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Would it be traumatizing to bring a 14 month old baby to a nursing home to see a dying relative?

Okay, it sounds like a stupid question but my parents are really against my bringing my daughter to meet her uncle. He's in a nursing home now and will not live long. (Long story why they haven't met.) Is there something wrong with bringing a toddler to a nursing home? Would I be irresponsible to expose her to that situation?

Update:

samantha and thehotdogbun, thanks. both of your answers made me laugh at loud. samantha, no his skin isn't dripping off but he has lots of tubes. the hotdogbun, she's pretty tame for a 14 month old. rarely does she go into banshee mode in public if I can help it.

Update 2:

ronb48146, are you insane? thanks for your uber keen insight and detective work. your barstool is getting cold, better get back to work, cretin.

Update 3:

By the way, I only mention that my parents are against it because they've been there and they don't think it's a good idea, NOT because my parents are pressuring me in any way not too. It's just their opinion. They say it's a nice home but they think she might be scared.

Update 4:

PLEASE READ! My parents are not trying to tell me what to do or think. I asked their opinion. They will support anything I do and know that I am a great mom. It's as simple as this...I have never been inside a nursing home. All of my relatives/friends have died at home or in hospitals. I am not sure if the atmosphere is unsettling.

23 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I used to do volunteer work, visiting an Alzheimer's patient in a nursing home-- WITH my son (from age 6 mos to 14 mos). He loved it, actually, and everyone in the center thrived on his energy. She's actually the perfect age for it- old enough to play to a crowd and to be out-growing stranger anxiety, and still young enough not to mind sitting in a stroller or being passed around from relative to relative. Just keep the visit short (20-30 mins), and if your daughter starts to look irritable or tired, make your excuses and leave ASAP. The nurses WILL ask you and your girl to leave if she becomes unruly. However, they will also try to take advantage of the opportunity to lighten up the mood of the whole ward. On your way in and out, just roll around the halls for a couple of minutes, to allow some of the residents see her and play with her a minute.

    The atmosphere in a nursing home can be a little "thick", but as a mom, you'll not find anything too unpleasant to manage. Mostly "diaper smells", and a lot of sad old people sitting around in wheelchairs, drooling on themselves. I'm not being sarcastic in any way; the most discomfiting part of the facility is the fact that it reminds you of your own mortality, and that it shows that life isn't always pretty. Just go in there with a smile on your face, and try hard to leave with one. Your uncle will remember that little face right to his last moments, and it WILL be worth it to visit.

    Source(s): www.seniorsmiles.org
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  • 1 decade ago

    I think taking her would be a wonderful thing! If she's afraid, just keep her close to you. Like another responder said, it would be such a joy for the uncle and the other residents to see her. If you think about it, the average nursing home resident doesn't look near as strange as some of the characters little kids watch on tv or movies (tellie tubbies, sponge bob, etc). The most scary thing about nursing home residents (to a young child) is the wheel chairs. Besides exposing her to the elderly early in life may give her a love and respect for them; something there's not enough of these days. Go ahead and take her. When her uncle passes, you don't want to have regrets.

    Source(s): mom to 4 and I have worked with children for 18 years
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  • 1 decade ago

    Your daughter would not understand much about her uncle dying and death part of it. But It may be nice for her uncle to meet his niece before its to late for him to meet so for him I would take her along if only for a short time as your daughter may get a little restless after awhile and could be upsetting to others in the nursing home. so no I don't think it would be wrong it would give her uncle a chance to see her and that would be a good thing

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  • 1 decade ago

    I say bring your daughter. I'm sure her uncle will get a kick out of seeing her before he dies. Just make sure she's rested and fed before you go so she doesn't go into complete meltdown while there. And if she does, excuse yourself, and make an effort to come back later without her. A lot of older people love little kids, and there are a lot of them in care centers and rest homes that have no one, or no one comes to see them. So she'd probably brighten someone else's day as well. Just don't bring her when your parents are there since they're so against it. =)

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  • jidwg
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I think you are a loving and concerned mother and a very compassionate human being. Taking your toddler to see her dying uncle would be a loving act and will not hurt her in any way. She is too young to understand death and from my experience it should prove to be a very positive experience for her because most nursing home residents love to see babies and she will see lots of smiles. That said, by all means take her to see him as it will give him great comfort and joy in these last days. More parents should take their children to visit the elderly in nursing homes as it can help them learn compassion and respect.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No! Will they allow you to bring your 14 month old in his room? If so I think there's nothing wrong with that. I think the thing that would be traumatizing is your parents making the big fuss.

    I personally don't think it is being irresponsible, but that's me. Your the one that has to make that choice and live whatever choices we sometimes make. Think about it. Take care

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  • 1 decade ago

    No it is not wrong to bring your baby to see your dying uncle. For one she's not going to remember it or even know what is going on. I find it amazing in our society that the ONE thing that is going to happen to everyone (death) we don't want to talk about or let anyone experience the loss of a loved one. I say do what makes you feel good about the situation. Don't let anyone else dictate to you what you should or should not do/feel.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It will be traumatizing for the residents of the nursing home, 14 month olds are loud and irritating. Don;t shatter the serine last momnets of someones life with a wailing banshee of a child.

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  • Justme
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The child will have no understanding whatsoever as to what is going on and it will probably mean a lot to your uncle. At 3-4 they won't even indersand. Kids don't understand death at that age. My counsin lost her suster at 3 and she didn't understand it. Bring the child if it means that much to you.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think it would be fine. The 14 month is too young to remember. Besides it might cheer your uncle up to see a baby before he dies.

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