Post # 1
I have gotten some amazing advice on here so I come to you this time for help on an issue that has been driving me and my family to the brink of insanity and we truly do not know what to do at this point with my grandmother’s horrible behavior. Here are the details (highlights in bold):
My mom moved my grandparents here in the US from their home country in order to take care of them as they age. She bought them a nice home near her home (they live just 2 miles from all of us), visits them often, cooks for them at least twice a week, and provides for them in all ways possible. My grandfather is a kind man who truly appreciates everything my mother has done. My grandmother on the other hand has gotten progressively INSANE. She has turned against my grandfather (who takes AMAZING care of her) and is constantly yelling at him at the top of her lungs. She calls me and my mother all the time and screams about my grandfather. She drains us of our energy and makes up lies about us to each other so that at times I believe her and get into fights with my mother. Anyway, this has gotten to the point where my grandmother will call me like 7 times in a row at work when I don’t pick up. She is literally driving my entire family crazy.
We have tried everything. We have had family members talk to her to try to find out why she is acting this way–but she continues to scream that my grandfather has to move out, bla bla bla. But if he moves out then who will take care of her needs like getting her lunch, etc? She is mobile and generally healthy but she basically has my grandfather do EVERYTHING for her. So if he isn’t there then we either have to do it or get her a nurse–and she refuses both options. When we try to ignore her then she tortures my grandfather even more. I am really worried that this will lead to a horrible ending for my family and someone will end up with a heart attack.
The situation is MUCH worse than I am describing because I can’t even detail everything she has done to us. To give you an idea, she has major OCD, she won’t let my grandfather do anything at their own home (like use the kitchen stoves, the refigrator, etc.; she refuses to eat food that has been touched in a certain way so she will throw out her perfectly good lunch that he bought her and he has to get her another one; she is paranoid that we’re all against her and on my grandfather’s side; she is super paranoid about her prescription drugs and thinks the pharmacy is trying to cheat her out of her medication and is constantly calling my mom to complaing about these things…………just to name a few things
Medicating her is not an option because she refuses and doctors won’t commit her because she’s not a physical danger to herself or anyone. But I truly believe she is a danger to all of us because she has caused deep anxiety for our family. I know this sounds bad but sometimes for the sake of our family I wish she were no longer around…
I have advised my mother to send my grandparents back home to their country--where my grandfather would be happy (where he is free to do as he wishes because he knows his own country well and can get around, but here he is stuck in a house with her most of the day). And at least we dont have to deal with my grandmother when she’s half way across the world. She is the one who is constantly complaining about being in this country. But let me say that no matter what she is always yelling and complaining–she even did it when she was living in her own country. I just don’t know if my mom will actually get the courage to send them back–because usually she feels guilty and doesn’t follow through. In our culture, we are supposed to care for our elders and that is the whole reason why my mom brought my grandparents here.
Please advise on what we should do in this situation–I’m at my wits end trying to find a solution 🙁
Post # 3
sounds like dementia to me.
my old neighbor (who was close with my family) started to get really angry all the time towards the end of his lucid years. he started suspecting people of stealing from him and was just an old grump who yelled alot.
it was only about a year of this before his daughters put him in a care center.
Post # 4
@rosworms: This is exactly what I was thinking especially if she is getting progressively worse…my grandmother was the same. Do some research on it and take her to a doctor for diagnosis.
Post # 5
It really sounds like dementia to me as well. Sending her back home won’t make dementia better. If it truly is dementia, it only gets progressively worse. It may be worth looking into assisted living centers in your area who specialize in dementia. There are also a lot of other options such as aids who can come to their home & take some of the stress off your grandfather. In my family, two of my grandparents and one great uncle all had dementia. We cared for all of them at home for as long as possible. My grandfather had the most violent/mean tendencies (even though he was normally the nicest man), and his personality drastically changed.
Post # 6
I agree with PPs, sounds like dementia.
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. My own grandmother acts pretty much the same way except that it’s just her now and she yells and screams at anyone that gets in her way (mostly my mom). She lives in Europe and she still manages to cause so much pain to my mom so I can only imagine how it would be if she were here. She also refuses medication and refuses any sort of help. She fixates on certain things. Right now it’s selling her apartment that she’s only been in for less than a year, that my mom renovated for her, because she doesn’t like it, most likely she doesn’t like the neighbours again.
