1. BristolHelen18

    BristolHelen18 Registered User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Hi all,
    Just decided to join Alzheimer's as a cry for help. My Nan suffers with the condition, and it bears a HUGE impact on my life. Nan's condition just before we lost my Grandad in April 05. When he passed away he requested we moved in to care for her, we did on on September 4th 06, 5 days before my 18th birthday. The house we now have is quite some amount smaller, it's a 3 bedroom house, but my parents are in the Master room, my brother in the small back bedroom and I am in the the front bedroom with my Nan. That in it's own right I was reluctant about, I love rock music, lounging about on my bed with my laptop, trying out fashions and doing all the usual teenage things. Obviously my Nan would sooner go to bed as and when she wants, listen to music of her generation etc. I can understand this and I know it's only fair that we should both have a free life. But I'm finding that the only way for me to have time alone is to head down the park or lock myself in the caravan, and with Winter settling in that's non-optional! I've one friend who's been my rock through it all but now he's got a job I rarely see him, so I'm back to wear I was. When we meet at his flat now she constantly talks about her ex partners/husband, and I've recently started to surrender and relate that when she 'calls my friend my 'boyfriend' I know who she's talking about. Also my Nan seems to think I can do things I can't, a few times she's asked me to go on stupidly long walks with her, or do something tricky I can't do. May I add I myself am disabled. My brother and myself respectively are typical teenagers at the end of the day, but my brother has started smoking to relieve his stress and I myself have found other alternatives to freedom. When my friend visits we are very close (99% of people say we're dating) and she's often looking at us, not that it scares me but I feel very intimidated by it and it has come to the point now he'll only hug me if we're alone. I've also started a healthier lifestyle but she regularly offers me crisps and sweets, I always refuse her kindly but she regularly makes hurtful comments, saying she's glad I'm not her daughter, or about if I drank more water and less squash my acne may go (this in fact isn't true, my acne is hereditory on my father's side). If I switch my mobile on to read texts she makes comments about me having 'something wrong' and 'needing my head read'. Or she complains that my music is too loud, and not liking it (note: since moving my music has never been on full or anywhere further than a third of the way around the dial). I used to talk to her a lot, now I've found that she's only ever around me to complain about me, my life, my parents (either my dad never being about [he is, he's disabled and a lovely man, they both used to get on very well until her condition struck] or nobody helping my mum [her daughter]). My Nan is just about ruling my life, I rarely get out alone as my Nan either wants to now where I'm going, or wants to tag along too. Or I'll get multiple questions when I get back. I've been spending megabucks on clothes as in recent months being a bit dressier has made me feel better, but this has set me into more trouble in the way of finances with my parents. I feel as though all my escapes are being taken from me. Also my Nan's dog, Jack Russell Cross, 3 years old, sweet as sweet can be. Until there's food about, then he turns. And 9 times out of 10 he attacks our collie. This for me is severely upsetting, our collie and myself are close, when I'm upset he can tell, when he's had a gutsful of her dog I can see it in his eyes, we communicate with eye contact. He'll look at her dog then back at me and I know the problem. However Nan's dog gets treated extremely unfairly and this causes his aggression, he sits on her sofa (understandable, he's her companion) but he uses it as a height advantage over our two) she hand-feeds him tit-bits behind my parents back and pampers him uncontrollably, he's severely overweight for his size and very tempermental. We invested in a spray collar to control his behaviour to our two which she rips off the second my parents step out. If my parents are out and she's left with me and my brother she gets severely aggressive to us, this morning for example I was sorting some money matters and she threw the paper down and said throwing it 'passes time', just because I was dealing with matters.

    I'm sorry to all that this post is so jumbled and illogical, I did not write this as a autobiography, I wrote this as a cry for help from a disabled teen who is finding as
    though Altzeimer's is taking over her own problems, I was told to be a little more tolerant to my Nan, but I myself have psychological and emotional difficulties and find her strange behaviour hard to deal with, I know my family do but in my circumstances I see that, day and night, Alzheimer's is running my life. Please, please can someone offer me some guidance as to how I can get my life back on track. Regularly when mum asks how I'm finding things my response is usually 'surviving'.

    Thankyou for reading this

    NB. Just in typing this Nan saw me on the sight and requested qhy I was on here, since telling her I needed some information to help me understand she hasn't said a word to me, but as usual it's the cold think atmosphere when she's upset/angry with one of us.
  2. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    Hi Helen

    Sounds a horrible position to be in. There's never easy answers, but perhaps a good starting point would be to say a little more than "surviving" when mum asks how you are. Perhaps it's possible to swap some rooms around so you can get some private space if your mum knows how difficult it is for you. My gran who also had dementia moved in with us when grandad died - this is years ago. She shared a bedroom with me from ages of about 8 to 12 and it was pure hell. She'd scream and hallucinate in the night, get me up for school at 3am in the morning, use her commode in the bedroom and smear s**t all over. With us it was the cats that were the problem. Her (elderly) cat could do nothing wrong, whilst my (young) cat was everything that was bad and was blamed for everything. Pretty much a parallel for the relaitonship between me and my gran really.

