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My 90 year old grandmother lives with me. She has always been a negative, unhappy, conflicted, individual. This is really becoming more and more obvious as she ages. She has all of her faculties, she is in great health, yet she demands there is something wrong with her health. When I curb those ideas, she begins insulting me in very nasty ways. I try to have a relationship with her, but most times I don't want to be around her because I'm tired of the verbal abuse. She will get really nasty and then 5 minutes later act like I should have forgotten by now. I grew up this way, as an adult I no longer welcome it. She has nowhere else to go.... What to do? Suggestions for responses or managing her disrespect and insults?

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When you were a youngster, you really had no choice about this. You do now. When she becomes verbally abusive, leave the room. "I'll be back when you are calmer."

If this is mostly abour her health issues, try going along with her. Or just respond "Oh." and move on to another topic.

Ultimately the choice is yours about whether she continues to live with you. There are other choices, although she may not like them. Try the suggestions in this thread and anything else you can think of to defuse the stress on you. If you can't turn the stress level down, consider whether you really are willing to live with it another two years, or six, or ten. Because you are grown up now, and it is your choice.
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my aunt is 90 , later stage dementia and has been in NH for several weeks now . she talks jibberish most of the time and lies like a rug on valium . shes beginning to get quite defiant with anyone who tries to tell her what to do . that just tells me shes getting accustomed to the place , feeling in control again and getting back to herself . shes always welcomed conflict with authority so she can defy them . shes not abusive , just a healthy shade of belligerant ..
go aunt edna .. tell em whats what ..
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Tell her to stop when she is abusive. Walk out of the room. I don't care how old or sick you are, you don't get to act like an abusive idiot. Confront her, I can't take this abuse any longer. You wouldn't take it from a friend; why would you take it from family. Remember she needs you ; you don't need her. You have the real power in the relationship. Shape up or ship out. Treat me with respect and gratitude or ship out. If she doesn't have dementia, hold her to the same standards you would hold a friend.
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Perfect!!! You get the TV!!!!

Whatever works is always the way to go. Good luck!
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Great ideas! I have tried the empathy route.... That doesn't cut it either. This is a sad case of nothing is the right response.... I like the silent treatment. Today, I just agreed with her insults. She got mad, cussed me out, and went upstairs.
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I kinda like the Raid comment.. sometimes it;s needed! If she keeps complaining about her health, tell her if she's that sick maybe it;s time for a nursing home so she can get the care she wants.. That may shut her up. When my Mom is on a tear of pity me, etc I just call her little Mary Sunshine.. she gets the message! And we laugh (sometimes)
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First, I'd say don't curb those ideas about her health. Acknowledge her concerns and empathize. That may just do the trick. (I doubt it. Ha!) If she says, "I feel awful today," you say, "Oh, that's too bad. Did you sleep okay last night?" or maybe, "Ya' know, I feel kind of punk myself. I wonder if there's something going around..."

For managing her disrespect, I'd be inclined to give her the silent treatment. And just leave the room without a word. It's a passive-aggressive way of handling it, but probably better than, "Gram, I've got some Raid for that bug up your *** if you want some." ;) ;)
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