Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's not an easy thing

I've known hubby's grandmother since I was a teen, but of course I only saw her every now and then during that time.  So while I've known her for a long time, I don't know her previous personal habits or preferences.  I only know what they have been since she moved in with us.

Can I just say that it's very hard to have to regularly go to someone and try to tell them nicely and without insulting them or hurting their feelings that they need to bathe.  Sigh.  I don't know if this is something that has come along with age with her or if she's always been this way, but I can tell you that it gets very old and after two plus years of doing it, you'd think that MAYBE she might begin to realize that she needs to take a bath every once in a while and that even though her sense of smell is diminished (had to have a doctor help prove this to her because she thought we were all over reacting about her perfume and lotion applications), the rest of us do NOT have that issue and our sense of smell is just fine....and people smell when they don't bathe.  I'm not super picky, right now she's bathing roughly once a week simply because I'm not up to having the argument (that it almost always turns into) more than that, but, really, it ought to be routine by now, if nothing else.  Before you ask, I'm right there when she gets in or out of the tub, so it's not because she's worried about falling in there alone.

Last night we got home from Scouts and she was in bed.  There were no dirty dishes in the kitchen.  I heard her coughing, so I knew she was awake (it was 7:30 pm) so I knocked on her door.  She knew what I was going to say, so she ignored me.  I opened the door and told her I heard her coughing, I knew she was awake and she needed to eat something.  She told me she did.  I asked her what.  She said 'a little bit of oatmeal.'  Mawmaw, there are no dirty dishes or pans in the kitchen, don't lie to me, get up and eat!  She came out of her room grumbling about me under her breathe, but she did eat.

The lies drive me batty.  Lies about eating, if she does eat, she lies about what she ate because left to her own devices she'll only eat sweets (she's diabetic), lies about us to strangers telling them how horrible she's treated and how we don't feed her good food, etc.  Takes things that belong to us and hides them in her room and, of course, lies about it when you ask.  Funny, the ladle was on the counter drying when I left the house with youngest kiddo, you were the ONLY ONE home and it's gone now that I'm back..........WHERE could it have gone, then????

It has not been a good day here with her so far.  Wish me some patience, will ya?


Tiny Gardener said...

I am sending my patience your way... My grandmother is exactly EXACTLY the same way. Lies about eating, not eating, bathing, taking things, etc. Almost to a "T" the exact same. I am not sure if it is an old age thing, and they just start to lose it, but it really drives me batty and quite frankly pisses me off. My grandmother does nothing but bash the family that takes care of her and continually praises the family that doesn't even call her on her birthday. I will never understand any of it as long as I live... But anyways, I am sending you some virtual patience :)

Susan said...

Boy, I sure do send you patience (not that I have that much myself). Sounds like dementia is setting in. THAT is not fun at all, for anyone - especially the caregiver. I doubt that I could do what you do. Who knows why people do that "they are cruel to me" routine. For attention? My feeling is that people who end up being a big PIA when they are elderly were the same way through their lives. There aren't many elderly people that I've met that mellow with age. Heaven help whoever has to look after me!

Over Yonder said...

You are an admirable woman to take on the care of her. Seriously. I could not do it. Maybe if I was in a different position in our family. (as far as ds's supervision needs) I'll have to message you about my moms visit. It had it's good times. Good memories were made for the kids. My mom has never been the easiest woman...but at 83 it has gotten wourse and she will say,mumble the darndest things. :( No dementia either. Possibly depression.

My hats off to you though my friend!! very admirable.

Erin said...

It does sound like a bit of dementia is setting in, especially when you mention the lying and such. You are an amazing woman to do this, not many people would. I'll say a prayer for your patience and sanity!

Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

Thanks, ladies. It's nice to have some friends to listen on days like yesterday. Thanks, especially, for the wishes of patience, they were GREATLY appreciated. :)

wendyytb said...

It IS a struggle dealing with the elderly. I work in Long Term Care....and my first choice would be to keep a senior at home for as long as possible. I don't know if you have these services but in Ontario we have Home Care who come into the house to bathe and provide personal care. Perhaps it might help having someone else do the job... Do you have a relative who might volunteer?

Sometimes an elder has a urinary tract infection and that causes behaviors and smell.... I would take a sample in to the doctor.

Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

Wendy, she has no relatives left. She outlived her kids and hubby does have a brother, but he lives several states away as does my family, but it's not my family's responsibility, anyway.

When we were in TX she did qualify for home health care but in this state they say she doesn't and we simply can't afford to pay someone, so I'm 'it.'

You made me giggle though, because I *ALWAYS* make them run a urine test on her, every time she goes to the doctor, no matter what she's going for. She has her next checkup in a couple of weeks, so it will be repeat then. Thanks for the tip, though.