Difficult relative


#1
My 87 year old grandmother was diagnosed with PD about a year ago and was told she had probably already had it for about 6 years. We knew she had it for sometime and eventually booked an appointment with a specialist as she wouldn’t listen to us. Somehow though everything thing that is wrong with her she refuses to accept is down to PD and keeps booking doctors appointments for other things. I know she is scared but if she accepted things we could make her life so much easier for her. Her latest one is she claims her pain is all down to her hip and not PD so wants her hip replacement redone. I told her that if she does she will have to go somewhere to be looked after full time as we can’t do it, but she thinks we can. She also freezes now and cannot move for a few minutes but claims its down to the rain and not PD.

There’s only myself and my sister as our mother and uncle died years ago. My sister has a very young family and I work full time. We are trying our best to look after her and she sees one of us about 4 times a week, she also has a cleaner go in one day, the hairdresser another, her brother pops up once a week, and her neighbour a couple of times. Although we know our grandmother loves us and would do anything for us if she could she is also a very difficult person to be around. She is rude, controlling, manipulative, and in denial about anything she doesn’t want to hear. She’s been like this all her life, its not new just because of the PD. She tries to play games with us to get what she wants, like getting one of us to go over because she claims she has no bread, then phoning the other one to get them to go over with bread. We are wise to this now and talk to each other first. Because she struggles to get dressed she never wears enough and freezes in the winter but if we try and get her to wear more she claims she doesn’t like heavy clothes. I tell her ever time I pick her up I’m happy to help her put on something warmer but she doesn’t want to know. Because I was so worried about her I arrange for one on those alarms to be fitted and its taken two years to get her to wear it. If we don’t do what my Nan wants she shouts “just put me in a home then” but if we every approach the subject of moving somewhere where she can get help she gets horrible.

I understand that she wants to continue her life as normal as possible as it was before but she’s just not capable of doing that. She can hardly walk and has to be holding on to something all the time, and her mental capacity is going rapidly downhill to the point where we are really concerned as she has always been so sharp. She wants me to take her to the supermarket every Saturday morning at 7am but it takes her over an hour to do a couple of isles and mostly wanders around in confusion or trying to find something that was last on sale 30 years ago. I’ve been so ill before I can hardly walk but my Nan doesn’t care as long as she gets to go out. I’ve finally put my foot down and arranged for her food to be delivered and take her places where it won’t be so hard for her but she doesn’t want this. She thinks she can get a distant relative who lives over an hour a way to come up each week to take her shopping, not that I think this relative would do but I think its completely unfair to even ask.
She needs to realise her life now is being picked up and bought over one of our houses for the day. She wants to do these trips but cannot walk when she gets there and gets confused all the time. She does not really cook for herself as cannot stand up in the kitchen, she can’t write anymore, I’ve been added as an extra signatory on her bank account as she can’t even press the buttons to do her pin, and she’s now forgetting who relatives are in photographs.

We love our Nan but are at a loss as to what to do. Neither of us can care for her full time, apart from the fact neither of us have a spare bedroom, my sister has a young family and I work full time. We would like her to be looked after properly maybe just starting with a carer who goes in a couple of times a day to ensure she is washed, dressed, and eats. Does anyone know that if her physical and mental capacity gets that bad we can force her to have someone to come in and help?

#2
Hello PPleasant,

Hello and welcome to the forum,

I am sorry I could not reply to your posting before I have had my sister staying with me until today.
Oh Dear this is quite a common story and it is always a difficult one,
I don't know if you have a Parkinsons support worker in your area but if you have they may be able to help you through the difficulty of explaining the different care packages that your grandmother could have, likewise a social worker. What you need is for you, your sister gran and one of the above to go through what she will allow and what is also helpful to you and your sister, and she must try,
if she can to understand that you have her best interests at heart but you are also very busy with your own lives.
As you say she has always been stubborn which makes everything more difficult but sometimes if someone other than family suggest a plan she may accept it better.
You can get meals from Wiltshire farm foods which are very nice and a lot of people use them, they will be on the web. I may be wrong but I think a doctor would have to assess her mental state before a decision could be made to force her into a care home, but don't give up hope as she may surprise you yet.
If she stays at home perhaps an O/t could come and see what aids would assist your Gran to keep safe and between you all you may be able to sort something out to take the pressure off you and your sister.
I remember a nurse we had at the Parkinsons clinic always said it is better to think about where you would choose to go into care rather than having an accident at home, ending up in hospital then straight into a home that you would not like or have chosen, sometimes people just go into a care homes for respite and then like it and stay, stranger things have happened.Sometimes we have to tell it straight, but I wonder if your Gran is well enough mentally to make her own decisions.
Please do get in touch with the PD support worker or social worker, also often GP's are very helpful.
I don't know if that is much help so please let us know how things go.
best wishes
vivian

#3
I am in a similar situation with my mother. She has dementia and I am struggling to look after her as I have Parkinsons.
I have had my mum assessed and she is not bad enough to be made to go into a home.
But you can do other things to make life easier for you.
Have you power of attorney-if not get it.

#4
hi welcome to the foum,im ali been dx for 11 half years im 43 years old.im very sorry your havin to go through this with your gran,i see exactly wots happin cus ive been there for many years me self.my dad died in 2006,with very bad health,leavin mom and me bruv bad health to.i looked after them as well as jugglin round work,and my family,it wore me to the ground and made me phiscally ill me self.i have now sorted care for mom and me bruv now,they have a social worker and the care pacage is very good.but even sayin that,even if i visit them twicwe a week,i still get the calls,etc simular to your gran,,it did calm down a lot when care was put there.they dint wont care,people comin in to the home,tellin her wot to do etc she saw it,but its not like that.i have care me self ,and i get on with my carer very well.once the package is in place it will take alot off you and your sister,so like vivian has said i would get s.worker and ocupational helath and care in,and your gran will change her little ways ,they take her shppin,out on social visits to were she like,it will help.and then you and sister wont be bein pulled down to the worn out stage,and worrin stage.i no it all sounds bit harsh,and some times you gotta be cruel to be kind.but it deffo wot your gran and you and your sister needs now .good luck and keep us posted :smile: