Grandma's increasingly grumpy.

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I assist in caring for my fiance's 94 year old gma. For background, in February she was diagnosed with CHF and Rectal Cancer. She was in the hospital a week and rehab facility for almost 2 months. She is home now and we are noticing increasing grumpiness and some confusion. she will take a nap, and wake up and ask who the kids were that she saw standing in the next room. no kids were there. I understand the tiredness, but she is just increasingly grumpy. She snaps at us for disturbing her..and then snaps if we dont talk to her enough. She is on Prozac for anxiety and I am wondering if we need to up the dosage or if this is just what we will be dealing with. the other day in her crankiness she told me to do what I wanted becuase she was dead anyway. I constantly feel like we can't do enough or we are on borrowed time. It's frustrating.


i wouldnt dispute her hallucinations, she actually did see these kids and if you try to tell her otherwise your going to be as popular as joe stalin.
thankfully it wasn't me who disputed. It was her grandson. He's getting the grumpy aimed at him too. it's joyous all around! :)
i started out trying to correct some of my moms delusional ideals and pretty soon she got real tired of me telling her she was wrong. her brain says shes right and soon i become the naysayer, half wit and even enemy. in her more lucid moments she will voluntarily admit that shes seeing and thinking things that arent real.
It's true. What grandma sees, that's real to her. That's her reality.

But maybe she's grumpy because she's 94 and sick with CHF and cancer. I get grumpy if I have a cold. I think the grumpiness is to be expected. Be kind to her as I know you will and don't take it personally. Try to cheer her up on occasion (not too much though, you don't want to annoy her). What are her favorite treats? Maybe get her something she enjoys to eat but doesn't have too often. At 94 she's just the right age to appreciate big band music. ITunes sells it for .99 a song. Maybe put a CD together with some big band music. I made a CD for my dad once and it brought tears to his eyes. That I would do that and from the memories the music brought back.

I think grandma's allowed to be grumpy but I think you and your fiancée can think of some ways to cheer her up.
Wow I never thought that correcting them could set a tone for distrust of me later on, in my selfish mind I think I am helping but maybe not!!!!!!!!!!!

By questioning their reality are we the enemy???

just made me think of another quote I used to go to...."sometimes it is just better to smile and agree"
Acknowledge and move on - that's my motto where hallucinations are concerned, as long as they're benign. If they should start to get threatening or cause her any anxiety I'd put a call in to her doctor. An additional med or an adjustment to her existing ones might be in order.
I like Eyerishlass' idea about the CD! "Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast" can have a profound effect sometimes!
Juju - capn's got it absolutely right. Just like your quote about not being able to reason with unreasonable people...arguing requires logic - the ability to reason. Folks with dementia are no longer able to process things logically, so arguing with them is futile. May as well beat your head against a brick wall.
hev1128, discuss her irritability with her doctor. Possibly a change in dose or in specific medicine is in order. Or maybe not ... but it is worth bringing up. Also be sure her doctor knows that she is hallucinating.

Like Eyerishlass I get grumpy when I have the sniffles. People around me have simply learned not to take it personally, thank goodness.
What has worked for me in the past is to acknowledge that her life SUCKS because it does suck! Tell her directly that you love her, and that it's no fun to be stuck in bed, unable to go dancing, too weak to punch out the incompetents - that's you, sweetie! - who are supposedly taking care of her.

If I feel that others know how miserable I am, I cheer right up.
Jinx- I tell her all the time that I know I drive her crazy!

Eyerishlass- love the CD idea, but she isn't huge into music. She loves reading and puzzles (she's always been a bit antisocial). My fiance and I "compete" in helping her with puzzles. She gets a kick out of that at least. And her kindle is always charged/filled and ready for her.

And I empathize as much as possible- I can't imagine getting her diagnosis' and trying to continue on. And being able to feel myself deteriotate. I just want her to be comfortable and somewhat happy but it is really hard to help her with her grumpiness.

She is on Prozac for anxiety and I mentioned to my fiance about talking with her doc to see if we need to adjust the dosage.

Thanks for the feedback. This site has been great for me to see others in similar situations...though I don't see many situations like ours.
You are good to be taking care of Grandma. One more thought - I understand that you want her to be happy, and you do what you can. But maybe it somehow makes her feel better to be grumpy, and it's her choice. There's a saying something like "be responsible for your actions and don't attach yourself to the results." You cannot make someone feel good. Just love yourself and love your grumpy grandma and be at peace as much as you can.

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