(Closed) Grandma is slowly causing my grandfather's death…

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 31
Member
588 posts
Busy bee

My mother was my grandmothers “primary caretaker” however we also had nurses coming by daily to make sure she wasn’t in pain and help her around for a bit. She had good insurance so we didn’t really pay all that much for the help and it was so worth it. 

About your grandma becoming more mean—it’s totally understandable. My mom turned into a total nightmare to deal with because she was essentially watching my grandmother die and lose herself to it. Getting up 3 times a night to the sound of an alarm whenever my grandmother would try to get out of bed on her own instead of calling for help (after an extensive history of falls) in addition to daily care and listening to what mentally was happening to my grandmother made my mother a completly different person. It took her months after my nan passed to get back to normal.

Like, she even told my sort-of aunt that she wasn’t allowed to bring rose petals to scatter at the small ash-scattering we did off the family priests boat nearby my nan’s old house because the idea was ‘tacky and classless and completly inappropriate.’ She refused to come down off of that one but did apologize once I got it into her brain that these situations were for the grieving, not the dead and to let her grieve the way she saw fit. By the end she was snapping and argueing with my grandmother when she would get reality confused and it was just a mess. I don’t think any of us can understand what someone in that position goes through. 

Post # 32
Member
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

I could have written this myself. My grandmother insisted on taking care of my grandfather until the end. And she did… All but the last two weeks of his 93 years on earth. Shes in her mid 80s heraelf. My teenaged son and I went over countless times during the night to pick up grandpa off the floor. (My mom and uncle have both passed so it was all on us to help.) She had to call the fire dept a few times too. I would get so upset, frustrated, and angry. They were together 62 years and she was stubborn as hell. We butted heads over what we thought needed to be done about grandpa. In the end he was safe, clean, and fed what he could tolerate. One issue with her was forcing him to eat when he was refusing. She started bribing with whatever. Come to find out he was already in the process of shutting down and not able to really eat without aspirating crumbs. He had no way to verbalized he was having trouble. I can’t blame her she thought she was doing well making sure he had a full belly. As soon as he started showing signs of a respiratory infection she sent him to the ER. That’s when the therapist noticed he could no longer eat. For the next two weeks he couldnt eat. He never ate again. I bet he would have loved some sweet rolls if he could have been alert and well enough to enjoy them. Grandpa never left the hospital. He was put on hospice care four days after arriving and passed peacefully with grandma by his side. I will never regret not pushing social workers on her and allowing her to take care of her husband the best she knew how (with me and my son close by just in case) until death parted them naturally… 

Post # 33
Member
9275 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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incognitogirl:  Have you considered that she is doing exactly what your grandfather wanted?

I am surrounded by terminal illness and it is fairly common for patients to have discussed end of life options with their partner. It is also common for elderly people to have discussed it as well. I have an end of life plan that I have discussed with my husband. Given that euthanasia is still illegal in 98% of the world I have been very clear about my end of life plan and it certainly does not include wasting away waiting for death. 

If you have spent anytime amongst terminally ill patients you would understand that given the legalities secrecy is unfortunately a huge aspect of end of life plans. But not only because of the legalities but also because death often brings out the worst in loved ones. Their selfish desire to not want to face the inevitable (death) often means they put their dying loved one through more than they should, often against their wishes. They are not doing it to be cruel but because they are not ready to let go. We treat our dying pets with more dignity than we do our loved ones.

Honestly I watched my grandmother die horribly from dementia earlier this year. She stopped eating (she was in care due to becoming violent) and it took 7 days for her to pass. The whole time I knew from having discussions with her pre-dementia that she would have been mortified to die in such a way. She would have been mortified to have lived the last two years as a completely helpless pod (because due to the dementia my actual grandma/her essence died years ago).

Just another perspective to consider.

Post # 34
Member
1798 posts
Buzzing bee

Is it possible that your grandmother also has dimentia? It sounds like she is trying her best, but she doesn’t have the knowledge to take care of someone in your grandfathers condition. Perhaps it is time to call social services to help both of your grandparents. 

Post # 35
Member
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

You say you don’t want to call social services bc being out of the house would kill him, but you are saying she is killing him in the house?  Idk, it seems like you are not willing to accept that your grandfather isn’t going to go back to living a normal healthy life.  It mean it’s not like he needs to heal from a surgery or has any hope for recovery.  Personally, if it were me I would want to be at home with my husband.  It sounds like your grandmother has been doing a lot, on her own without support and if your family does not have a good relationship it is likely she does not feel okay asking for help.  I’m assuming your grandfather (who “made” all the money felt that she knew what she was doing with it).  I’m sorry there is no good solution, have some comppassion for a woman who’s husband is dying and who has obviously been taking care of him.

Post # 36
Member
4839 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

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incognitogirl:  not necessarily. Maybe a part time visit from homecare would be involved. 

Post # 37
Member
588 posts
Busy bee

I think your family needs to do whatever you need to do to ensure that nurse or a helper comes in once a day or every other day. They only need to stay for an hour or two, help your grandfather get up and maybe help him to the bathroom or shower every other day. Make any notes needed about his condition, chat a little with him, offer him some food, and then let your grandma care for him the rest of the time. Unless, like a PP was saying, he’s aspirating the sticky buns I really don’t consider that killing him. The man is old, ill, and doesn’t have a ton of time left. If it makes your grandma feel better to offer him a bun with his other food and your grandpa enjoys his bun, there are worse things in this world.

Like a PP, my grandma refused live-preserving measures. Starving played a lot in her death. If he’ll eat the sticky bun, I say let him. I’m sure he’s taking a multivitamin and like you said, his charts are good. 

Post # 38
Member
2009 posts
Buzzing bee

I didn’t read all of the comments but has anyone touched on the possibility that maybe your Girlfriend really likes sweet rolls and juice? Perhaps your Groomsmen is just letting him enjoy them during the end of his time. I know when my Girlfriend was in his last couple of weeks, my Groomsmen asked me to make my mashed potato for him because he loved it. For two weeks it’s all he’d eat. Everything else would just be left on his plate. When my uncle asked me to stop making it because grandpa wasn’t getting enough nutrients and if I didn’t make it then he’d be forced to eat other food, my grandma stepped in and told him to mind his own business. I remember this like it was yesterday: “Do you think food is going to mysteriously cure him? After 5 years of battling cancer, suddenly it’s going to be salad that gets rid of it in a fortnight? The man is dying, let him have some f*cking mashed potato!!” and that was the end of it. It was mashed potato up until the day he went into the hospital for his final hours.

Also, you said you can’t lift him. What makes you think your grandmother can? Maybe that’s why she encourages him to stay in bed (that and the fact that in her day resting was always considered the best option well ill). It’s probably her pride rejecting help.

Your thread title made it sound like she was doing something sinister like drugging his meals or something. My Groomsmen looked after my Girlfriend with very little help for 5 years. It’s not easy and eventually takes a toll. Give the woman a break and stop being so judgemental.

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