The boundaries I have set with Grandmother are not working anymore. What should I do?

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Ever since my Grandmother had her knee replacement, she has gotten a lot more frail. She complained on and off for two years about her eyesight and wouldn't make an appointment to get her eyes checked. Finally, my mom made an appointment for her and insisted that she go. Insisted isn't quite the word but picked her up and said that she was going. Turns out she had cataracts that my mother suspected she had. Grandma won't do anything about them and I am quaking in my boots about what's going to happen when she goes totally blind and still says that she can drive. Grandma has started up (again) with the calling me and my parents to do things for her. I keep telling her that I will be over on Wednsday at this time for 4 hours and I will help her with grocery shopping and some light cleaning but she has to figure out her doctors appoinments and her money. I've set boundaries of I am not ordering her this, that and the other thing, I will be over on Wednsday at 11 and we will be doing grocery shopping and if she needs a couple other things (her favorite perfume, clothes) we can do that. Yes, I will mow the lawn and throw a load of laundry in your washer but I cannot fix your electrical or plumbing problems, find an electrition or plumber to fix them. She is competent and can manage her affairs but I'm tired of her wanting me to drive almost an hour to change a lightbulb or get her a gallon of milk. Her doctor isn't happy with her because she is refusing to go to physical therapy because she has lost quite a bit of mobility, even with a knee replacement and she did the physical therapy afterwards. My response was to her, instead of sitting around 24/7 watching Fox News and not eating enough, what do you expect? I told my grandmother to get off her butt, get her eyes fixed and do the physical therapy. Otherwise, you will end up in a nursing home. She looked at me and asked, "what do you mean, you aren't going to take care of me? I can't possibly pay for help!" I had to roll my eyes.


How to I go about resetting these boundries?

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Evermore, yours is a complex question because it arises from a complex situation, one which many of us have faced. You've gotten some good advice and probably will get more. At this time, the one thing I would like to add is that like boundaries of some European countries, they are flexible and subject to change. That's your situation; maybe it's time to erect more barriers, but I do agree that your grandmother is trying to "push your buttons" and you need to draw new "lines in the sand."
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My parents have gotten on board with me. They go Thursday afternoons to "visit" but it's really to check up with her. A lot of the time, there are things that I miss. They won't do anything except cook a meal and make sure that there is no expired food. Grandma tried to talk my dad into replacing her roof and gutters and he said nope, it's not happening unless she hired somebody to do it for her and it wasn't going to be him. Well, she said that she could pay him. His response was he was 65 and wasn't a young man anymore. He'd rather pay someone to do that stuff than do it himself. He paid people to redo the roof and gutters, replace our windows, and remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms. My parents want to sell the house when my dad retires next year. I am disabled and live with my parents. My parents say that I help out around the house quite a bit and help out with the grocery bills and the vet bills with the dogs. We are all a little worried about her but we know that we can't do anything until a crisis happens and she lands in the hospital. We have made a phone call to the DMV about her driving. She's been getting worse with driving and it's driving irratically.
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Do you have caller ID? When she calls, you don't have to answer it...let her leave a message and you can decide if and how to respond after giving her requests some thought. You are not obligated to be at her beck and call. I'm sure you love her and no one doubts that you want what's best for her, but you are entitled to have your own life without these burdens being placed on you. Have you talked with your mom about it? I certainly would do that if you can, and let her know what you're willing and able, or not, to do for Gramma, and let your Mom talk with Gramma about her finances. This shouldn't all be on your shoulders alone, physically, emotionally or financially. I hope you get some relief. Keep posting and let us know how you're doing.
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Evermore, you really need to read on this board about narcissistic and borderline personality disorder. You cannot reset her boundaries. If you ever did something nice once, it somehow becomes "your job" forever with narcissists. I'm not sure that she's completely competent, if she's neglecting her health that way and not wanting to see the lack of PT as a problem. But she is competent "enough" to get by. You are not alone - I work 2 part time jobs for 35-50 hours per week plus extra work for a friend with brain injury, another friend with diabetes and her 89 year old mom. My MIL who lives an hour plus away is still trying to get me to come see her 2x weekly to "work on our relationship" which translates to running errands for her and FIL. I don't have 2.5-3 hours travel time each trip plus errand time on top of work and have a life. "NO" is a complete sentence. Lather, rinse, repeat. By the way, her son (my husband) is not being asked to do these trips. I told her to ask him to come by - I have too much work to do.
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Evermore, it sounds like you're already doing the things you need to do to enforce your boundaries. Some people will keep pushing on our boundaries rather than seeking other solutions. In this case, having the cataract surgery and doing her PT could be a big help to your gma. By not having these things done, she is making her own bed but wanting you to lay in it with her. I think it's great that you're not caving in to her. Keep encouraging her to have the necessary things done so that she can stay independent longer.

People can push hard on our boundaries, but they can only succeed in breaking through them if we let them. Your gma is making her own choices, so needs to either change them or deal with the consequences of her choices as long as she is of sound mind.
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