My father-in-law is in his late 80's and we have been told he could have weeks to live. My husband and him had a strained relationship growing up but he always said he was the better of two parents (he compared it to taking Mussolini over Hitler). My father-in-law has always been against my husband getting married to anyone and has never cared for me. We were married a number of years before we had a child (over a decade) and he was rarely around, had girlfriends, traveled, gambled, did his thing.
When our daughter was born, he came to the hospital, never said one word to me but was nice to everyone else. He had little to do with us or our daughter and when my dad passed away, he thought he would begin to play grandpa. My daugthter was 15 months and would not warm up to him. As the years passed, we let her get to know her grandpa and after his girlfriend died, he wanted to be entertained, so he wanted to go out once a week. It finally got unbearable because all he wanted to do was scream the entire way about politics, that "N-word" President, how his doctor was rude to him and he wasn't going back, how he wanted to find old girlfriends and sports (which he knows we don't keep up with and care nothing about). He would rarely say anything to his granddaughter or claimed he just couldn't hear her (the child doesn't speak softely) because he can't hear well -- but refuses to get a hearing aid.
As he got out less and his temper flared more, occassionally she would go in and see him at his house.
Last year for his birthday, she got him a large standing plush heart. She was so proud of it and took it to him. He is moody and one day told my husband, "I have that damn heart thing away to one of those women (either a visitng nurse or cleaning help). I almost tripped and just gave it away. Hope she isn't upset, but well -- if she is, she can just get over it!"
Well, my daughter found out the heart was given away and she didn't understand why her grandpa just couldn't move it instead of giving it away. Needless to say, she is hurt and says she doesn't really want to be around him much.
He has had anger/mental issues for as long as my husband can remember. He spent time in two mental facilities during WWII while in the military, he had a lobotomy, his first wife divorced him because she was physically abused and he gave up custody of his daughter, he has had restraining orders issued against him as well as having to retain a lawyer for a bar fight while drunk. Compared to his earlier years, he has calmed down, so to speak.
He does not wash his hands after using the bathroom, does not want to shower because "it will mess up his feet with sores from diabetes" and the cleaning ladies have said they have found soiled clothing and items shoved behind bedroom dressers, etc. My husband said that is typical behavior for him.
Yesterday, he called my husband and as he walked into his house, he found his dad with a gun to his stomach saying he was going to kill himself. Now social services/hospice/etc. are getting involved.
We have kept our daughter away from him because we are concerned about the cleanness of him, the house considering he soils things and has open sores on his legs (which he refuses to let the nurses wrap all the way). We are also concerned about his mental stablilty. His nurse feels like he may have weeks left, but it is anyone's guess.
There are people who would think we should let our daughter be around him, especially in what may be his last days and that it would be wrong to keep her away. She is 8. We are concerened due to infections (he is currently infected in his legs) and about his mental state.
Have you limited a grandchild's contact with their grandparent due to issues like this? Even though he cares nothing for me (has made it clear), I have no desire to keep his grandchild from him (especially in his last weeks/months) but I also do not want my young child infected or harmed (even emotionally). My husband already contracted an infection from him many years ago, so I am already paranoid.