How to cope with overwhelming emotions?


As I watch my grandfather's health take a decline every day. It breaks my heart. He hardly eats anything anymore. He fell again two weeks ago and recently I was helping him into his wheelchair and he was looking at me like he didn't know who I was. Since grandpa's health declined the relationship between him and my mother has become strained. Almost every night they would scream and yell at each other. My mother is stressed, She keeps going back and forth on placing him. She recently took her anger out on me. The stress is so overwhelming that recently I was was rushed to the hospital due to a seizure. I graduated from high school a month ago and I have been trying to get into college and I can't focus I need someone to talk to.

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Poor Grampa. It sounds like he is in a very difficult environment for someone with dementia. Being yelled at every day is not improving his health!
Poor Daughter. It sounds like she may not be very knowledgeable about the condition her father has, or she is in denial, or she doesn't have the coping skills to accept the condition.
Poor Granddaughter. Dementia is a hideous disease for the entire family. It strains relationships not only with the person who has dementia but between other family members.

My heart goes out to all of you. It sounds like keeping Grandpa home is not working out well. It might be better for everyone if he were in a care center appropriate to his needs, and you and Mom visit him as loving daughter and granddaughter rather than try to deal with him as hands-on fulltime caregivers.

Meanwhile, to help satisfy your needs to talk to someone, keep coming here, and also look for a caregiver support group for persons taking care of loved ones with dementia. It can be very helpful to interact with others who know what you are going through -- this would be good for Mom, too.
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You're so young to be going through this. I admire you and your mother for trying to keep your granddad at home. I agree with freqflyer that it may be time to look for another place for him. This will give you and your mother some free time together and you'll be able to look around at colleges if you want... or to find a mate if you want. These things are very hard to do when you're helping with caregiving. I don't know how things are financially for your granddad; I just got the feeling that your mother and you need a break from the stress. I hope that he has the money for a good facility. If not, he may be able to qualify for Medicaid.
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We are listening. What you are going through is pretty tough, it is hard to see someone such as your Grandfather's health go downhill. I am dealing with something similar with my Dad who is 94 and his memory is slipping, it's hard to accept.

All of this is normal. It would be unusual to have an elder in the household who needs a lot of care without there being a lot of stress. You and your Mom have been placed into a position where hardly anyone is trained for this type of work. It's all trial and error.

It sounds like it could be time for your Mom, for her own sanity, to place her Dad into a continuing care facility to get a "higher level of care". It's impossible for one person to do the work of 3 full-time caregivers per day. Mom will crash and burn, actually sounds like she already has.

There is nothing wrong with moving Grand-dad to a new location. He will get 24 hour care, and be around people closer to his own age group. Depending on his memory, he might make new friends and look forward to being around them each day :)
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