Grandmother with mental health issues. What do I do?

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So my maternal grandmother (87) is becoming increasingly difficult to be around. Our family love her very much however shes becoming bitter. It in mind everyone is against her and she regularly tells stories and such that she believes to be true and refuses to listen to reason. My grandfather has alzheimers and can no long live alone however shes certain that not only he is faking it, that alzheimer's doesn't even exist and all the Doctors are lying to everyone. Even things that are completely true and can be proven she refuses to listen to, an example of this is that my grandfather pays all the rent and bills out of his pension. Even when she is show documentation of this she still wont listen. Its getting to the point where we feel she may need to go see a Doctor however even if we can convince her she wont listen to them. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks for reading.

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"In psychiatry, confabulation (verb: confabulate) is a disturbance of memory, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive."
In other words, your GM truly believes what she is saying is true. You know that it isn't. When you correct her, she might dig in because she "knows" she is right. My aunt had a phase of this that seems to have passed. She's very intelligent so when she was having trouble in a conversation, she would sometimes follow it with "Or I may have just made that up." She would judge by the expression on a persons face that something wasn't right with what she had just said. She knows she has "a little trouble" with her memory. It's others who don't know and take what she says at face value.
But do get her checked for a UTI to rule that out or get her treatment for it. Also, please know that elders don't always have the typical symptoms of a younger person with a UTI and she probably won't think that she has one when she easily could have.
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That sure sounds like dementia. Get her to a doctor on any pretext you can. Make a list of her strange behaviors and get it to the doctor before her appointment. Many people who have dementia do not recognize or accept that they do. In a way, it really won't matter if your Gma rejects what the doctor says. The family will know and can respond accordingly.

Who is caring for your grandfather? If this is primarily Gma's responsibility I think she needs to be nudged into "retiring" from that role. But, one step at a time. Get a diagnosis and go from there.

Meanwhile, don't argue with her. Stop bringing her documentation. If she insists that Santa Claus is paying their bills, say "Aren't you lucky!" and change the subject.

This is much harder to handle when the delusions are accusatory. If she says, "I know you are just humoring me to be in my will and you are really against me like the rest of the world," you certainly aren't going to agree with that! Try to be comforting and change the subject. "Oh Grandmother! I am so very sorry you feel that way. I don't know what I've done to make you feel I am against you, but I assure you I have never been against you, and I apologize sincerely for anything I've done that gave that impression. I was just thinking the other day how patient you were when you were teaching me to knit. I've always admired that in you. What do you think was the best thing you ever knit?"

I remember very well the first months with my husband's dementia. I tried to convince him of many things he was confused about, and brought him documentation, and encouraged others to back me up. All in vain. Even if he accepted all of the documentation and agreed with me on each point he still held firm to his delusion. Things went much better for us when I learned to go with his flow.

Do come back and share as this progresses. We learn from each other.
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The inability to get them to be reasonable is hard to wrap your mind around, isn't it? My mom was the most intelligent woman I have ever know - came from nothing, put herself through college and earned two master degrees. Mom was in her early 80's when she started to become more unreasonable than usual - she had always been a stubborn, independent woman but the issue that were becoming problems were so basic and simple that I honestly believed she was just messing with me. But after a while I could see she truly believed what she was saying. It was a very difficult time for the both of us as I knew next to nothing about dementia and didn't know that was what was causing her to be so bizarre. As FreqFlyer says, get your gma tested for a UTI - it's crazy what one of those can do to the mind of someone who is elderly. If that's negative it's time for a dementia assessment. So sorry!
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Blonde, it sounds like Grandmother is starting on the journey of either Alzheimer's/Dementia. But first have her tested for an urinary tract infection [UTI] easy to do for her, pee in a cup at the doctor's office... as UTI's can mimic dementia. Tell Grandmother she needs to see a doctor twice a year or she will lose her health insurance [that is what is called a therapeutic fib that we sometimes have to use to get an elder to do something]. Now, don't be surprised while at the doctor's, your grandmother will act very normal... that is called showboating, no one knows how patients with memory issues are able to do this, but they do.

In the mean time, just agree with any misinformation that Grandmother might say. That way it will make her feel better and less stress on you.

I remember when my elderly Dad had a heart attack, my Mom [90 at the time] had refused to believe that, that the doctors were all wrong, etc. Her concern was what would the neighbors and relatives think that her husband had a heart attack... to her it was a sign that she wasn't a good wife. Thus, this sounds like your Grandmother regarding your Grandfather's Alzheimer's.
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