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I'm a part-time caregiver/mediator for a friend. I regularly have to de-escalate situations between the grandmother and every other member of the family. She is extremely manipulative. Her behavior would fall into the "well intentioned but unhelpful" type of quirks,except that when she thinks she isn't being observed, she becomes much more capable and destructive in ways that target people personally. - She is partially deaf, meaning everyone needs to repeat themselves and she yells at everyone... ...but there is no record of it medically, and she regularly eavesdrops by listening against doors and windows (we can hear her fumble around when we approach doors and when caught she pretends to be "stretching her legs") - She likes to clean the house... ...but she does it by breaking into locked or otherwise private rooms (she has damaged locks, removed safety tape over electrical systems, and even entirely removed a doorknob), then usually breaking objects, taking favored items to hide until later (we've observed her planting then "finding" them around the house later as a reason to yell at someone for being "careless"), or outright disassembling things that prevent entry - She does the laundry sometimes... ...and items that people express favor towards (favorite shirt, comfortable undergarments, etc) end up in the trash. She pretends she doesn't know where they went. - She cares deeply about the pets... ...except she has gotten multiple pets killed with "home remedies" or "cleaning accidents". Remember how she breaks into rooms and messes around? One room in the house has a single switch that toggles the power to the whole room. That switch has tape thoroughly covering it (literally impossible to flip) and a sign directly over it that explains that the animals will die if the switch is turned off (temperature controls/incubation/etc). This tape was of course removed, the sign nowhere to be found, and the room was cold when the family member who owned those pets got home. RIP chicks, almost RIP snake. She also permanently blinded her grandaughter's emotional support dog with a homemade abrasive "eye wash", necessitating the dog being put down. Her defense is usually saying she didn't do anything, then saying it wasn't her fault, then saying she doesn't care if something/one was damaged because nobody is ever thankful for her help. I said before that she targets people personally, here's what I mean: - She knows that the autistic grandson won't confront her, so she berates him for things he can't defend himself over and blames him for everything she can, but only directly at him and she thinks nobody else is listening. - She knows that the granddaughter with the service/emotional support animal requires relative peace without interruption to work (artist) and a safe place to decompress with her dog, so she repeatedly bothers her (and ONLY her) with inane but harmless questions (did you eat? did you see the new bottle opener I got?, Do you know where the remote is?) which she of course "can't hear" the answers to, until the granddaughter becomes "disrespectful" by raising her voice, which leads to grandma standing near the closest open window yelling about how terrible of a granddaughter she is. This almost always ends with the granddaughter losing her composure entirely with a full blown anxiety attack, complete with screamed responses. - She knows that the mother and father are relatively straightforward, so she goads them by saying things like "I wish you had died instead of my other son" until they slam a door, then starts reciting every failure she can think of as loud as she can until they lose it and leave the house. - She knows her husband won't speak up unless it's an emergency, since his indifference towards her antics was legendary even BEFORE he had a stroke and his attention span took a hit. They are both very clear that there is no love between them, they just don't believe in divorce or separation. - The only member of the household she doesn't go after is the minor, who from the moment he joined the household (as a teen) has ignored her, worn earbuds, and never let her learn anything about him. In a recent case, she cornered Mom, berated her, then struck her, leaving cuts. Grandpa stepped in, managed to separate them, but also somehow broke his arm across grandma's face causing a black eye. The police have informed us that no matter what she does, the elderly are a protected class and any injury is an aggression by the younger party, because they are expected to control themselves and defend without letting her hurt them. Multiple people in the household have developed suicidal ideation and have had to have been removed from the home for up to a year, only to relapse within a few hours of re exposure to her behavior.

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Yes, she is a danger whether she owns the house or not.
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Grandma needs to be gotten into a psychiatric facility.
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So who are you working with? What do CPS say about the children's living situation? Any alternatives on offer?
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@Katiekate they HAVE moved out previously, but when they go, she suddenly became MUCH more mobile and started hanging out in public places they are known to visit. She "coincidentally" showed up at a date her granddaughter was having and loudly announced how rude the granddaughter was for not introducing him and refused to leave until the granddaughter became distraught enough to make the date not want to get in the way of "family business". Nobody in the house makes enough money to keep a roof over their head, so it's her way or homeless, which multiple people in the family have taken the latter option on before.

@Countrymouse: everyone in the youngest generation, but the two youngest are there because this environment was technically better than the one they were escaping. Their mother ran a drug house a few towns over, and it was being broken into every few days (so much so that they stopped replacing the locks and left the house open to prevent more damage) The parents are in their own little world involving an unknown amount of prescription drugs and a "F this old lady, I'm gonna go out till they all stop screaming" attitude. They have a dresser in front of the door to their room, so no breaking in for grandma.

@rovana that's part of why I'm here.
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Please advise the victims of this vicious woman how to get help and get out - I'm thinking of the youngest generation.
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Sounds like quite a household. Is anybody in it who doesn't have a choice about whether to be there?
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I have no idea what you are going to do....after all, you can quit the job.

I would advise those family members to MOVE. Get out of there. Grandmas mental illness have too much leaning to violence. Get out. Move into your own home...NOW
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@Jeannegibbs: She's in the household because she owns the house and the local police know the family on a last-name basis because of the amount of complaints they get and the parents previous drug use, so much so that the grandchildren are hesitant to talk to police because they become standoffish as soon as they hear the name ("Wait, Doe as in John Doe?"). The house functions as 3 separate households whenever possible, with the oldest generation doing their own thing and having the run of the home, the middle generation staying in their room (the converted garage) or out of the house, and the youngest generation at school/work most of the time, then in their own rooms or tending the pets in the backyard (they raise chickens, with the approval of the neighbors.)

My role is as a mediator/defuser for the entire family, as well as part-time caregiver for both the autistic grandson and the grandparents. I visit every other day or so, make sure the grandson is getting whatever he needs (the parents are taking most of his social security benefits and giving him ~$100 a month while also committing fraud themselves. We've reported it to no effect.), and spend time with the grandparents to keep her telling stories, since she definitely cools off a bit once she has a captive audience that can't get upset at her for telling increasingly fictional accounts of the family history. I say fictional because by my estimate, she and her husband have lived about 5 lifetimes and worked for a combined 300 years in these stories.

I took the role because I have some training as a mediator as well as 5 years of experience in handling abuse cases for minors and young adults. I am not regularly paid because the only people in the house that will admit they need the help is the grandchildren, and I've been "adopted" by them as a sibling (I'm 27, 3 years older than the oldest grandchild, who I was introduced to the family through).

@Evermore99 This is California, where two-party consent laws apply to recordings. There is an exception for public outbursts and when recording a "serious crime", but the problem is that her actions are relatively innocuous as shown above. She rarely uses any force, instead opting to cause tension via "deafness" and "just helping" until someone raises their voice or becomes upset, then continues the cycle by yelling back at them. As a relative outsider, I'm the only one in the house other than grandpa who doesn't get upset at her, and I've personally witnessed the police telling the grandchildren to just "live with it" because she's an old woman who just wants attention.
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Get her on camera and get recordings of her doing the stuff she does. If something happens, show it to the officers and the court. Then she can explain what she did. She should have been thrown out of the house when she blinded the service dog.
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Why is this mentally ill grandmother in the household? Who is caring for her husband, and what kind of care does he need?

I hope you will explain that first, and then others may have some comments for you.

Since you want to know what you should do, it would helpful to know where you fit in. Are you a paid caregiver? A trained mediator? Who are you taking care of? Gtampa?
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