My grandmother fell right after Christmas, fractured her hip. She had previously been living alone and was doin everything in her own up until the fall. She is 88. After the fall it was apparent that she could no longer live alone. My father lives 4 hours away. He and my mother whom are in their late 60's can not care for her. We decided that because of her physical issues and because of her moderate demintia she would come to live with us.
I am a stay at home mom to a 6 year old son with high functioning autism. My spouse of 15 years works from home. So because there are two of us at home most days it seemed like the best thing for my gran to come live with us.
We have a moderately sized home. We had to have a complete renovation of the bathroom before my gran could come home with us. We are currently in the process of remodeling the basement for extra space.
My issue is between caring for a special needs child, who has many "quirks," my spouse, and now grandma I am at my breaking point!
One of the biggest challenges is my gran's non-stop talking. She gets up every morning (we have established a routine to help with her memory) and then she sits by the front window and just talks and talks and talks!!!! She talks about every bird, squirrel, dog, cat, person. She will repeat the same thing every day. Then she will start with the same stories from the past.
She comments on every little house work thing that needs to be done. And what is on the agenda for today? -- this is a particular sore point with me as I do all of the housework, I used to run my own business from home. I am a mental list maker so I know every little thing that needs to be done around the house. I just don't have the energy most days. And when I am cleaning she constantly is pointing out things I miss or things I haven't gotten to. For example when I am dusting she will start telling me about a piece of furniture that is waaaaaayyyyy across the room. One I haven't even touched yet.
She asks non-stop questions about my son. Like really off the wall stuff, like will he get a drivers license, is he going to graduate high school, will he drink and do drugs; my son is six for frackin' sake!?! Most days I feel like it is all I can do to get him out the door, dressed fully, teeth brushed, hair combed and a bite of food in his belly for school.
She is constantly asking if she "can help" but she can't walk with out a cane, and when she does he is very off balance. In the last month she has fallen 3 times because she refuses to sit down while getting dresses. So now I have to watch her an help her get dressed. Reminding her to sit down while putting her shirt on. Then slide on her underwear, pants, socks and house shoes then stand up one time. I have to tell her sit at the end of the bed and then comb your hair.
I have tried giving her small things to do, like fold the laundry, or watch so the dog doesn't run out the door. But she will constantly ask "can she help" And not just one time, repeatedly every 5 minutes or so.
When we watch TV she will just randomly start talking about things. Topics that are not related to the TV show. Or at dinner we will be talking about our sons day and she will then just interject with some random topic even if she was previously speaking about his day.
Riding in the car is a nightmare if you are the driver because she mentions every little thing she sees. Like tonight there was a plastic grocery sack on the side of the road and she asks if we saw the white dog.
Anytime I make her food or we go out to eat she constantly offers everyone at the table some of her food. No matter how many times we tell her no, she will offer again and again. She weighs about 100 lbs and is like a twig. I am overweight so that is frustrating.
She crochets so I have her making a bunch of stuff or different family things like baby showers and weddings. But even then she is not always able to follow a pattern or complete even a small project. She is not able to do any new patterns with out the project going completely amok. I even learned how to crochet so at least she could talk to me about that.
I was taking her to a senior work-out class twice a week but because she couldn't stand and was having a hard time doing the work-out she now refuses to go. I take her to the library once a week to get new books/magazines but she rarely finishes a book now. I take her with me for all the household errands. But she can't walk for long periods so I have to bring her walker with a seat and then try and push her and drag the shopping cart.
The other thing is when she is walking she does not concentrate on walking but starts pointing out random things the will trip because she does not pick her feet.
She hated the rest home/rehab. Won't entertain the idea of a facility at all. My spouse is getting more frustrated than I am and I spend more time with her. She won't "join" in with groups.