Our expert says:
Surprised nobody else has responded yet, Lebo.
Sadly, it sounds as though your granny may have Dementia, like alzheimer's Disease ---which can make a person terribly hard to live with. Their memory gets poorer, they are easily mistaken and suspicious about everything, they lose their inhibitions, and can become highly aggressive. They need to see a good local doctor or shrink if possible , for a proper assessment. Sometimes an added physical illness may be making all of this worse, and treating that may make a major improvement possible. Otherwise, their are medicines they can take which can make them less aggressive and more comfortable with other people, less confused.
And something like her worsening eyesight makes it easier for her to get confused --- she may forget where she put something, or not be able to see it, and accuse someone of stealing it, for instance.
Sadly again, our Government has never yet povided enough old age facilties ANYWHERE for ANY community, to deal with what is needed. I don't know if there is any facility nearer where she lives , if there is no room at Soweto homes --- check with the social workers at the Welfare Dept about what might be available.
It's plain stupid for your relatives to complain that you are being un-African to think of putting her somewhere where she can be properly looked after --- surely the African way is to care enough about our elders to be sure that they get the care they need, wherever that can be, rather than to allow them to be neglected at home. If these relatives are so sure you're wrong --- let them take granny for a month or two, and see what they think then ! And of course old African traditions were forms in days when very very few people ever lived to be 80, unlike now.
I understand how discouraging this is, and have experienced it myself. Their poor memory and confusion does not allow them to feel or express gratitude, and they can be terribly annoying. They may have delusions of independence and insist that they can care for themselves, even when it's totally obvious to everyone else that they can'. She needs proper care --- ask the MEC for health in the area where she lives, what facilities that Dept of Health has provided for her and others like her.
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