I am new to this and need to know how to handle my hateful grandmother. How do I keep my sanity?

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I recently have been given the task of caring for my 90 old grandmother. We have always gotten along so well, so when my mother asked me if I would stay with her while she and my father go back to their hometown for a month or so for a cancer check up I didn't hesitate to help out. I knew that she was getting bad but I had know idea of how horrible this was going to be.

First off let me say that I am newly married and my grandmother lives about an hour and a half away from our house in a quaint little area we'll call the Village. The closest civilization is about 30 minutes away and there is no one around to talk to that is remotely close to my age. Just my parent's dog. I have to wait for Friday (which my husband dreads) for him to come out here and he leaves on Sunday. I cry all the time not only because I miss him but I miss conversation. I am a outgoing person who recently was laid off and this is the only way I could be out here for such an amount of time. I had to put off looking for a job because I didn't want to apply for a position only not to know when I will be able to start.

This is the start of my day for the past few weeks, get up make coffee and get the paper for her. She will grunt at me and snatch the paper out of my hand. She will make her own breakfast and then off to the tv for all of the daytime women's talk shows, these shows drive me batty, and she is hard of hearing so they are turned up as loud as the tv will go. The sound of a bunch of women screeching at each other talking about what celebrity did what is enough to make me blow my brains out. Then there is lunch, I try to make her leftovers of whatever I had for dinner the night before (most of the time I will set it out on the table) and she will not eat it. She just wants peanut butter and bread, reason for this is she doesn't want to pay for the groceries. However, when we are out of bread or coffee guess who pays for it. Not her. My husband and I can't afford to buy food for each of us so he is eating frozen food and take out. Not to mention the gas we are spending to get from to and fro. As the day progresses I will be called names, cussed at, and demeanored for trying to help her. I have been told numerous times that I am mean to her, which I have NEVER been. After the five o'clock news, she is in bed and my new best friend, Mr. W Turkey, will commence to to chat and play on line bingo.

I have tried being nice, cursing back, leaving the room, and taking the dog for very long walks and nothing seems to be right between us. What am I doing wrong?? This really wasn't supposed to be a question, just a place to rant as I haven't spoken to a person yet today, not one word as I am afraid that if I talk to her it will not end up well. She will not talk to me unless it is something ugly but now after going back and reading this a whole new world of questions have come up that I just don't know what to do...how do I get her to eat? how can I make her see that I am not the hateful one? how do I let her know that I am doing this because I love her and that my new marriage is starting to crumble because I resent that my husband has a life? and most of all how do I keep my sanity?

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Today she was much better after I told her that if she kept it up I was leaving. She was nice and had actually been saying thank you. What a difference! Ya'll did have the magic answer!!! BUT tomorrow is another day and did I mention she better act right on Thursday or I am definitely out as it is my birthday and I will be spending it alone thanks to all of this. Just me and M. Lite with a special appearance from Mr. Turkey later on. :)
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I would try to make her laugh. She sounds miserable. What did she do as a young woman-- when she was your age? How old are you? Maybe you could give her a manicure, make her a bouquet of dried or fresh flowers you pick on your walk.
I say kill her with kindness, lighten up the energy in that dreary home. This is an opportunity for you to grow and learn more about human nature. Read something philosophical to raise your awareness. Or Mark Twain, or Hemingway, but not Nietzsche, for heaven's sake. Laugh, be cheerful, don't cry:(((
Make her favorite dinner-- she should be paying for groceries. Ask her how to do something.
Do you get my point? It's a shift in your perspective and expectations.
Try it and let us know. You may be surprised. PS: capnhardass is not a girl...
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Sounds like hell to me! You came expecting to be nice to your grandmother, and she won't let you be! Does it make you feel like a failure?

I am mildly antiCatholic, but I like a quote from Mother Theresa. "God does not call me to be successful. He calls me to be faithful." Every day you stay there, you are doing the right thing. You will NOT be rewarded or thanked by anyone but your parents and yourself. Thank yourself. Remind yourself every 15 minutes not to take it personally.

Peanut butter is quite nutritious. Buy the spongy orange or purple earplugs from the drugstore and use them whenever the TV is on. You can still hear, but at a much lower level.

Try "conditioning." Whenever she says something meaner than average, say, "Grandmother, I'm not going to stay here and listen to that." Walk out of the room. It may or may not cause her to change, but at least you get to walk away for a few minutes without lowering yourself by being mean back.

