I’m 33 and have been caring for my 96 year old grandmother since my dad died 3 years ago. Physically she’s doing amazingly for her age but she becoming forgetful and saying hurtful things. She hates my partner says the day I met him something was taken from her. She hates my dog because she think he takes my time from her but he doesn’t. she hates my job even though I’ve given up a career opportunity and now only work 1 day a week. I’m extremely depressed plus have autism so am struggling to cope with this. My partners dad is also dying and she resents any time we go visit him. She got a lot angrier since he got sick. I am alone all other family members live far away and are old themselves. I have just had a carers assent but waiting on them contacting me this week. Her most recent is she’s changing her will to not leave me her flat anymore and I don’t know why. I’m not fighting her on it as it’s her money and choice but it’s certainly made me feel unappreciated. Mum says I should tell her solicitor she’s vulnerable but I don’t want to it feels like an abuse of power and her mental health is more important to me. I’m in a constant cycle of guilt, resentment and worry with racing thoughts. I feel insainly guilty at all times and do not have the ability to support my partner through a really hard time for him too. Everything’s awful.
The family are using you, really badly.
You must stand up for yourself, don’t allow your grandmother to ruin your life.
What help does she need? Need, not want!?
What help does she need? Need, not want!?
She needs help with her finances, meds collection and sorting and anything online. Also a bit around the house for heavier cleaning but she has a cleaner come in for that fortnightly.
She expects me to be available 24/7 and got angry when I tried to keep working more. She does help me financially but I’m scared that will stop at some point or family will accuse me of taking advantage. I’m not close to the rest of the family they’re all great aunts and uncles and second cousins so I don’t know them.
In that case, write down how much it would cost if you were not there, and she needed residential care?
Carers in my area cost £15-£20+ per hour.
Residential care costs £1,000 per week.
She is not “helping you” financially at all.
How would she manage without you?
You have LOST X amount per week. She is COSTING YOU a fortune!!!
If she wants you to stay there, then it’s up to you, not her, to say how and when you will be available to help.
The rest of the time is yours, and yours alone. You have to set boundaries.
I just wish someone had told me this when I was your age.
Don’t let someone else take control of your life.
Yes it will be awkward, expect sulks like an “Elderly Toddler”.
No formal assesment she doesn’t believe she needs one and she is doing fairly well. She had a small stroke a few months ago and has had a therapist come a few times as well as doctors tests but she got discharged from them they said she was ok. She says she wants to stay in her own home and admits she will need people coming in eventually but is refusing everything except a cleaner right now. I don’t mind doing the stuff for her it’s the emotional toll it’s taking on me. I’m starting to feel resentful that she expects me to give up so much and doesn’t think that I am giving up anything. Shes sad I don’t tell her everything and wants our relationship to be what it was when I was young but she’s so judgemental I just can’t share everything or ill end up crying every time I visit her. She calls me manipulative when I try to explain how I feel because I get so upset and my words get jumbled.
Has her personality changed since the stroke?
“Dementia” is an umbrella term for many different things. You have to stand firm, you are NOT the little girl you once were.
I had counselling when everything was getting too much, and I think it might help you too.
Mine was funded as part of my Carers Assessment.
For me, at 60, it was life changing.
Some days she is different with me and some days she’s like she always was. But from what I hear she’s always been mean and judgemental just not with me before so I don’t know what to think.
In that case, keep a brief diary.
Record things like her mood, what she said, and any triggers. Things that changed her mood, etc.
Please phone Carers UK Helpline to have a two-way discussion with them about your situation and some guidance and understanding.
There are a multitude of issues on her part of which I am unqualified to say and don’t know all of them, but there is some loneliness and some fear of being abandoned, emotional blackmail and more and as I saw posted by another member in response to a post that in elderly they can become centred on their own world and needs.
I think you will benefit from a two-way discussion with them on the phone regarding the issues and some boundaries you can take steps towards and set them and ways to reassure her.
A stroke can cause damage to the brain and some stroke patients can get some stroke related dementia and it can alter personalities.
Carers UK information and support
Our telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (email@example.com)
I’ve been trying to think of a way to get through to her, and a way for you to feel free to make the best choices for yourself. Clearly you feel, rightly, trapped and very unhappy.
What do you know about gran’s life at your age?
Was she married, home of her own, having babies?
I might also help her to realise how much you are sacrificing for her if you did this.
I found this helpful when my mum wanted more and more and more from me.
She justified not going to see her own mum, just 15 miles away, for years, because she had a hip replacement.
On the other hand, when my mum was admitted to hospital 15 miles from my home, not only was I expected to visit but wash all her nighties, some unpleasant, and return them to her! I had a second knee replacement only 6 weeks earlier, still walking with a stick, along a quarter mile corridor.
One day, at her home, I said to her “You used to complain about Granny B, you are doing far worse to me”
At the time she denied this, but never said another word of complaint about her mum.
Your biological clock is ticking, if you want to get married, have babies, make a home of your own, then don’t delay.
imagine yourself in 20 years time, looking back on your life. Will your memories be full of happiness, or full of regret?
You owe it to yourself to put yourself first.
A loving grandma would be doing everything possible to support you.
Try to think what would your parents say to her and you, if they were alive now?
Like Bowlingbun I have use the age comparison with my mother, it is a powerful tool at times.