would go to one of those card company’s where they print cards with your photos on the front.
(Anyone got any recommendations?)
I would get some old family photos.
I would get 6 different ones printed
I would just give them three each, and say
’ these are a gift from me, I thought you might like to send one to grandad every now a then because he get so lonely’
As far as I am concerned once you have done that you have done enough!
 

seashells

New member
Sep 15, 2020
4
Wow, thank you so much for your thoughts.

Some really interesting responses.

I'm sorry for those of you also in this position.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
551
Wow, thank you so much for your thoughts.

Some really interesting responses.

I'm sorry for those of you also in this position.
I speak to a lot of old people.
Often about family feuds.
And regret.
Example sister not spoken to for thirty years.
One phrase come up again and again.
‘It was so silly really‘.
Just don’t do anything that comes at a cost to you. You can tell what a loving person you are by your post.
If other people don’t measure up, then just forgive them?
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
671
wow weasell you sound such a lovely person some people have concrete reasons that they will never go near their father/sister again ever in a lifetime like mine but its true sometimes you fall out for the stupidest reason and shouldnt waste time keeping it going. you miss out on so much
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,039
I agree, I have a niece and nephew and it's hardly their faults that their parents are super selfish. I don't want want to deprive my son of his cousins (I have lovely cousins) so I have learned to grin and bear it but I will never forget.