Post # 1
I’m not sure how to handle this situation.
My grandma was over the moon when I got engaged (she loves my FI), she couldn’t wait for the wedding, offered to pay for my dress and cake, etc etc. She always talked about how wonderful marriage is and how she can’t wait for me to be a wife and have little Italian children.
It’s been a year since our engagement and it seems like she is in the beginning stages of dementia. She swears up and down my grandpa is having numerous affairs, she hits him, grabs him, throws things at him, will not cook for him, and has locked him out of the house. She will lie about things, deny things, try to make people feel sorry for her and make him seem like the bad guy. Mind you, my grandpa is almost 90 years old and has dementia himself. He can barely open a jar of grape jelly let alone drive 20 minutes away to have an affair.
So now anytime someone mentions the wedding she says that I should not get married, it will be the biggest mistake, all men are lying cheating pigs. She also told me I am going to be a bad mother and I shouldn’t have children.
It’s crazy because she went from the nicest, sweetest funniest lady who couldn’t wait for my wedding…to absolutely cruel in a years time. Actually, this started in April so in only a few months!
I realize she probably doesn’t mean the things she is saying, but it’s hard not to take them personally. I’ve made a post before about her telling me she loved and cares about my cousin more than she loves me. It’s just hard to hear her say these things!
My family has gotten together and we’ve called her doctor who set her up an appt. with a Psychiatrist but that isn’t for another 2 weeks. She has told the nurse she “knows why women kill their husbands”…and her doctor won’t do anything about it! I am thinking about calling Adult Protective Services because I don’t know what else to do.
I’ve been looking forward to my wedding day for so long and now I’m scared she’s going to ruin it somehow by stopping it.
Post # 3
I am so sorry you are going thought this, my family went through same thing with my grandfather. He did the same thing to my grandmother. He accused her of having affairs/ secret meetings/phone calls. He started to abuse her. My mom and her brothers ended up taking his keys away and putting him in a home for alzheimers
Post # 4
@BakerBee16: Dementia is part of growing older for a lot of seniors, and just have to tell youself that its an illness, that’s not your Grandma talking, its her illness saying those things. Just like cancer, parkinsons, or any other disease, it has symptoms and paranoia, violence and mood swings are the earmarks of it….
Seek treatment, and do what’s best for her….at the core of all of this, your wedding isn’t even a relevant factor in ratio to making sure she’s comfortable, safe and as happy as possible for the remaining days of her life.
Odds are good that a specialty home with set routines, trained staff and proper medication is going to ensure that she’s in a good place in every way, but taking an elderly member from those homes once they’re established isn’t always recommended….so she probably won’t even be at your wedding.
Post # 5
@BakerBee16: Im sorry you’re going thru this. My grandma had early stages of dementia(we think). She didn’t think anything was wrong with her but there were obvious signs. She didn’t act the way your grandma does. She just couldn’t remember things. I would have to eat breakfast twice because she didn’t remember me eating 5 minutes prior. She could remember things from 50 years ago but couldn’t remember things from 5 minutes ago. It was so sad. She would also ask me when I was getting married even though I wasn’t engaged yet. Well…last August she had a severe stoke and passed away. Because she lived so far away, I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye but luckily my dad and aunt flew out and were able to get to the hospital before they took her off life support. She was otherwise healthy before her stroke. It hurts me so bad that she won’t be here for my wedding because I know she was really looking forward to this day…even when I wasn’t engaged yet.
I’m sorry I really don’t have any advice except it can be difficult to deal with but just hang in there. I just thought I’d share my story with you.
Post # 6
My grandmother had dementia from a stroke many years ago. She lost her ability to read and so forth. She was never mean, but she forgot who we were a lot of the time. Or she’d tell stories differently. Or she’d talk to us and then instantly forget she did so and get upset at us. 🙁
I am sorry you are going through that with your grandmother and grandfather. 🙁 I am hoping that the appropriate doctors can point you in the correct direction and help your family cope with this. That is their job and they have seen it all before, I’m sure they will help you.
I don’t think she will somehow stop your wedding, though, unless you let her. So I wouldn’t worry about that.
Post # 7
My grandfather had dementia. It mostly involved answering the same questions every time I saw him and my Nana essentially running his every action. Papa had 5 major (I think) and several smaller strokes during the last 10 years of his life which greatly impacted his mental capacity. After his final stoke he was left mute and partially paralyzed. My grandmother opted to put him on life support with a feeding tube. What ever was left wasn’t my Papa anymore. He couldn’t talk, but my parents (they refused to let me come visit because they wanted me to remember him as he was) said that they could tell that he was furious and that he blamed my grandmother for his stroke (it was not her fault in any way). He was on life support for a month or so and after the first few weeks was transfered to a nursing home. A couple of my grandparent’s friends had their father in the same home and they would go to visit at the same time. That turned out to be a stroke of luck. One day while my Nana was visiting Papa alone he grabed her index finger and started forcing it backwards trying to break her finger. Nana couldn’t get him off of her and cried out, the friends next door rushed in and got him off of her before she was seriously harmed. I think that incident was what helped my Nana realize that her husband wasn’t really there anymore. The next week he caught a bad infection and Nana opted to withdraw the feeding tube. He passed quickly. In retrospect Nana wishes she had never okayed the feeding tube and drawn his death out over a whole month.
