Gransnet forums


Negative as getting older

(19 Posts)
Chris4159 Thu 22-Sep-16 08:45:41

Is it common the older people get the more negative and nasty they become!!! My mother who does have company so not lonely, has her own granny annexe of 3 rooms so no bills to pay at all. She is 83 very active and does not look her age. She is like a different person has become negative about everything, nasty about everyone giving cutting remarks. She has fallen out with my sister( her daughter) as my sister overheard running down her daughter , and pulled her up on it, but she did not like being told. Now made it all about her again and how hard done by she is. I take time off work and take her to all hosp, dr apps. She is in general good health and dosent know how lucky she is but can't see it. Just needed to vent a bit.

Elegran Thu 22-Sep-16 09:54:40

No. Some do, some don't, and some vary from one week to the next. A lot depends on their personality, their situation, their health (those hospital appointments must mean that something isn't right) their past history with their family and before that their parents, their worries about their future. At 83 she may think she hasn't have much future to look forward to, despite her general good health.

Try to keep your good humour and draw her into being good-humoured too, rather than tell her she should admit how lucky she is. How would you like it if you were feeling down about life and that is what you were told? Better to talk to her and find out what is really at the bottom of it, then together you can sort it out - or help her through it if is worries.

Linsco56 Thu 22-Sep-16 11:25:26

As Elegran says, some do and some don't.
All you can do is chat with her and try to alleviate fears she may have about what lies ahead for her.
My own mother has always been negative and I've had to accept that is just part of her nature but if this is a new side to your mother then I suspect something in particular is troubling her. She may have concerns regarding her health or her memory. Changes in personality and reasoning can be a sign on early onset dementia...worth considering!

Teetime Thu 22-Sep-16 11:26:43

Most of my nursing career was with older people and the single thing that is most underdiagnosed and treated in the elderly in my experience is depression. When I was working as a Consultant Nurse in Rehabilitation (Stroke,heart disease, amputation that kind of thing) we treated people who were feeling to low to do their physio or comply with their treatment regime with antidepressants and the results were amazing. Unfortunately GPs seem to be very chary of prescribing I don't mean Valium there are far better newer non addictive drugs which elevate the mood.

JackyB Thu 22-Sep-16 11:46:53

Teeetime could be right. It may be depression - that would explain what I have observed.

Instead of becoming more open to other people's experiences and becoming more tolerant in old age, my Dad became less and less tolerant and downright cantankerous.

He used to have prejudices against quite a few ethnic and political and other groups, but by the time he was nearing the end, these increased and he could stand absolutely no one - not even the Scottish accent which he had admired all his life.

My mother is not exactly the opposite, but I reassure myself that as long as she is still interested in other people's lives (e.g. her cleaning lady who has marital troubles, our relatives and her neighbours) she is still a fully paid-up member of the human race. We encourage this by talking about these things. This has the added advantage that her mind is stimulated and she has to find words and contribute to the conversation herself. This works best on the phone.

Grannyknot Thu 22-Sep-16 13:16:22

Good response from elegran.

Not saying that people don't suffer from depression - but sometimes I think it's an easy explanation for being bad-tempered and bloody minded.

I know lots and lots of very old people who are cheerful, happy, have a sunny nature, positive, enjoy life, etc etc. and are a pleasure to be with. I know one woman of 93 that no matter what you do for her, she'll never be happy, moans all the time.

So in reply to the question posed by chris becoming shitty shouldn't go with the territory of being old.

Also, is it no longer the done thing to tell a parent (or anyone for that matter) that they're a pain in the backside because they're moaning all the time? (I know my kids would tell me in similar circumstances).

Chris4159 Thu 22-Sep-16 13:37:31

Thank you for messages. I always keep a positive cheerful manner when with her we go shopping tog etc my grandson is 3 he loves to see her and they get on really well. Hosp app for a a birthmark at back of her eye they keep a check on it twice a year for last 23 years. Did all start when my sister pulled her up about bad mouthing her daughter to relations. My sister told her what she heard her say, told her not to do it again. Mum took umbrage made a complete mountain out of a molehill said never crossing my sisters door again!!!

Grannyknot Thu 22-Sep-16 14:07:58

chris she's very lucky to have you, and her taking umbrage at your sister telling her not to gossip about your niece possibly has to do with your mother now feeling guilty for putting her foot in it - the best form of defence is attack and all that.

annodomini Thu 22-Sep-16 14:45:47

She must realise she was in the wrong and your sister had every right to pull her up. However, some people find it very hard to apologise and she sounds like one of them. None of the older people I have known (I'm one now) have shown negative tendencies. Perhaps I'm lucky to have known mainly nice people. I can't suggest what you can do about your mum - probably ignore whatever she says in that tone and don't let her think you're offended. You could counter her negativity with a cheerful Pollyanna-ish demeanour, though that might drive her to distraction!

rosesarered Thu 22-Sep-16 17:55:00

If you're negative at 35 you will be the same at 85.If usually, ( in the past) she was a happy person, then yes, depression , even slight depression may be the answer.
Try and have a good talk to her about how she feels, when the moment is right.

GrannyMac1945 Thu 22-Sep-16 19:51:37

Hi, my first post ! The thing which I found most irksome with mum and minlaw was when they complained about something and you offered a solution it was brushed aside. I realised they enjoyed the grumble.

Izabella Thu 22-Sep-16 20:02:54

..... Not to mention the frequent "AIBU" threads on here!!! 🙄

lizzypopbottle Thu 22-Sep-16 20:03:10

Personality changes are often an early symptom of dementia. My own mother became outspoken and tactless, unkind too, on occasions. Her language became less polite too. This began quite gradually several years before the more obvious symptoms started to show.

mumofmadboys Fri 23-Sep-16 08:01:21

I think my mum felt she could say what she liked in old age. She lost any sense of tact and could be quite rude. It made me wince.

Stansgran Fri 23-Sep-16 08:29:47

Congrats Grannymac on your first post. I guess we are the same age. I have a friend with whom I share a moan about life in general when we meet up and then we talk about other things. It makes us feel better.

BlueBelle Fri 23-Sep-16 08:35:05

I will say that alzheimer's/dementia can make some peoples personality opposite to what they were sunny natures can become morose and grumpy people can seem more serene
Not suggesting your mum has dementia just a general comment

Sorry izzypop I ve just noticed your post above so I totally agree with what you say my mum also became quite judgemental and sarcastic before we ever knew she had dementia by the time it was in full flow her language was awful she had never sworn except the odd bloody or damn but it ended in competition to a building site

LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 23-Sep-16 09:04:07


LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 23-Sep-16 09:04:45

Sorry folks, please ignore me - we were testing something smile

SueDonim Fri 23-Sep-16 13:06:27

My mum has increasingly got like this. She's 88 and absolutely sharp as a knife, so it's not dementia. In fact, she's getting to be exactly like her father, my cantankerous old grandfather, was. It came to a head earlier this year (over my newly-valeted car not being clean enough for her!!) and I'm afraid I shouted at her. blush

It did the trick for now and she's been a lot less unpleasant since. She isn't very mobile due to arthritis and in part I think it might be due to her world kind of closing in on her. She can't go very far and lots her friends have died so I think she probably has too much time to brood upon things. I do feel sorry for her because her mind is still very active.