My grandpa just passed before Christmas since then my grandma has been acting like a child. She has been to the hospital 3times because of her blood sugar being more than 500 she refuses to follow her diet she has been staying with her sister and has been throwing things and screaming at them for no reason. She is mentally incompetent but refuses any test to prove it. She is I believe brain washed by my "junky" of an uncle who I believe is after all the money she is to get from my grandpa's passing. She wears a diaper but rarely changes it until it leaks. In my eyes she is defiantly a harm to herself and childishness is causing harm to others. How can I go about helping her?
When you say that she is mentally incompetent, what do you mean? How is this evident? Did her husband handle all of their affairs before he died? How long do you think she has been mentally incapacitated?
She lost her husband a month ago. Believe me, that can be a very disorienting and devastating experience. I didn't know it until it happened to me, but mourning can take the form of cognitive impairment. Yikes! But that is not permanent. For me I think it lasted 4 or 5 months. I wasn't throwing things or having tantrums, but each person is different. You need to keep in mind that she is in deep grief.
Stress can play havoc with blood sugar levels. If Gram has had to be hospitalized for 500+ readings, she isn't going to be able to handle that even with an absolutely perfect diet. What medications is she on for that? Is she on insulin? Who is helping her manage these drugs? Sleep deprivation also plays havoc with blood sugar levels. Is she getting good sleep?
I doubt very much that Gram is throwing things and screaming for no reason. I can readily believe that the reasons are not apparent to others and that she may not be able to explain them. She she has triggers and reasons.
Was the plan that she is to live with her sister, or is this a temporary arrangement until something more permanent can be arranged?
What can you do to help her? Treat her with dignity. Don't refer to her disposable underwear as diapers. Take her on outings, such as a botanical garden or a children's museum. Play cards with her. Look at family albums with her and encourage her to talk about her husband. Set up a "tea party" in the "parlor" and help her dress up. Ask her sister what you can do to help. If a care center is being considered, perhaps you can do some of the research.
It would help if we had more information about this situation.
Does she have children who are living? This sounds like too much for a grandchild to take on alone. Even if you do a great job, relatives may have their own opinions and stir up trouble.
You can report her situation to APS, Adult Protective Services. Tell them she is a risk to her own life from diabetes and unsanitary conditions. Tell them that she is at risk of financial abuse.
The sad truth is that even when she is acting so incompetent, she is legally free to put herself at risk.
The next time she ends up in the hospital, you and her sister can insist that she be evaluated for endangering herself and others. They can - if they will - keep her for evaluation. The easiest way to put - force - an elder into a NH is to move them straight from the hospital. Maybe talk to the hospital social worker in advance.
You can tell her doctor what is happening. For privacy reasons, he can't tell you stuff, but he can listen. He may have general advice for the situation. Also contact your local Area Agency on Aging. Google it with your city, county and state. They will know the local laws, and what APS does in your area. Some do nothing, and others are like the KGB.
She's mentally incompetent and experienced a great loss a month ago. If this is the reason for her sudden erratic behavior it'd be worth the trip to the Dr. to get her on some medication. Was she like this prior to your grandpa's death? And while you two are at the Dr.'s have the Dr. examine her for dementia. A male authority figure will get way farther with a woman your grandma's age than you ever would and she may not even realize she's being evaluated. Plus, she might be one who puts on a great social face for people outside the family which would make the Dr.'s evaluation simpler.
But how to deal with the behavior? Can you walk away when she's throwing a tantrum or can she not be left alone? If that's the case, for now, just sit quietly and let her rant. Protect her if her raving is endangering her. If you can leave the room do that but if she needs constant supervision you may just have to sit there quietly, thumbing through a magazine or whatever. And if she needs constant supervision you might want to think about having someone come in to help you care for her. Doing this 24/7 will wear you down quickly.
It's going to take time to figure this out. See a Dr. Give her some time maybe to process her grief. Just because someone's incompetent doesn't mean they don't feel, don't grieve.
Will your grandma change her underbrief if you ask her to (I hate calling it a diaper)? Her incompetency may prohibit her from feeling the need to change it (her sense of basic hygiene may be off) so maybe she'll respond to verbal cues. "Hey gram, let's go into the powder room and get you out of those wet clothes." Or just check her pants every 2 hours and change it as needed. Lots of laundry may be needed so stock up on slacks, preferably slacks that have elastic waists and just slide up and down.
In your post you asked about what you could do to help your grandma. I think you're wonderful for wanting to be helpful to someone who is very difficult to deal with, God love you.
If your grandma has some kind of dementia, she could say and do all sorts of things. It's hard to do, but you can't take it to heart. You have to just kind of let it go or you won't be able to think straight to do anything to help her.
In one way, I wonder if her acting out is a way to grieve for your grandpa. My mother became almost catatonic after her closest sister recently died, for example, and hard for us to pull her out of it. But you do say she's mentally incompetent and I have to wonder if the diaper thing isn't a different thing than the screaming and throwing.
Some people would feel guilty putting her in a home, but seriously think about these things:
1. Some people can't get over the screaming and throwing. If you can't handle it, you can't keep her around, probably.
2. People with dementia can be surprisingly strong. You mentioned that someone could get hurt. That's true. My mother had plenty of bruises from dealing with my grandma.
3. Is your sister willing to put slipcovers over everything? If not and if grandma has leakiness, it's going to ruin everything she has. Maybe your sister can't afford to have everything she has ruined, is another consideration.
If this behavior is temporary, post-grandpa's death, maybe she'll improve but if she's been this way for awhile, it might not. I think I've seen suggestions for geriatric psychologists or neuropsychologists or some such kind of doctor here in this forum for behavioral problems. Unfortunately, she might not cooperate with them, but maybe that's worth a try.