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Thread: Need advice - caring for an aging parent

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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Need advice - caring for an aging parent

    This isn't for me, more for my mom. And please bear with me if this gets long.

    My Grandmother is 89 years old, been in good health up until this past Fall. She started having mini-strokes, began losing some of her mental capacity due to that, and her problems with her legs have worsened to the point where she is not really able to walk. She can make it only a few feet so she mainly gets up from her seat to her wheelchair and needs assistance with basic functions.

    She is currently residing at my mother's home, they were able to get a home health nurse to come in 3 days a week to assist with bathing, other than that my mom and dad are doing pretty much everything. My grandmother has one other daughter who is not speaking to her and has not seen her since May 2012. My mom has made her aware of my grandmothers condition but she still will not have anything to do with it. I am unable to really assist as I am working full time, pregnant with twins and have a toddler. I do try to get over there (about 40 minute drive away) at least a couple of Saturdays a month to visit, sit with my Grandmother while my mom and dad get out a bit, whatever.

    The big issue is my Grandmothers attitude in all this. And I am completely sympathetic to it as I know it is very difficult to go from a fully functioning adult living on your own in your own home to being completely dependent on others for your basic care. She is really giving my mom a ridiculously hard time about every. little. thing. We are in the process of cleaning/packing up her house, our plan is for myself and husband and kids to move in there and rent for now, and in about a years time when we are able to finance it to buy it from her. She has soooooooo much stuff she has accumulated over the years, and seriously has a set of encyclopedias from the 1960's and wants my mom to sell them thinking she can get good money from them.....Mom is really trying to be sensitive to her, but is getting yelled at every time she turns around and it is stressing her out. She is worried because she will not be able to help out with the twins when they arrive in May, and I am worried that she is pushing herself way too much and she will eventually give herself a heart attack and not be around to see my kids.

    I have tried to discuss maybe finding a home for her, but she sees so many issues with it. She is worried about being able to pay for it, the fact that my grandmother would not be able to take her dog with her, she has a small yappy dog that has been her companion for years and really looks out for her. And she is worried she would not thrive in a home. Personally I hate the thought of it, but really the current situation is not good for either of them.

    Whew! Ok, if you made it this far I am planning on sitting down with my Grandmother and talking to her, I don't know if this will do any good or not but I have to try to get her to see reason and ease up on my mother. What should I say to her? How can I approach this without sounding like I am putting her down and making this all out to be her fault? I do not want her to feel guilty over this and I know her situation is horrible but it cannot be helped and we need to try to get through this together as a family.


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  2. #2
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    That's so difficult! Both being the caregiver, and being at the receiving end of the care you didn't want in the first place. Do you think that your grandma's mental faculties are intact enough for her to understand what she's doing? In a lot of the older people I know, a deterioration of their mental capacities has led to a general deterioration in their temperament/temper.

    I do think that it would be best to at least look into the possibility of getting her into a group home, or get some help for your parents so they can be relieved of caregiving duties for extended amounts of time. That has to be exceedingly stressful, both mentally and physically. http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.N...lic/Index.aspx

  3. #3

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    If they are not willing to look into a nursing home at this point, is there at least a senior center with an adult day care type of thing anywhere nearby? That would take the pressure off of them for awhile, at least, and provide something for your grandmother to do, also. Just a suggestion. I work at a nursing home, so I know quite a bit about them. There are really good ones out there, and there are some not so good ones, too. I hope you all find something that works for your family.


  4. #4

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    I would encourage your parents to look for a group home setting. DH and his brother and sister had found a very nice one for my MIL when she got to where my SIL just could not care for her any longer, but ultimately she went downhill so fast that she was never moved to it and passed away about six weeks later. There are some very nice places that are more like homes (like MIL was going to go to) than a nursing facility that perhaps your grandmother would find she really did like.
    Lynne, Grandma to three beautiful girls and one handsome little man!


  5. #5
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    I watched my mom go through this with both my grandparents. It's really heartbreaking to watch for both your parent and your grandparent. You can totally see both sides and both sides really suck.

    Can you get a 24hr nurse? At one point my grandparents had one who lived with them which took some of the burden off my mom and aunt. After my grandmother died my grandfather went to live with my mom. He had a stroke 5 years before and could not speak and had limited mobility. He was impossible. Very stubborn. Would not allow her or even the nurses to do anything for him. Eventually my mom had to find a home for him. It was too much for her.

    I would say either a 24hr nurse or a home is the best option. Most people say they can't or refuse to put their parent in a home but once they finally do they are so relieved of that terrible burden.

    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  6. #6
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    Thanks all, I found a website for senior services in our area. I passed it on to mom and am really trying to get her to at least consider adult daycare, I think that could help a lot. She could still stay with mom and it would give them a much needed break from each other.


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  7. #7

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    I didn't even think of adult daycare. My MIL lived with my SIL for probably 8 years before she died and she went to adult daycare for the last several years before going into the hospital and then hospice.
    Lynne, Grandma to three beautiful girls and one handsome little man!


  8. #8
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    No advice. It has to be tough to deal with.



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