My grandfather has been on hospice for a few months now. He lives at home with my step grandmother and her two adult children. She only has a nurse come in every three days to tend to him. He has not eaten for three weeks and gets less than 5 oz of water a day. He has trouble swallowing. We try to go and visit him and his wife makes it very difficult. My mother goes to visit but she is not allowed to speak to him or touch him per his wife's instruction. She doesn't want him to know anyone else is there. If my my mom goes against her wishes she will no longer let anyone visit. She won't let any of the rest of us visit him either. We want him to know we are there and that he is not alone. Can his wife keep us from being able to visit?

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I have to agree with AlvaDeer, it is a sad and unfortunate situation that has developed between you and your children and your step grandmother. It doesn't sound as though you made her feel very welcome in the family and now when she is under stress and about to lose her loved one she doesn't want you around. You seem to have no understanding of how she may feel, you don't mention how long they have been married, or how you have helped her when he was less unwell. She is his wife and the choices are hers, perhaps you could try talking to her civilly and letting her vent how she feels, then if she thinks you have some understanding she may be able to see how family visits could help, or pass to you the advice from hospice. As a number have said as the body shuts down it doesn't need and cannot cope with food and drink - this is not her being cruel it is you not understanding how peaceful death occurs. If you cannot get anywhere changing your attitude and talking to step grandma perhaps you could arrange a communication with the hospice carer who is going in and she will be able to put your mind at rest.
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Reply to TaylorUK

In most Hospice situations someone needs to be with the patient 24/7. If he is being left alone for hours, you need to tell Hospice. To me this is abuse. He is not being given his meds if needed and probably being aloud to be lay in soiled depends.
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Reply to JoAnn29

His wife is literally the Lioness at the Gate. The best way to visit is to provide him absolute peace and to assist HER in any way you can in carrying forward plans for end of life.
As has been explained, he is dying. The administration of food and fluids to someone with swallow difficulties results in aspiration pneumonia and an uncomfortable death. Usually Hospice not only assists but they make certain that family visits are comfortable and a way to bid goodbye for all involved.
Your best way to your grandfather now if through his wife. Assist her, offer her your sympathy, your love and your help, reassure her that you will not disrupt anything in his care, nor give your advice (which is not needed here). Help provide her with easy meals or meal deliveries, and help her all you can.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
Cover99 Oct 12, 2021
In essence tell a fib to get to see granddad?
Everything you described is how Hospice works. His wife has nothing to do with it. A Nurse comes 3x a week to check vitals. There is usually an aide to bathe him every few days. Your grandfather's body is shutting down. The not being able to swallow is the first thing usually to go. The body no longer needs food or water. To give these things to him now will do more harm than good. Forcing him to drink could cause aspiration into the lungs.

Your grandfather is dying. Your Mom needs to ask the wife if you can all come and say your goodbyes. Mom may want to ask why he can't be touched. Does it cause him some discomfort? In my opinion, a human touch is what he should have. But its wifes house, her husband, her rules. If you want to see him, I would be on my best behaviour.
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Reply to JoAnn29

SgtSarah, could be your grandfather's wife is carrying out his wishes. Maybe he prefers no one sees him in that condition. And if someone does visits and let's say tries to hold his hand, afterward he may become upset for hours on end which leads to more work for his wife.

I would respect her wishes. This is also very tough on her seeing the love of her life slowly fading away. It is very exhausting for her physically and emotionally.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to freqflyer
SgtSarah Oct 11, 2021
I can tell you those would not be his wishes. We have always been a very close knit family and he does better when family comes to visit. He was married to the love of his life for 53 years before my grandmother passed away. His wife has always tried to keep his side of the family from coming to visit even before he was on hospice. He is always happier with family around. She doesn't care about his feelings she does her best to humiliate him by telling him he wears diapers in front of people. She is mean to him and talks down to him. She is not there to comfort him at all. She is not watching him fade away. She regularly goes on shopping sprees with her daughter. They leave him alone for hours. My mom calls to talk to my grandfather and she is never at home. She would like people to think that she is the loving wife but really she is just biding her time so she can sell their house and move on. I know it sounds hard to believe but she really is a hateful woman.
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