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Caring for grandma

Hi everyone.
I'm reaching out to all carers as I feel I'm all alone in this. I struggle with my own depression and now have my sister with epilepsy and 86 year old grandma living with me.
My mother and aunties are no help. In fact 3 months ago my grandma came to stay with me for a few days (was previously living with my aunt) and two days in I get a message from my aunt saying she can't handle it any more and grandma should stay with me.
I think I've done good since then. I've had my grandma assessed she now attends day respite, gets meals on wheels which helps me. I sorted her will and EPA, I now have her seeing a psychologist for her grief. I've really tried to do the best by her but she is verbally abusive to me and my sister and very nasty.
After confronting my mother today about how little she helps out she told me i brought this on myself and it was my choice. I am so angry at her i told her I didn't want her in my life any more. My mother and I have long had a very bad relationship. She's not a great mother.
I am so angry all the time and find myself staying back at work just so I don't have to go home.
I guess I'm wanting to know if this is normal or am I just being a sook?
Senior Contributor

Re: Caring for grandma


It sounds like you have had a lot thrown on you and that you have done a marvelous job getting things sorted and getting gran settled.

Carer stress and grief is normal but needs to be dealt with if you want to stay healthy - here are some links about emotions of care giving:

Carers Australia are a good starting point to get some help for yourself - they offer free counseling, but there are other resources available and they might be able to direct you in the right direction in relation to coping with geriatric care, respite, getting carer payment if you qualify and family dynamics.

If appropriate, Gran's psychologist might be able to help with her apparent bad attitude, has she always been like this? It may or may not be her way of coping after being rejected by your aunt - feeling loved and welcomed where we live is something we all want to feel - she might be feeling overwhelmed, that she is a burden, useless and this could have been happening for a while. Having said all that grateful gran I am sure would be a lot nicer than grumpy gran.

As an aside, there could also be medical issues at play for example undetected UTIs can cause agitation in the elderly.

As a carer it is important to keep talking and get self care happening.

New Contributor

Re: Caring for grandma

Hi, your story definitley hit home with me. I am also caring for my sick grandmother, she has emphysema and is on oxygen. I suffer with Depression and BPD, and have 3 small children. My partner and I have moved with our children into my grandparents house as they are no longer coping with day to day things. Thier 2 children are no help at all. My mother is also ill, their other daughter however is in great health, but still doesn't lift a finger to help. I was raised by these people, so they are like parents to me. But it takes a lot out of me. I struggle with my own mental health daily, and while it gives me an extra incentive to kep going, it can be incredibly hard going some days. My grandfather is drinking more and more everyday to comfort his own depression, and that is a trigger for me. It is a mess of a situation. But we muddle through.

I wish I could say something more helpful, but I guess I just wanted to let you know, you are not alone. There are others out here who understand. You are an amazing woman for being a carer. Never forget that. Our grandmothers don't want to be burdens, or feel like they have no control anymore, but some people can't see that side of it like a carer can. Don't give up.

New Contributor

Re: Caring for grandma

You have a lot on your plate, more than me, all I can say is take it one day at a time.  We all want this and that out of life and then we get thrown these balls out of left field and have to sacrifice some of Us, for some of them.  I didn't like to have to cope with my son who has SF coming back to live with me but I adjusted.  I made sure he had work to do around the house, I became a sort of boss, giving him chores that lightened my load.  It had a good impact on him too, gave him a sense of purpose.  I know gran is past most things by now but perhaps there is some simple task she could perform to help you and give herself a sense of purpose?  Just a thought.