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My cousin who just lost her mother wants to come and visit mom on a regular basis. It would be great since my mom misses her sister, but I just found out my cousin has MRSA. Mom is frail, 78 pounds and soon will turn 91.
How do I politely tell my cousin no and not cause a family rift? I know my cousin would not want to do anything to put my mom in health problems. Help!

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Wait. Where and what kind of MRSA? Some people have colonized MRSA and/or history of MRSA. I can't imagine an active MRSA infection walking around untreated visiting family. I suspect more has been made of this than needs to be and I would encourage you to ask more questions so you know exactly what your dealing with. It sounds not a lot different from staying away from AIDS patients because they have AIDS. Let's make educated decisions, not ones based on fear and emotion and not unnecessarily isolate people.
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Reply to KellyOrtega
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princesssf Sep 27, 2018
I agree. MRSA is all around us. Get complete info and talk to an infectious disease MD. It may be as simple as gowning up and not touching. Where is Mom? If she's in a Nursing Home, the fight may be futile.
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I’ve talked to my cousin and she was very understanding of my concern. She said to talk to mom’s doctor (which I did and who ok’d the visits). She said it is in the sore on her foot and would accommodate any safety percautions I would impose.
I would rather take more safety measures as JoAnn29 said as I am responsible for mom.
I cannot tell each one of you how much it has meant to be able to get each one’s opinions. It really made my decision easier. Thank you all.
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Reply to Patticake2
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If your cousin has an active MRSA skin infection, I'm sure he or she would understand your concern and postpone the visit. However, if they do not have an active infection, hand washing and masks (your mom can wear the mask if that's more welcoming) should allow a safe visit.

We all have germs. People with germs interact with your mom all the time. I wouldn't deny your mom the pleasure of a visit. She can share her grief with your cousin and also provide comfort to your cousin. I would try to allow her to have that experience.
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Reply to Marcia7321
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If the MRSA is contained a dressed/covered foot wound, no other precautions are necessary. i.e. in a hospital environment, it would only require contact isolation when opening the dressing, which would include gown and gloves only.

Now depending on who does the dressing, and if you're cousin is the one who does it, she would need to take those precautions when she does the dressing, and good hand washing technique after removing the gloves. If this is how it occurs, then there would be no issue in providing meals to your mom, giving you a break and needed time for visits for her and your mom, in the loss of the sister/mom.

Someone else said and was exactly right on the money that the media displays scare tactics in everything including MRSA.

There is more false, misleading, uninformed information in this thread about MRSA then there should be. You really do not want to end up being so paranoid about illnesses/infections and make sure you get the correct information from a medical person. I am a Registered Nurse.
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Reply to Myownlife
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No I don’t have a reason to tell my cousins not to come. I was looking forward to my cousin visiting my mom. I called the doctor and am going to take his recommendation. Thank you both for quickly responding.
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Reply to Patticake2
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It really depends on WHERE the MRSA is to determine if it's contagious. If it is in the airway, then maintaining a 3 foot distance, using a mask (cousin) and good hand hygiene will keep mom safe. If is in a wound, then as long as the wound is covered, and has no drainage through the dressing, and good hand hygiene is used then mom would be safe. Everyone has the Staph Aureus flora on them, it's only when it gets into a place it shouldn't be that it causes a problem. Most health care workers will test positive due to exposure but will never develop symptoms. AND, MRSA can be cured with other antibiotics, just not the "cillins". If it is in the airway, a person needs 3 negative swabs to indicate it is cured.
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Reply to katydid1
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Could you check with moms doctor about having your cousin suit up to visit?

I visited a dying friend that had MRSA, her own family would stand at the door all of 60 seconds to say hi, I suited up, then I was free to hold her hand, kiss her forehead and rub her arms and legs, I never once worried about moving it from the room, I disrobed at the door and washed my hands well.

I fear that we miss life by trying to have quantity and not enough quality. MRSA exists in our world, nurses, doctors, delivery people, et al can expose us, a little prevention is all that is required. (If I remember correctly, it is something that is everywhere and most of us are healthy enough that is doesn't effect us.) Think about your cousin going about her normal daily routine and all of the places she goes and people she comes in contact with, and she is just 1 person. I am not directing any criticism towards anyone, we as a nation have been scared to death by the media portrayal of communicable diseases and quite frankly, research shows they are fear mongers. Yes. Caution should be used but not complete avoidance.

Have cousin limit physical contact and suit up with gloves and mask at front door, explain to all that she has a condition that is better not shared with mom. Also, wash moms hands after cousin leaves, she should be fine and think of how good it will do her heart to be loved by your cousin.

You can order the same gowns, gloves and masks that hospital uses on line or hospice might be willing to give you a box of each. I also covered my hair so I could visit others in hospital without worrying I would harm them.

Hugs for taking care of mom, inside and out.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Don't be scared to death with this, do some research, talk to her doctor, get some gowns and start wearing them to ease moms anxiety over them.

The 1st time I visited my friend all suited up, she asked why and I told her that I thought I had a cold coming on and I didn't want her to catch it. She was good after that, even though it was 3 months before she passed, never came up again.

Get yourself educated and you will feel so much better.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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If your family has capability introduce them to Skype or FaceTime . I know it’s not the same as being there but is much safer.
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Reply to an7gels
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There are some great suggestions around here.

I'm just trying to figure out why cousin would even consider going to a long term care facility with that kind of infection. It's really odd to me. I would think that an average person would find that completely unacceptable. I know someone who's husband had it once and he was not allowed to return to his job until it was cleared up with a doctor's note. If I discovered that visitors were coming in with that and my LO was there, I'd be livid, to say the least.

If you have to, explain that the doctor says no visitors who have infections, then, I wouldn't concern myself with her or any other family member's opinion, because, they obviously lack common sense.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Patticake2 Sep 29, 2018
Mom is not in a long term facility. She is in my home. I was told by doctor visits are safe.
My cousin wants to visit my mom since mom is an interesting Aunt. I don’t feel comfortable with doctors answer. I like your answer though.
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