So my situation right now is that my grandmother is living with us for a while. For now it's a month or so until my grandpa gets out of the hospital. It may be a permanent arrangement if he is no longer mobile. She is 84 years old and goes to dialysis every other day. My husband has taken on the responsibility of being the driver as he is the only one in our house with a driver's license. Anyway our problem is that she won't budge when it comes to times. If she wants to go to the store or to her house to pick something up and she wants to leave at a certain time it's that time or else she throws a huge fit and gets really angry. She's demanding and right out mean. She even yells at us to wake up if she thinks we've been sleeping too long. Any sort of change in plans makes her really angry. She used to be so carefree and fun. I'm starting to wonder if she has the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's. It's really stressing everyone out and I want to find a way to talk to her but I'm not sure how to do so. Or what to say. I'm afraid she will get angry and say hurtful things or that I will hurt her feelings. But something has to change. My husband and I are ready to pull our hair out!!
I remembered when my Dad was living at senior living, I would ask him every now and then what could we do to make it better living that this facility? He really appreciated being asked, and he would smile that everything was fine, he loved living there. By asking such a question gave him a sense that we had cared.
Therefore, ask Grandma how can you help her make her life better living with you all.... see if she would confide in you.
She may be very worried about her husband and what is going to happen in the near future.
If Grandpa can not come home...and I mean to their home not yours...I suggest you look for Assisted Living facilities that will take both your Grandma and Grandpa. This way they will be together.
It is possible that your Grandma is showing early(?) signs of dementia but with the stress it may be difficult to tell.
By the way the reason for my ? mark at early is if your Grandma has not lived with you before or spent days with you before it is possible that in a few hours of visiting you may not have noticed some of the same attributes that you are pointing out now.
Placing both Grandma and Grandpa in an AL will allow them both to remain in a familiar location if one or the other needs Memory Care or even more advanced medical care.
If you think having both move in with you would be the "right" thing to do imagine living with what you are living with now but X2 and with the possibility of more medical care needed.
You are being rude, impatient and unrealistic. We are trying to help you and want peace in our home. I need you to change you behavior."
Best wishes to all of you. This is tough.
Compassionate5 is right: Do not be afraid to have a one-to-one discussion with her when you can nobody is around to interrupt. Be clear, concise and make sure she understands your house rules while she is living with you. There will be shouting, but you can't avoid that.
Also investigate possibilities for Assisted Living and take Grandma to see the nearest facility while your Grandpa is still in hospital. Ask her what she would do if Grandpa came out of hospital in a wheelchair, and she had no transport to her dialysis sessions. Set out for her the different scenarios. If she is likely to stay on with you, she will have to follow your house rules, not you bend to her whims.
Here's what I have learned: Realizing that she needs to control whatever she can in her life, be aware of that and give her every opportunity that might arise to let her control something: it will be small but every moment counts. Whenever we go out to eat I let her decide where to sit, even if she can't make up her mind, or frustrates the person who tries to seat us. Also, she orders first. I often have to shout to the waitress to state my own needs because my mother takes over!
Know that you'll lose at this game almost every time but I think it helps Mom. Trying to please her is more of an exercise in futility but also compassion and letting go for me. After a while my own frustration and hurt is replaced by humor, which I have to keep bottled up and to myself when with her.
On holidays I ask her for advice: what does she want to do? Every holiday she is like the Scrooge: she hates it and can't wait til it's over. I try to trick her into having a good time!
Yeah, it's an awful struggle but I wouldn't want her living under my roof. That's the worst. Now for the boundaries part. Took me 5 years of agony and counseling to learn how to set boundaries with my Narcissist, Borderline, etc, mother. I had to overcome my infantile allegiance and fears from an abused childhood. Hopefully, your relationship isn't this way, but I can guess it's tough on its own terms. So what do you do?
1. Set up a schedule of when you are available and try to stick to that. She can look forward to that time and can feel like she is partner in controlling that part of her life. If you have to change it, ask her permission, or do something in the interaction that shows you respect this arrangement.
2. Don't let her forget that YOU too have needs and are important in your relationship. Sarcasm, and hurtful ways of getting this across is not the right way, of course, but we all know, it ain't easy to be honest and firm. The more they age the harder it is for everyone.
