Abusive grandmother. What do I do?

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Hello. I've been trying to find answers and help for my issues for a while now, but with not much luck. My story is a long one, but I'll try to explain the situation in short. My father has always been taking care of his mother, despite her having another son (whose daughter she's also raised because he didn't want her). She's always been manipulative and controlling, always trying to keep him away from me and my mother as much as possible. January of last year, she had to come live with us, since she is 82 and the house she's been living in has deteriorated. The problems started immediately: she doesn't maintain personal hygiene whatsoever, she doesn't even wash her hands after going to the bathroom, she smells horribly because she refuses to bathe (none of that is new, she's always been like that), the whole house smells awful. If she pees her underwear she puts it on the heater to dry. At the dining table she moans and farts and complains about the food. All she ever does is talk about illness or other people's business, she has no interests or hobbies whatsoever. She demands to be taken to the ER for every little pain she has, it's gotten so bad my dad took her 15 times in a month. She's driven the doctors and the nurses at the ER mad. I also suspect she's addicted to her sleep and pain meds, and we've also found alcohol hidden under her bed. She doesn't let us clean her room because she's afraid we'll take whatever she may be hiding. If confronted with any of the issues (we mustn't even ask her to wash her hands), she'll throw a fit. She emotionally blackmailed my dad by saying she'll leave the house and he'll find her dead. She talks on her cellphone all the time, complaining to the rest of the family and telling them every single detail that's happened in the house that day. When she hears the postman, she runs to the street so she can take our mail before we get to it. She abuses the neighbors as well, to the point people are locking up into their houses when they see her walking down the street. She gets up in the morning, unlocks the door to the house and then goes back to bed so her friends can come on over without knocking. She can't walk very well anymore, but still insists on going outside, which results in her falling every time (she broke her shoulder a month ago, and today she banged her head). She doesn't listen to anyone. Two months after she moved in with us, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and she made that last year of his life even more of a living hell. She acted like he's not sick at all, demanding he takes care of her in all the ways he did before. He begged her to leave him alone a bit, he was in pain, but she had no mercy. She said she has every right to do whatever she wants to him, because she gave birth to him. My dad lost his fight three months ago, and now she's worse than ever because she's lost her slave, she has no one she can torture 24h a day, and there is no one who can keep her under control (he couldn't do much, but as little as he could it meant a lot). I live on the second floor and my mum has moved temporarily to the second floor to another apartment as well, since it's emotionally draining to spend time in the room my father has suffered so much in. She screams during the night and bangs with her cane on the ceiling, even though she knows full well I have to get my son to preschool in the morning and my husbands has to get up for work. If my son goes to the yard to play, she pulls out a chair, puts it in the middle of the yard and then screams that my son will accidentally kick her with a ball (she did that before as well). She yells at my son to come and put her in a diaper and will repeat that over and over despite being told not to (she's fully capable of going to the bathroom, but wants a diaper every night). I've been a wreck since my father died and after everything she's been doing to him for the past year I find it extremely stressful to be around her so I avoid her (I've been having chest pains and neurodermatitis so my doctor suggested I avoid stress as much as possible). She manages to stress me out just for the brief time I spend serving her a meal. She's also been verbally abusive to my mother since she got married to her son, but now it's gotten much worse. She's also been going around and telling lies about her being starved and asking for neighbors to call the police. If she's bored she climbs up the stairs and starts banging on my door, yesterday she didn't even knock, she just tried to break them down. We've been told there's nothing we can do about any of that. She made a contract with my dad 15 yrs ago so we can't put her in a nursing home. Her other son turns off his phone when she calls him, so he's no help either. We're not allowed to lock her in, but when she goes out she falls and my mum has to get off of work to go with her to the hospital in another city. I'm just so lost, I feel like I'm going to go mad..what do I do?

