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Family difficulties

Georgina Lyons

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Hi everyone


So heres the real deal. I've been forced out of my full time job to look after my poor old gran ( whos got everything wrong with her under the sun ), me and my fiance (yes, I got engaged :dancing: ) moved into her house to look after her. Grandads in a care home that costs £500+ a week. They are both 80+ yrs of age.

We have been there since late april in their house, but all grandad does when he comes around the house once a week is complain that its a tip (it isn't) goes on about himself, won't let gran move out of his sight and refuse to come home. Also he seems to think she can manage perfectly well with no1 going in or out, doing her laundry, cooking her meals or anything. Shes blind in one eye, sights not good in the other, almost completely deaf, and in terrible pain from arthritis all the time. She also has a one last failing kidney, no immuntity system and diabetes type 2. Before we came along my poor great aunt was seeing to all her needs and found she couldn't cope. Grandad himself is in no great condition, he is being sick (or making himself sick after eating) and sits in his chair smoking and demanding money for ciggarettes constantly. He also cannot walk or keep his balance properly, yet if you try to assist him in any way you get snarled at. He is also always complaining about money, that there isn't enough and tells gran not to have the boiler on or use much electricity. He even rang her up an hour after he left to order her to make sure everything is switched off. Last year she ended up in hospital with phumonia because he refused to let her turn anything on for warmth during the winter and she nearly died. When I try to explain anything to him he tells me we shouldn't be there and thats all he goes on about.

Gran meanwhile says she loves having us there and doesn't know how she could have coped without us. We literally do everything for her. She also seems to be taking a rather dim view (understandably) of grandad. He never wants her to spend a penny, but is happy himself costing £2000+ a month being in the care home when he was ok to come home 2 months ago. The other week we thought he wasn't coming around and she wandered around with her walker humming to herself. When the care home bus pulled up outside the house, her face fell and she mumbled something about "better going to sit in her chair". She tries to make conversation with him when he comes in and he kisses her on the head and parks himself before starting to whine and complain about how hard done to he is being IN the care home and that if he comes out he doesn't want people walking in and out of his house. That includes family, social services, everyone. He still seems to think gran can look after him and cook his meals, do the washing and the ironing and all the stuff she used to do while he sits down with everything else turned off, but the fact is she carn't. Last year he had me and my partner running around after him while we lived there ( gran was in hospital) and he didn't complain once when it was himself getting cared for.


When we went round before we moved there, the house was filthy and we have still got a big rodent problem in the kitchen. I just don't see how he can think everything was fine, hes put gran in hospital 3 times in 3 years for several months a time (usually during the winter months ) and he told her to ignore any help they were offered (which she did, she says, to keep the peace).


The fact is he has become domineering and selfish during the past 5 years, and although he insists he loves his wife and she is the world to him, I have serious concerns about what would happen if or when he does come home.

Meanwhile gran seems to have been blooming. She went out for the 1st time in 3 years to a restaraunt with her sister the other night and said she was going again this month. She really enjoyed it and I did her hair and make up for her. She hums and pots plants and we found a kitten. She loves cats but grandad didn't want anything to upset his dog ( a spoilt, fat little terrier who bites gran and goes for our dogs ). Of course the kitten domineers the dogs, so there hasn't been any trouble. However when grandad came that week, it jumped on his knee and he grabbed it and tossed it across the room onto the sofa calling it a "bloody thing". Gran looked like she was going to cry as he told her to throw it back out onto the street where we found it.


He never used to be like this, but hes had two strokes. Any one got any information that could help me come to a solution for her?

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Oh dear, I am sorry that your family is having such a difficult transition. The one piece of advice the I can give as someone who works in the field is to try to get your grandmother as much external (meaning outside the family) support as possible. It is important that she have an advocate that is not related and therefore can present an objective view point on the care and home help that she needs as well as the appropriateness of your grandfathers return to the home.. You are doing a wonderful thing helping her with her daily living and around the house. I sincerely hope that you are able to continue. It sounds as if she is thriving and blooming in the supportive and positive environment.









