When your parents grow old, but they dont want to believe they are ..

@Sissygrl (10915)
Canada
December 26, 2008 9:52pm CST
What would you do if one of your parents didnt want to admit they were getting too old to look after themselves. . My grandmother is 88 and she lives in her own home, 3 floors including the basement, and she keeps falling and having accidents more and more. . She realizes that she is getting hurt, but she doesn't want to listen to anyone. If one of us doesn't go out there as soon as we wake up after a snowfall she will be out there shoveling the snow herself at 88!! and not only will she shovel the snow in her driveway when she doesn't own a car, she will carry the snow across the street so it doesn't get on her lawn. and she will shovel her deck, which is a bout a foot off the ground, because she thinks the snow is heavy enough to make the deck fall to the ground. . . Have you ever had to deal with something like this ? if so what did you do? and if not what WOULD you do if this was your grandmother ? its more my moms problem then mine i just hear about it, but thought i'd ask for input a nyways. thanks guys ;)
3 people like this
15 responses
• United States
27 Dec 08
As long as her accidents are minor, and as long as she can do the things she wants to do, I'd say hands off. It's everyone's right to decide how they will live, and that includes how they will die. Your grandmother is obviously willing to take the risk of injury, and considers that the price of her independence. As long as her mind is functioning, nobody has the right to tell her what she should or shouldn't be doing. I'm almost 72, and all I can feel for her is admiration. I would rather fall down the stairs and die in my own home, than in some care facility. Your mother means well, and she should be willing to help out, but not interfere.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Dec 08
Well, as I said, if her mind is still functioning well, then she isn't necessarily denying the possibility that she could fall, break a hip, and die in the cold. She may have accepted that as a possibility. Has anybody bothered to ask her how she feels about it? Also, you finally get to another concern--that helping her out makes more work for your folks. So concern for your grandmother is somewhat diluted by self-concern.
2 people like this
@healer (1783)
• India
28 Dec 08
Its hard to see parents grow old, they once again become like kids and sometimes its hard to handle. My parents aren't that old but i can see and get the experience from my grandparents and i hate to see that one day my parents too will experience that same thing. Grandparents they always want some one to be there with them so that they would talk to but like you said they try to do all the work by themselves even thought they cannot and they slowly do their job in the end. I always see my mommy talking with my granny that she is too old to do such things they are too stubborn and they hardly listen but its ok for me and i try to help them when ever i am around.
• United States
29 Dec 08
Excuse me? That's really insulting. Older people don't act like children unless they've become senile or have Alzheimers. Most seniors maintain their ability to think clearly right up to the end. You might consider that refusal to do what others want them to do is a sign of independence, just as it would be with you, and isn't automatically a sign of senility. If someone is still physically capable of doing something, then they're not too old to do it. What difference does it make to you how slowly someone does something, as long as they get it done to their satisfaction? Is there some kind of time limit they have to observe to please you or anyone else? Being treated like a child is more of a problem for many seniors than actually behaving like one.
2 people like this
@healer (1783)
• India
29 Dec 08
sorry that you took it that way but what i was referring to was that at old age most of them have that Alzheimer disease as it is also called an old age disease. I was not insulting you, i am very sorry and i am taking back this response.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Dec 08
Sounds like your grandmother is stubborn..LOL. It was kind of different in my great-grandmother's case as she lived in an apartment building and nearby neighbors were always checking in on her to make sure she was all right. She was a stubborn bird and was living alone too, and she didn't pass away until the ripe old age of 98...Does your grandmother refuse to have some kind of visiting type service to check on her, like maybe a visiting nurse service? There are so many programs out there to help the elderly, but of course the person has to be willing to accept that service and from what I'm gathering your grandmother doesn't want this kind of thing, right?
2 people like this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
29 Dec 08
well right now we kind of provide that service to her, but its more the up and down the stairs, and her balance is off, we are worried and so is she now, that she will hurt herself badly. she is a little stubborn, i guess i can't blame her she has been living in that house alone for many many years.. but we just want whats best for her and we dont want to suffer if she doesn't need to!! like if she fell down the stairs and couldnt get to the phone or something.. even if we check in on her everyday, it mightent be till the next day someone would come to the door or call to see her.. *cringe* I think i think too much!
