What Can I Do to Help My Very Angry Grandmother?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I have a grandmother who gets very angry and goes into rages, i want to know if this is old age or if there may be something more serious going on. She is 90 years old and has been living with my mother for about 3 years. Before then she lived in another town with her 50 year old son who was recently put into a facility because he has OCD. He collected so many things that cause their home to be filled floor to ceiling with boxes and such, leaving only small walk ways to get around. She had to leave the home so that it could be cleaned out. So since then shes been with my mom, but she wants to go home where she lived for more than 50 years. She cant go home because we fear she cant take care of her needs like shoping and stuff, we also are fearful that she may fall and not be able to get help.

Well the reason i writing is that she is always getting ferious with my mother,she cusses at her, she treatends to run away, the minute my mom gets home from work grandma is horrible to her. my mohter said its gettting worse every day. Now she is talking to her self saying thing like “i have to get ready for bed” no silly its to early to go to bed” So the next day after she yealls and said vicious things to mom grand mother is sweet as can be calling her my sweet dear she goes from telling her how much she hates her and doest want her to being sweet. so my mom thinks she might be schizophrenic or bipoler. she has gotten violent. she slapped my brother once, she bangs her cain on the wall. she is terriorizing my mother and any one who is around her for more than a week or so.

she lived with another of her sons for a few months and caused him to have a nervous break down. he came to visit her and he started to break out into hives. so my mother is the only one she can live with. but my mother now has high blood pressure and I’m worried what might happed to my mom if grandma keeps behaving this way, but i know there is no change in sight. is my grandmother to old to be put on any kind of mood altering medication. we dont want to sidate her we just want to help her so she can be happier and my mother can have peace.

A. Given the recent changes in her behavior and the fact that she is becoming violent and unmanageable, two things need to occur. First, she should be evaluated by a physician. She is acting erratically and there may be a medical cause for her behavior. Getting her to a doctor should be mandatory.

Secondly, it may be time to consider transferring her to an assisted living facility. She is becoming more unmanageable. Your mother can no longer control your grandmother’s behavior and she is lashing out and hurting people. This is a dangerous situation not only to those who are being physically hurt by her but it may also be dangerous to your grandmother. The staff at the assisted living facilities is trained to deal with these types of issues. It no longer seems feasible for your mother to care for your grandmother at home. And as you mentioned, she cannot live alone. Something has to be change before somebody gets severely injured. It is time for your family to consider assisted living or some other outside assistance. I hope this answers your question.

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Feb 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). What Can I Do to Help My Very Angry Grandmother?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/02/22/what-can-i-do-to-help-my-very-angry-grandmother/