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Right now I have a grandmother that lives with me. She has mobility problems, kidney disease and high blood pressure and I am pretty sure she has some kind of dementia or age related decline but God forbid she gets tested for that. She always was a Slovenian New but it's gotten worse. Will she spend her own money to go and get her own shoes to wear or clothes? Forget about it, she says I have to buy them for her. Spend her own money on copays or on her medication? It's not happening. So it comes down to me because I'm afraid that Social Services will come down on me. But she always was greedy but it's gotten worse. Example, I needed to pick up my seizure medication along with my birth control, the moment I walked in the door, she snatched them out of my hands and said that they were for her. I was flabbergasted and grabbed them back and asked why did an 85 year old woman need birth control and she didn't have seizures so what was the deal? She said it was her house but in reality it's mine. I needed new shoes and as soon as they came in, she told me that everything that I buy and comes into the house belongs to her. It made me livid because this woman with her pension, Social Security, savings and investments has over $4,000 every month that she won't spend. The things she spends it on are her fake nails and getting her hair styled, so no, she isn't broke. How normal is this? What can I do?

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Here is an update. My grandmother took a nasty spill after her fake nail appointment and was taken to the hospital. She didn't break anything but the doctors kept her for a couple days then tried to get me to take her back. My response was find someone else to wipe her @ss i wasn't putting my health and safety at risk anymore. She is in assisted living now with my mom and aunt as guardians. They are using my grandmother's money to clean up and fix her house to sell it. I'm feeling a lot better since she is out of my place. I'm not sure about happier but calmer. I will take calmer right now..
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She sounds like she has dementia in spades and does not have the judgement or empathy to perceive beyond her own wants, needs, and fears - I would say it is not old age or greed, but loss of thinking and reasoning skills. It is probably worse than anyone wants to believe it is. (No comment on the Fox News, my hubby watches it and believes some of it too..and wrestling, though at least he knows its not "real"...I would not dare block any of it though!!) Glad you are getting help and maybe they can play bad cop with your family. She is not only disoriented, but endangering you with throwing out your meds and trying to prevent you from getting medical and dental care. Someone needs at least POA and maybe guardian, so they can help use her money to take care of her real needs for housing and help. THAT would "honor" her more than letting her rule the roost and let her own home go to ruin, along with her grand-daughter's health and sanity.
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Eldarwen, what response did you get from Dpt of Aging? Do you know the process to evict a tenant in your area?
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Here is an update. I did call the Department of Aging to help me out because I need her out and I put a lock on my bedroom door. I can't take the risk of her going through my belongings again along with throwing my meds out(she has tried to do that too). I'm about to s*** kick some family members though. It goes between what did I expect, honor my elders, to she wouldn't do that. They don't want to take care of her but don't want her on her own. My house my rules, I can throw anyone out for no reason at all. The woman is pouting right now because I wouldn't go out grocery shopping and I managed to get into the dentist sooner to have a broken tooth pulled. I said that on Friday, we can go grocery shopping but this time, she is paying for them. My response to her tantrums is that you have been staying here for two months, it's your turn to pay for food.
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Good Lord, Eldarwen! If it had been me, I would have gone postal if I found my mom going through my stuff - deciding what was hers! I'm funny about my stuff - I got my first job at age 15 and since I was earning my own money my mom figured I could start buying for myself what ever I needed beyond food. By the time I was a senior in high school I was working full time - I had enough credits to get out of school around 1:00 o'clock then I worked the closing shift at a store in a mall. I had a car, a Visa card and other than my car insurance and the few meals I had at home - I was pretty self sufficient. So yea, even to this day, I'm pretty territorial about my stuff - I can't imagine going through what you are right now. You completely have my admiration for not ripping your moms head off! And thanks - this totally reenforces the decision I've made to never let my mother come to live with me and my family!
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My grandmother has always been greedy and cheap. Come home from from work today to see this woman going through my belongings in my room. She had a trash can and her laundry basket. She was deciding on what she was going to take what was "hers" and what could be thrown out. My whole jewelry box was in the laundry basket with one bottle of perfume. The rest of my perfume collection was in the trash can along with many other things. Needless to say it was battle royal with her. It looks like I have to lock my bedroom door again. I have already talked to her doctor and asked for referrals to geriatric doctors to check for dementia and lie out my butt about the doctor said that you need to see this doctor to test for dementia. But first thing Monday is going to be a phone call to the Department of Aging to get her out of my place.
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Feedup LOL I thought mine was the ONLY one !! Mine has begun to call me a LIAR and MISMANAGING her meds !! My hubby tries to explain to her that the medication is just another manufacture and that's why it looks different but when I went to clean her bathroom I found the reminisce of it ground up on the rug in front of her toilet so she's tricky enough to "cheek it". So now I have to watch that too. Also noticed on her last shower that she has developed a bed sore ironically in the same spot she scratches !! She insists there is no sore therefore refuses to allow me to medicate it so all I can do is notify her Dr. and have HIM address it!!
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My nut case MIL is the same way. Yes they get greedy (and mean too). It's part of the dementia I suppose. Or they are just an ass like they always were.
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my MIL is the same way. My husband and I live with her because with her alz/dementia and cancer she is unable to live alone. She was unable to decide what pills to take a year ago and has now depended on me to give them to her and Lord help me if the pharmacy gives another (colored pill or size) then she says I am not giving them to her right. For the last 6 months or so she spends her money, and then some. She double pays bills owed, but the kicker is my husbands check from work LOL she thinks that is hers too and goes into absolute melt down if he pays OUR bills.... YES WE HAVE BILLS TOO !! He has 9 stents and has had 4 heart attacks, I too have medical issues and must fill our scripts along with insurance for the car cell phone payments, food Gasoline, cable . Hubby took over payment on the house and although we have taken a lot of the finical load off her she STILL thinks we have to give her ever single dime we have !! SMH I hate when the bills come in the mail I know its time for another MELT DOWN!!
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I'm sorry, but it sure sounds like dementia to me, her thinking certainly isn't rational. Or has she always been this way? With $4K a month she can afford a very nice apartment, I agree with the others, time to get her out!
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Eldarwen, get her OUT. Now.