1 person likes this
@violeta_va (4834)
• Australia
27 Dec 08
Are you talking about my grandmother or yours???? what you discribed is exacly like my grandmother. She came to Australia to be with us 2 times and both times she went back. She has no one back home to take care of her or help her but she refuses to live in Australia and she even went on hunger strike so they (my father and his brother) had to let her go back. Anyway she is 86 years old and because she has worked hard all her life she has many health issues. But that does not stop her. She climbed on the roof to fix some tiles and the leder fell so she decided to jump lucky she didnt brake anything. She Goes on her own to the market and everything even to the graves (and they are about 8km away and she walks there and back. Anyway she is loosing her mind now and balance and when we went there on holiday she had a really bad fall and broke her leg just bellow the hip and refused to have an operation and we had no choice but to put her in a nursing home something no one wanted to do but was the only option as there is no one to look after her. I feel sad every day when I think about her but what can I do. If I wasnt expecting a baby I would have stayed behind to look after her.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
27 Dec 08
lol glad i'm not alone although i don't think my nan would climb on the roof... i hope! congrats on the baby :)
• Australia
27 Dec 08
Dont speak to soon the day is still young she might want to clean the snow off the roof :))))) and thanks for the congrats
1 person likes this
• Australia
4 Jan 09
well I am sorry to infor you but she is gone. She passed away on the 31 of december (she knew how to make an exit with a bang I will give her that). Aparently she wasnt doing great but no one told me so that I wont get upset. It didnt work.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
27 Dec 08
Can they get someone to go over and take care of those things for her. How about getting her into a senior apartment, just to get her away from the stairs. My grandma was very independent, but she knew when it was getting to much for her.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
27 Dec 08
I believe my mom is looking into that for her and i think she'd be okay with it, but she has the idea that if she moves out she'll be stuck in a bed in a room the rest of her life i think. someone suggested to my mom yesterday that they take her around and tour some of the seniors places so that she gets a better understanding of what they are about.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
27 Dec 08
They have apartments that she can live on her own. Go as she pleases, just alot less upkeep. There are quite a few options to explore. I hope they find something for her.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
27 Dec 08
Thanks rob ;)
@mimico (3619)
• Philippines
28 Dec 08
Yes, my grandmother is pretty stubborn about this as well. She doesn't get into a lot of accidents because there are people looking after her all the time. But we had to really act as pushovers for her to finally get a hearing aid and wheelchair. It just sunk in that she was having difficulty hearing and walking on her own.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
28 Dec 08
My grandma wont get a hearing aid either!! she just says everyone is whispering. lol i just talk really loud whenever i'm around her. if she doesnt hear you, she will just agree to just about anything!!
@gicolet (1704)
• United States
27 Dec 08
It has something to do with pride or shyness to ask for help. A lot of old people wants to show that they can still do some work by themselves eventhough they are really weak already. They don't want to feel useless. They just hate that feeling. I think I would too when i get that old but I think I would not mind some help from my family. My dad is like your grandma and he's only 75.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
27 Dec 08
I know, she has lived on her own for so many years after my grandfather had a stroke she is used to everything her own way, she is probably scared to have her freedom taken away, but she doesn't DO anything anyways. she gets out maybe twice a week when one of her daughters takes her. Once for groceries and my mother and my aunt take her out every friday for dinner and cards.
@shonali (1286)
• India
27 Dec 08
well thats an easy answer.... i would make my parents re-arrange the entire house in a day.... shift furniture around and stuff..... they would immediately realise that they really have gone old..... anyways i was just kidding!! but if that really happens to my parents then i would tell them that its great that you guys though being old are very young hearted which i would really appreciate loads of oldies that i know.... i would try to make them understand that though you guys are young from the heart you are still old physically so i would want to know the smallest hurt that you get and not to hide it cos incase that hurt does get bigger then i have to pay the hospital bills :P kidding again.... just that i wouldnt want to know something where we could have stopped it happening only if our oldies would have told us !!
