My grandmother was a dark cloud on our lives before she was elderly, and now she is our responsibility. How can we take care of someone who's negatively impacted our lives so much?

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Living with an elderly person is not easy. My grandmother has just recently gotten ill but she has been mentally abusive to my mom and I for many years. Now that she's really getting old and losing basic abilities to care for herself, she expects us to take care of every little need, ordering us around and going into rages daily. She will purposely break anything that belongs to us, slam cabinets, and scream at us through our bedroom doors (and this was before her dementia got worse). She's recently lost the ability to control her bladder, and now we spend our days cleaning up after her. My mom is 61 and very tired as well as mentally exhausted from putting up with her abuse all her life. We don't have money to put her into a home (where she can get legitimate help) and have no money for the kinds of things she needs now (like medication and diapers). She was a dark cloud on our lives before she was elderly, and now she is our responsibility. How can we take care of someone who has negatively impacted our lives so much? It is NOT a "growing opportunity" for everyone.

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Top Answer
Does she qualify for Medicaid? If she does, then that will pay for her to be in a nursing home before she kills your mother and yourself. Have you had a home health nurse to come and evaluate the situation?
I agree with cmagnum, please look into Medicaid, if she is eligible you should be able to find a nursing home and save your sanities (both of you). Also, call your local Alzheimer's Assoc. I believe you may be eligible for a one time grant to help you get some help. But most of all, you will be my prayers. It is hard enough to care for someone who was good to you but your situation should qualify you both for sainthood. God bless you. You are not alone. hugs and kisses
Okay it's unanimous, get her the heck out of your house. Medicare/Medicaid is the way to go in this case. What the heck are we paying all these taxes for unless it's for this reason? Do it.
I agree that it sounds like the grandmother needs to be removed from the house for the sake of daughter and grand-daughter. However, my one question is "Whose HOUSE is it? -- the grandmother's, the daughter's or the grand-daughters?" If it is the grandmother's house and the daughter and grand-daughter have been/are living in it, this would complicate matters, wouldn't it? If it is the daugher's house, then it definitely seems unanimous thus far that Grandma should be moved out and supported by Medicaid. Whose house is it, sadlady2?
Also, please look into medication. There are low doses of anti-psychotics that will lessen the rages. Then, she might need an anti-depressant to lift her mood. My loving father became unbearable when his dementia set in. Now that we have him on a good mix of low-dose meds, he's a delight to be with most days. I realize that your grandmother was always difficult, but the right meds might help her become someone you can stand being around.
Sounds like a living nightmare. Nowhere is it written that you have to take physical or mental abuse from anyone, particularly a family member.
Also, Grandma needs humane treatment from experts who know how to treat her condition.
Start with your local office on aging and ask how to begin the Medicaid paperwork. I have also had good luck with the contacting the social workers at our local hospital.
If your grandmother has assets, like her home, they would have to be handed over to Medicaid.
The other option is to sell her home (if she owns one) to pay for private care until she runs out of money, then apply for Medicaid.
Good luck...take action soon.
Well to answer some questions, the apartment we live in is shared by us. I pay a small amount of the rent; my mom pays some of the rent and all the utilities; and my grandma pays about half the rent. So... that DOES complicate things because we can't really afford to move out. My mom just got laid off recently and can't afford a place on her own. I'm in college and can't work full time. If my grandma moves out we won't really have a place to live. We are waiting for a low-income apartment to come up but the waiting lists are years long.
Your living arrangement does complicate things. If you are relying on grandma for her financial input, you may just have to put up with the bad behavior until you can all get on your feet and live independently.
I hope your Mom finds a job soon, you graduate and get a great job, and grandma finds a nice place to call home. Remember, everything worthwhile happens in increments. Just do one thing a day that helps you reach your goals. That way, you will feel like you are moving forward.
good luck to you all
If she does not qualify for medicaid......medicate her and forget the guilt. Insist she wear depends or clean up her own messes. Never permit anyone to abuse you.
SadLady,
I truely think this is the hardest thing in life. To be in the position of having to take care of an abusive, manipulative, anger driven person, who has acted this out upon your and your mother's emotional well being, it brings forth the questions; Should I leave her to her own well being (do nothing?) or Do it anyway (take care of her) if only for duty's sake?
I have gone through this with my parents. It took some thought. I really have no 'great words of wisdom' on this. You have to follow your conscience and your heart, but in the end, there are only the two choices.

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