She can "expect" anything she wants to. I can "expect" that my grandchildren will pool their money and send my on a two-month cruise around the world. Doesn't mean it will happen. :) She may have meltdowns every hour on the hour. That does not change your obligations in any way.

You were a good and caring grandchild to volunteer to help GM in the time of her self-made emergency. Emergency over. Fix your house, GM, or abandon it and find an apartment.

I would first find out the process for eviction in your area. Sometimes it can take a while and the sooner you start, the sooner it will be effective.
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My Grandmother is extremely cheap and God forbid she spends any kind of money. I don't get SSI became I am not disabled enough as per the Social Security people. I work 60 hours a week and I'm exhausted. When she decided to go out to dinner one night, she was so drunk, she passed out in front of her doorstep and the neighbors found her and she was rushed to the hospital due to low body temperature. When a home inspection was done, they said that she had to get the house cleaned up and fixed up for her to live safely. So this was supposed to be a temporary thing but she has made no arrangements to get this done. She expects me to do all the work myself. I made it clear that it was her house, I wasn't setting foot in her house to do any cleaning or fixing up. It was a major meltdown because I told her she actually had to pay people to do this. Here response was that she was a widow and didn't have the money to do this. I am checking out ways and getting phone number to call to get her out of my house. She has the money to fix up her house but she wants it for free and she is having a meltdown now because I blocked her precious Fox News. It's getting harder and harder to get away from her even to pee let alone shower. I can't take the worry and stress about if I am going to be able to have a place to live and enough food.
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I don't know what a Slovenian New is, but if your GM is an example, I'd guess it is a Narcissist. Am I close?

First of all, why on earth would Social Services come down on you for not paying your GM's copays when she can very easily pay them herself? Who has you brainwashed about the role of SS in elder care? Get that fear totally out of your mind.

"She says I have to buy them for her." And you believe her? Because? Did she raise you? I'm wondering who installed these guilt buttons she is so adept at pushing.

You take a seizure medication. Are you on disability? If so and you are comfortable with your case worker, contact him or her for some ideas of what to do with GM.

If you have no case worker that you already know, call the Social Services department that you so inappropriately fear and explain that GM is living with you but that it isn't working out and you need a needs assessment for her. Because of her income level she may not qualify for any of their services, but they can help determine what she needs and give some advice for going about getting it.

And to answer your original question, no it is not normal for people to become greedy just because they are getting older. Often there is a tendency to be more self-centered or self-aware and more cautious about their own needs, as they feel more vulnerable. But saying everything that comes into the house belongs to her is over the top.

What are your reasons for suspecting she may have dementia? What symptoms make you suspicious? As NancyH says, appropriate approaches for persons who have dementia are different. For example "tough love" typically doesn't work with dementia, although it may be the best course of action in other cases.

Your house, your rules. Whether GM has dementia or not, she must not be allowed to exploit you financially, which is clearly what she is doing now.
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What if you disappeared off the face of the earth tomorrow, you think grandma would figure out someplace to live and have to spend her own money? Sure she would. In other words, don't be so afraid of social services in the first place. What's the worst that can happen? Yep grandma will have to fend for herself. Now I'm saying all this IF your grandma is just stingy and doesn't have dementia, which is a whole different problem. So if she is just refusing to pay for her own things, the ball us in your court. Make some changes financially that you can live with. Good luck. ♥
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