    Anyway, that's enough of me ............ I guess I just wanted to say i understand a bit of what it's like.

    Try and talk to mum and see if anything can be changed. Maybe it's just not realistic from your nan to live with you, whatever grandads wishes were. Or maybe it's time for you to think about moving out and getting your own place, or having some space at a friends house for a while.

    Let us know how you get on.

  3. BristolHelen18

    BristolHelen18 Registered User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Thankyou so much for your help. It's great to see I'm not alone in this situation. I tried to give mum a more positive response but I think she knew I was lying, I was, I didn't want her to feel so bad. I told her it wasn't too bad, truth is it's been sheer hell. I can relate Nan talks and thrashes in the night, and has a radio which is on, thus meaning I don't go to bed until about 11, when she switches it off. It usually gets switched on again in the night, and when I walk in she'll wake and chat. I've thought about spending time at my friends, however he and his dad are in a financial crisis as he lost his job and his father in emotionally unstable for employment having lost his wife. Also as my friend lives in a flat we'd end up sharing a room, his room is incredibly small and I do not feel he, my parents or myself would be too keen on the idea of us sharing a bed! I've thought about my own place but I do not have much money, I'm only 18 myself. I know it'll sort it's self by the end of January, it's just keeping myself strong for another 2 months.
    Thanks again
  4. Áine

    Áine Registered User


    I can understand you trying to be positive so that mum doesn't feel bad, but perhaps in the long run it's better to have an honest conversation with her about it. She might feel less bad being able to talk openly about it rather than worrying that you're not saying how you feel about it. Then hopefully you can think together about what the best way through it is. Perhaps there's some downstairs space that could be made into a bedroom for one of you at least temporarily? Not ideal maybe, but might be better than current situation?

    good luck :)
  5. BristolHelen18

    BristolHelen18 Registered User

    Nov 29, 2006
    I was sleeping on the couch for a while, however we've recently got builders in to build her extention on the back of the house, they arrive at 7am so it's not ideal for me to be running about in my PJs now, good thinking though! I'e tried the honest conversation approach but it resulted in seeing mum in tears, she's got a lot to cope with as it is so I've been trying to cope with my chunk of the problem as opposed to say anything which may make her feel worse.
  6. jasperty

    jasperty Registered User

    Jul 24, 2006
    West Midlands
    Hi Helen,

    I am so sorry to read about your position. Please sit down and talk to your mom, she should not expect this of you. As a mother myself, I cannot understand her expecting you to share a room with your Nan. Tell her the truth, and ask her how she would have felt at your age, something needs to be sorted out.

    Best of luck. be honest.


  7. BristolHelen18

    BristolHelen18 Registered User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Thanks for your help. Mum has offered me the end of her bedroom but I told her that as her and my father are married they need privacy.

    thanks all rhe same

  8. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    Hi Helen

    What a thoughtful daughter you are!

    You must understand that you do not have your own "Chunk" of the problem, this is a problem shared by you all and it is important that all of you get together to cope with the problem. Love and understanding will get you through this difficult time in your life, give both and you will get loads in return.

    It is very hard for someone of your age and I am impressed by your maturity.

    Do keep in touch.


  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Helen. It really looks as if you have drawn the shortest straw. I don`t see why you should have to share your room with your Nan. She sounds quite intimidating. Is that the ALZ or has she always been like that.

    Have you any other close family who could put you up until the extension is finished? I think I`d prefer living with other friends or family, if that were possible, for the next couple of months.

    While I do believe all family members should care about elderly relatives, I feel younger ones shouldn`t have the lions share, and it sounds as if you are bearing the brunt.

    Have you shown your mum these posts? I understand she must be in turmoil, I have been in similar positions myself, with my Mother and my grandmother, but there must be a better solution than this.

    Take Care. Sylvia
  10. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    This is a tough situation, and you are one hell of a teenager to be prepared to make this work ........ I take my hat off to you!

    There is obviously not much space for compromise in your house, but you write about an extension being built, so at least there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I hesitate to pass on the thought that is going through my mind, just in case it is way off the mark, but ..... you might at least consider mentioning it to your parents (it does, of course, depend greatly on the stage your grandma is at, and the way she would cope with this!): how about if they asked Social Services whether a Respite Place could be found for your grandma until the extension is finished?