3. After an established routine that works for you and her, the other huge list of needs should be delegated to others: keep researching to find local helpers, drivers, companions. It took me years to let go of fear & guilt to keep affirming to my mother that other people can be part of her life too. I even deliberately did a lousy job to help her so that she'd rely on others: which she delighted in discovering. This resulted in the Angel someone else / Me the Demon game but at least it gave me part of my life back!!
4. The yelling part: again this took a long time to master but if Mom abuses me verbally or acts over the top I let her know that there will be consequences: right away. One time I was helping her move and she was horrible to me. I said, "I can't take anymore of this behavior. I'm leaving and we'll talk tomorrow."
5. Think love and boundaries, same as you would for a child.
6. Take care of yourself!!!!! Feel good about your efforts to love Granma under the circumstances. I would strongly forget having her under your roof.
Mom lives in a better place at 95, independent senior living: more or less affordable. I also relieved the whole relationship by taking care of myself and moving into affordable senior housing myself!
7. Believe that things will work out OK. We are all struggling for higher moral ground, to learn our lessons, and be as good human beings as possible. This is happening on individual scale, nationally, and globally. Probably even throughout the whole universe!
Have a happy holiday and find joy somewhere in it no matter who and no matter what!
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts. Bless you all.
Then medical evaluation...it's impossible to try get rational results from a mentally incapacitated person...try and you will feel like the crazy one...lol
Get support from this site..these are kind people who are where u are..it's kept me sane!
There are numerous reasons that could be the cause. Finding a solution may be best solved by talking with whatever health care professional she is seeing. Or perhaps help from some kind of a social agency. However I would pursue the answer from her general practioner and them guide you.
Most of all get some professional help and answers so you know how to handle this. It may an unreasonable length of time and you may not agree with the person making any decisions. However, it is a place to start.
Welcome to the world of old age which none of us have really been trained for.
I wish you luck in finding help and then the fortitude and courage to continue this journey. It may be not - that is also a decision.
god bless you,
Firstly, being "cranky" does not mean being permanently in a bad mood. It is usually a temporary cross reaction to an immediate disturbance and it can dissipate as quickly as it has arisen. Living with constant pain can make gentle people pretty cranky; my father was war-wounded before I was born, penecillin was not available in the Far East to stop his osteomylitis, and walking was difficult for him for the rest of his life. When pain hit him, he would yell like a sergeant major drilling troops on a huge playground. When the paracetemol kicked in, he went back to his usual loving self. I adored both selves. It was he who introduced me to the word "cranky".
I also said that it is normal to encounter crankiness with old age. You may be too young to notice that becoming old means becoming invisible in society. Old age often get pushed aside, ignored at shop counters, told to hurry up when dealing with cash machines, and yes with aching hips and joints they do have to stand up in buses, metro and trains when fit young people are seated fiddling on their smartphones and studiously ignoring them.
When she was still well enough to converse, my 85 year old friend described to me exactly how she felt when getting herself and her bad back out of bed each morning. But until her accident aged 73 she was doing yoga every day.
Yes, I have found that crankiness tends to increase as people get older, not just because they have more aches and pains but also because the gestures of help (like opening doors, lifting filled shoppers onto buses, getting down packets from high shelves) that used to be encountered as "normal" are often lacking in modern narcissistic society. That sparks irritation, and irritation crankiness. My crankiness has definitely increased over the past decade as I approach 70. Lecture over.
All I can advise you from my own experience is just don't cater to her demands. Every time she starts acting up like you're describing, just don't take her, just cancel the trip and do something else. Sooner or later she will get the hint
My mother-in-law responded to the calm telling her that when she ...(her behavior), I felt hurt. She wasn't being fair. Of course all are different. Good luck, and be kind to yourself.
So this is a tight walk to show respect and also protect him while trying to keep myself undestanding. I can only equate it to raising a brain damaged child. They are not bad - they are doing the best they can. Then I get my head on straight - take a deep breath and remember the friend he has always been for me. All I can say is that I understand and hope that you will find a way to handle the situation as it is.
I also go to bed every night thankfull that I do not have that problem - shall I say yet?? Also hoping that my children will have the same patience and understanding if this would happen to me.
I am writing because I hear your frustration and undernderstand. I hope you can find a way of dealing with it. It is not going to change.
Please know that you are not alone in experiencing this