How can I help my Grandma not be so paranoid?

Follow
Share

Grandma is 98 and is angry that her body forgot to give up. She said yesterday that she thinks the staff at the nursing home are peeing in her food. Before she was complaining that the other patient in the room was being investigated by the police for murder. I think the newest complaint about the pee in the food is her way of making an excuse to not eat. She is down to 85 lbs. My father and I both tell her that she is mistaken and have even offered to taste the food for her if it makes her feel better. I feel so sad for her. I know she is ready to go but her body just won't give up.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
8

Answers

Show:
Question to Wyndie: Megace is a liquid to increase appetite. Do you buy this over the counter, if so where? I have used Ensure plus for extra calories. Thank you for your help.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You are so sweet in wanting to calm your grandmother and reassure her that her food is edible, but it sounds like she has dementia and paranoia is part of the disease and there is nothing you can do to change her mind. I do agree that you should see if you could bring in treats to her or a favorite food when you come to visit it might help a bit if she has something she likes.

My mothers appetite keeps getting smaller and smaller so we put her on Megace which is a liquid they drink to increase appetite (1tsp full is all). Taste buds also diminish so nothing tastes good. Bring her in some treats!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Paranoia "is" a part of dementia and once they believe something, there is no changing their mind. I have been dealing with it for nearly 8 years and it has been a challenge. Although medication was not my first choice, I find that it has helped my mother greatly in calming her mind. If her mind is calm, then she worries less. If she is happy, then I am happy... whatever it takes. So I suggest you asked her physician. Additionally, if one has an UTI, it "could" cause irrational behavior. Blessings to you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You do not say how old you are, but the first thing is to tell the nurses at the nursing home what your grandmother has said to you and you are concerned she is not eating and losing weight. As a nurse, this is a common complaint with patients who have dementia (which you did not state, but at 98 yrs. I am assuming she might have some). Ask her what she would like to eat and then ask staff if, whatever it is, is possible from their kitchen. It isn't cost effective for you (or insurance) to be paying for a nursing home and then supplying food when food is included in the price. A special treat she likes now and then would be all right, but try to encourage her to eat their food. Sweets are not a great idea because they cause cavities, raise insulin levels and give empty calories. Haven't you heard the less you eat, the longer you live? At 98 yrs. she must have done something great besides having great genes! You have those same genes, so start saving for your nursing home expenses...Best wishes!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Some anti anxiety meds might be in order, like Xanax or Ativan. If she is bothered by a urine smell, are her kidneys failing? When is the last time she had bloodwork to check kidneys and liver? Also, check her for dehydration and ask for a bag of fluids if she needs it. Can they offer her some of her favorite foods, even cookies or ice cream?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Dear ahmetz -- The answer to your question is that you probably cannot help with Grandma's paranoia so please don't feel guilty about it. Have you discussed her behavior with her physician? If she's okay physically, then perhaps there's a medication that could help her calm down. Personally I believe that less is best where drugs are concerned, but at this stage perhaps the quality of her day-to-day life should take precedence.

My experience with my own elderly mother backs up what blannie said about the sense of taste fading with age. I've experimented with adding stronger flavors to Mom's foods and she reacts well. Of course I don't TELL her, for example, that I've added dill pickle to her chicken salad because in her own mind she never liked pickles and never will.

Meanwhile, Grandma is alive -- as are we all -- because we're supposed to be. The last thing she needs is for her loved ones to join her in seeing life as a burden. Blessings to all of you for the strength to take a positive approach.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Check for uti!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

At her age, her taste buds have probably changed and so the food tastes differently to her. Could you bring her some treats from home or some fast food she likes to supplement what she's getting at the nursing home? My mom, who's 93 has lost a lot of her appetite, but still enjoys sweets and homemade foods. And my mom says over and over again that she's ready to go, but her body is still going strong too.

Does she have some dementia? Paranoia is often a side effect of dementia, so that may be what's going on too. If that's the case, I don't know that you can do much about that. Reassuring her is OK in the moment, but since her brain is affected if she does have dementia, nothing is likely to change that for the long-term.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions