I live with my 75 year old grandmother in my parent's house. We don't have a particularly warm relationship, so for the last four months or so we've led rather separate lives under the same roof.
But recently, I've begun to worry about her. She never eats. No matter what i make, or ask the cook to prepare, she makes some excuse and won't touch it. She made me get rid of the cook. And we lived on potatoes and rice for three weeks because that's all she remembers how to make. Secondly, of late, I've found faeces on the floor, and on appliances in the bathroom. I'm pretty sure she doesn't realise this is happening.
How do i help an incredibly proud and independent older woman? What do i do???
God Bless you!
I think this seems like you have done your best, and recognize that man cannot exist on starch alone. Proteins and fruit/veg are needed as well.
I see nothing wrong with this.
I assume, you live with your grandmother b/c you feel a sense of obligation from a family and moreover a humanitarian point of view. No shame in that!
Even if you live there for free room and rice, it's seems you still pay you way in looking after your Grandmother. No shame in that either.
For every nay-sayer out there, there are a million people who have walked in your shoes...forget the nay-sayers.
As for the feces..I don't get it. My elder is hoarding her feces in her basement. She's not smearing it, nor flinging it...just keeping it. I cannot find any info on it. but to me it's def a red flag that something has gone awry in her thinking. You have said that you have seen it on fixtures in the bathroom. Perhaps she's having a hard time wiping, or cleaning up after an accident, or cannot see it's on her hand as she goes about washing up. My only advice would to be keep some sanitizing wipes in the bathroom and scrub all down after she goes (don't forget the flush handle or door knobs and faucet) and try to convince her to use sanitizing wipes / gel. I would also try to convince her into letting your do a nice hand soak, scrub of the nails (get a nail brush if you can, or old tooth brush) and a nice lotion massage. Does she like polish? Perhaps that can help. Best I can come up with.
Good luck, chin up, you are doing good work, here.
Check her meds, once you find out what they are, you can research what they are for, and have a better understanding of this wonderful woman. Also ensure she gets her pills on time(do the best u can) and every day. Good nutrition, and regularly taking meds may help her in many ways!
We are just a computer screen away, and want to encourage you to do the best you can. Clean the messes, make sure she has clean clothes, and a safe enviroment to live in. God Bless you for trying!!
We do not have enough information at the moment, but Mommag covered pretty much most of what I would have advised.
Kalypso, can you tell us a bit more so we can give comments that apply to your situation?
You say you live in your parent's house with your grandmother, and she made you get rid of the cook.
- Are your parents in the picture/living, any other relatives in the home or close by?
- Since you had the authority to dismiss the cook, are you the only other decision maker in the home?
As Mommag commented, your grandmother sounds like she is now incontinent, and she may have some decline in her mental capacity, so when you or a housekeeper are cleaning up after her, you need to be matter-of-fact, but temper yourself, as when Dementia or Alzheimer's (As previous to this you have not interacted much with her, you may not have had the opportunity to notice lapses in her judgment, memory, etc.) set in in the elderly, you really cannot argue with them, and they most likely do not believe anything you are telling them.
You will need to tread carefully, but it needs to be addressed. Who does her laundry? If underclothes are similarly soiled, which they probably are, and maybe if she has been cleansing these herself, she has not been doing a good job of it and transferring soiling onto surfaces as well. Time for disposable underwear like Depends, etc., which she may resist as well.
Let us know who else is in the household and other relatives you can call on to help, and if not too personal a question, your age range, so we can tailor our comments to account for how you may better get a grip on situation while overcoming reactions of your grandmother that she may be having if that is a factor from her perspective - though it may not matter, as role reversals are not easy on elders, or anyone else for that matter sometimes.
Hang in there!