Elder Abuse?

September 3, 2012

Do you remember that scene in “Happy Gilmore” when Happy’s grandma gets put into a rest home where they use the elderly as free labor and one of the “nurses” (Ben Stiller) continues to berate and belittle everyone. Well it’s not exactly like that, but close. Close enough that my heart hurts from the way that my grandma is being treated. Now she isn’t forced to knit sweaters or run a hamster wheel, instead all her dignity is stripped and she is left immobile in her tiny apartment only to come out when it’s feeding time. She used to live in her own house with a yard, living room, two bedrooms, a kitchen, backyard, in a small community where when she walked her dog friendly faces would wave at her. It was my uncle’s idea to move her. He said that she wasn’t stable enough to live on her own. Regrettably she is losing her memory. She isn’t forgetting places or faces, but short-term conversations. She will tell me the same story 3 times within 10 minutes. I just let her tell it. Or I’ll help her finish it. Or say what a great story it is. I have an overwhelming amount of patients with my grandma. This should be considered normal to some people, but sense I have absolutely no patience for anything else it is my only time to see this virtue at it’s peak performance. Back to gma. I completely understand being concerned for your ailing parent. You don’t want to worry that she will fall or something will happen and no one will be there. So you would think that the “retirement home” (old people hotel) would have nurses on staff or a daily caretaker, or someone around to check on her, making sure she is taking her pills, coming to meals, keeping up with hygiene. Otherwise what is the point of moving her all the way across town! Further away from the only grandchildren who visit her. Further away from town. Only closer to death. Not only did my uncle move her without my consent he did it without my mother’s. Unfortunately, before my gpa died he assigned my uncle as my gma’s caretaker. Supposedly he has last say. Not sure if it’s officially documented somewhere, but for his sake I hope it is. But for now he moved her into this small sterile retirement center as far out of town as it could be while still being in the same zip code. Before it would take me 10 minutes to get to my grandma’s and then another 10 to take her into town. Now it takes me close to 30 and another 15 to get back into town. I know what you might be thinking, “shouldn’t I be glad that there are people around her to take care of her so I don’t have to worry?” Well I would be comforted if that were the case. But no one comes and checks on her. She doesn’t have a weekly or monthly doctor that gives her checkups. If she misses a meal no one goes to see if she is ok. If she falls or hurts herself no one will know. I’m more worried about her now than I ever was. Before she was always eager to get out of the house. We’d go out for lunch or we’d cook dinner or cookies. Now all I can do is bring a take n bake pizza out to the only over in the facilities “activity” room. Due to what they are feeding her she is putting on weight. She just sits in front of the tv and waits for meal time. How is this the way to treat your mother?

Now for the worst part… my Aunt. She is my uncle’s second wife that he married secretly because he knows how much the whooooole family hates her. Detest might be a better word. You know that teacher in Harry Potter that worked for the Ministry. Professor Umbridge I think it was. She would show up in her pink tweed outfit with her high pitched giggles and cat portraits and terrorize the students. That’s this lady. Her outer demeanor might seem genuine if you are either an idiot or a Death Eater. The worst part is that she calls my gma mom. This demon calls my gma something only saved for my mom and the few daughters-in-laws that have earned it. She calls her mom, but then treats her like a child. A slow-witted child. She finds away to take away all my grandma’s independence and dignity with a smile on her face and a concerned tone. For example, my gma gets her hair done at JcPenny’s ya they have a salon in there. Well instead of letting my gma pay for her new do when she is done the witch tells the salon worker’s to wait for her supervision before my gma can pay. I mean how could she mess up handing over someone a credit card. So they summon Lord Voldemort over to take my gma’s credit card and hand it to them. Really? Then last week my gma passed out and was taken to the emergency room at noon. My mom wasn’t called till 5pm. Now if you are 20 and you pass out you might not call everyone to scare them, but when an 83 year old passes out something could be fatal. I understand my mom’s rage when she found out. Even though my mom tried to calm herself she was obviously upset when she said that she needed to be called immediately next time. Acceptable I’d say. Well Ursala says to my sister, “oh wow does your mom nag you all the time too?” So you might be thinking… Aspergers disease? I mean while else would she think she could talk shit about my mother to my sister. So maybe she is more like those dumb laughing hyenas in “The Lion King”*
You might be wondering why this women is always around harassing my gma. Well did I mention my gma is rich. I don’t know how rich, but rich enough to start checking my gma’s pills to make sure nothing deadly is slipped in Sometimes my family will call and Jiffar answers the phone and says my gma isn’t feeling well and to make it a quick conversation. I’ve even seen a note that Scar left by the toilet that read “Wipe from front to back -Love Lucifer”. The first time I saw it  I immediately ripped it down and threw it away. How degrading is that? I wish I could wipe my ass on that women’s face. Well the next time I was there the sign was up again. “She who shall not be named” took it out of the garbage and posted it up again. She didn’t know it was me that took it down. My gma could have been disgusted and embarrassed and took it down herself. Where is the decency? So this time when I ripped down the side I peed on it. Wiped with it from front to back… cause it really is the only way to wipe. Then I threw it away uuuughain. Then today there it was again sitting on the sink. With my pee stains all over it. I just had to laugh. Laugh cause Satan touched my pee and probably didn’t wash her hands before eating. My pee is in her mouth. I did wipe my ass with her face. I didn’t have a bowel movement coming so I just threw it away again. Even though it was my own pee I still picked it up with a tissue. Gross.

 Ok this is the last thing. Big thing. Today I went to take my gma shopping and out to dinner. I know she likes JcPenny’s. Gotta love those bargains. I even had picked out a nice restaurant for us too. I was excited. I get to her prison and she can’t find her credit cards. Sinking feeling. Not just cause my gma usually insists on paying for dinner, but because I knew it had reached a new stage of dependency. Sure enough she calls my uncle to ask where her cards are and I can hear him tell her that he just gave her money. So I guess the new system is that he gives her a $20 every now and then and holds on to her credit card. Yep. Now the dream team has total control over her finances. She can’t even go shopping. I’m livid. How does this guy with his devil wife get away with this? The worst part is that they have made her feel like she can’t handle it and that they are doing her a favor. Oh “mom” we will hold on to your credit cards for you so you don’t lose them when you sit on the couch watching tv not allowed to go anywhere with your grandchildren. Besides btween the couch and the bathroom where you wipe front to back you might unintentionally donate all your money to the Obama’s.

Can something be done? I still take my gma shopping. I mean it’s JcPenny’s even I can buy her something there. Of course she is no longer in the mood to shop like most people are when they realize that their wallet has just been stolen. I buy her some See’s candies and we combine her $20 allowance with mine to get some decent dinner. No one will stop me from enjoying time with my gma, but someone is taking away her joy and I don’t know what to do. I tell my mom to step in, but she get’s too emotional. I hate this. I hate it when people no longer fend for themselves. When they let go cause others have told them that they can’t take care of themselves. I hope some day soon that… ummm… darn I’m running out of evil villans… Darth Vader’s spawn throws her into a nursing home to wither and mold while someone with bad breath and cold hands changes her burlap diaper.

*the reason all my examples are from movies are:
1. I love movies
2. my bf says my analogies are usually terrible so when I use them I try to stick with what I know

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