Elderly gran's anger having an impact on my Mum (her carer)

Hi all

I have registered on this website not as a carer but because I am concerned for my Mum who is my Gran’s carer. I am hoping to get some advice on how to speak to my gran to lessen the impact she is having on my Mum…

My Gran (as many people on this forum have experienced) refuses care despite struggling to cope in general, and with sight and memory loss. My Mum travels up and down (1 hr round trip) to help her, often staying over. She is in her late 70s herself so this is exhausting for her.

The main issue however is that the memory loss means my Gran sometimes turns on my Mum, accusing her of not caring about her. The most recent is that she thinks my Mum didn’t want her there at Christmas, despite the fact that my Mum was up there for several hours trying to persuade her to come.

The outcome is usually a choice:
a) Tell her she is mistaken, which leaves her very upset and baffled as she clearly doesn’t remember
b) Leave her thinking that she is justified in her anger and hope she forgets about it
If option a) was lasting, then this would clearly be the right route, but she never seems to remember and bringing it up again and again is hard on all of us.

This situation keeps happening, I know she is irrational, but because she is pretty rational a lot of the time it is really hard for my Mum to deal with. I can see it having an effect on my Mum and her health and I really want to help her.

I would like some help with understanding how to speak to someone with memory loss, but who is otherwise very articulate and cognitively fine. All the advice out there seems to be for severe memory loss or dementia which does not fit.

Thanks in advance.

“Dementia” is the umbrella word for a variety of conditions, usually related to the brain ageing, a natural process.
How old is your gran? If mum is in her late 70’s Gran must be very elderly indeed!
Does your mum manage her money, either as her DWP Appointee, or with Power of Attorney?
Is she getting Attendance Allowance, or claiming exemption from Council Tax due to “Severe Mental Impairment”?
Has your mum been to see Gran’s doctor to express her concerns?
Has mum recorded any of Gran’s outbursts on her mobile phone?

You are right to be concerned about the effect this is having on your mum.
What does she say about the situation?
Has anyone told her that she CANNOT be forced to care?

Thanks for your reply. I’ll try and answer your questions as best I can…

Yes my gran is 97 so is very elderly
We don’t have PoA in place but do need to do this
No attendance allowance or tax exemption as far as I know, but her finances are fine
Yes my Mum is in contact with Gran’s doctor and has been speaking to the district nurses
No she hasn’t recorded these, do you think this would be of use?

My mum and I talk a lot on the phone about it, she knows it isn’t good for her own health but also feels like she doesn’t want to upset my Gran, or to feel that she hasn’t done enough for her.

She had an assessment for Dementia a few years ago and I think it might be good to get a reassessment.