Taking care of my bitter, nasty grandmother. Any advice?

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My 78 year old grandmother who has a bunch of health issues that have been problems for her almost all her life and as long as I can remember. Her main issues of concern are her diabetes.
She has been a piece of work most of my life. Playing favorites with me and my sister (favoring me) and mind games with my father (She is my paternal grandmother) and uncles for as long as I can remember. She is manipulative, controlling and a general pain in the butt. 2 years ago my uncle who was living with her died and she was by herself. My other Uncle (from now on I’ll refer to him as UK) who lived close was driving over and looking in on her every day and taking care of her as best he could. UK however, has severe mental health issues and a really bad temper (it runs in the family). So, when she kept ending up in the hospital for one issue or another, the doctor said she could no longer live by herself. My mother has been taking care of my father for the past 3 years after he suffered a cerebral aneurysm which has left him permanently disabled so she could not possibly take care of my grandmother and with my uncles mental health he was not an option. After looking into ALF facilities we quickly realized any place with decent care was out of her price range…so my husband and I decided to move her in with us.
We were able to move from our two bedroom apartment to a beautiful 3 bedroom house. My grandmother helped pay the down payment and we agreed on $1000 dollars a month to help with the bills. Anyways to make a long story short; things were good for a while…however, it’s been about 11 months now that she has been living with us and we are completely fed up. Her attitude has progressively gotten from bad to worse. She has become demanding, critical of everything I do, (like how I make her food, to how I raise my 4 year old daughter) and is constantly going against doctor’s order regarding medication and foods she can and can’t eat and such. She argues with me constantly about stupid things and gets frustrated when she tries to tell me something, but I can’t understand her because she has left out important details regarding the subject of the conversation.
She refuses to take care of herself in the little things that she is still capable of doing, like getting up and getting a glass of water and getting her own bowl of cereal. When I don’t watch her like a hawk, she sneaks in the kitchen and eats foods she knows is going to send her sugars up (like a soda…not her diet ones) and when I confront her on it, she just smirks and shrugs her shoulders and ignores me. Her doctors are always trying to get me to go to nutrition classes on what to feed her and how much proportions to give her…when we have changed the WHOLE families’ diet to fit her needs…yet she will still get in the kitchen and eats things she isn’t supposed too.
To add onto the frustration I am 7 months pregnant and having a difficult pregnancy. My grandmother is constantly saying manipulative and underhandedly hurtful things to me regarding my weight (even if I am pregnant) my disciplining of my 4 year old and other things. I feel like I am dealing with the most difficult child ever. To bombard the situation UK has decided that since he lives close to our cleaning lady (she comes once a week to help out around the house, since I can’t do IT ALL) that he will pick her up every Friday and bring her, meaning he is here all day long from 10am to 5pm. He comes in takes over either the PS3 (meaning my bedroom) or sits on my laptop all day looking info on one of his stupid video games. The only way I can describe my Uncle is that he is like a black cloud…everywhere he goes he brings negative energy and bitterness, which rubs off on me, my grandmother and my daughter. After he leaves, I feel like I have been through an emotional ringer and I am SICK of it!!! They both are constantly ganging up on my daughter and telling how “when I was a kid I would never have acted that way” and with my uncle “my daughter never did that” mind you his daughter hates him and is completely estranged from him other than calling to ask for money from time to time. I am just completely at the end of my rope. I want to just cancel the cleaning lady so I don’t have to have my uncle over anymore (I’d rather clean my whole house from top to bottom than deal with UK’s CRAP) and tell my grandmother to stay in her room (which is pretty cushy if you ask me, cable tv, large screen tv, has her recliner in there next to her bed…etc.)
I’m so tired of this and there is more I could say but I’ve probably ranted enough. I’m just a loss and needed someone to listen to me. I’m completely non-confrontational with regards to my elders so this has been one of the hardest things for me to do in my life.
I just need advice or help in anyway I can. THANKS!

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You need to put your foot down NOW with grandma. You have allowed her to manipulate you for quite some time now. It is your house - she is a guest living in part of it. It is not true that there are no other places to go. There are always other options out there. As others pointed out, she could live another 10 or more years. Do you really want to have to put up with her crap all that time?
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I made a mistake in suggesting having our GM take care of a bird…Better choice might be a plant or possibly a goldfish. After reading your story again, I don't think GM is interested in care for a living pet. That said, I emphasize that the need to feel NEEDED, valued, Important in some way might mellow her out a bit.
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WOW! What a tangled mess to cope with. But I see a glimmer of hope. I think your GM will respect you more and more if you continue to ASK for her to say please, to speak softly to you, to have a bit more patience etc. She sounds like a woman in emotional pain that she does not know how to cope with. Perhaps she needs to feel needed and valued a little bit. Could you, for instance, asks her for one of her favorite recipes?"Gee Gram, I remember how you once made great cookies ( bread, pot roast etc) could you tell me how you did that?" "Gram, how did you cope with having a new baby? Can you give me a few hints?"
I too am 78, and a gramma, but can still live independently. HOwever, I recognize in myself those moments when I wish someone needed me. This is why I have two dogs and a cat. And I have told my own kids this and they have promised to call me at least every other week…which they now do. And my eldest, who is a chef, has actually asked me for the recipes I used to make when he was a kid. I e-mail them and I don't care if he really tosses them out, it's the asking that I cherish!