I’m sorry I have very little advice for you, just wanted you to know you’re not alone. My mom tries to treat her like a child, doesn’t allow her to start the arguments or just ignores them once they start.
Post # 7
It sounds like awful circumstances, but the decision to send them home isn’t yours…so while you can advise that is the course of action your mother should take, you might have to accept a different scenario as things play out.
I agree with the PP’s that mention dementia. It also sounds like she is having a very hard time adjusting to her new living situation. If she didn’t used to be like this – there are a great many factors that are probably contributing to her actions.
I would suggest that you and your Mom just promise each other to be open and honest about things that dear ol’ Grandma says to you – that way you won’t fight about them without knowing whether or not they’re true. You have to have a united front in the face of what’s going on so that you can both support each other as hard decisions have to be made.
Good luck with everything and I’m really sorry that you are struggling with this situation. It must be so hard on your family – your poor Mom especially. 🙁
Post # 8
definitely sounds like dementia, she shouldn’t be sent back to her country, dementia is a disease that progressively worsens, she will need a lot of care and support. Yes it may be difficult to deal with, but sending her away isn’t the answer
Post # 9
You can’t send her home. You need to find a doctor who will give her a full work up and find out what’s wrong. I know it’s difficult, but she’s likely sick, and you all need to just deal with her.
Post # 10
I have to agree it sounds like beginning stages of dementia. We’re going through similar things with my grandmother. She has swore for years that her nephew is stealing from her even though he lives out of state now. She instealled alarms through her whole house and claimed he would watch her and then when she left the room, he’d come in the house and move around her stuff to mess with her. When she found out he moved out of state, she started saying it was demons taking her stuff and that a doctor made demons possess her.
People with dementia often attach themselves to things that really have no meaning. My grandmother has done this with cookbooks. She keeps them all in trash bags and literally makes my grandfather load them into the car with them anytime they leave the house and she has started sleeping alone in the spare bedroom WITH her bags of cookbooks.
Has your grandmother always been weird about her food being a certain way or is this a recent thing? Just wondering if her food OCD could be similar to my grandmother’s obsession with her cookbooks.
My grandmother is also very paranoid that we all think she’s crazy and refuses to come to family gatherings now. She’s been married to my grandfather for 56 years and has become very mean and hostile towards him.
I would really consider talking to a doctor about her possibly developing dementia.
Post # 11
I’m going to go against the grain here and say it sounds liek she’s out of her element, doesn’t feel as independent as she did in her own country, and is lonely.
My grandmother is insanely lonely and calls all of us all the time, saying this is broken or that is broken, or that she needs this NOW and it’s an emergency, becasue she’s too proud to say she needs someonee to be sitting next to her for a bit.
She’s in a new country, away from her friends and everything she knows and has only a few people to ask for help. Sounds like she’s trying to take control of what little she can.
I haven’t been old(edit: that sounds bad i mean I’m not yet elderly), but thinking about being independent and then being told that you need to be “taken care of” and being moved to a new country and feeling like a child again would make me mad and sad and well…lonely.
I’m not saying what you did was bad. It was a selfless thing you did and you should be commeneded for it. Our elders need to be loved and cared for. You are a true rolemodel for your children, friends, and us as well
I just don’t think she’s not handlingall the change well and is too proud to tell you in words.
Post # 12
Thank you all for the advice so far, but I do have to add two things here:
She of sound mind because this is how she has acted her entire life, accirding to my mother, and i remember her being this way many years ago. But it’s only now that she lives near us that it is so obvious.
Alsio, this is not an adjustment issue since she has been living in this country for 5 years and she is acting worse than she did when she first moved here.
Finally she REFUSES any medication or health check becauae she says she is fine.
We really have no way out of this and i feel so bad for my mom…
Post # 13
It could be dementia or she could be perfectly fine and this is the way she usually acts but your more privy to the details since she is now living in the same country. It could be the she resents the move and giving up her old life and her bad behaviour is her way of punishing you.
When my mum and her sisters forced my grandmother to give up her house and move to a smaller one closer to them so they could take her she kicked up a stink. She refused outside home care, her food had to be done a particular way. the house had to be cleaned this way or she would get mad and she would call at all hours of the day to complain. There wasn’t a damn thing wrong with her and I loved her but boy did she drive us all insane.