• Philippines
27 Dec 08
we are on the same boat my grandma stays with us and she had a mild stroke early this year but she doesn't believe us whenever we tell her that she needs assistance when ever she travel from one point to another for for her she can do it on her own and we should look after her. at times she would even tell my mom and my aunt that she has a wrinkled skin and we were telling her that is normal when you get old. For her she can manage in everything that she does and doesn't need anyone looking after her. She and my mom would always argue about her state. No matter how they argue over it after sometime she will do what was denied of her to do. Oh well. I think this is really normal for old people. they act like children. What we can do is take care of them even if they do not like us doing it. Happy Mylotting!!!
@ahmadia (117)
• Malaysia
27 Dec 08
they havent grown yet but even if they did i dont think they would think that way. those who believe they are still young are those who are young at heart. or those who are alittle bit childish.
1 person likes this
• India
27 Dec 08
hi friend sissygrl , i am also passing through this way with my parents.my mother was 80 years old. still this time also she do all the works in our home.sometimes i told her leave that works, i would complete all the works. she wakeup early in the morning and do all works.and more she told us that i am not interest to sitting lazy. they were not interested to come to my home and stay with me.and also they says that we are not able to do our works that time we will come your home.only one thing i do when they were suffering with any health problems i go there immediately to attend them. don't bother about your grandma.
1 person likes this
@robert19ph (4584)
• Philippines
27 Dec 08
hello Sissygrl, Wow! your grandmother is still alive and kicking. She needs exercise though but not to the extent that she will shovel the snow in her driveway. It's so cold out there and I believe shoveling the snow is not the right thing to do at her age. She might break a bone or something. She should have a companion with her then to lessen your worry. Old people don't like to move to other house, is like my in-laws. They don't like to stay wit us so we can take care of them. They prefer to stay in their own house. They don't like that their house has no one to live for they're thinking that it will be destroyed. They believe that they're already old but they don't like to live in other house. One thing for sure is that, if they're in their own house, they can do what they want anytime and feelmuch comfortable for they're use to it. Not that they don't like us but that is the main reason.
@savak03 (6676)
• United States
27 Dec 08
I went through this with my own mother. She would never admit that she was not able to do something. She would work so hard on the days that she felt decent that she would be sick it bed for the next month. She also got to the point that she couldn't see to drive but if you told her she was about to hit something she would get mad at you. I swore I was not going to be like that so I have always admitted when I couldn't do something that I used to be able to do. You have said that she has a big house and I am assuming that her family lives close by from what you have said. Could someone move in with her. Perhaps the one that was willing to do it could make her feel like she was doing a favor by having them move in. That way she could be kept an eye on without hurting her feelings or making her feel useless.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
27 Dec 08
It's so hard to not only admit that you are too old to take care of yourself and your home anymore, but to give up your home. That's where all of your memories are. I've gone through this a couple of times because I'm older. First was with my ex's grandmother who was put in a nursing home against her will by her son because she had dementia and had become a danger to herself. But she was miserable so we took her in to live with us and that made her happier. Most recently we had to deal with my husband's father who lived one block away, nextdoor to my husband's brother. His brother did most of the caregiving but we all helped from time to time. He was a mean old man so it was hard but we did what we had to do in order to let him stay in his home with his memories, because that was really all that he had.
1 person likes this
@chrislotz (8203)
• Canada
5 Jan 09
You and your family might need to speak to a professional about this problem. But for now I wouldn't do anything but let her have her independance and let her be. She might not make it through this but it is her life and it should be her choice. If she isn't of right mind than that would be a different story but since she is of good mind she knows what she is doing and it might even be the thing that is keeping her alive. Sometimes people take all of this away from the elderly, their dignity and independancy and then they just give up because they have no reason to live. This is just too indepth of a conversation to have here in mylot so I am going to stop there and just say I hope your grandmother and your family all the best in what ever it is that you guys do about it. Alrighty then, talk to you later my friend, Have a good mylotting day, Chris