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I am caring for my fiancé’s grandmother with dementia. She has three children; all of whom don’t have the time or ability to care for her. She has always treated me with hostility but now that we have moved in and I feel as though I am being abused. Maybe I am over reacting but she has ripped blankets off of me, thrown metal objects at me and threatened to have my son taken away (just to name a few). Her children are all unable to take care of her and brush off any update I give them on her violent tendencies. She is telling her children that I do nothing for her or her household when the only thing I don’t tend to is the yard work because my fiancé and I agreed he would take responsibility for it. She has called me fat, stupid, lazy, neglectful everyday and has even tried to call the police because she thought I stole her phone when she simply misplaced it. I am having a tough time handling my own mental health and feel as if I am alone in thinking that her berating me is harmful not only to me but my four year old. My fiancé is aware but has no idea what to do about it. How can I talk to her children (with their own health problems, jobs and families) to where they will listen to me about her progressing aggression?

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Narrow, have you reached out to anyone besides family for help?

1. There is the Area Agency on Aging. There is one for each county in the US. They can usually provide a "needs assessment" which will tell you exactly what gma's level of need is. They may also be able to help with locating resources like Adult Day Care and respite care.

2. The is Adult Protecttive Services. I'm going to assume that at some point, you and your little boy are going to need to move out for your own safety. You can call APS and report that Granny is about to become a vulnerable adult with no one to care for her.

3. If she becomes violent, I would absolutely call 911 and have her transported to the hospital. I would advise the same if she falls. I would not attempt getting her up as you might hurts yourself. Getting her admitted to a care facility is much easier after a hospitalization.

4. Find and watch every video that Teepa Snow has made. Dealing with a dementia patie t is not like talking to another adult with an intact brain. There are techniques you can use that may help diffuse some of these situations.

5. And, as I advised you in my first answer, getting her to her doctor or a geriatric psychiatrist for an evaluation for meds could be very useful.

6. Always remember that a sudden change in mental status may mean that she has developed a UTI (urinary tract infection). These can cause psychiatric symptoms in elders.

7, you are not the first you g person who has been tempted by the offer of free rent and "oh, granny just needs a little looking after". Your fiance's family may simply be clueless about her needs or they may be real "users" who think you are too naive to get out of this. Become an expert on Dementia via Teepa Snow and reading everything you can on Alz.org. Know that caregiving is expensive and that, even with room and board, you should paid a living wage. Know your worth.

8. Remember above all that your child's welfare comes before all else. If he is showing signs of stress, you must leave. Call county Social Services and find the nearest family shelter and live there until you can make a plan for daycare and a job.

((((((Hugs))))) and the best of luck to you. Please keep in touch with us. We care!
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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One contributing factor to Grandma's aggressiveness may be your marital state, especially if the family invited you in instead of grandma herself. In grandma's youth, women who lived with a man without marriage were considered to be bad characters. With the dementia in play, Grandma may see you in this light and be unable to see anything else about you - including that she needs your care. She could be unable to appreciation your care either, she just wants you out of her home.

I'm decades younger than Grandma, but I feel "living together" exploits venerable women and choose not support it in my personal life. I respect other people have the right to make choices in their own lives but then so do I. When my nephews were younger this caused a few uncomfortable moments when they wanted to stay over in my guest room with a live-in girlfriend. Nope, she can have the bedroom and you can sleep on the couch or an air mattress in the living room.

Geriatric psychiatrist may be to prescribe medications to curb the worse of grandma's aggressiveness so she stops throwing things, but if she really objects to your presence on decades held moral grounds, then she is never going to be pleasant to you or stop talking about you to others. At that point, you will need to decide what level of abuse you are willing to take. Please understand not defending your child from abuse may fracture your relationship with him in ways that are very difficult to ever heal.

Please note if there is any custody issue with your child's father, living with grandma's abuse could become an issue. Even without any custody contention, if your child is significantly injured by an object thrown by grandma you may find a family court order requiring you to remove your son from grandma's home or a custody revision to protect the child.

I understand work opportunities during the covid recession are difficult so getting your own apartment may not be a realistic option at this point, but you need to find someplace else for you and your son to stay or at least somewhere your son can safely stay during grandma's waking hours to reduce his exposure.

APS has social workers to help find options for grandma's care; both in home services and LTC placement. If grandma's children are not willing to work on alternate arrangements, then you may need to report your concerns. Family and children's services can help you find resources for yourself and your child, including a temporary stipend and SNAP. Unemployment benefits are available for people who cannot work because of covid. Many women's shelters may help you as their staff is very knowledgeable of services and affordable apartments. Please investigate what public support is available.
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Reply to TNtechie
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Did your fiancé's grandmother invite her grandson, you and your little boy to come and live in her home? Or did the family decide that this was the best way to provide her with care, but not think to consult her about it?

You say you are newly engaged. Where were you and your little boy living before? It really does sound as if you need to think again about the whole arrangement, and you can probably do that best if you're not living in this horrible situation. Can you return to your previous home, and if not do you have any of your own family that the two of you can stay with for the time being?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Why is her care your responsibility or even fiances? Your first priority is your child and yourself. The child is not safe and yes, child protective services could easily become involved. Has fiance trapped you into this? She needs to be placed very soon or you need to get out. Stop letting fiance and the rest of the family use you.

Your profile says you, fiance and your son had to move in. Why for Pete's sake?!
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Reply to gladimhere
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MargaretMcKen Jul 27, 2020
Some advice about what to do would be good.
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You keep saying "have to". There is no "have to" in these situations.

If you choose to subject yourself to abuse and gaslighting, then so be it. But don't tell yourself that you had no choice.

Get GMA seen by a psychiatrist for her delusions and paranoia. Meds might help.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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MargaretMcKen Jul 27, 2020
Barb, read my post below - can you help a bit more. You have heaps of experience, and this poster seems to be young and totally inexperienced.
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Her children apparently already KNOW what she is and they have chosen to walk away. Why have you not done the same? Do you live with her? Does she live with you? If the former, then move. If the latter, she must be placed in care.
Talking to her children doesn't even enter the picture. They have made their own choice. And it is time now for you to make YOUR choice.
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MargaretMcKen Jul 27, 2020
Alva read my post below - can you help a bit more. Like Barb, you have heaps of experience, and this poster seems to be young and totally inexperienced.
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All you are responsible is her daily care? Really? That is much more than most people would do or even think about and definitely would not do with a small child in the picture. It is impossible for many.

You can get out, there is no "we". Gma and fiance are taking advantage of you and using you. Gma is not your responsibility, your son is. Your son is not fiances's responsibility nor grandma's only yours. What will you do to protect your son?

Can't leave financially due to covid? You should be paid for the care you are providing. Do you know the value of that care? 24/7 home care in most areas of the country will cost in excess of $12,000.00 a month!

Take off your blinders and or rose colored glasses. You remind me of a friend that is to be married to a felon in a couple of months. This guy is a creep and she just does not see it or is in denial. Or is a person that has to have someone to take care of or is afraid to be without a relationship.
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Reply to gladimhere
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NarrowMoon Jul 26, 2020
Hmm. Seems as though you’re willing to insult me rather than offer advice on how to have difficult conversations. So your advice is no longer needed- thank you.
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Your fiancé grandmother has called you names, thrown objects at you, ripped blankets off of you and threatened to have your son taken away from you. That’s ok with you? What if your son was all grown up and came to you and said his fiancé grandmother was calling him names, throwing objects at him, ripping covers off him, threatening to take his son away. What would you tell your son? Be honest. Would you want him to be abused? Ask yourself these tough questions and be honest in your heart.
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MargaretMcKen Jul 27, 2020
Please read my next post, and see if you can help a bit more.
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The short answer to your question of how to cope with aggression is medIcation. First you must call her doctor and explain her aggression. He/she should be able to prescribe something. You and your son cannot live with daily attacks. My husband has dementia and his behavior became unpredictable. A normally sweet, kind, peaceful man became aggressive and forceful at times. When I had to start sleeping with one eye open, I knew I could not live like that. The medication helped but had to be adjusted a few times. Eventually even with the medication it got to the point where he had to get professional help. He is now in memory care. You may have to get professional help either in the home or outside the home. You have a young son to think of. In the meantime, I hope her grandson is helping with the daily physical caregiving and not just the lawn care. You cannot nor should not be expected to do it all. You will eventually come to realize YOU are your number one priority. You must do what is best for you and your son. Believe me I cried for days on end when I had to put my husband into long term care, but now I see he is getting the help he needs and my peace of mind has returned. Grandmom may not be at the point where she needs long term care yet, but please tell her family she needs some kind of professional help before it’s too late. Writing a letter, as someone mentioned, is a good idea if you can’t talk to them. Someone needs to be her POA also. I hope this helps.
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Reply to JColl7
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Your profile says that your fiancé’s mother has dementia. People who have dementia have brain damage. They often are not able to use good judgement, reason or act appropriately. It’s your responsibility to protect the children from her though. I’d protect the children. It’s up to fiancé and the other siblings to arrange for her care. If not, I’d contact an attorney and obtain advice on how to relinquish her care to others, either her family or the court.

Your fiancé can also see an attorney to get advice on the options and also talk with her doctor. Does anyone have DPOA? I hope you can feel better after getting her somewhere she can be cared for.
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MargaretMcKen Jul 27, 2020
I don't think an attorney is the right person to contact, don't waste a lawyer's fee. I'll try to post on what to do later in the thread.
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