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She is a Type 2 Diabetic, she has a history of anxiety and depression, she used to be out and about shopping with my aunt, now she's a hermit. She's had a history with kidney stones likely from not drinking enough water. She doesn't eat enough due to the fact that she sleeps all the time. She's also a very picky eater, doesn't eat fruits and vegetables. She's unwilling to help herself out and that saddens me as her grandson. She knows what she needs to do but then later on refuses. She drinks the Glucerna milkshakes and sometimes diet soda. I would think that would be bad for her and would do more harm than good. She has been in and out of hospital/rehab for broken ankle, and kidney stones/infections.

It may sadden you but it is normal. You cannot conceivably understand it now, but old age isn't any fun. It isn't pretty and there is nothing ahead but loss after loss after loss. There is very little other than a long slow slide ahead. Please allow your grandmother the dignity of handling this her own way. She is tired. As I said, you are way too young to understand, but I as a nurse spent half my career trying to explain to families that people get tired, that they literally eventually disengage even from those who love them very much. They are ready to go after a long full life. They are exhausted. Please try to understand that not everything is about happy and not everything can be fixed. Just be there, stroke her hand, tell her you love her and treasure all your memories of things in your life that included her, that you have learned from her. Don't ask for happy. Please. It is a BURDEN now for her to have to pretend she is happy and well and not tired.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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shad250 Aug 14, 2019
Interesting take. There are stories of people in their 90s and 100s still alert and active.
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I think it’s wonderful that you want to help Grandma find some joy in life for whatever time she has left. But, try not to make her your “project”. As we age, we come to the realization that there were a lot of things we wanted to accomplish in our lives that never got done. A lot of us live with chronic aches and pains. Our lives do not mirror the ones of the Senior Citizens we see on television ads. Current events are horrific. It’s enough to depress a hyena. Not only that, but if we were never social, outgoing people with lots of friends, to suddenly become one is a very daunting task.

I agree that she needs to speak with her doctor about anti-depressants. But, those aren’t magic pills. They take a long time to work, and usually work best when combined with therapy.

Have you tried just sitting and talking with her about her life and what things were like “back then”? An hour spent reminiscing can be a wonderful mood lifter. I learned so many things when my mom and I just sat and talked. I also had a good friend when I was growing up, the mother of my neighbor. Mrs. Smith had been a ticket taker in the Dress Circle at a London theatre. Oh, the stories she told! Gently encourage her that it might be fun to go to, say Bob Evans for breakfast. Let her decide what she wants to do. After a while, she may realize that there are things out there she will enjoy more than sleeping. Good luck! You’re a great guy and she is lucky to have you!
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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pburnett1 Aug 14, 2019
Thank You, that sounds like a great idea to talk with her about her life and what things were like back then!
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Pburnett1, you have your hands full... now questions: since you say she has depression and anxiety, is she on meds? If not, why not? How old is she? Who is her medical Power of Attorney? With untreated depression you're not going to "motivate" her to do anything. Also, can you contact the hospital dietician to get ideas about her nutrition? I would start by treating the depression and the other symptoms may be easier to address. Good luck!
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pburnett1 Aug 14, 2019
I'm not sure if she's on meds, she just turned 82 and right now she is at a rehab center to get more mobility. She has a caregiver whenever she's ready to go home so she should be ok in terms of her nutrition, she likes ice cream and we get her the Breyers low sugar ice cream. One of the reasons she has the depression is because her son my uncle isn't interested in being involved with my family, he doesn't have a job and he has a five year old daughter that my grandma loves to see. The problem is that my aunt and my grandmother live in the same house and my aunt isn't a fan of my uncle because he takes advantage of my grandparent's money and doesn't want to see him come visit. My grandmother understands the damage he's done, but he still is her son and loves him no matter what. All she wants is a happy family.
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