Follow
Share

Hi. New here.


I have a very old grandma who has dementia. I do not know how long she's had this and forgot how long she has been living with us. Forgot her age too but should be in her 80's, maybe older.


Problems: language barrier, moaning/whining/noises, victim mentality (hitting but mostly scratching as well as yelling), refusing to eat, running away from home.


Solutions:


> I have tried to pick up a few words that my parents use when talking to her although I am more American and she knows no English but it is still hard for me to converse with her. Although I do understand most of what she is saying.
> I try to question why she's crying all of the time or console her, but she doesn't care (and continues crying/complaining). I corrected her behavior today (she was saying "I can't see I can't see) but I was telling her "If you can't see then how are you able to look at me in my eyes when I am talking?" Also, she grabbed a water bottle while repeating that so I said, "If you cannot see, then how were you able to pick up that water bottle?" She then raised her voice and lashed at me. I just thought it was ironic that she got upset and then pretended to not see, by tapping around where the water bottle was and repeating she couldn't see.
>> I've done some research and I realized that correcting behavior is wrong so I will refrain from doing so, but she doesn't let me console her. I've tried back-rubs and questioning but she continues crying.
> I am training her to use the bathroom more, and she has been, but she doesn't sit properly (she sits angled to the right, or the door, instead of straight, which can lead to pee on the floor or poop on the seat) on the toilet?
> I have been feeding her (like a baby) so she eats and gets her nutrients in. Although she tends to do well (eating by herself) if the food is Chinese.
> We let her out on the porch because she tends to get loud, also so she isn't confined, but I don't want her to bother the neighbors.


TLDR; she's driving my family crazy but keep her around for financial purposes (my parents are super insistent on this even though they're driven the most crazy but also because my older two siblings who live with me go to pretty expensive colleges). I just want some advice to help keep myself and my family sane.

This is so sad. I don’t have experience dealing with dementia patients. Just want to offer support and wish you well. Your family is very loving towards your grandmother. It’s a tough job!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report

I think it's wonderful that you have this concern for your grandma. You should be very proud of yourself. It's obvious you are trying to become a better caregiver. You've already found out that you shouldn't try to correct her. The best thing you can do is to educate yourself about dementia and Alzheimer's disease. There are several good books that are recognized as the bibles for dementia care. "The 36 Hour Day" and "Learning to Speak Alzheimer's" are both excellent. You mention running away from home. Elopement, or wandering, can be a serious issue. There are products on the market that can alert you to her leaving the house. The Alzheimer's Assn ( 1-800-272-3900) can help you with those. Your local police dept may also be able to help. There is much on the internet about the subject and if you Google "Teepa Snow" and "Dementia Careblazers" you find some excellent videos. You can also go directly to YouTube and find both of them.

I wish you luck. Grandma is very fortunate to have you looking after her.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to sjplegacy
Report

Whew, your family has their hands full. Your poor gramma...my gramma also didn't speak much English when she passed at 96, even though she'd lived here since a teenager. Language barrier does add to the challenges. Please watch some Teepa Snow videos on YouTube -- there is good info there on how to interact with elders who are cognitively challenged. In your parents' defense there is not much sense in having her in a facility if she doesn't speak English. Also, private pay for Memory Care can cost upwards of several thousand dollars every single month. Your gramma may not qualify for Medicaid assistance if she never worked in the U.S. Your parents are stuck unless they can privately hire an in-home caregiver who speaks her language and has experience with ALZ patients. If you are 18 and provide some of her care, you should be getting paid for your valuable contribution. I realize this may not be your family's culture, but caregiving requires a lot and if you're spending a lot of time doing it, it is at the expense of other developmental things (i.e. job, school) in your young life. Just a thought.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Geaton777
Report

You say that she is driving your parents crazy as well as you. Have you all talked about it? What suggestions have you all considered? What are the problems about any changes? And how old are you yourself?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report
sosdementia Oct 12, 2020
I've told them and try to calm them down, considering it really isn't her fault. I'm doing okay with it but it's moreso my family. I also take over for them so they can relax on their own. They get really verbal and want to put her in a home but again, financial issues. I'm 18.
(0)
Report
How old are you?
Have you done any reading about dementia?
It is quite good to let elders eat by themselves if they are able to do so. You cause them to become quite dependent on you if you take over, and they tend to lose skills.
You will find many topics above on the time line under Care Topic. You will find a lot of good information just reading the topics.
Your questions will be addressed more readily if they are specific.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Report
sosdementia Oct 12, 2020
18. I've done a few readings about dementia but my parents do leave food in front of her (and often times, she refuses to eat). Thank you for the advice!
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
Saying she couldn't see may not be what she really wants. It could have meant she wanted something to drink. They can no longer find the right words. Her brain is dying. She will enter different stages. Moaning may not be because of pain it could just be anxiety. Read up on Dementias. Each one is a little different than the other.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
sosdementia Oct 12, 2020
Thank you for this information!
(0)
Report
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter