Follow
Share

Here are some details about my grandparents:

Grandfather:
Incontinent, forgetful, everything is done slowly, extremely stubborn. Almost fully deaf yet refuses to use hearing aid. When talking to him, we have to shout in his ear. He shouts at us as well because he can't hear himself and has a bad temper. Wants things done his way or else he throws a tantrum. Refuses to use wheelchair, walker, or wear diapers or even have a bed pad. Wets his underwear (27 pairs) every day and asks us to do laundry. Tries to get up to use the restroom but by the time it takes him to walk across the hall, he's wet his underwear. No energy. Sleeps for about 20 hours a day. Room smells of stale urine. Did I mention stubborn?

Grandmother:
Diabetic, dementia, basically no short-term memory, sleeps for about 20 hours a day. Requires insulin shots four times a day.

My mother is a widow and has been caring for them for a while now. I work and live several states away and don't get much vacation time to come home. When I am gone, my mother thinks she cannot handle caring for them all the time. Luckily, grandparents live in the same apartment building as mom and she has to visit them several hours a day and finds it hard to find time to do her own work (she works from home).

Grandparents have no insurance (as they did not work in the US long enough) but are both US citizens. They only have Medicare B and D (no A, and no long-term care insurance).

How do we take care of my grandparents and especially deal with my stubborn grandfather?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Noblerare, please let us know how this goes and what steps you take. We all learn from each other here.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you so much everybody! It is settled then. I will get them to evaluated for nursing home as quickly as I can. You are right; my mother cannot handle this.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I'll be brutally honest here, but your Mom's life comes before your grandparents preferences - about a third of caregivers die before the people they are caring for and honestly caring for 2 elders who needs are escalating is a death trap, pure and simple. After your mother is gone, they will have to go into a facility anyway, so why not go now and maybe save your mom's life? It is unfortunate but the reality is that if you live long enough it is up to YOU to accept the situation and make the adjustments, not your family. Your problem is your problem and not theirs. It is not morally decent for you or your mom to risk their health, maybe their life, just because grandparents don't want this or that.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

NobleRare, one option is to find out if a simpler insulin regimen might be adequate. It's very possible the answer is no, and if it is, that level of care should qualify her for skilled nursing. If you qualify for skilled nursing, that should also be when any provisions for a community "waiver" service that would get some aide and maybe nursing into the home for part of the day. Have you been able to get to a senior care adviser or comprehensive geriatric appointment, or even contact and Area Agency on Aging to come in and evaluate and see what else might be possible and necessary? If you are having trouble locating resources, you could private message one of us with your location and we'd help hunt for contact info. If mom or grandparents just don't want to consider outside help, that would be a real judgement call whether to override that or not.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I still say that it doesn't sound like the current option, them staying in their apartment with only your mother for help, is a viable one. Would the option of having someone(s) come in 4 times a day work? Could you find someone to do that?

And then what about grandfather's incontinence? Who will manage that? And now his health has taken a turn for the worse. Who is nursing him?

Keep checking your options. I'm sure you will feel better if you can know in your heart that you did your best to find a way to keep them safely at home (while safeguarding your mother's health). But be prepared for the possibility that even with your best effort there may not be an affordable way to keep them home.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

That's what I feared but perhaps asking a home care representative to come out four times a day would be okay as well? I don't think grandparents are ready to make that step yet. Very stubborn and set in their ways.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Good grief! Things don't sound good at all. I feel for you and your mother. These folks need to be in a care facility now. I know it may not be easy but your family has to make this happen.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I am very sorry to say it, but I also feel GMA and GPA need to be placed where they can be cared for around the clock. This is sad, and I don't suppose it is what you hoped to hear, but unless you can arrange 24 in-home care, finding a good place for them is the kindest thing you can do.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

noblerare, GMA needs a nursing home if she needs a nurse four times a day to check her sugar and do her insulin. sorry.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Hi everybody, is there any suggestions as to how I can find someone to come four times a day (or at least a few times a day) and give my grandmother her insulin shots? My grandfather used to do it but since his health has turned for the worse, that job has fallen to my mother. She has been doing it for a week now and it has taken a toll on her schedule. She can't go to any of her other weekly obligations anymore because she has to give grandma shots at 9am, 12pm, 6pm, and 8pm. Is there any home care that can do that for her (if only two times or something like that?)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi, I will call my grandparents' doctor to see if he needs to be placed into a hospice. They receive a pension because he used to be a minister and they have quite a few dollars saved up in the savings account that is used to pay rent and food costs.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

noblerare, have you discussed these new symptoms with his doctor? Does the doctor think it might be time to have a hospice evaluation?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am curious what type of retirement income do your grandparent's receive? What are they using to pay for their apartment? Normally when someone is getting Medicare, the policy premiums are paid for by deducting that amount from one's social security.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. Since I last posted here a few days ago, my grandfather has taken a turn for the worst but I do not know the signs of imminent death and I was wondering what you all thought.

My grandfather, up until now, has been able to get up to prepare and eat breakfast and eat lunch and dinner (pre-prepared by mother). Today and yesterday, the most he's been able to do is sit up from his bed. He has no energy and needs help getting to a sitting position (and when he does decide to stand up, he needs help too). He lies down in bed and refuses to sit up and asks that we feed him meals. We bought diapers for him and he needs coaxing to wear them. After soiling them, he takes them off and just sleeps butt-naked which means his blankets and bedsheets are all soiled soon afterward.

He hasn't been able to talk much and speaks in a raspy, hoarse, and breath-y voice when he does. Yesterday, he woke up and started putting on his clothes saying that it's time to go to church. He wakes my grandmother up at 3am and says it's time to eat breakfast.

His room smells of stale urine.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

noblerare, your Grandfather probably refuses to wear a hearing aid because his ears are to a point where a hearing aid cannot correct his hearing problem. I am dealing with that with my own Mom [97].

As for sleeping, both my parents, who still live on their own, do a lot of napping... of course, they are in their 90's and that's a lot of years to live, they are tired. Plus they are no longer active. Even I would doze off if sitting all day in one place.

As for your Mom trying to care for her parents.... my gosh, it is exhausting helping just one parent, cannot imagine trying to help TWO parents each with memory issues and other medical issues. Please note that 1 out of 3 caregiver dies leaving behind their parent(s).... so please fast forward trying to find help for your Mom or to place your grandparents into a continuing care facility.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What do you do? I see your role as doing the investigating, research, sitting on hold waiting for answers, and generally learning the options for caring for grandparents.

It doesn't sound like the current option, them staying in their apartment with only your mother for help, is a viable one. Where to look for options? Call the area agency on aging in THEIR state. Explain the situation and ask for suggestions. As Pam suggests, look into exactly what insurance they have and what it covers. If they belong to a religious community, call the clergy there and ask for suggestions. You could also ask for a needs assessment from their county's Social Services department.

Perhaps your mother could handle this is she weren't the only one responsible -- if they had in-home care, if someone "official" came in and said he has to wear disposable underwear, if someone could help her with showering, etc. Doing all the care for two adults is simply beyond what should be expected of your mother.

And in-home care might not be enough. Even if it is now, Grandmother's dementia will progress and maybe the only safe option for her is a care center with around the clock staff.

You can help by doing all the research. Most of it can be done by phone and internet. If you get an appointment set up, for example with Social Services, you may want to arrange it when you can be there -- for sure when your mother can be there.

Good luck ... and post again as you find options. We learn from each other!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This is quickly going to get to be too much for a lone widow to handle. Is mom also doing GM's four shots a day, or is she maybe not even getting them? Check with your local Area Agency on Aging to see if there are options for respite or aides, help Mom insist on a comprehensive geriatric evaluation including SW, and start some contingency planning. Example: Sleeping 20 hours a day is not a good sign for longevity for either, but it's possible the GM identified with memory impairment will outlive GF. And, at some point, they could become unsafe to be left at all without competent supervision. Welcome to the steep learning curve of geriatric decline, eldercare services, Medicare and maybe Medicaid (depends on assets, may have community-based waiver available if they qualify) and I suspect your mom will be very blessed to have you in her corner helping negotiate the rough waters ahead. Hugs...
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Part A is automatic when you get social security. Part B is optional. Part D is covered by optional insurance. Look at their documents. Look at their insurance coverage.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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