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problems with grandmother - but can't stand the idea of a care home... watch

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    My grandma, who is slowly deteriorating in health, and has very mild dementia, has been living with me, my little sister and my dad for just over six years. My relationship with her was fine whilst I was younger, but now I see what a selfish person she truly is, and why her relationship with my mother is so spiky; she can't abide not being the centre of everything, and believes that anything that is not focused on her to be irrelevant. This is nothing to do with old age - my Mother remembers this from when she was very small, and often talks about the complete disinterest her mother showed both in her and in my uncle. What is more, my uncle is terminally ill, but she always refused to go up to Scotland to visit him, even when we offered to drive her there. When she phones him, the first thing she talks about is her own (largely imagined or petty) problems. She has always accused us of stealing her money and trying to kill her, when my parents wait on her hand and foot, getting up at 3 in the morning for her, cooking her meals, doing her shopping, taking her everywhere, cleaning her house (she lives in her own part of the house), helping her do everyday activities every half hour, it seems; they do all this and so much more, whilst they both work in full-time jobs, my mum out at work in a high profile position in her workplace, and my dad working at home, where he is constantly interrupted. I am at uni most of the time, and my sister still has three years to go before she takes GCSEs. We also had build over our garden, and get rid of lots of our possessions, so that we could house her. For all that they do, they are both - and especially my mother- subjected to constant abuse. She also spreads malicious lies about us around the village, saying we are trying to get rid of her. She doesn't care how it affects our family life - and she really voiced that opinion.

    I really don't know what should be done. She does need constant help from us, and there is care home near where she used to live that have agreed to look after her- yet although she is not entirely corpus mentis, but she is perfectly capable of understanding what is going on. She stayed at a local care home for a week a few months ago, and I went to go and visit her, and I found the people who were looking after her were incredibly patronising, treating her as if she were a child. She was angry, and bored, and felt immensely sorry for her. Just to get this straight, despite all I just said, she is family, my only surviving grandparent, and I love her. I can't bear the thought of her seeing all her belongings, the evidence of her life, all being boxed away, and her being sent off to live in a place where she will be without identity, among people she barely knows, being treated in the same way as someone who has extreme dementia. Yes, she is cantankerous, and sometimes a danger to herself - but I wouldn't wish such an end to life to anyone.

    My parents have pretty much decided that she will have to go - but I am very unsure....

    Does anyone else have similar problems/ opinions on what to do in this situation?

    (sorry for the long paragraphs! And probably the typos - I have revision to do, so can't really spend any more time on this!)

    You have mixed feelings about the situation. Many decisions are not very easy to make in life.

    My Mum was a young nurse and she used to think that the old people on the ward were very whiney etc. As she got older herself, she appreciated what it was like to be old and disabled. It kinda gets to you and turns you into a person you would not want to be with.

    Its fantastic that you are able to overlook her faults and still love her. Your patience and kindness will pay yourself back later. In years to come, after she has passed, you will be able to be proud that you did the right thing by being loving to her. Animosity will only lead to regret later, even if she seems to deserve it.

    Neither solution is perfect. But its important that your family does not get stressed if she is around because both her and your family will suffer.

    If she goes into a care home she will probably deteriorate quicker, but if she gets visits and outings that will still give her a quality of life.

    She probably cant really help what she says. But I'm sure she would appreciate any kind words you can give her. It's ok to challenge things she says...just don't expect it to make a great deal of difference!!

    You could try and get advice from a charity for the elderly eg Age UK or the Alzeimers association. They may be able to offer more advice of what to expect and any other care options.
    • Very Important Poster

    Very Important Poster
    Another option might be carers coming into the house and looking after her? She has to go to social services for this. She doesn't need a referral.

    Its extremely difficult situation, I think your kindness might not be acknowledged but it certainly must be felt, so keep it up. Carer seems the best solution.
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