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Everyday Ageism

people questioning my ability to care for sick grandson

(76 Posts)
Mebster Fri 09-Aug-19 19:29:02

I have been staying at a Ronald McDonald House with my grandson while he receives care for cancer and a brain injury that put him in a wheelchair and affected his ability to feed himself. His parents are at home with other children/work. I have been involved in his daily care, including months spent living in hospital with him. The administrators called my daughter and questioned my ability to care for him, apparently because I made a couple of suggestions regarding need for handicapped ramp at sidewalk and using meat thermometer to be certain ground beef is heated to kill e coli. His wheelchair tipped when I tried to back him off the sidewalk curb but he was not hurt in any way.
I returned home but I'm shattered, especially as gossip about this has now spread throughout our small community. I love this child more than I can express in words and we have a bond that is really special, as his therapists have observed. I'm so hurt and angry that I can't stop crying. The house manager has apologized and asked me to return but I feel unwelcome and I think his parents now question my ability. I'm not sure what I'm asking here. Just needing to vent.

M0nica Fri 09-Aug-19 19:53:05

Well, if all you do is sit and cry, I can understand peoples worries.

Why not accept the manager's apologies gracefully, throw your shoulders back and return to being with your grandson. Think how unhappy he must be without you around.

The only way you can silence people's doubts about you is by proving them wrong.

EllanVannin Fri 09-Aug-19 19:57:17

Maybe you need to step back and have a break ? Let his parents take over.

BlueBelle Fri 09-Aug-19 20:30:10

Monica’s right you need to prove them wrong not right
Who are you there for? Surely the only person being hurt will be your little grandson if you don’t go back
Pull up your big girls knickers and forget what was said and get back to that little lad and a God bless you for all you’re doing for him it takes a special person to do so much xx

nanaK54 Fri 09-Aug-19 20:33:17

You sound completely exhausted flowers

jura2 Fri 09-Aug-19 20:35:47

Poor you- hopefully time will heal x

RosieLeah Fri 09-Aug-19 20:37:33

I like your attitude Bluebelle..bless you xx

cornergran Fri 09-Aug-19 21:36:17

It sounds as if so much of the caring responsibility has been yours, if so of course you are exhausted and therefore vulnerable. You’ve done a wonderful job. If you need a short break you must tell your daughter, there’s no shame in that, your resources are finite. If you can carry on then do and I agree with others. Pin your shoulders back, glue on a smile, accept the apology graciously and get back to your grandson. Sending hope for your grandson and wishing you well,

dragonfly46 Fri 09-Aug-19 21:50:14

Bluebell is right but I do feel you are worn out. Take this time to recharge your batteries. Stop crying it does nobody any good least of all yourself.
You are doing a great job.
Accept the apology and get back out there for your darling grandson.

merlotgran Fri 09-Aug-19 21:52:21

You need to give yourself a break. Accommodation which is provided for people caring for very sick relatives while they are receiving treatment is a Godsend but you are removed from real life. Even though you manage to feed yourself, do your washing etc., you become almost institutionalised and your main focus, of course, is the sick person.

When you go home you are exhausted and people often expect you to just pick up where you left off.

Crying is to be expected and you may be over reacting to a situation that you perceive as criticism. Talk to your daughter and explain that you need some time for yourself and make sure the house manager knows that you accept his apology and you will return when you feel more up to it.

All kinds of family disagreements pop their heads up when there is a crisis. Blame is thrown about like a shuttlecock. Try and let is wash over you.

Good Luck.

Bordersgirl57 Fri 09-Aug-19 21:55:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mebster Sat 10-Aug-19 00:20:41

My grandson is back at home for the weekend, not with me or away at the RM house. I will return with him next week if his parents ask me to do this, as I believe they will. I spent a morning crying. Now I'm back in gear.

Mebster Sat 10-Aug-19 00:27:08

I am upset that the RM house would question my ability to care for my GS. I am a very fit 65 and have been caring for him daily for months now, even when he couldn't sit up or feed himself. I treasure every day with him and take much pride in his progress. I think this was a case of ageism, bullying and bureaucracy which bucked at any suggestion that their could be an improvement. I called them on it and they've responded appropriately. It still hurts as our community is small and any news of this sort tends to be chewed over endlessly. I'm staying out of sight for the weekend, as I know there will be barbed expressions of "care" as soon as I go out. Better to cool off first so I can take the high road.

