• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Family Dynamic

briansgrandchild

New member
Aug 18, 2020
3
0
Not sure how much advice people will be able to give since this is a very specific situation, but I guess I'm making this post to vent more than anything else.
My grandfather has Alzheimer's, diagnosed late last year. He lives with my grandmother around a 10 minute walk from where I live with my parents, although obviously we can't see them in person at the moment because of COVID. My grandmother does all of his caring (his short-term memory is bad and his behaviour is beginning to become more unusual- occasionally accusing my grandmother of things etc.) I am obviously fairly far down the "ladder" of potential carers- my mum and her sister are currently sorting POA- but I am very aware of the situation, especially because we live so close but also because I am very close with my grandmother.
The issue I have is that the family dynamics between all these people are incredibly strained. My mum doesn't get on with her mum or her sister, and my aunt doesn't get on with my mum or grandmother either. I have found that my mum is very critical of basically every decision that my grandmother makes in relation to both my grandfather's care and the support she seeks for herself. I know that my grandmother is struggling but is "soldiering on", and I have had conversations with her where she talks about why she's made certain decisions etc.- I am completely satisfied that she is doing everything she can for my grandad. My mum just can't see it that way. In normal circumstances I see much more of my grandparents than my mother does, and as such I see more of the dynamic between them. If I ever saw anything that I thought worth mentioning to my mum- a deterioration, or a genuinely questionable decision by my nan- I would dread bringing it up with my mum because it would "confirm" everything she believes about her mum's ability to make decisions.
Sorry for the rant- does anyone else have experience dealing with a relative with dementia in a dysfunctional family?
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,026
0
N Ireland
I care for my wife, who had a dysfunctional family life before I met her. I don't get any input or assistance from her children(now in their 30's and 40's). I have to say that I would give them short shrift if they proffered any criticism of my arrangements or decisions.

I think a very important point is that I think caring for a partner/spouse, or relative with whom ones lives, is very different to being able to visit and then walk away, even if always 'on call'. Your grandmother will have to make decisions that best suit both lives and will be under stress from the 24hr nature of the role and the fact that being unable to ever 'walk away' will result in feelings of loss in respect of her own independence, wellbeing etc.

What I'm saying is that your grandmother is in a very tough place and needs help and understanding more than anything else.
 
Last edited:

silkiest

Registered User
Feb 9, 2017
280
0
Hi and welcome @briansgrandchild, if you use the search bar you will find a lot of threads relating to family and disagreements. There is a term on the site "invisibles" which generally refers to members of the family who tell others what should be done but rarely offer any actual advice, you may find threads mentioning this interesting.
I personally have both my mum and mum in law with Alzheimers. One is widowed, the other lives with her 89 year old husband. I personally find the dynamics with a partner present much harder to negotiate as there I have 2 elderly people in one household with very different needs and expectations.
 

Addiscombegirl

New member
Apr 8, 2021
2
0
My Mum is newly diagnosed. I am 1 of 6 children.

None of them are very active in looking after Mum, including my brother who lives with her.

I've had to contact a sister I haven't spoken to in 20 years and who my mother doesn't like much and hasn't had a relationship in 12 years.

My estranged sister comes up with lots of ideas we've already tried and winds me up and other in the family.

I think unless the main carer is putting the life of a dementia carer at risk, or abusing them, then they shouldn't be interfering. Especially, if they're not taking an active roll in care. I had to listen to my sister proclaim to be a dementia expert after I had just cleaned up my mother after she had a bowel accident in her bed and again later in the toilet. My sister would run for the hills at cleaning up my Mum's mess but quotes things at me that I've tried already. But not practical help.
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
12,041
0
Merseyside
My Mum is newly diagnosed. I am 1 of 6 children.

None of them are very active in looking after Mum, including my brother who lives with her.

I've had to contact a sister I haven't spoken to in 20 years and who my mother doesn't like much and hasn't had a relationship in 12 years.

My estranged sister comes up with lots of ideas we've already tried and winds me up and other in the family.

I think unless the main carer is putting the life of a dementia carer at risk, or abusing them, then they shouldn't be interfering. Especially, if they're not taking an active roll in care. I had to listen to my sister proclaim to be a dementia expert after I had just cleaned up my mother after she had a bowel accident in her bed and again later in the toilet. My sister would run for the hills at cleaning up my Mum's mess but quotes things at me that I've tried already. But not practical help.
Welcome to TP @Addiscombegirl
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
119,022
Messages
1,743,045
Members
69,875
Latest member
MicGreg