I Don't Know What to Do Anymore. I'm 24. I've been helping my mother take care of my grandmother since I was in highschool.

Started by

I'm 24. I've been helping my mother take care of my grandmother since I was in highschool (she had a stroke and we found out she was diabetic). For a long time it didn't bother me that my 'job' was to take care of her so that my mother could work to pay the bills.

Recently, a lot of things have changed. We lost our house and my grandfather within the span of about 6 monthes. We now live in his house. She has had some complications with her diabetes that put her in the hospital, but she seems to have recovered for the most part.

The problem is.... frankly, she is a monster to deal with anymore. She demands my mothers attention 24/7. When we go out for the day or even to do shopping, she wants to know exactly when we will be back. Her memory is shot. We tell her things and she can't remember them an hour later. She guilts my mother into doing almost anything she wants, and I am the enemy. Somewhere in her mind, my mother is always choosing me over her. She goads me into fights just so my mother will yell at me if I fight back. Nothing I say is right. I am the little devil monster to her.

I know nothing will change her at this point, and it can only get worse. We use to be a happy family... now? I spend so much time angry or upset. Sometimes, I just want to run away and never look back. I could never do that and leave my mother to do it alone, but still... I have cried more this last year than I think ever before... I just want to be happy....

We've looked into respite care but her medicare won't cover it, and it is just us...

I remember being happy to come home... now I never want to see this place again.


I am very sorry that you and your mother and your grandmother are in this nightmare situation.

It sounds like Grandmother has had a stroke, has diabetes, and has some dementia. That is a heavy load to deal with. It is not fair -- life is not fair -- and I can understand your anger. Give some thought to what you are angry about. GM did not choose to have a stroke or to have her mind deteriorate. This is not the life your mother worked hard for. My husband has a disease called Lewy Body Dementia. We call it Lewy and personalize it. "Oh dear! It looks like Lewy is interfering with your concentration today. Let's put this away until tomorrow." We both can get mad at Lewy. The anger is still there, still real, but not directed at innocent victims. I think that helps, at least for me.

Do some reading on dementia. It can really defuse the anger and frustration to know that certain kinds of behaviors are to be expected, and that they should not be taken personally. Please do not be goaded into fights by a woman whose mind is slowly (or not so slowly) failing her. She has lost some of her ability to be rational, but you have not. That is a sick game -- don't let her drag you into playing it with her.

It could be correct that nothing you say is right -- not because you are a devil monster but because nothing is right in your grandmother's demented mind.

I find that it helps to write things down for my husband, especially when I leave the house. I not only tell him that I am going to the drugstore and will be back by 4:00 and remind him of which button to press to call my cellphone, I also leave a note "Drugstore. Back by 4:00. Love You."

It is not true that "it is just us." Please contact your county's Social Services, explain about Grandmother living with you, and ask for an assessment. These people are very up-to-date on what is available in your community, what your GM might be eligible for, volunteer programs, elderly waiver programs -- all kinds of things that I certainly didn't know about until a social worker came out and guided me.

This is an awful situation. I sincerly hope that you can find happiness again soon.
Forest: I agree with everything Jeanne just said. I just want to add that I think you are a wonderful daughter to your mom. It is commendable that you don't want to leave your mom to handle all of this on her own. God Bless You.

Do what Jeanne suggested. Call your local county social services. If you can't find their individual listing, just call the main information number for the County you live in and ask them to put you in touch with Social Services. Also, ask if they know the number for your local Area on Aging. Both are god sends to making all of your lives better. Good luck and please stay in touch. Cattails.
Forest, if you're feeling like this, imagine how terrible it must for your mom to be baited by her own mother into fighting with her own daughter. That's a no win situation. I'd be finding someone to come and take care of grandma while I spent more fun time with my mother, if I were in your shoes. You and your mom need each other to keep sane, don't let granny mess that up. Don't take the bait.
First of all, what an amazing daughter/grandaughter you are! Dealing with all of this since such a young age. All of the above posts are such great advice. You will be amazed at how the people at Elder Services in your town can help you. These trained professionals deal with these issues all the time. They have a wealth of knowledge and are so supportive.

You are such a caring person and you need and deserve a life too. One of my kids was away at college when their grandmother lived with us. She had wanted to move back home and commute to school, but "home" was not the same anymore.

I can understand how you feel like running away. My heart goes out to you. Is assisted living or nursing home an option? Elder services can help you with this as well. Bless you for all you do and have done. Take care.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support