While most people think granddad's behavior is due to his age, I cannot remember a time he wasnt' a contrarian. He argues EVERYthing.

Now, it's simple stuff and it's all day and night. Should I just go along, let him be unsafe, and worry that others will think he's neglected? Or do I continue this insane pattern of arguing over everything? I'll admit I show anger at times when I get tired of the B.S.

10:45 AM

Me: Hey, GD, how about eating breakfast before you go to church?

GD: I don't need to eat breakfast

11:00 AM

GD: Will you take me to church now?

Me: sure. it's 35 degrees out, though, and since you're cold all the time, wouldn't you like to put some layers over that t-shirt?

GD: I don't need to put any layers on.

11:15 AM

Me: How about taking your walker into church with you so you can use it in there where the floors are hard marble tiles?

GD: I don't need to take it with me. It's not far


Woman coming out of church to me: Don't you think he should have a walker with him?

Me: (sighing) yes. thank you for pointing that out.

2pm at the doctor

Me: how about using that handrail right next to you so you don't trip and fall?

GD: I don't need to use the handrail (he fell and broke his arm and shoulder in June because of "not needing" a handrail.)


Me: (after finding he's turned the heat in the house up to 85 degrees, and it's a sauna in here) Hey, GD, I see you're laying on top of the comforter. Wouldn't you be warmer if you were under it?

GD: I don't need to be under it.

Next day

10 am

Me: how about putting on some shoes and socks so you won't slip and your feet will be warm?

GD: I don't need any socks or shoes.

10:15 am

Me: Let's talk. I'd like to ask you to please work with me instead of arguing over safety and health issues. I"m trying to help you.

GD: I don't argue with you.

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Hi there-
I can totally relate to your post.
I have a mom that can be similar. I have learned, that if it is important, I just don't ask her opinion. Like if I ask.... Are you hungry? Want to eat? She will always. ALWAYS say, no! I had toast. I am dying to say.... Sure you did.... Since the toaster is hidden and we are out of bread, when did you eat toast? Lol.
Instead, I say... Here's your breakfast!

It is like if I ask, the response will always be, NO. Or I don't need that.
So I don't ask. I have learned to channel my inner confident captain and act and say, this is what we are doing. Here's your jacket. Here's your breakfast. Here's your walker.... And so on.
I know they have so many things in their lives that are out of their control at this point. So I try not to control everything, and if it doesn't matter, I'm okay with saying.... You want the white shirt or blue one?
Hope this helps - and hang in there.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to sparkles87

Great advice from rovana! Stop making constant suggestions to him about what he should and should not do. Take him out and about without comment, even if it’s in his boxer shorts and barefoot. If you get stared at, stare back. Tell people to mind their own business. If he takes a flyer because he doesn’t have his walker, have your phone ready and call 911. It’s not like you pushed him. Some people just are in their Terrible Two’s all their lives. There is a condition called Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Sounds like grandad has had it all his life. Poor you. Hugs!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Ahmijoy

I'm sure you've heard this story but:  the Buddha is walking along a road and a man comes up to him and says "Hold out your hand, I have a gift for you.  The Buddha says "But that is a scorpion you have! I don't want it, you'll just have to keep it yourself."  Moral of this is: I won't accept unearned guilt." 
Assuming granddad is not declared incompetent, he has the right to make, and take the consequences of, his decisions.  Let him.
If someone tried to tell you you are not doing the right thing by him, just tell them: "He's been a cantankerous childish old goat all his life. If you can teach him some sense, have at it." Refuse to take any responsibility for anything you do not have the power to fix., both in your own mind and in reply to anyone who questions you. Frankly, if it was me, "You want to act stupid, OK. I hope you've remembered me in your will."
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to rovana

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