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Mom wants overnight guests-ARGGGGGGGGGGGGH!-I AM FRUSTRATED

Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

this is frustration of a caretaker. My mom invited my irresponsible, inconsiderate relatives to the house for overnight visit, where they will be using "her" bathroom. They are loud and broke. I asked them to stay in a hotel and they effectively ignored me last time and came down. She is in the middle of chemo! I told them to feel free to come stay in a hotel and visit during the day so we could keep her space sanitary.


a)I go and guard the door with a shotgun?
b)Take out a legal restraint?
c)Fill in the blanks.


P.S. The last time they came down they had her cooking fried fish for them and didn't contribute any money towards the groceries.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

My personal opinion?

Maybe Mom would like to see these people again; maybe she
enjoys things that you might not.

You're concerned about mom's health matters, and rightfully so,
but no caretaker should deny a patient's desires to have specific
visitors. You -can- do whatever is needed to keep mom comfortable
to her own desires, but as a caretaker, -your- desires will have to
take second place.

This is why having visiting nurses to provide aftercare is a good idea.

You're entitled to a life without aggravation, so you have to make
some choices.

If things were terrible, I would leave. Mom would have to care for
herself, or her visitors would have to do the job... or she would
have to ask for outside help.

That might sound cruel, but life is life, and a hostile environment
isn't good for you, or the patient.

I would draw that line and make it known, that -if- things get
to be too much for you to handle, you will have to leave for
the good of all concerned.

Sometimes what's best, isn't what sounds the most kindest.

Good luck.


karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

It sounds like the relatives are just a bunch of freeloaders.Does your mom really want to see them,or is it that she just can't say no.Maybe you should just leave while they are there,and let them take care of mom during their visit.And come back after they leave,and see how careing they are then.Leave a list of things for them to do while you are gone.Good luck.

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

These are not your favourite people at the best of times. Something about them must appeal to your mother or she wouldn't want to see them. I know I have become pickier about who I spend time with since I got cancer. If it is just one night, maybe you can make it through but set some guidelines. As for sharing a bathroom, I would say if your mom is okay with it I would try to be ok with it too; afterall, we do share bathrooms when we are out; even if it is just at the treatment centre. If they are staying longer, you may have to set boundaries with your mother - for example, "I can't stay here more than one night with Uncle Ned + Aunt Sue". This is of course, assuming you are living with your Mom; if not, just be around less while the relatives are there. Company can be good for us, as long as we don't get too tired out. If you can use these relatives to give you a break, you are making the best out of the situation. I would be honest with your Mom about your concerns, but first sort them out + make sure they are "real" + focus on the most important ones. Good luck!!!!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

of the Vacation movies with Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid as his brother-in-law. They came and stayed with them for a while.

I would TELL them (ya don't ask, ya TELL them) to either stay at a hotel or do not come at all.

But I have to ask, why did your Mom invite them or did they invite themselves? Is she "Old School" where you don't turn away people who are deadbeats even if they are related and/or unwanted? I would have a good long talk with your Mom and explain that since you are the caregiver, you should have some input into as to who is a house guest and what the rules are. Also, is your Mom REALLY in to having house guests while on chemo?

(otherwise I vote for A. You could load it with rock-salt)

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

I'm sorry you have all this on you. Perhaps, though, your mom really does want to see the family.

Is there another bathroom you can insist they use, so at least the bathroom for your mom will be kept very sanitary?


Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

The visiting nurse told us many many times that if anybody wants to visit,please say no because of the high risks of having infection during chemo.Remind your mom that if she really wants to see relatives,they can come just for a short visit,not a long stay.Don't put herself on high risks.After she finishes the treatments,she can still see relatives.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

That's sound advice too.

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

NO overnight in the house...and stock up on hand sanitizer.

Your mom may be in denial about wanting to know about this disease, but my onc put it really well....

"Someone sneezes, it's just a sneeze to them. To you, it's pneumonia!"

"Mom, you of course can do anything you want. But, as your primary caregiver, so can I. If you insist endangering your life with this (and this is NOT an overstatement...pneumonia kills cancer patients many times...), I can no longer stand by and watch". Put nicely, "It's my way, or the highway". A paid caregiver (nurse) would limit the visit to an hour, and, strangely, these people are listened to much more than loved ones are!!! Sigh....

Hugs, Kathi

christinecarl's picture
Posts: 545
Joined: Sep 2009

On one hand your mom should be able to surround herself with the people she chooses, she may feel that time is short (hopefully not) and that she needs to see people. I would just limit the amount of time you personally have to spend around them, help your mom but then leave or let them help her, unless you don't feel she is safe around them. This may be good for her, if she has a good bullsh*t detector, she will be able to see through them. That is one thing cancer does for you, separates those that are really there for you and those who are not. And you pretty much know right away who it which.

jararno's picture
Posts: 189
Joined: May 2010

Wow....tough call! I haven't had any houseguests in about 20 years as I learned to say NO!! We live in a tourist area...just great for those two week vacations where I became hostess, cook,laundress,tourguide and DOORMAT! I finally just said NO! I was "polite" enough to tell them I wasn't up to company which was true as I would have killed the next person who came for a visit!

Do these people actually "visit" with your Mother or do they play hotel guest??? Sounds like they don't listen at all! Unfortunately many people wouldn't dream of turning a guest away. I guess you could call them and tell them they cannot come...Drs Orders???

My oncologist really never set down any dos or don'ts regarding people, travel, germs, company etc... If your Mom is having infections or has an impared immune system then getting a doctor or nurse to set her straight might work.

Good Luck....Let us know what happens!


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geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

Sorry for the late reply. If mom invited these people it is because she wants to see them.

As a caregiver myself, the only thing I can add to the discussion is this, dont' let cancer consume your lives or the life of your mom. Your mom is in treatment like my George but you still have to keep on living, laughing and enjoying things. That is exactly what George and I do, we are no longer consumed with cancer, cancer, cancer. It takes a while but you will get there. Once you accept what has happened, know you have no control over what has happened, get competent doctors on board, you must just keep living and doing what you enjoy.

You can shelter your mom but please don't keep her isolated from the world. If mom wants to see these relatives and has invited them, please don't make them feel guilty for coming to visit. This visit, while annoying, may just lift mom's fighting spirit.

I sure hope this makes some sense. You may just have to grin and bear it.

Take care - Tina

Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks tina. I have no problem with them visiting , but feel they need to stay in a hotel.

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

It may be important to your mother to see them right now. If they cannot afford a hotel, is there anyone else in the area they can stay with?

If not, first ask her oncologist. If her blood counts haven't been bad, I'm pretty sure they'd say ok. Then the guests need to know that they cannot stay if they so much as think they might feel a cold coming on. And that a one-night stay is really all that can be chanced.

I had my mother stay with me several times, and my sister once. When they came it was for a week at a time. I do have my own bathroom which only my husband and I use. I had trouble with blood counts, but got a Neupogen shot each time which brought them up. I was still told to not go out in public places any more than I had to. I am glad my mother and sister did come stay with me and help out. But if they were expecting me to entertain or feed them, they would have been sorry they came...

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