Grand­daugh­ter us­ing Grandma

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - WEEKEND - An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Su­gar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn.

The fol­low­ing col­umn was orig­i­nally pub­lished in 2013.

Dear An­nie: My cousin’s daugh­ter, “Julie,” moved her fam­ily of four in with my aunt (her grand­mother) af­ter my aunt’s hus­band died. It was done on the pre­tence of help­ing Grandma main­tain her home and large yard.

In fact, the op­po­site has hap­pened. They’ve cre­ated more work for her by mak­ing a mess, not do­ing their laun­dry and not pick­ing up af­ter them­selves. Julie has a five-year-old boy who con­stantly dam­ages things in the home, and his mother does noth­ing to ad­mon­ish him. The boy goes into Grandma’s room and takes her things, and when she con­fronts both Julie and her son, she’s told to lock up her pos­ses­sions. This same child has hit her and cussed at her.

Grandma’s doc­tor has told her that she needs to move the fam­ily out of her home to re­duce her stress lev­els. But when she tells this to Julie and Julie’s mother (my cousin), Grandma is told that she’s ex­ag­ger­at­ing or ly­ing about the sit­u­a­tion. I’ve been in my aunt’s home and have seen what’s go­ing on. I am help­less to do any­thing but try to calm her nerves and clean up the house. Other fam­ily mem­bers also have wit­nessed this and com­mented to the same ef­fect.

My aunt has said that she wants her grand­daugh­ter’s fam­ily to leave, but can’t han­dle hav­ing her daugh­ter ha­rass her about it. She’s also wor­ried about the lit­tle chil­dren be­cause she is the one who makes sure they are fed a de­cent meal and get a bath. Any sug­ges­tions? Wor­ried and Help­less

Dear Wor­ried: Your cousin and her daugh­ter are taking ad­van­tage of Grandma. Their in­ter­est in her well-be­ing ex­tends only to what works to their ben­e­fit. You can re­port abuse of any kind — fi­nan­cial, emo­tional, phys­i­cal — to Adult Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices in your aunt’s area. Some­one will in­ves­ti­gate the sit­u­a­tion. You also can call the Elder­care Lo­ca­tor at 1-800-677-1116 for re­sources.

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