I am hopeful that someone can provide me with some advice on how to help my mother, who is caring for my Grandmother. My mother has, for 20+ years, been the "chosen" child - i.e. the one that was just assumed and expected to take care of my Grandparents. She has three siblings - two brothers and a sister - and while they play a passing role in my Grandmother's life, they by no means actively participate in her care.
Over the last 10 years, my Grandmother's health has become more complicated. She is 87-years-old, but for the most part, is in good health for her age. She does have diabetes and that is the main issue for her, but my mom works hard to make sure she always gets her medications. She also has to take injections for low white blood cell counts, but my mother takes her for these like clockwork every two weeks. In fact, my mother has gone to every single doctor's appointment that my Grandmother has had over the last ten years. And with my Grandmother averaging 50+ visits a year to her various physicians, that's a lot of time that my mother has spent making sure that Granny got where she needed to go, that the doctor's orders were followed, and that my Grandmother's health was kept at the forefront of her care.
My mother has basically given up everything to take on this role. And while she takes some time for herself occasionally (maybe once or twice a month when she goes out with her friends), the rest of of life is pretty much devoted to my Grandmother.
And yet ... my Grandmother treats her terribly. Please don't mistake me - I love my Grandmother. But she can be downright hateful and mean. She accuses my mother of stealing money from her when her check book doesn't add up, even though in reality she just spends more than she really has. She accuses my mother of not caring how she feels or checking in on her, when in reality she does (it's just not 24-hours a day). She accuses my mom of mistreating her or treating her so horribly when my mom tries to limit the bad foods she takes, when in reality, my mom is just trying to make sure she doesn't end up back in the hospital. She accuses my mom of not doing enough to take care of her, yet she doesn't seem to have a problem with the fact that my mom's siblings don't lift a finger.
We have tried over and over to have family meetings to address the issue because it becomes absolutely unbearable at times, but that only provides temporary relief. Before too long, things will go back to the way they were with my Granny finding fault with everything my mother does and badmouthing her to her other children. Mom has asked her multiple times if she'd rather go live with one of her other children and Granny has admitted that she can't because they wouldn't take care of her, yet as soon as Granny starts feeling even slightly poorly or just gets into a funk, she starts (what I feel is) emotionally abusing my mother. And, to be honest, I feel like my Grandmother downright pouts.
I'm worried that mom is going to have a heart attack at this point and that is not okay with me. But yet I have no idea how to help. I know my Grandmother is probably scared about aging and I know her memory is bad, so she's probably frustrated about that. But how do I get through to her that my mom IS doing everything she can and to help her be thankful that she doesn't have to live in a nursing home? How can I get her to appreciate that her daughter has given up this much to be with her and take care of her and that, while she certainly isn't perfect, just because she takes time for herself doesn't mean she doesn't love her or isn't caring for her.
If anyone can recommend something, I'd be so thankful. I'm at my wits end and I know my mom is, too.