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I am truly struggling and don't know where to begin. I am the only family member involved in the care of my grandmother. I lover her more than words. Her and my grandfather raised me. I will be forever greatful. Throughout my childhood, my grandmother has gone through many emotional struggles. Sadly, she no longer has contact with two of her children and limited contact with the other. I do the best I can. She lives about an hour away, but I call daily and visit her every weekend. It's a bit overwhelming with two young children and a full-time teaching career. I try very hard. The challenge is her attitude. She is nasty to the doctors and resents anyone who reaches out to her. She is beginning to spend our entire phone conservations belittling me and balking at any suggestions I have. I am sympathetic to what she is going through, but I am a nervous wreck and the situation is taking its toll on me. I know that may sound selfish, but I am completely exhausted. She lives in a small apartment and is receiving assistance a few days week. But of course, in her head the people who help are awful. I encourage her to talk to other people, but in her head they are nosey and wants nothing to do with them. She spends 90 percent of her day being bitter and miserable. Slowly, I believe she is experiencing episodes of dementia. She thinks things are happening that aren't and argues that they do. If I try to explain things to her I'm a liar. But would never recognize it. I am at a loss. Can anyone offer a bit of wisdom or advice?

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I agree that arguing with her about anything is useless and will only drive you crazy. If she thinks things are happening around her but you know they're not, it's the dementia and she can't be talked out of it so just ignore it. If she says the sky is orange then it's orange.
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If the negativity came on suddenly she may have a urinary tract infection. Could be another infection, but UTI's are very common in the elderly and mood altering.

But many elderly become cruel and impatient. They feel entitled to everything. Could be she is developing dementia. Just imagine how frightening that would be to know something is wrong with your brain. If it is dementia arguing and correcting will not help, only make her more agitated. If it is not important, let it go, not worth the stress it would cause you. You cannot argue or rationalize or explain to someone with dementia. Waste of time and energy.
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Sanibel, this is a road traveled by many people when they get old. They often push people away, instead of joining in. They often start feeling bitter to the people who are there for them and push them away, too. I don't know why many people do this when they get older, but they do. Was it her negativity that pushed her children away?

I wish someone would invent a happy pill for older people who are going down the negative road. I don't think there is a cure for it except to be around other people, who unfortunately are not there. We caregivers can listen and try not to get pulled into the negativity. We can make suggestions, like talking to the doctor about depression or socializing more, but unless we're there with them they can choose not to act on our suggestions.

You aren't alone. Many people become very self centered and negative when they get older. It can be exhausting to listen to. I'm glad that you are calling her, but it's okay not to be pulled into the pit with her.
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