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Foxy, what a dilemma! I agree with everything Ldy said, not least that you're doing a wonderful thing in the face of your grandfather's difficult attitude. I won't offer advice; I'd need to know an awful lot more about the situation to avoid giving you just an unasked-for personal opinion.


If I may make one suggestion: Is it possible to get someone your Grandfather respects and looks up to, to have a word with him - a doctor, for example - and make it clear that your grandmother needs more round-the-clock help than he could provide. Clearly, he won't take this from you, but he needs to hear it. Perhaps from your Gran's doctor, or his own.


Your circumstances are bound to cause stress, so do be careful that you and your fiance don't start to take things out on each other. Congratulations, by the way! Good luck, Foxy!

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Guest Elfyd



I am the least qualified person here to offer advise, however I will be lighting a little candle for in the hope that you have the strength and ability to help.




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Hi foxfur,

I can relate in parts as my late grandad was a selfish bastard (and I told him so) our family ended up turning our backs on him until he got cancer then we supported him. My late grandma had to put up with a lot including his bullying. Others outside the family never saw this aspect of him.

It was only when he got cancer and was suddenly put in the position of needing others that his attitude changed. When he was taken into hospital she felt she now had room to breath and when he passed away, although very saddening at the time, we could see that she was set free.

Sadly I've lost my grandma now and I still miss her but I'm pretty sure she's still around.


It's not for me to say anything or give advice, but if he were my grandad I'd give him a right verbal kick up the arse and put him in his place even if he never spoke to me again.

As for people to talk to, help the aged are a great organisation and you'd be amazed at the clout they have with getting grants and help from unwilling local councils. If you aren't already getting it you should be entitled to carers allowance which although isn't much certainly helps towards bills etc.

I feel for you and wish you well.

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first if all Congratulations on getting engaged!


great to see you back here too. :chakrahearts:


I think LdyShallot has given you good advice, and I wouldnt be qualified to give more than that, but I do know its tough when you want to look after family members who wont be helped. I really hope things get better for you all, please keep us posted. And most of all take care of yourself.

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How Winter Night can be so intuned to the good news, is a welcoming thing, in your current situation, Foxfur. Congradulations on your engagement, and I too welcome you back. It's so difficult caring for the elderly, one can lose themselves or their own " status " of being, and it happens rather quickly. The behavior you remark on regarding your Grandad reminds me of Alzheimers, how their personality changes to be so aggressive. Your Peers have offered sound advice, gleen what you can of it, and utilize it. I can only comfort you and let you know that I can relate to taking care of the elderly. I will light a taper for you today, and send you good thoughts. My heart goes out to you, Foxfur, such a hard place to be in.


Warm Regards,




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  • 1 month later...

Thankyou everyone for your support, I am really grateful. Sorry I couldn't post back sooner, I've been very busy. I've taken back to my dear darling mothers home (some of you know she is not!) and have been going around my grandmothers daily. Today I did all her housekeeping and took her shopping. It was a long time before we got back, but when we did I had to leave even though my grandmother wanted me to sit with her and have a cup of tea thanks to grandfather making me unwelcome.

Gran's very upset we left but I believe it was for the best. I noticed my abilities were nowhere near as good as they were as time passed there. I feel literally weak emotionally, carn't perform any rites or had any of my futuristic dreams for weeks. I did contact social services to try and arrange outside support, but my grandfather threw such a tantrum my gran won't agree. They said there was nothing they could do if she wouldn't agree because she is mentally well enough (unlike grandad) to be classed as capable to make their decisions. Its like me or you making a decision with an old man shoving a hot poker up your rear. She's made it quite plain thats how she feels. She said she would have him in the care home permanantly if she didn't have to pay for it. Thats the issue, money. And they have a lot of it


However my grandfather was only permitted home on the reason that someone other than gran was living there 24/7. Great situation. :deadhorse:

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