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My husband's family insists in showing up without calling to visit him. There are 4 adults and 10 kids. Any ideas on how to make it possible for him to see his grandkids? I have talked to them twice and was very explicit that visits will have to be short...under an hour...that didn't work, so then I suggested bring half the kids 1 visit and then the others another day...they refuse to do that.


Anyone exp. this? I am sole caregiver, husband has Parkinsons and is blind in 1 eye so very limited vision. Caring for him and running a household solo takes all my energy. There is no way I am going to cater to 14 other ppl. but at the same time I want him to have some connection to his grandkids.

Try it again. Have a group phone call and talk to the adults. Be very specific. I'm trying to do this without anyone's help. All I ask is to come separately. When you live a quiet life with only 2 in the household, it is very hard to visit with 14 people at the same time. When you all leave, he is very tired and so am I. I do want you to visit with him, but I also need help from you to make the visits easier for both of us. Not to mention, I am very concerned about so many people in the house at one time because of Covid. Your dad can not afford to become ill because of current health problems. I cannot afford to get sick because I take care of him. I am very tired with simple day to day household chores and caring for a sick husband. Please visit, but help me to help him with smaller crowds.
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Reply to my2cents
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Wow jd, I can't even imagine having anyone in my family being that clueless and callous. The fact your grandkids are left to run wild makes things difficult, and unfortunately it's not their fault if nobody ever taught them boundaries.

I think maybe the outdoor get together is the best option, either at home or in a park, that way they can run off some steam and he can retreat if necessary.

And while I'm sure you would never try to discipline your grandkids that doesn't mean you can't give your own kids a (figurative) slap upside the head 😠
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disgustedtoo Apr 18, 2021
From the sounds of it, these are husband's family members, not OPs kids? Makes it a little harder to give them the slap upside the head... However, I'd be horrified to see these kids crawling all over him and DEMAND it stop.
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Just read your response to cweissp. OMG, sorry, I would have child proofed my home long ago with these children. I see where you are coming from but maybe its time to put your foot down since DH isn't or can't. Keep your doors locked so they can't just walk in. How can ur husband enjoy his Grands if they cause him pain. I am always better sticking up for someone else than myself. You now need to be the B****. Call the son or daughter. Tell them that you need to set some boundries because they don't seem to see how bad their father is. They will call before they come. And they come separately. No more this 14 people and the kids running around the house getting into things and breaking your personal items. If they can't control their kids, then you must ask that they leave them home. Maybe babysit for each other. Again, visits need to be shorter. Mainly because Dad tires easily. Children's attention spans are very short so of course they get itchy when need to be good for long periods. He loves his Grands but it physically hurts him to have them climbing all over him. Plus he has the leads that they may pull out. He has good days and bad and when you just show up, it could be one of his bad days, so you really need to call. He loves seeing you all but you must realize how hard your visits can be on him. Its also your home.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I would not provide anything for them. If unannounced they could order pizza or something. I would tell them since they are all there with him, that you have some errands to take care of and leave for a few hours. It would let them see what caregiving is like and give you some respite at the same time.
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LoveLea Apr 20, 2021
Great idea!
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Can you not all plan on meeting at a restaurant instead of your house, where you will all be catered to by the wait staff, and you won't have the pressure to entertain?(and you just pay for you and your husband, the rest of the gang is on their own) That way you can leave when your husband or you have had enough. You could also meet at a local park for a picnic, and leave when you need to. There are ways around having them all at your house, if you don't want them there, but I think you should be grateful that his family actually wants to see him and spend time with him. Not all families are so fortunate.
And as far as them just showing up without calling, now that is just plain rude. I would make it perfectly clear to them that while you and your husband enjoy seeing them and spending time with them, they MUST from now on give you the courtesy of calling first, so you can plan on meeting them elsewhere. PERIOD!!!
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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jd6122 Apr 16, 2021
Thank you for the positive suggestions. However, nobody has the right to tell me how I should feel and what I should be grateful for. Caregivers are entitled to be themselves. and this caregiver would be grateful for 1 offer to help, not add to the stress. :)
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I NEVER thought I would get 'tired' when my grands are all here, but there's 14 of them, ages 17 down to 3. It's crazy and wonderful and exhausting.

My sweet and intutive daughters have seen that I get stressed out when we're at our house (the smallest home by far) and they have begun simply saying "we're hanging out at our house" and we go to one fo the 3 MUCH LARGER homes. I'm not spending all the time in the kitchen, and I enjoy the kids a lot more. We do use our house for outdoors events and then the colder months, we're at one of the bigger homes.

I think I made maybe one phone call while I was undergoing chemo and cancelled a family dinner and that is probably what got the girls to think "we're in OUR 40's. mom has been doing this since she was about 25!" There is no shame in letting the next generation take over.

My DH gets bored and tired b/c he refuses to wear his hearing aids, so he often just finds an empty bed and climbs in it. Total party pooper, but that's what he does. He's the one missing out.

People can't read your mind. I know when my middle daughter did Tgiving last year I was weepy with gratitude. All I had said was I was so unenthused about the holidays in general and she got the hint.
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Reply to Midkid58
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This sounds terrible, but you are looking for ways to survive it. Here are some suggestions:

1) Pick one person, phone them (and confirm in writing) that you are giving THAT PERSON the responsibility to let you know the details of any planned visits. At present, 4 adults are sorting it out between themselves, and no individual is taking responsibility to let you know. ‘Let me know’ is all too vague! You need someone to take the blame if it’s not done. You stand a better chance with the next visit, and if you are quite clear about ‘blame’, the following visit is almost certain to be better.

