My Wife's Grandmother.

A little less than three years ago my wife and I moved into her grandmothers home to help her out with day to day stuff and help keep the house from permanently falling into the hands of the mice.  She was 90 yrs old and wasn't able to safely do it on her own anymore.  In addition, we took over all of the expenses of the home (other than the property taxes).  The house was built in the early 1800's and has been in her family since about 1853.  When our child is born later this month it will be the 7th generation to live under it's roof.  Shortly after we moved in, she had a fall, and then was diagnosed with CHF. 

Now things are very difficult.  It is nearly a total care situation.  She is able to feed herself and has no dementia.  But she is depressed and bitter and not very thankful for what people are doing for her.  She feels like a burden.  If we weren't there, she would have had to sell the house and move into a nursing home.  That is, if she hadn't burned it down trying to make jiffy pop on the stove.  Or the leaking roof hadn't fallen in on her.  If she would just appear grateful once in a while it would be so much easier.

billyinvt billyinvt
36-40, M
4 Responses Oct 1, 2007

This hits home because I was just asking my 82 year old mom to once in awhile be grateful! Now I feel like a jerk. They can't help it. It's hard to accept help. To also have to show gratitude is just too much. It's like piling indignity on top of indignity. With CHF she's not likely to make to a hundred. The best you can do is try to get some joy out of giving for yourself and get some great photos of great grandma with the baby in the old family home. Those are some awesome memories you are creating. And even if you're not into genealogy, record some of her stories about the past, ask,about her parents. Those memories are real treasures. I wish I had done that but video wasn't invented yet...

She sounds like my81 year old grandma who i am carring for and i know how hard it is to not be appriciated.

I know what you mean, my friend, but I fear in the case of caregiving, virtue HAS to be its own reward, because gratefulness is not likely to come from the patient.<br />
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There are a number of reasons for this - your grandmother isn't, probably, angry at or resentful of YOU. She is upset with her circumstances and angry because she is no longer independent. My husband has many of the same issues, and gets quite angry at me when I make suggestions or interfere with something he feels like doing.<br />
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It's very hard not to take it personally, but I try. I have found it very helpful to join an online support group (since I cannot reasonably go out to a 'real life' one). The following link is a good place for you and your wife to start.<br />
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The value of these support groups is talking to somebody who REALLY knows what you're going through. Friends and family and co-workers can make sympathetic noises and mean them, but unless you've been there, you just really don't know the situation.<br />
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Best of luck to all three of you.

I use to work in a nursing home and I encountered all different types elderly people we had those that loved it there and were very grateful for the staff and the nuns who ran the place as well as to their children for putting them in such a nice place because they understood the level of care they needed and why their family couldn't do it. We also had those that couldn't stand the fact that they were there and were very hateful towards the staff, the nuns and their family but were well aware of the situation and also there were those that were unpleasant had dementia and didn't really know what was going on. the one thing I learned while working there ( i did it for 6 yrs.) was patience is the key and sometimes they're state of mind (depression) makes them that way not much you can do but medicate them and hope it helps but it might not be she's ungrateful that you guys are there but she feels she's a burden on you guys and she holding you guys back from leading what she believes is a happy life you said you were expecting maybe she feels for a couple that is about to have a child it's to much to take care of a child and an elderly woman. Don't view her as a burden no matter what she does or how she acts (she may not be around much longer, in my family we lose one then gain one) appreciate her and all she has done in her better days and continue to give her the love she needs.