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Featured How to deal with a grandmother who is fading rapidly?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by KagamineLen, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Gay and autistic midlife weeb.

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    Frankly, she is forgetting what happened the day or even just a few minutes beforehand, and I find it difficult to feel sorry for her since she insisted on living as a shut in when she was perfectly healthy two decades ago and she kept it up to this point.

    She is fading rapidly exactly because of her extremely poor life choices, and I do not feel sorry for her one bit. And the rest of the family is telling me that I have an obligation to do my part to take care of her since I am the one who lives closest to her.

    She dug her own grave, frankly. Turns out that three decades of no social life and nonstop television watching will screw a person up big time. I fail to see why I should have empathy for her at this point.
     
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  2. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Hmm.... are you sure she "dug her own grave" though? What you describe in that first sentence sounds alot like dementia. Usually not something anyone has any control over. I mean, unless it's something like someone wrecking themselves with drugs or something bloody stupid like that. I have no idea of drugs can lead to dementia but wouldnt be surprised if they can.

    My own grandmother (on my stepmom's side) has been going through dementia. And she IS the ultra-social, gotta-stay-healthy type that cant sit still, always has been. But this kind of crap hits you regardless. Even now, she now sits at her house, watched 24/7. She cant be allowed to even get up out of her chair without help because she'll forget that she cant quite walk on her own and have another fall. I dont think there's anything she can just do on her own at this point. Her memory is mostly gone, too. It's getting pretty bad. Honestly as much as I hate to say it, I fully expect that by this time next year, she'll be gone.

    Just... ugh. It's been very hard for much of the family, particularly my stepmom. I wish I could do something to help, but that's just not how it works, is it... It's just been a very bad situation all around. I try not to think about it too much, as I'll only frustrate myself if I do.
     
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  3. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Gay and autistic midlife weeb.

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    You may have a point here. Sadly, over the last couple of decades of watching my grandmother choosing to be a shut-in when she was fully able to go out and do things, it may sound horrible to say it, but I lost all empathy for her because of that. At one point, she was a grown ass woman who was perfectly capable of improving her depressed situation, but she kept on making the choice not to. I love her, but that was some BS.
     
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  4. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    And again, are you sure you are right about that?

    Dementia has a long-drawn-out preamble in which it's not clear that anything's wrong with the brain, but some of the disability of later stages is beginning.

    Let's see how sympathetic your relatives are when YOU have dementia.
     
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  5. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Gay and autistic midlife weeb.

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    Hell, I will admit there is more to my lack of empathy for her than that. Her openly defending and happily associating with the man who sexually abused my mother when she was a child might have a part in my lack of caring about her here.
     
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  6. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Can the family chip in and pay for p/t care? Does she qualify for any state subsidy services because she is at certain income level? Understand you are upset with her, but at this age, she will never get it. Like it's a wasted emotion for you to stress out on.
     
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  7. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You are not obligated to help with your grandmother for your own personal reasons. Often times when a person is pressured into caring for someone they don't want to care for, the resentment can turn to anger and mistreatment.
    But three decades is pretty good with her dementia and staying in just watching tv.
     
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  8. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Gay and autistic midlife weeb.

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    The family will have the discussion of placing her in assisted living in the very near future.

    But frankly, this woman’s behavior in the past is something that I find to be truly disgusting.
     
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  9. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Gay and autistic midlife weeb.

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    I just left the family dinner table where my grandmother was at, and nobody dared to acknowledge the elephants in the room in the family situation. The reason why my cousins are currently failing in life is because their mother is a sadistic pedophile. But let’s talk about how unhappy their mother is instead and let’s blame their father for taking a job with long hours instead.

    And the man who molested my mother took a seat right next to her at the dinner table. And grandma sees nothing wrong with that at all.

    I need a different family. My family is diseased and far beyond redemption.
     
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  10. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Sounds much like my grandfather. Dementia supposedly caused by unhealthy life choices - as in decades of smoking and alcohol consumption. Since I can remember he was always a smoker that could smoke more than 1 package of cigarettes in a few hours (the record was 2,5 in a day I think), as well as an alcoholic and he always refused to go to doctor's, so it's quite difficult to feel sorry for him now... Still, he's my grandfather, so seeing him rapidly fading due to health problems while stubbornly refusing any help is quite sad and tiring, especially that he was the only grandfather I ever had and I am his favourite grandchild.

    He's still a dirty old man slapping girls on their butts though, me, his granddaughter, included. Uncomfortable, I tell you, and you can't make him stop because he'll forget what you talked about after a few minutes. He refuses to wash, eat, leave the house outside going to buy alcohol, even change his underwear, or get himself checked by a doctor while complaining about how his 'xxx' hurts. He also shouts. For example, today he shouted at me for putting more pasta in his soup after he complained that there isn't enough of it. Just... Ugh.

    So, I'm sorry that you have to go through it and that your family is like that. I don't think I would feel very sorry about her either. Any mother that lets her child be molested by someone is dirt in my books.

    I hate pedophiles. I just hate them. I understand that there are people that can't help feeling things towards children and I respect those that go through voluntary castration so as not to ever hurt any kid - but even thinking on acting on these impulses is where I draw the line. Animals is what the ones that act are. Animals.

    But I hate enablers even more.
     
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  11. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    It's tough to see the truth about one's own family. l did my best to break some of the pattern, but l still fear my daughter is in the grasp of her narsisstic father. There is nothing l can do, she is emotionally emeshed, her boyfriend even looks like him. l feel so lost as a mother. Thought l tried hard as a mother but somehow l still feel like a failure. All l can do is console you, because you are still in the moment of dealing with this.
     