Does your GM like cats? How about a pet bird? Just for her to care for?
You must, for your sake and your soon-born baby, must stand up to UK and tell him in no uncertain terms that you NEED him to take his mother OUT. He can tell her that he NEEDS, MISSES her company etc.etc. and wouldn't she love to help him choose cupcakes or meat for supper as they grocery shop together?
It would be great if you COULD put her in a senior living home but until then, they, ever-so firmly but gently to make her feel valued - Look at old photos - "Gram YOU must remember who this was…I'll write it down so your great-grandkids will know."
Can she knit or crochet r sew? Most senior centers have a way of donating blankies or hats for sick kids in hospitals.
Your Gram is old enough ( as I am) to remember how our own others knit for the soldiers in WWII. Socks, mitts, caps. She might give you money to buy yarn…
Good luck and keep your feet up as often as you can but keep your spirits up too for the sake of your baby.. Feel free to VENT…better than keeping it inside. Just pound on some bread dough -"What's that recipe, GM?"
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You have a lot on your plate, husband, a child and one on the way, GM, UK and a needy housekeeper...are there resources in your area that can help you develop a care plan, like Social Workers at the hospital or Senior Center? Your first priority is to the child you are carrying, stress can have an effect on the baby, not just you. I care for my husband with Alzheimer's, so caring for a parent or grandparent will be a bit different in perspective. Talk with YOUR doctor about how to help you process your frustrations, anger and stress. Take time for yourself and time for your husband and child to spend alone doing family things, multi-generational living arrangements must be tough, I never had aging parents or grandparents to deal with, loving your GM is not the issue, endentured servitude is, you are not a slave to her needs...caring for a four year old and a GM who behaves like one will take it's toll on all evolved. Look for resources in your area that can provide structured actives for GM with supervision and ability to handle her needs, get her out of the house a few days a week...take care of you first or you won't be able to care for anyone, do it before baby comes, so routine is in place, things are gonna get more complicated. God bless you all...
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You have to take care of yourself first. You made a deal with the devil, so to speak, by letting her live with you.

I have read many books about selfish parents and there is a story one psychologist used I really love. It is the story of the well.

You go to the well and you get a drink of water, you get really sick. You think, "I will go back and drink from a different cup", you get really, really sick. You think, "I will drink while standing on my head", you get really, really sick.

The point is, your Grandmother is not changing but she will make you really, really sick. Don't let her. Find other living arrangements for her. It will be impossible to correct her faults and I am sure she doesn't even see them or care.

I know people like this, I have lived with people like this. They never change.
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Glad to hear Im not the only treated like a servant by an elderly parent or grandparent. Im so happy to hear you stood up to your grandmother. Alot of people are suggesting hiring a caregiver, however, this may not stop your grandmother from being a pain unless you have a caregiver who is on the same page as you and really helps keep her busy and out of your hair. Otherwise you will have 2 problems on your hand. I know how difficult pregnancy is I could never deal with caring for an elderly loved one on top of it plus having a four year old ..YIKES.
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My aunt treated me the same way. That's just who she was. I finally git tired. Hired a caregiver and went back to work. Our relationship improved drastically.
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Can you afford to have someone come in and help you with her. If so I think that will take alot off you. Hire her a caregiver. My aunt did me the same way. And she also gave me 1000 a month. But I went back to work and hired.a caregiver. The best thing I could have done
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It seems you had some idea of what you were facing when you began this journey. What avenues are available to you for some respite? Do you go the the women's bible study group and get out.? Seems like GM can stay alone a bit.
Can you take our little one to a play group a couple times a week?
Can GM go to daycare? Of course she doesn't want to, but if she wants to stay it can be a condition.
Can you make your bedroom off limits to UK and GM with your husband to back you up. I don't see much mention of him in your posts.
Can you rearrange your home for more separation of living areas?
Older people sometimes won't do things for themselves because they feel or use the excuse it isn't their house. They want to be treated or feel they need to be treated like a guest.
I haven't had an older relative move in but have had other relatives and friends live with us. I've learned it is problematic if everything is not clearly defined.
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"If you really want advice, mine would be to move Gramma OUT. Your children and your marriage need to be your top priority. The fact that GM is only 78 means she may need care another 10 or even 20 years. Are you prepared to have this unruly child in your house through your own children's schooling?"
I will totally agree with jeannegibbs. Move her out to a senior house.
Take care,
Maria.
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