Emotionally exhausted.

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caregiver for my 81 yr old grandmother who can no longer live alone.(my mother,62, stays 4 nights a week at my grandma's , and I stay 3.) my grandmother has osteoarthritis and mobility issues. shes fallen several times.She can no longer get from the sitting position to a standing position on her own.Shes unable to bathe, and has basically given up on everything... everything except her self pity and emotional manipulation. My grandma has always been negative and hateful. she doesnt like anyone. After a recent hospital stay home health care workers and physical therapists were scheduled to see her 3 days a week. she was rude, uncooperative and signed waivers stating that she didn't want their care.This left all of the burden on my mom and me.At this point my grandma is so critical that I hate to cook or clean... or even TRY to do daily chores for her because she'll curse and say we cant do anything right. often complaining until we do it over. She turns every conversation into a pity party or a depressing conversation.My gran;dma wants ALL of our time dedicated to us sitting at her house and not have a life outside of her. If I'm on the phone talking to a friend she complains and makes me feel guilty .If I play a game on my phone she makes me feel guilty. And when its time for mom and I to switch off - one leaving so the other can go home to relax, my granma instantly starts being hateful to the one whos leaving.her excuse is because we "are able to leave the house and she cant.WE can have a life and she cant.We can go shopping and she cant. " She makes us feel like crap.and to top it off, we offer to take her to restaurants (she says no because she "dont want people seeing her all crippled up") we try to get her to sit in a chair with us out in the yard.She says no because the chairs might tip over.EVERYTHING we offer, she has an excuse. so we stop offering.It's so overwhelming. She wont attempt to shower and recently gave up on washing herself in the sink.She refuses to let us do her laundry (if u do it anyway, the consequences are her cursing and yelling) She's so inconsiderate.I feel horrible saying it.We cant go to bed at night until my grandmas in bed for the night.She will stay up till 2,3,4 in the morning and get up at 8 am.(again with a guilt trip if you say you're ready for bed.) My grandma also has 2 great grandsons who emotionally manipulate her out of her social security checks. (she raised them, so they learned from the best) one is 24 who lives out of state. he always calls wothea sob story (monthly) and shes sending cash in the mail.The other is a 28 yr old drug addict whos in prison (3rd stint) and he calls with his stories too. she sends him over a hundred a month.Plus 40$ because its Valentine's day,20$ because its saint particks day etc.These kids are milking her for her money .she refuses to stop. giving her money away cuts into my moms social security check (she picks up the slack) Im sorry I've gone on so long about her, but I dont see how anyone does this without losing their mind.My grannys always been mean and out of all her children/ grandchildren, my mom is the only child to offer help. all mom gets in return is criticism and hate. I hate being here anymore. Gram even talks mean about my children- who havent done anything to her. The guilt of being tired of pitying up with it is wearing me down.my religious beliefs tell me to care for widows.So guilt and anger have begun to rule me.There's no end in sight.She refuses to keep dr appts ,refuses to eat sometimes (to get her way) and I'm afraid that we will get accused of neglect.

8 Comments

Call Medicaid and get your grandmother qualified so that she can move into a continuing care facility... that way she can be with other women her own age and they can sit and complain about their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all day long :P It would make her feel so much better, and give you and your mother time to get back to your own lives.

She sounds like a perfect candidate for Assisted Living. They really improve with other people their own age to socialize with. We also took mom's checkbook away when she went to ALF and give her no more than $40 at a time, because the first month there she went through $600 cash and had no idea where it went. They just can't hang on to money when dementia sets in, and they want to buy affection from many relatives.
Agree with the above two posters. Why do you think that you and your mom should be caring for her? I'm not being sarcastic, I really want to know what motivates a person to give up a huge chunk of their life and livelihood for someone who is hateful in return, and who by all reports has been this way always.

Have you ever called granny on the stuff she dishes out? Has she ever been seen by a psychiatrist to treat her depression? You need to change the equation in this situation. Since the only person you can change is you that's where you need to start.
My grandma will scream curse and guilt us for days if we even MENTION a continued care facility. she says the only way she's leaving her house is when the coroner comes.in the meantime my mom limps around grams house with a cast on her foot and this continues on.Her controlling ways infuriate me.(Pity parties too-all day pity parties) My moms been looking for a glimpse of love from my grandma her entire life.Even recently my grandma told mom she never wanted kids and wished she didnt have any.Its really hard to accept the things i cant change abt my grandmother, and i kno my hearts not in it anylonger when its my turn to take care of her.shes not neglected, just so you know...but i feel as if i dont like her.the guilt is overwhelming.there are two aunts who have already washed their hands of the situation.Many many other family members as well.But not only does my mom cling to the hope my grandma will change her ways, but she dont know how to discuss the nursing home option with gram.We cant force her to leave her home.I feel mean for asking but what steps can we take? her dr dont discuss grams care with us, gram refuses any more dr visits FOREVER so the dr doesnt know of any declining health, and she even refuses to h:ve her medicare/ medicaid info so we can see whats covered.Were being held prisoner.its tearing up my moms relationship because my grandma just demands too much
The steps you take are to walk out the door. It's her house and she is sheltering way too many people.
Look for the posting by cmagnum today about emotional blackmail. Some very good thoughts in there, including the key idea that they don't change so you have to change how to respond.
OK. First step, grandma can curse you out scream yell or whatever and it no longer determines your decisions about how you care for her. She is not capable of caring for herself, and therefore, you can consider getting guardianship and having actual legal power to make those decisions for her. Mom needs to stop dreaming the GM will ever give her love or respect. If it hasn't happened yet it is not going to. She can see the doctor willingly or get taken to a geropsych unit. She can stop yelling and THEN you will care for her...you walk away to a nearby room until she is civil.

Realistically - yes, there are cases where people in your position have let the elderly person refuse all care and gotten nailed for neglect when complications ensue. She is not just being "inconsiderate." She is becoming a danger to herself and maybe others, for example, if her refusal to let you do laundry means stinking mildewed piles of stuff that will make you ill. Even though it sounds like her better judgement is absolutely gone, right now, she knows she can count on one of you to be there and maintain the status quo regardless of the care refusals and abuse she dishes out, so she keeps on dishing it out. Realistically, you know she can't be left alone, so your only out is to get legal or social services involved and put a stop to the behavior that is endagering her and you, both in terms of your mental health and the inability to fulfill the responsibility to see that she has care.

BOTTOM LINE: Grandma is not capable of being in charge anymore. She wants to be but she just isn't. Letting her stay in charge is a mistake when it comes to the responsibility to care for her. However difficult it may be to overcome your own emotions and her vitriol, someone with intact adult judgement has to step in and take over.
You need to treat Grandma like an unruly toddler...and put her in a "time out" by saying something like: "I am sorry you feel this way, but I will not be spoken to like this. I am going into the other room for xxx minutes and when you have calmed down we can talk about the plan for later."
As soon as she starts give her the "I'm sorry you feel that way" and remind her that the continued behavior is choosing to have you NOT help her. If she wishes your help she must behave in an appropriate manner...then tell her what that is.
I also agree about how her care (well lack of medical attention etc) could come back to bite you as "neglect".
Find a caregiver support group for you and your mom. What would happen if you guys were not there? Is she ever alone?
Good Luck! Strength to you.

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