Trying to help my gram but not sure how to go about it?

Asked by

Hi, so i guess i should start with some details. 3 or 4 years ago my mom and grandfather passed away 3 months apart. I ended up moving in with my gram shortly after my grandfathers passing. She was still herself at that point. A little less then a year later i had moved out and she asked me when i was coming home. I asked her why and she stated she was forgetting to take her meds. I moved back that day and havent looked back. She started needing daily reminders for her meds. Then she needed to be told repeatedly to shower. She will forget where things/places are located that have been located in the same place for 10 years. She no longer wants to drive, which honestly i agree with. I have stepped up and now am the "mother" of my household. I got my permit so i can drive for her (im 28 so it was a little late but ill have my license soon) i tried explaining the change in her listen anywho would listen her doctors, friends, family, etc. She sugarcoats it for the doctors. My family refuse to see it for what it truly is. She wants to be with my grandfather shes told me this many of times. But i feel she should try to make the most of life. In just 3 years i now am the only one keeping the house running (my household consists of my uncle myself my boyfriend and gram) i am the one who makes sure theres food in our fridge, oil to heat the house, i cook, and i clean. My gram doesnt really talk to me anymore but im the one trying to help her sovle her problems. I have put alot of pressure on myself after so long of no one taking responsibility for various problems. I feel like i have to remember/be concerned about everything from the broken thibgs around the house to my grams health to the basic wellbeing of the house and its people. I felt at first after doing some research that my gram was suffering from depression, which with all the loss was more than understandable. But she has been on an antidepressant for a while now. Im worried it could be dementia. The doctors wont take my concerns seriously so i have asked my aunt to be the person who deals with the doctors. But she doesnt see or believe me how bad it has gotten. I guess after exasperating every possible resource i can think of i am here just wondering if i am alone in my situation and if not how i could handle it all better. I am so stressed out all the time. I dream of my stressors. I do have support through my boyfriend, but my mom would have been the go to for this whole mess. This is my first attempt to get advice through an onlibe community so fingers crossed.

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
Ali., you will get lots of shared experiences here, so welcome to the site. This is a lot of responsibility for you at 28! (Do you work as well?) A few thoughts for you-- Where is your unlce in all of this? Is he contributing to his Mom's care? Who is supporting the household financially? Are other family members taking their fair share of caregiving responsibility? Get them involved early in the process as the load grows with passing time.
Study up on dementia. The Alzheimers site has lots of good information including warning signs. Can you keep a journal of 'incidents' so you can refer back to them when visiting others that you are trying to inform? Has your grandma had a physical check up recently. There are other situations that mirror dementia and certainly you would want to see if there is another cause for her confusion. So this is enough from one person, I know others will chime in.
I have the same questions as geewiz above. What about your Grandmother's son who is living in the same household, does he work and finance the household or do you have to take care of him, too? What about your boyfriend, working or staying home to help you?

One thing to learn, do not enable others in the house, they have to pull their fair share, since your Grandmother needs all the help she can get. Otherwise you will find yourself doing 100% of everything, eventually resenting everyone.

As for your Grandmother's daughter [your aunt], I assume she's the daughter or daughter-in-law.... have her take care of her mother [mother-in-law] for a full day to give yourself a rest.... then and only then will she realize how much is involved in taking care of your Grandmother.
My uncle works as well as my boyfriend. My uncle lived here before my grandfather passed as did i. My uncle isnt much help. He does his own thing basically i only deal with cooking and washing the dishes on that front. My boyfriend came in to the picture after this had all started and helps me the most picking up where i get too stressed. My grandmother handles the house financally, my aunt makes sure the checks go out because that was never my grams thing. I wish i could have my aunt come see what it is i do, but i dont think she believes she needs care like that. As for the doctor side she does go regularally after i took contol she had skipped a few too many appointments for me to allow. I then passed that to my aunt. I guess my issue is the "adults" around me dont respect me as an adult enough to take what im saying seriously, or thats what ive started to think. I have had a couple jobs here and there but couldnt support my household properly my gram was always the first to tell me to just quit. I also spent about a year watching my nephew (2) which actually did great things for my grama and the household in the way i was keeping up with it. I know ive written alot but thank you so much its nice to have somewhere to talk about all this
Well at least you have finacial help, and that's a biggy. Who has POA,, because someone is going to need it. you say Gma runs the finances, but Aunt sends out the checks? How does this work out? I agree you may have some trouble being taken seriously as the "baby " in the house, but it sounds like your doing fine in that regard!
Hmm ... what was I doing at age 28? I was married for the second time, with my husband ran the household of two teenagers and two toddlers, did all the shopping, some of the cooking, supervised a cleaning person, worked full time, attended school plays and concerts and teacher meetings.

Absolutely no one in my life thought of me as anything but a capable adult.

Obviously my situation was very different in many ways from yours. (I have also been a caregiver, and I know that is different.) But my point is that 28 isn't too young to take on the running of a household and the responsibility for dependents. Don't sell yourself short. Don't let others sell you short. You can do this. You can make it work -- if that is what you WANT to do with your life at this time.
Top Answer
For one source of education and support, go to the nearest senior center. I think they always have a social worker who can tell you what kinds of help are available locally. You can find it by googling Area Agency on Aging with your town and county name.

It's time to speak to an Elder Law attorney so that someone can get a durable power of attorney and health care proxy for when grandmother declines more.

It is very common for other people to deny that someone has dementia. I'm 69, and when my brother and sister got a look at my husband's behavior - repeated questions, no idea where he was etc. - they expressed their shock that he was that bad. I guess they don't want to believe it.

Yes, make a record of the problems that arise, and share it with your aunt and her doctor. This website is a good place to learn about dementia and how to handle lots of related problems. Use the search bar at the top of the page and enter "refuse to bathe" to find methods that are helpful.

This situation could last another 10 years. Explain to the family that if you are going to handle this situation, you will need their trust and support. Decide for yourself whether you want to put your life on hold for that long. You have the right to give notice and walk away after a month or two and let grandmother's grown children deal with the situation themselves.
In regards to he bills, My grandfather had a very specific way of keeping his check book my gram never really understood it. So when he passed my aunt started coming down once a week or so to make sure the bills get sent out. She is a caregiver as her job. I want to be able to help my gram as much as she may need. I ask myself what would mom do? And
Oops i cut myself off... I do not have the knowledge or experience of my mom but i find that im learning. I feel very relieved that i have found the aging care community, this gives me hope that i can handle this better now that i have this.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support