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My nan is clearly very lonely, she lives alone (my granddad died over 25 years ago) in a bungalow in south London that they shared for many happy years. My mum and her husband moved to Suffolk roughly 10 years ago and I followed suit a few years later. The only immediate family member left in London is my sister and she has decided to move up here as well. Nan has lots of family members in London that help her out and spend time with her on a day to day basis (she is one of 10 children) so she has a huge network of neices, nephews, cousins etc. who not just want to help out but enjoy helping her because she’s a really fun woman to be around. Nan has always been slightly annoyed that mum moved away and doesn’t particularly get along with the idea of my step father because of this. In recent years she has had a decline in her eyesight, she has to have an eye injection once every few months and it’s incredibly stressful as you could imagine. The fact that my mum isn’t there to help her or drive her and it falls on other family members has become a real source of tension. So for a few years now we’ve been suggesting that she considers moving up to Suffolk, with a view to her living close to us in a retirement home. We all want this to happen but she clearly doesn’t want to. She says to us every day how lonely she is but the second we suggest it, she tells us how much she’d miss everyone who comes over on a daily basis. I don’t think it would be wise to talk her into such a huge decision because my mum and step dad need their space and I worry that if we talk her into it and she doesn’t get to come for dinner every single night then it will make matters worse? Equally it’s become a huge source of tension between my mum and my nan with them having regular arguments over the phone. It upsets and affects my mum as well and makes it really difficult for me and my sister to call her daily because we become stuck in the middle of an impossible situation. Please help.

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Is your mother the only child? Does Nan think that she ‘ought’ to be doing more than all the other local rellies? This could be more an idea about obligation than actual loneliness. If you can find someone who has the time, it might be helpful to sit down with her and make a list of average visits and times of the local’s visits. Then do a list of how Nan thinks she would spend her time if she did move closer to you. You are quite right that if she expects to be a fixture in your home, taking it further is not a good idea. If you give her a realistic idea of how much time your immediate family members could actually spend with her, she could at least see where she is better off.
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Aging is hard, losing eyesight is a harder - it's a huge adjustment & depression is understandable.

Moving house is hard, moving from a 25 year home, full of memories, very hard. Moving to a new environment when you know your current one by feel - unthinkably hard & probably scary.

What a caring loving Grandaughter you are to be looking out for your Nan 😍.

I can recommend the book 'Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End' by Atul Gawande if you are interested in studying this area.

But basically I suppose finding out makes a good day for Nan may be the way. What are her priorities now & in the future. Keep asking her.

Sometimes we forget to ask 😕
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You say that she's lonely, yet she has a "huge network of nieces, nephews, and cousins" who enjoy helping her on a daily basis, because she's a fun woman to be around. How can she be lonely with all those people coming every day? Sounds to me like she's just trying to lay a guilt trip on your mom, for moving away from her. Some parents are really good at doing that, and it sounds like your grandmother has it down pat.

If this is something she brings up every day when you or your mom call her, perhaps limit your calls to just a few times a week, so you're not daily having to deal with the tension and arguing. Your grandmother is a grown woman, and if she truly is lonely and depressed, she's the only one that can do anything to change that. And if she doesn't want to, please don't let her suck you and your mom into her negativity. When you talk to her, just try and keep things positive, and if she wants to bring up the negative, you can just change the subject or tell her that you have to go now. Best wishes.
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I agree with Funky, she is lonely for her daughter. I would not change her life. She has a "network" of people that she won't have living near you. You will need to see her often to make up for what she loses. Maybe you and Mom should think about a nice visit when restrictions let up. I would not make any big decisions during this pandemic.
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She sounds a bit torn. Would love to remain in the place she knows with the friends she has, but misses you. Not everything in life can be fixed. Not everything has an answer. Gran has weighed the options, likely loves the offer, but for now is choosing to stay where she is. The problem with family is when someone sets down luggage, family feels beholden to pick it up and lug it about, whereas with a friend we just say "oh....I am so sorry...." Family feels the "fix-it" bug bite.
So just tell Gran you are sorry she is feeling lonely. Occasionally repeat that while it would be hard, an invitation for assisting in a move is always an option if she feels it is ever right for her. Life isn't non-stop happiness. We all have our times when things aren't perfect.
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I have to agree. She is not lonely. She is mad at her daughter for moving away and having a life that does not revolve around her. My only suggestion is to try and visit more if possible. When she pours on the guilt end the conversation.
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Only in your grandmother's mind is she lonely. In reality, she has a huge network of people who come over every single day and she says she'd miss them. She wants everyone around her. Alas, we cannot always get what we want.
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