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can you hire a part-time caregiver to help take care of her for a few hours in the evening so she leaves you alone? if she had someone to sit and keep her company, even for 3-4 hours in the evening, you and your family could have your evening meal and spend time together without interruption.
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I'd send her to,the ER the next time she injures herself and tell the dr than she can't come home you are unable to take care of her . Make them keep her till they find her a Long term care bed. Do not accept her back I'm a RN I know people do it all the time
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OMG thank you so much for your post. I am so sorry for laughing as I read about your problem. The old saying that "there is always someone worse off than yourself is so true". I thought my mother in law was terrible but she is an angel compared to your grandmother. My advice to everyone with a similar problem is THE KIDS COME FIRST. I know it is not easy with all the emotional blackmail,guilt trips, etc. but if you can't get the person to move out then move out yourselves, buy a RV, whatever, just go and get a life. I think the problem is we think we have an obligation to put up with this type of situation and as a result the old person becomes abusive because nobody gives them a good slap and tells them to STFU because "we have to respect our elders".
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What you say about Croatia isn't true. I work with two men from Croatia. They informed me of the Civil Obligations Act which specifically says that legal obligation of a contract ends on death. And that a third party can agree to continue the contract in the place of the person who has passed, but only through the creation of an addendum to the contract. Without the addendum...there is no more contract once one of the parties dies. I think you need a better legal adviser in Croatia.

My feelings on the rest of your post are similar to others. You are in this situation by choice. This woman is cruel and you should not help her (enable her) to act like she is any more.

Angel
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Typo -- I'd advise Mom to refuse to go to the hospital with MIL.

And I'd advise you to stop serving meals to her. And definitely let her put her own depends on. But in this country I cannot imagine any kind of real estate deal that involves a contract that promises lifetime services from the descents of the person making the contract. In the US there is no way you can be bound by a contract you had no part of. If my father made a contract with his mother that after his death his wife and his daughter would be responsible for is mother's health care we'd ignore the whole thing with no legal consequences. So I just don't understand your circumstances.
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Again, we don't know what the rules are in Croatia. Here I'd advise someone to call the police while Gram was trying to break the door down or exhibiting other dangerous behaviors. Here a person who is a danger to herself or others can be held in a hospital for observation for 3 days. I have no idea how it works in Croatia.

Why does your mother have to take off work when Gram falls? Is that in the contract? Here I would advise Mom to let the ambulance take Gram to the hospital and also firmly refuse to take her home from the hospital. But, of course, I've never heard of the kind of contract that is legal in your country.

She wants your preschool son to put her in a diaper?! That is insane. Keep your child away from her near bedtime, and as much of the rest of the time as you can. Can you take him to a park to play, and let her sit in the middle of the yard alone if she cares to?

How is your husband putting up with all this?

dunnowhat2do, people from several different countries post here, and we typically know how things work in our own cultures and within our own legal systems. I know that you are not asking for legal advice, but sometimes what you can do depends a lot on where you are.

For example, can Mom be forced to take off work and accompany her MIL to a hospital in Croatia. That is what I would advise her to do, but I have no idea what would happen where you are.

Why can't you and your husband afford to move out with your child? Are you disabled and unable to work? I have no idea what the economic conditions are in Croatia.

Why do you serve her meal? Is that in the "contract"?
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Thank you for all of your responses, I appreciate it. I wasn't really thinking about asking for legal advice on here, and it wasn't what I expected to get, I was mainly posting here in an attempt to find out how to deal with her behavior. My mother is dealing with all of the legal stuff, however the contract is formal and legally binding. My grandmother talked my dad into signing it under the pretense of protecting him from his brother who'd come and ask for half of the house once she dies. Now my dad is gone, my grandma cannot stand my mum and I getting the house (although my parents built it with their own resources). During the past 20 yrs my grandma sold everything she's inherited from her parents, all of the land and the house she had, she spent it on buying the best wines and cooking the best food, dozens of family members and neighbors spent their days at her place eating and drinking. She gave some land and quite a bit of cash to my uncle, asking nothing in return.

You say she is mentally ill. If so, could she be hospitalized? She is dangerous to herself and to those around her. I would actually move out temporarily, but right now I can't afford it.
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I don't think it likely that someone on this forum can give you legal advice for Croatia. I suggest the your mother seek legal advice about the "contract" she "inherited."
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Some things are universal....she sounds mentally ill. I do not know what resources are available to you but you either need to get her in a home, or move out of hers. There is no "contract". Please move on for your health and that of your son.
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jeannegibbs - I live in Croatia.
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