My grandmother is being non-compliant and I have no idea where to even start?

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I don't even know where to begin with this story. My Grandmother is only 66 years old but she is neglecting her health and I'm very afraid for her. She has diabetes and I know she doesn't go to the doctors. When I go see her or take her out to lunch I can tell she is experiencing some mental status changes. She won't admit it but I know that she is having real trouble seeing. She shuffles around and feels things before she looks at them and she never looks like she's actually looking at anything. She has lost a lot of weight in the past year and its very alarming to me. My grandmother has always been a strong solid overweight woman and now she looks weak, frail and like she's wasting away.

I am not happy with her living conditions she is a bit of a hoarder, she always has been. Not to the extent of people on TV shows yesterday when I went to visit her she was bracing her stomach and when I asked her what was wrong she reported flu like symptoms. I suspect that she is making herself sick by eating expired food. I am also afraid of the way she's been walking lately she's shuffles around and my biggest fear is that she's going to fall and not be able to reach a phone.

She still has a car and is driving. I know that sounds awful, I know she's a danger to herself and other drivers. But I don't know what to do. I am just a child to her. I don't know how to tell the woman who took care of me that she isn't doing a good job of taking care of herself.

She has been independent my entire life. She manages her own money, maintains her own household. Lately she hasn't been doing a good job at that, she's fallen behind on some bills and has asked me to buy her things that she should be able to buy herself like food and toilet paper. I really suspect that she might be giving money to her children, possibly my 40ish year old uncle who for lack of a better word is a complete loser and feels like she owes him something. I know he guilts her into giving him money and it makes me sick.

My grandma is sad too, she cries a lot. I know she's sad because her kids aren't around. My father who is her son lives about 20 min away and won't see her. Both of her daughters live more than 1000 miles away and her youngest son was already mentioned above. My own mother who is really her ex daughter-in-law takes better care of her than any of her kids. She calls her and picks her up on the weekends and tries to get my father and aunts involved in her care but it really seems like she's the only one who cares. The problem is my mother still has young children and the stress is really too much for her. She has a demanding job, takes care of young children and she shouldn't have to take care of my grandmother too. I don't want my own mother to spread herself too thin.

I don't know where to start. I'm still in school. I work part time and I'm kind of embarrassed to say I'm in nursing school. I'm embarrassed because I feel like I should be better equipped to dealing with this situation based off what I have learned but this is my own family member and it makes things a lot harder. My grandma is stubborn and she is trying desperately to maintain her independence and I don't want to take anything away from her. But I really love her and I want her to be around.

I keep asking her what would make her happy, but she just cries or says she doesn't know. I know she wishes her kids were closer to her and she wants to be a part of her grandkids life. I want her to feel fulfillment in her life. I would like her to enjoy her life to the fullest. I don't know what to do.

I know this is what I want the outcome to be. I want her to be compliant with her health most importantly, I want lab work done, I want an eye exam, I want her to take her medicine. I want her to live in a cleaner safer home. I want her to have a better diet and stay hydrated. I want her kids to stop taking advantage of her. But I would like her to have money at her disposal to go visit them. I know that sounds silly like sending her into a wolf den but those are her children and she loves them. One lives in Chicago, one in Texas and one in Mexico. If she was better at managing her money she could go and visit in the very least at least 2 of her children a year. Like I said I'm still young. I'm almost done with school and I only have myself to take care of right now. I love my grandma so much I want her to be happy. I want to help her and I don't want to force her hand at anything. I don't want her to experience anymore loss/grief in her life. Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated. Ty and sorry if this story was scattered and unorganized it is so multi-faceted I had trouble writing it.

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I think you should stop by as often as you can. Help clean up, encourage her to take better care of herself maybe get her Meals on Wheels. Its a program that delivers food to the elderly. Maybe you can get her eyes checked.
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BTW, I think a geriatrician is a wonderful idea. I would also set her up with an appointment with a diabetes counselor to discuss her eating and insulin. It may be the spark she needs to regenerate interest in her own health. Managing diabetes for a long time can lead to burnout. When that happens, people slip into bad habits. Sometimes they need a kick in the butt to get them interested in taking care of their diabetes again.
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I agree with what kazzaa wrote completely. Symptoms described -- poor eyesight, loss of weight -- are good indications that her blood sugar is not being controlled. It would be my main concern, because trying to get the rest of the family on board is not something you can control or even influence. My thought is that you can't fix everything all at once, but you can tackle the problem of uncontrolled blood sugar. It is the most pressing concern right now. If her blood sugar is too high, chances are that your grandmother doesn't have enough energy to tackle any other issues. You'll have to figure out how to get her interested in her blood sugar levels.
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I don't want to force her to do anything unless I really have to I really want her to just be happy in her life.
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Hi there your grandma is so young but my mum has diabetes and she NEVER looked after herself she is now showing early dementia. My mum has suffered from depression for a very long time but her behaviour over the last 3yrs has deteriated she has become unbeleiveable messy and hoarding not washing etc... she was a very independant woman but is completly dependant on me now. I would take your grandma to a geriatrician asap failing eyesight is very serious and can be a symptom of diabetes if she wont go you and your mom will have to try and make her she should not be driving she needs her eyesight tested for Glucoma there are tablets they can take to improve eye deteriation you can get them in health shops (here macroshield??) but her doc will tell you this. I think her crying is a sure sign of depression and she knows something is wrong she could also be early dementia which can happen when you dont take care of your diabetes.
Please try and force her to a doctor as her eyesight is serious and could get worse.
I am not trying to alarm you but there are so many complications with diabetes that you cannot ignore best to have her checked completley before it gets worse. eating off food is also dangerous diabetics cant afford to get nasty infections. You are so young and shouldnt have to deal with this your mom should insist she get help or get a nurse to call out.
Trust me I know how difficult this is as my mum refuses to get help basically they are trying to hide that something is wrong they dont want to know and this is so frustrating for family. Ive never seen my mum crying but at times ive seen her big red eyes and just know she was crying it must be awful to know things are changing and your grandma must be so scared. If your mom is close to her then maybe she could try and talk to her and tell her how worried you all are and maybe reasure her that she will be taken care of?? Very hard I know but this is what I do to my mum tell her that no matter how bad things get she will be well looked after! Noone wants to admit they are getting older BUT losing your independance like this must be so frightening I think youll find alot of parents will just not want to know and go into denial. This is my biggest problem and have had to get my mum tested by lying through my teeth!!

Hope you get her seen soon and let us know how you get on. K
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