What can I do when I'm nervous about leaving my grandma alone? - AgingCare.com

What can I do when I'm nervous about leaving my grandma alone?

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I live with my grandmother, 86, and she has not been diagnosed with alzheimer's or dementia, but she has had 2 mental breakdowns (possibly from lack of sleep or medication?) in the past year, (and had to be hospitalized) so I am always paranoid that if I leave her alone she could fllip out again. She has very strong religious and political beliefs, and also watches news constantly, which can get her upset and want to write letters to the newspaper or contact someone. I have heard her opinions on these things all my life so I get very burned out hearing them all the time. I have bad anxiety and she has high blood pressure and we frequently get in arguments. I don't have friends or family who live close enough to help. I also have some driving fear so we are isolated at home most of the time. I only leave the house and drive to pick up groceries or go to doctor visits. I feel alone and stressed out all the time. Even when I do manage to leave the house for a short time, I can't enjoy myself, and feel like I need to hurry back home. My grandma insists that she is fine and I can leave her, but some days she gets depressed or upset over something she hears on tv or reads in the paper. She feels she needs to get her opinion out to others, and can get restless.
I also worry that she was given Seroquel at night to help her sleep, but she seems to have developed some strange mouth movements & noises during the day.
Any advice is appreciated, thanks

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Hi musiclover,
It seems like you are trying to handle a situation that would tax anyone. Please go online to your state website and look up your state's version of the National Family Caregiver Support Program. You will likely find it by typing "aging" in the search box. This is a good place for you to start getting support. Also, your grandmother's doctor should know about her behavior - all of it. Medications could be making it worse or maybe there's something else that can help. It seems like she may have been mentally ill for a long time.
Your isolation is bad for you and her. If something happens to you, what about her? So, please get support. If your area has an Area Agency on Aging, they can be very helpful. Your county social services may be able to help. Please get outside help before you have your own breakdown.
Carol
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I agree with Carol...You need to make sure you keep a diary of the behaviors with times and dates to better give an idea of what is happening at home when you go to the doctor. Also it might help if you find out what news programs and news triggers her episodes, attempt to deter her from viewing these programs by scheduling other events during them. Detailing comments in quotations will also help to determine if it is dementia vs depression or another mental illness. Remember that you need to care for your self and if it helps your anxiety you can always get a granny cam (the kind you have probably seen on the news that people have used to watch caregivers) you can use this to watch her while you are not there. Making sure that she isnt potentially harming herself. Definately contact the local Agency on Aging.
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