It still sounds like hell. I really hope it doesn't last 6 months!
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cubfan, older people can get mighty grouchy. Quite often there is no way to please them. The best we can do is work with the way they do things. It is okay to let your GM make her own breakfast and lunch. You can just make a nutritious dinner. If she doesn't have vascular problems, maybe you can add some boiled or deviled eggs to dinner to make it more appetizing. (Leftover eggs are wonderful for egg salad the next day if she wanted it.)

Have you been there longer than a month now? When you spoke of the last few weeks, I wondered if there had been a change in how long you were going to be there. I know you will be glad to see your parents back. I hope the cancer check had good results.

Until they are back, just avoid her when she is being difficult. Let her know if you need money for food. Tell her you're broke, so she is going to have to buy. It sounds like she has a bit of the "princess syndrome" that is all too common in elderly women. They want to save their money in case they need it, never considering that they are spending someone else's money that may also be needed. The only solution I know is to tell her.

eyerishlass and jeanne gave good advice. Caregiving is no fun and it is made tougher by meanness. If you can, just pull yourself above it and let it roll off your back. Use the time to look on the computer for jobs or to spice up your resume. And one word of advice -- don't load your husband down with the negative ways you feel. Men can have a tough time dealing with things like this that aren't fixable. Since it not a long-term thing, he doesn't have to be pulled down into it.

Hope the group has helped some. Most of us here know exactly how you feel. Elderly people can certainly be mean at times. I hope it is just a phase with your GM.
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Everishlass- LOL!!!
Jeannegibbs- due to my mother's condition this could be a lengthy stay. If the cancer comes back it will be at least until October for more chemo and I fully respect my parents for going through this situation for this long. I have said so a few times on the phone crying. My Nana has lived with us since the 80's and only up until few years ago they moved to Mexico where my mother found out about the cancer. Luckily, in MX they have a great health insurance plan where chemo is free so if I have to stay for awhile I stay. I will not put her into a NH unless I can no longer care for her. And as for Captnhardass.... she is a self centered ass but I love her, just got to get through this and maybe have to move her to my place if I have to stay longer than expected.
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if your grandmother is just a self centered ass shes probably too old to change. my only advice would be to stand up to her. bullys only pick on the people who provide an easy target. no you cant hope to change her but you can tell her to pack sand every now and then and walk away.
also if im reading your post correctly this arrangement is for 30 days. f**k i can stay submerged in the bathtub that long. bet you develope some empathy for what your parents deal with all the time. urge other family members to give your parents some respite in the future. the whole fam damily oughtta get involved more iz what im sayin.
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I am sorry you are having such an awful experience. And I am sorry that I don't have a magic solution.

If you were going to be in charge of GrandMother's care permanently (god forbid!) then I'd have some suggestions, or if your parents posted her I'd have some suggestions. For you, repeat this mantra, updating it everyday -- "It is only 27 more days. It is only 27 more days. etc." Most of us can do almost anything if we know the end is in sight.

Your marriage won't crumble in a month. Your sanity will not depart. You will not blow your brains out. You will survive this!

It is sad that your former close relationship is not in evidence. I doubt that GM is in her right mind. I suspect dementia. (Do you believe in sight-unseen diagnosis? I don't!) She needs to be seen by a doctor, and Medicare will cover it, but that really is not your issue, as temporary caregiver. For now try not to hold her bad behavior against her. She probably can't help it. Are there any scrapbooks or boxes of old photos sitting around? Talking about the past may engage her. "Gramma, do you remember when you took me to the county fair when I was 10? Here are some pictures!"

She is not going to develop malnutrition in a month. Let her eat peanut butter sandwiches every day. Offer some grapes or a banana or apple wedges to go with it, but don't fuss if she doesn't want them.

Surely your parents didn't mean for you to take over the expense of feeding her for a month. Call them and ask how to handle restocking the food supplies. GM should definitely be paying her way (out of SS or pension) but, again, that is not an issue you need to be concerned with.

Now that you know how difficult this caregiving situation is, I hope you will find it in your heart to give your parents some respite once in a while. Not for a month!! But taking over for a weekend or even one day occasionally so they can get away and recharge their batteries would be a huge help to them and a very compassionate gesture from you.

You'll get through this! (It's only 26 more days, It's only ...)
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Ohhhhhhhhhh! lol I thought I was losing it!
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Why did I call you peppers? Maybe I need a caregiver.
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Changing my screen name.... Mom might see this post as I said something on FB about it. You can find me now as Cubfan1908
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