When Your Caree Is Just Mean, What Do You Do?

Over the past two days, two visitors have asked for our help. Here's what they said:

1. "What if your recipient does not have Alzheimers?? What if Grama is just spoiled and mean and spiteful to you and other family members. How do we handle this? She is 92. Sharp as a tack..Has all her marbles. She has been spoiled all her life. Was spoiled by our grandfather. Never worked a day in her life. Had a maid.. never shopped, did laundry.. nothing! Now she’s living with us instead of a nursing home. She was sleeping through her meals and insulin injections. That’s all.. other than that..she was taking care of herself for 3 years after our grandfather died. Now she’s in our home..and is treating me like her slave. She is abusive and complains about stupid stuff. I didn’t announce her meal at the table.. I didn’t turn her bed covers down.. I didn’t make her bed.. I didn’t put her pills in a cup that she doesn’t use anyway. She says’s I’m supposed to do these things for her! She doesn’t need a caregiver she needs a servant! I’m getting stressed.. I’m uncomfortable in my own house. My husband ..her grandson, is trying to help with this. He can do no wrong in her eyes.. by I do. I am the in law. But I am with her all day , everyday.. I do most everything for her. My husband helps a lot when he is home. When he is not home she can be quite mean. I am very verbal about not taking this from her. Yet she continues.. she is so spiteful and mean with her mouth. I don’t know what to do. If she goes to a nursing home and treats them this way she will be neglected and possibly abused. any suggestions..?? Need help"

2. "My mother is 85 and has been living with me for 18 year. I need help taking care of her, so so mean and mad all the time."

We have articles with suggestions on how to manage situations with uncooperative carees here. (Please Note: We adopted the term "caree" in January 2010 so articles previous to that date use the term "care recipient.") We also have a webinar on embracing your limits here.

I'd like to correct one assumption about a difficult caree receiving poor care in a nursing home: Good nursing homes provide good care. In a good nursing home, the nursing home staff effectively cares for residents with both difficult diseases and difficult personalities.

So, what suggestions can you offer to help your fellow family caregivers? What do you think about their situations? Please share in our comments section, below.


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