    I do hope you find a solution before you resent your grandma's presence too much. Good luck, and please keep us posted!
  11. BristolHelen18

    BristolHelen18 Registered User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Thankyou for your post. I've not shown my mum these posts as I feel that it is better
    to get advice with coping strategies for myself, I know my mother uses this site so she may read them herself.
    Being a young person it is hard, I take quite a few personal comments from my gran about being a young person and it is hard to know what to say. I have to be honest today I felt as though I'm jusst not being understood and felt as though running would be my best option. But I realised that the idea was stupid, dangerous, costly, lonely and above all, actually not an option. Apart from which socially I do not cope, and I'd only run back home.
    I'm sorry to hear that you've been through this experience twice, it's hard coping with a disabled gran and father, but I believe that it has made me the person I am as a result and I'm proud not o be a troublesome teen.
    Thanks again
  12. BristolHelen18

    BristolHelen18 Registered User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Nutty Nan,
    we've contacted social services, they've put her in a day care centre once a week which will give us a little more freedom, but night time is a major problem for me as in recent days she's been thrashing out and talking in her sleep.
    Thankyou for your comments, it is nice to know I'm doing something right!
    Take care
  13. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Helen

    Just read your posts, what a fine young woman you are, clearly a true credit to your family.

    I agree with the advice you have been given, its clear you are trying to spare your parents more stress, but I am sure you have seen by reading other TP posts, with this awful disease, it can only get worse. I feel talking to your mum/dad now will set the scene for honest and frank discussions in the weeks/months/years to come.

    I also appreciate, and agree, your parents need their own space, but I think I would take them up on their offer to share their room until the extension for nan is completed. We all need our rest, and you are no different. Give it some thought.

    Best wishes
  14. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Hi Helen!
    You are an inspirational young lady!! I work with teenagers and very few would do as you are doing - I commend you for being so mature about it all. Your Mum and Dad probably need all of you to "pull together" over the next difficult couple of months and you are certainly doing that.

    Could you have a fold down couch in the living room to sleep in? I realise it doesn't give you much privascy but at least you might get some sleep!!

    If I was your Mum I'd be SOOOOO PROUD of you!!!
  15. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #15 Margarita, Nov 30, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2006
    Yes you are a good daughter, hope fully it well not be to long till the extension made to you home forces on that.

    I have three daughters now 19, 20, 22, that had to put up with the wired behaviour of my mother that you are describing. My mother sleeps in our fount room.

    I have a 3 bedroom flat , 2 of my daughter was sharing a room at the time mum move in , my other daughter was at university and has epilepsy, so they was no way she would of shared a room with my mother .

    Then they re housed one of my daughter, so I took small room and daughter took double room , as I would not share room with my mother, now we are moving after Christmas .

    As you share room with you grandmother, like my mother she became very clingy with me , wanting to go every where you go , as your young you motivate her, strange as it may sound , as that what happen with my mother with my daughter , she would say some cruel things about one of my daughter and really wind her up , as my mother was losing control , she tried to take that control back by picking on my middle daughter, who is the weakest of my 3 daughter and try as I could to explain this to my daughter she would take it personally and always react to it , and my mother loved that .
    My middle daughter was the daughter who got her own flat , now she gets on with my mother better and does not react , now my mum love it when she stays the night in the front room with her and they get on.

    Therefore, when your grandmother gets her own room I believe you going to have a better relationship with your grandmother.

    Living this stress full time your living in can make or break a family , hopeful with your mother father courage, your all be ok , and look back at this time and smile, as when we move we shall do the same .

    One daughter less , who wants to really move back home , she just finding it hard living alone , what can I say as a mother “ I told you so” would she listen No , but she lucky to have a flat in fulham at her age 20 . I always try to be postive for them .
  16. BristolHelen18

    BristolHelen18 Registered User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Thanks for your advice. I did sleep in the lounge but with builders here it's hard as I have to be decent by 7am. I looked at the extention today and i tink it gave me a whole new lease of life, it's made me realise how close the extention is to completion. though there's still a lot to be done it the way of converting parts of the house. I've been given incentive to look at furniture now but it's still hard, everytime I'm alone Nan tends to get rather snappy with me. I've tried explaining to mum but the conversation didn't go too well.
    Tanks all the same.
  17. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    Good luck with the extension and the furniture.

    I'd put the daughter in with the mother and the father in with the son, but perhaps the parents wouldn't agree. Luckily it's only a couple of months.

    (I keep thinking of one of my mother's carers, sharing one room with her parents and 3 children aged 5-11. Illegal of course but sadly so many people do seem to be in that trap.)

  18. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    How about asking your dad to sleep in lounge for a few day , you share bed with your mum , many a time in the past . I have sleep with my daughter in her double bed or my daughter with me .

    My mother carer said to me that she share a room with her 14 years old daughter .

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