2) Pick someone else to organise food. Say that you don’t have time to do it, and they need to bring with them enough for everyone. If they don’t, it will be a ‘no meal, no refreshments’ visit. Once again, have someone specific to blame if it isn’t organised. Stick to it – don’t provide any food, don’t run round at the last minute, don’t apologise. If they want refreshments, they bring them with them or go out and buy them. No apologies. You can still be ‘nice’ - say something like ‘I’ve been looking forward to trying the things that you make. What a pity it got forgotten, I’m sure you will try to remember next time’.

3) Do you have near you one of those places that hosts children’s birthday parties? Suggest that at the moment it would be the best place for a visit. The children (particularly if they are sub-teen) can enjoy running round on all the bouncing gear, while the adults have a chance to sit quietly with DH. Make it clear which one of them is making the booking and paying for it, and the same with the food that will be available there. You can explain in detail (and again confirming it in writing in an email helps) exactly how it will work better for DH, since they don't seem able to work it out for themselves.

Complaining when things don’t work for you is easily forgotten unless you throw a hissy fit about it - which you probably don't want to do. Organising in advance is a better bet!
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I said to my father's doctor, "Dr. Fostvedt, tell me that Daddy can have only 5 people visit him at a time and they can only stay 10 minutes." So, Dr. said, "Your father can have only 5 people visit him at a time and they can only stay 10 minutes." Then I posted a notice on the front door and put it on the answering machine. Then, it wasn't me saying it, it was the Doctor. If more showed up, I would say, "The Doctor xxxxxx". Adjust the amount of people, and the time as is convenient for you. Then, you can say, I am sorry Cousin Susie, There are too many of you, why don't you divide your group in half and take turns. If they are from out of town, refer them to a close hotel with a restaurant. After all, you are only following the doctor's orders. Do, not let them railroad you to make an exception. Stand firm on the doctor's orders.

Another thought, if it is just catering to them that is getting to you, stop doing it. Tell them you are so happy they came and you need them to cook and clean up for themselves. Don't feed them. You know how it is with stray animals, if you feed them they will stay. Have menus from all the local restaurants handy.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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I agree, it sounds as if we are not talking about your children, but your husband's children/grandchildren. My family used to just drop in on family members - these days with busy schedules I call first. My husband's family would never just drop in.

Not knowing how advanced the Parkinson's is, does your husband voice his opinion on long drop-in visits where the grandchildren jump all over him? Outside of refusing them entry to the home if they continue to just "drop in" I don't know how to stop this behavior and it could be counterproductive where they would stop coming altogether depriving your husband of time with his children/grandchildren, then making you the "bad guy."

If they want to have a meal with both of you, they would bring the food for all involved.

If it were me, after about 30 - 45 minutes, I would speak up and say thank you for visiting but your father is getting tired and we need to wind this visit down. Your husband should be telling his children to keep down the rowdiness of the grandchildren explaining they are hurting him or his worry about his "leads". If they don't listen to him, I'd then tell them in no uncertain terms that Grandpa isn't a toy and to climb down off of him. (I can't even believe that should have to be said.)

If that doesn't work then I'd leave and return after 30 - 45 minutes kicking them out. But, then, that's just me. Good luck.
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jd6122 Apr 19, 2021
TY Cweissp. You are right, it is his children, not mine. It hurts my husband because my kid's are the opposite towards us, never allow us to do anything when they are here to visit....they buy all the groceries, carry every bag and store it away for us, order meals and go pick them up or cook for us, you name the detail and my son's take care of it for us. His kid's have never thought about anyone but themselves. My son's call my husband every Fathers Day, his has called maybe twice out of 18 yr marriage. I have 4 grandkids thanks to my son's and when they are here if need be I absolutely redirect them and my boys know I would tell them in a heartbeat if you don't like it go home lol We have an understanding and boundaries.
I could never leave my husband alone to deal with the suffering. Prior times they have been here while I was at work they watched the kids destroy the house, broke 2 of our most expensive art statues, had drink spills on the carpet, and not 1 note of apology, acknowledgement, NOTHING. So just leaving is not an option. I did kick them out last time and swore never again. I am also thinking about getting a security system w cameras in case evidence is ever needed to file charges. There is a history of my jewelry being stolen.
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Why are all these people coming into your house with a pandemic going on? That's my first question. Also, if these people cannot see they are causing a problem for you, they have to be told. And if they don't listen, can you bring yourself to tell them again and again? What about sending out a list of all the things their father could use help with. If it's put that it's their father who needs help, not you, perhaps they will respond with at least some degree of respect. They seem either unable to respect you or they just don't know what is needed. Also, it seems that when people show up unannounced, they can be turned away. Does that make sense?

When my mom was still in her house and I was living there with her, she had an Alzheimer's idea in her head that her relatives were coming. The history of these relatives was that they'd show up from all over the country on the same day (a race to see who could get here first) and invade the homes of the relatives living here. With this memory in her head, my mom had me close all the drapes, lock the doors, unplug the phone, turn off lights and music, and take her to the basement to hide. Most of these relatives are long dead, but in her head of past memories, they were coming and it caused her horrors because she would be the one who had to organize food, cleaning, and beds, while they chatted away with each other.
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