With these kind of degenerative mental illnesses there comes a point where the family is just not capable of handling the situation anymore, whether it is because they don’t have the experience or they can’t handle the heartbreak. At that point you need reinforcement from trained professionals. I think calling APS is a good idea.
Post # 8
I work with the elderly who have dementia. there are several women in particular who were probably very pleasant & polite in their younger days but possibly due to anger and the feeling that they don’t have control over their own life anymore, they can be very very nasty…. then five minutes later they have no recollection of their behavior…. they lose their ability to think things through properly.. please don’t take things she says personally. as far as the wedding, I really have no advice. I’m sure when she sees you on your wedding day she will think you are beautiful.
Post # 9
@BakerBee16: One of my co-worker’s husbands suddenly started doing things like that–it wound up being a serious neurological disorder!
If you can, I’d see if you can get her an appointment with her doctor. Someone who will see “Here are the symptoms” instead of “old people occasionally go crazy”
Post # 10
My step-grandpa has alzheimers and it’s really hard on the whole family, especially since his kids are useless.
He called me the wrong name at our wedding, but he still remembers it and tells everyone what a nice wedding it was on good days, so that feels warm and fuzzy.
It sucks that your Grandma is turning into someone else. I hope you can get her the medical support she needs and try to distance her medical issues from her true self.
Post # 11
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. My Grammie had Alzheimers and they thought it was just Dementia at first. It started out with her accusing family members of stealing things from her, then it was people were coming through her walls and stealing from her closet. She had to be moved from her apartment to an assisted living facility that dealt with Alzheimers and ultimately she ended up in a nursing home. It is so sad to watch and so heartbreaking to lose the grandparent that you love so much first in personality, then in body. Unfortunately there is not a whole lot you can do about it, other than have her under the care of a qualified physician and consider moving her into assisted living or some sort of facility that specializes in dementia/alzheimers care.
Post # 12
She really doesn’t mean it. People often become obsessed with sexual infidelities when the balance of their mind is disturbed. I don’t know why. My Grandmother often says similar things about my Grandfather, and they can’t possibly be true.
I always think that it is, perhaps, her youthful insecurities coming out now that she lacks memory and restraint.
Post # 13
@BakerBee16: Please try to know this isn’t personal, and it is the illness. It is a sad, sad thing. I actually did the Alzheimer’s walk for my grandpa, who passed away due to Alzheimers. He had always had a hard time remember our names, but we thought it was becuase he had so many granddaughters.
One day, he snapped. Grandma, who was in a wheelchair, went out to throw the dog some food and she fell. He threatened to kill her with a shot gun, said he was going to kill himself with ether, neighbors called the cops and he said all of this in front of them. He was taken in for an evaluation, all the guns removed from his house…and in the end blamed it all on his daughters while his son was stealing his money.
He died never knowing how much his son was hurting him and how much his daughters were helping him. He died not knowing who I was anymore when, just months earlier, he saw me and asked why I was already wearing makeup (at 18 years old–he thought I was still 12).
It sucks, and it is hard, but all you can do is go on with life and just be there. It is the illness making her think irrational thoughts, and I know that if she was of sound mind, she would be very happy for you.
Post # 14
My grandmother had dimentia. Over the course of it she became far, far less pleasant to be around, and sometimes downright mean. This all happened when I was in my teens and we lived with her. It was a very unpleasant experience for all of us, unfortunately.
At the moment, FFIL is a significant way through the disease, himself. He’s older (late 70s) and has always been a little “off” in the years that I’ve known him. However, as time has passed, he became paranoid, confused, and started to yell at FMIL–the sweetest human being on this planet. By now he doesn’t even recognize me and I’m not sure he really knows who FI is, either. He still lives at home with FMIL but even she is unsure of how much longer she can juggle fulltime work and caregiving (they have a lady who comes to the house while FMIL is at work). It’s tragic, watching his decline. We’re still planning the wedding as if he is going to attend, but I think we all know that there will be no benefit. He won’t know what’s going on and FMIL will spend the day focused, rightly, on her husband instead of celebrating the wedding of her only child. The whole situation makes us very, very sad.
There’s no happy way to end this post, sadly, other than to tell you to keep repeating that she’s sick and doesn’t mean what she says. It’s hard to remember at times (believe me, I remember my grandmother’s mean words to this day), but it needs to be your mindset.
Post # 15
Thank you to all who replied! It is very hard watching the woman I’ve known my whole life turn into someone else. The thing is, if she even has dementia, it’s in the early stages. I mean she still does their checkbook and pays the bills! So a part of me doesn’t even know what could be wrong with her. It could be like a PP said and be a neuro disorder, I’m not sure. But we left a message with her doctor again hoping to get the psychiatric appt sooner.
Her 81st birthday is tomorrow and we were going to throw a party and she absolutely refused to let us throw her one, so we had to call everyone and cancel.
All she thinks about is my grandpa cheating on her. It consumes her 24/7. She will constantly ask other women “What if your SO did that to you?”-what she is talking about is my grandpa got up from their table at a restaurant and instead of going to pay the bill, he went to talk to some hostess.
Post # 16
@BakerBee16: Sounds very frontaltemporal dementia like. I hope you can get some answers soon!