Grandma2213 Sat 10-Aug-19 02:45:18

Mebster saw your dilemma on another post and have great admiration for your stamina. Stay on that 'high road' for the sake of your DGS. He is the one that really matters after all but remember to manage your own strength and emotions as you appear to be the greatest source of his strength.

Accept that apology and stand up there confident in your own ability to cope. You have the power!

BradfordLass72 Sat 10-Aug-19 06:17:09

I think a good cry does us all good, it releases oxytocin and endorphins resulting a feeling of calm.

So blow your nose and as soon as you feel up to it, go back into the fray and fight for those very sensible and useful safety measure which will protect ALL vulnerable children there, not just your darling.

I'm astonished that instead of seeing the sense in your suggestions, they chose to turn on you.

sodapop Sat 10-Aug-19 08:05:46

Mebster you sound worn out both physically and emotionally. Take the opportunity to rest up over the weekend then go back to help your grandson. You are such a great support to your family don't let one incident spoil all that, your grandson needs you. Accept the apology but see if there is someone there you can talk to if issues arise.
I spent a little time in a similar situation in a Fisher House and I know its not easy.
Bon courage.

EllanVannin Sat 10-Aug-19 08:36:11

I think those who have a problem with ageism need re-educating. It's the most awful discrimination that there is. In fact it's the worst bigoted and intolerant view that anyone can have and there's no necessity for it whatever the situation.

Lessismore Sat 10-Aug-19 08:41:30

How has this spread through the community and it is private to you and your family.

Perhaps arrange a meeting and write down your points to discuss with the manager.

Goodbyetoallthat Sat 10-Aug-19 09:03:10

I was thinking the same as lessismore, how has it spread through the community?
If people are talking about it I would imagine they are saying what a wonderful job you are doing (regardless of age).
Everyone is under stress, accidents happen so accept the apology & get back to your grandson.

jenpax Sat 10-Aug-19 10:10:48

I really feel for you here, caring for a sick child on your own is very very hard and you need understanding and a bit of TLC not criticism .
I hope things get better soon and don’t feel bad about crying it’s only natural and nothing to feel bad about.

Gingergirl Sat 10-Aug-19 10:13:54

Don’t know if I’ve missed the point but I can’t see what you’ve done wrong. You shouldn’t need to lift a wheelchair over a curb, surely. There should be a ramp. It is their shortcoming if they interpret this as being unable to look after your grandchild. That said, I understand you have a rapport with him and he’s very ill but I hope his parents aren’t asking too much of you generally. (Nothing to do with these incidents). If so, perhaps you need to come to some other arrangements.

Grannyjay Sat 10-Aug-19 10:13:55

I hope when the administrator telephoned your daughter she backed you up and said you had been caring for him for many months and more than capable. They may have been using an excuse to stop you coming although I am probably very wrong. I think you should stand your ground and go back as you know what’s best for him more than them. It is easy to tip out someone in a wheelchair. I took my elderly uncle out and managed to catch the curb when trying to lift it and near enough flip him out. It happens and we are human. He laughed about it and it happens. You are an asset to your daughter and especially your GS.

25Avalon Sat 10-Aug-19 10:14:18

Hi I think you have done and are doing a wonderful job, but I do agree with those who say you need a break. Carers need to be looked after too you know as theirs is the most demanding job of all. You don't necessarily need to go away or have a holiday but just do some things for you - are there no carers groups near you where you could have some relaxing time out as they offer all sorts of activities and some only take a few hours. To get away and have something different to think about just for a couple of hours is so refreshing and takes away a lot of stress. You will feel more able to cope with the undeserved remarks and much better able to cope with your caring role - that's not to say you aren't coping now but it does make a difference. Believe me I have been there.

inishowen Sat 10-Aug-19 10:16:57

A good cry does us the world of good. Somehow you need to get that out then pick up where you were and start again. You are doing a wonderful job with your grandson.

harrysgran Sat 10-Aug-19 10:20:25

It sound like you are doing an amazing job treasure this relationship with your GS what you said about a ramp and the meat thermometer came from concern maybe those in charge didn't like that but they have apologised and hopefully realised you have every right to express your ideas and concerns go back to your GS he is the one that matters most