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  12. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    Dementia can be rough.
    I've seen three generations of it. My parents and a grandmother.
    My Dad would scream and curse at me. Something he was never like in his life.
    Mom went through a similiar phase and combined with cancer had to go to a nursing home.
    The first time I walked in to visit and she didn't know who I was...well, that gives you an awful feeling.

    I certainly don't uphold the actions you described about holding up for a molester.
    But, I've seen so many families that turn their backs on ageing parents just because they can't be
    bothered. I think that is so non-caring IF the person with the illness was a good person before the illness.
    If they weren't nice people before the illness, then it seems it's a matter of knowing they are now
    near the end and dementia is speaking, and can you let the past go or not?
    That's a personal choice.
     
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  13. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    I am going through a journey into dementia as caregiver to my husband. My own family has not been cursed with it. In general, at least well into middle stages of the disease, a person keeps most of their personality, but challenges may amplify different facets.

    One of the women in my caregiver support group is caring for a sister-in-law that nobody else in that woman's extended family could be bothered with because she is a very unpleasant person who is estranged from them all except for this one brother. Guess what? she is still unpleasant to everyone, never acknowledging kindness, calling staff the "N" word, and staying in her room instead of engaging in activities.

    But my husband is a well liked and affectionate person, and that has not changed at all; some of his comments are inappropriate (but far different than using the "N" word) and I so sympathize with his frustration trying to remember things. I feel caring for him allows me to grow as a human being. And his love has always been a boon to my self-esteem.

    @KagamineLen, I'm sorry you don't have a good relationship with your grandmother. You are not required to care about her, in view of her history. Tell your family that you can't do any more in view of your own challenges in life. I see facility care in her near future if not already there.
     
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  14. VAW

    VAW Active Member

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    Hard situation!!! I can sure understand how you feel. I have no empathy for someone who intentionally hurts children or animals, or allows it to happen. My mother helped my step grandfather when he was old and paid for everything for him even though he was not a nice man. He never did a thing for her, and he even left everything to a nurse and ambulance driver when he died and nothing for my mother. I think she regretted helping him but that is who she was. She would help anyone so in the end she did exactly what she would have done and didn't allow him to change her because of his actions. I think in her case if she had not helped him she would have felt bad about herself, in the end she knew what she did was right, and he proved to be the disgusting man he always was, but that didn't change my mom because her actions proved to be honorable.
     
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  15. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Seems like dementia as others have mentioned. And it takes decades for it to begin to manifest in many ways. You are going to have to have to consider the person differently and no longer responsible for circumstances that they cannot recall.

    That is, portions of their past don't really exist for them anymore, they eventually become almost a blank slate. (Depending on the stage that your grandparent is in) At times, they will be stuck in their childhood, living that again. Eventually they become completely different people. Their short-term memory goes and eventually their long-term memory. It changes each day, when they are sometimes lucid and other days when they are not. There are also hostile and aggressive periods where it's best to back off.

    Something else you should consider, if they are professionally diagnosed with dementia or specifically with alzhemiers. It will be easier for you to find help for her, carers, hospices, specific treatments that will slow full onset of the disease. Someone who will come in and help with things she cannot do. There are government services and charitable organizations that do this in the US: Carelike - Provider Search

    It also seems as if your family is pushing the responsibility of their parent onto you, something they should be part of. It's probably time to begin forcing them to take responsibility. That is several weeks or more per year, where your grandmother stays with them. That is something you must insist on. So that you have some relief from the care.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
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  16. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    3 decades of television and no social life sounds like she's an Aspie too.

    As someone who is myself, possibly dying of cancer, I find your lack of compassion troubling.

    Here is my advice. This is what she needs. Go to her, sit with her. Hold her hand. You don't have to talk much. Just show her that you love her. And ease that scary transition.

    Quit thinking about yourself, because it's not about you.

    My grandmother was very ill when I was a teenage girl, and from the age of 12 I was pulled out of school to care for her. Now my daughter is homeschooled and cares for me. Your Grandmother needs someone like that for her.

    God bless you as you make the right decision.
     
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  17. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Also I'm only 39 and I'm having real memory problems, and also personality changes. It is part of the end of life experience. Forgive her, you will probably go through that too.
     
  18. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    And I have also significantly withdrawn socially. I don't call hardly anyone and I'm inside most of the time. At this time in a chronically ill person's life, they turn inward, only wanting to e around family and close friends, remembering, and being reminded of love as eternity waits.
     
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  19. TheSaltyStray

    TheSaltyStray Member

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    I feel for both of you. As someone who tends to have a small circle and someone who is fiercely independent, never wanting to be a burden on anyone else, I can empathize with SOME of her choices. Life is hard, for everyone. We all struggle differently and cope in different ways. Cook her a meal, tidy up what you can and try to not hold her hostage to her situation more so than she already is. I fear my own mind will leave me when I am aging and lord knows what that is going to look like after being abused and traumatized. You never know what she holds as weight to carry, alone and in silence. Women of older generations were taught and groomed not to speak out against aggressors and abusers. They were "privileged" to even have a life and a family. They were "privileged" to even exist. Do what you can, without compromising yourself. The smallest things can mean the most.
     
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  20. Kevin1968

    Kevin1968 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Withdrawing from society is very common in the early stages of dementia.
    Some people seem to realise that they are making mistakes etc., get embarrassed and to prevent recurrence they avoid the situations.
    Perhaps that is why your grandmother shut herself in.