Frustrated with so much responsibility.

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Ok, last December I moved in with my Grandma (who has Alzheimers) and her daughter. I wasn't aware of her daughter needing help too!! She asked for help managing her finances because she bounced stuff ALL the time. I'm happy to say, I have kept her accounts in the positive the last 3 months. However, SHE is responsible for my Grandma. She forgets to give my Grandma her pills, she "forgets" to fix lunch and dinner, she never cleans or gets Grandma clean clothes everyday. Its like she goes off into her own little world. She even forgets her own pills!! I don't mind helping but its so frustrating when she doesn't do what needs to be done. I remind her constantly when she needs to refill Grandmas pills or if she needs to get Grandma to the doctor. Worse, is when the OTHER grand daughter stops by. She borrows money from 2 elderly women on a very limited income. She comes over only to do laundry, because she's hungry or to do Grandmas pills (because she thinks no one else can do them). She can't even come over just to visit!! Sorry, caring for someone with alzheimers, someone that says her mind is shutting down, a useless grand daughter that only uses them AND caring for a 5 yr old.....sometimes is a bit much. Thanks for letting me vent.

5 Comments

Hi Tina40,
First, blessings and hugs to you for stepping up and into the situation. That said, be careful not to let yourself become the only functioning adult! There seem to be several things going on. Does the daughter have mental health issues that prevent her being able to do more? Is she burnt out? Sometimes when there are situations people don't want to do, it can be "easy" to let the willing take on the roles they don't want. What about having a sit-down talk with those concerned and outline responsibilities/roles to clarify who will do what and on what days or weeks. That helps clarify the situation and adds accountability to the picture. It's often easier said than done but do try. Too often people expect that other people will know the "right thing to do," but that leaves a lot of open ends. Perhaps the daughter needs to get out what's going on with her too. Take care!
Wow Tina that is a lot for anyone to deal with. Did you move in with the intention of helping out or were you just trying to share expenses with Grandma to make it easier for her? Is Grandmas daughter your auntie? How old is she? Does she really forget all that stuff or is she just trying to get you to take on her responsibility? Are you working with all this too and have a 5 yr old yourself? Sorry for all the questions but it would help for us to know to give you advice. If you have two elderly people there (really even just Grandma) you are surely able to get some outside help. What is the relationship with the other granddaughter. CAn her mother, whoever that is, have a chat and tell her to quit the money thing??
Tina40.....It may be time to put Grandma in a nursing facility where a trained staff can care for her needs. You should look into this by calling the Department of Social Services. Your Aunt is the one who may need a helper at home, as her memory may also be slipping away. Whose idea was it for you to move in? Do you work outside the home and put your daughter in a day care facility? Handling ones bank account is not a full time job. Do you pay rent, utilities, food, etc.? As for the other granddaughter coming in to give Grandma pills.....that is creepy! Is she an addict? Are you sure she isn't taking some of those pills.....for herself, or to sell? If this is not a situation you can live with, why not move out and let them handle it. Do your Mother and Father also assist with the care? You have left a lot of unanswered questions in your story. I wish you and your family well.
My guess is that Aunt is on a medication that's affecting her memory. I can tell you, from both first and second hand experience, if meds are causing cogntive side effects, part of the problem is you don't even realize what's happening with that and you have a hard time deciding to stop or get it reported to your doc so they can tell you to stop or what to substitute, assuming the believe you. You have a lot on your plate, and several people who may not even realize what a blessign they have in someone who sees the whole picture and is in there trying to make it work right!
Hi Tina40: It sounds like you got more than your bargained for in your move. Dealing with a grandparent or parent with Alzheimer's is very difficult and time consuming. You seem to be dealing with an Aunt who also is having difficulty in functioning and then you have a 5 year old child as well? Wow, that is a lot to handle!

I am assuming that the other woman is your Aunt although you just refer to her as "she," am I correct? I need to ask where your mother or father are that is the son or daughter of Grandma? I have so many questions like does everyone get along? Does Grandma have a Trust or a will? Is this Aunt the only person able or willing to provide care to Grandma or does she have other living children who could or do help? I have asked a lot of questions but I am going to tell you what I think you should do, just based on assumptions of my own, since I do not know the facts.

If your aunt who is the caregiver of Grandma is having some memory problems then I think you should let your Mom or Dad know that Auntie has memory problems and is forgetting to give Grandma her medication, feed her, and help her keep clean.

What should happen is that the other siblings would come together and decide what is best for Grandma and find out if Auntie needs assistance as well. If there is a Trust then you need to find out who was to be awarded her Power of Attorney to handle her finances and health care. Your Auntie may be handling her healthcare but when you came to help with finances were you signed on to Grandmas bank account or were you given her Power of Attorney?

When you care for an Alzheimer's patient it really takes a lot out of you and you seem to lose your life in the process of caring for the patient. Your Aunt may be forgetful because she is depressed and has basically been beaten down by the job. She may feel like she no longer has a life because she cares for grandma and has for years. She however may have a medical condition herself, just like grandma does and they both may need help.

I am assuming that Grandma lives in her own home and Auntie lives with her and has for years caring for her. She may have done this due to financial constraints, that is Grandmas doesn't have enough money to be placed in a facility or Grandma and Auntie do not want her in a facility because Auntie promised to take care of her until she died. When Grandma does die, does Auntie inherit her home? I have a feeling the answer is yes, so Auntie is being frugal in an attempt to stay in the home together.

If you do not have another Aunt or Uncle to confide in, you can call Social Services and tell them what is happening and ask that they not reveal that you are the person who made the call but tell them your concerns and ask that they make an unannounced visit.

If it turns out that one or both of these women needs more care then I would really want them to go into a facility for care. I know this sounds harsh, but your 5 year old child needs you watching out for them and you will lose all these years they are growing up because your focus will have to be on the sick adults. It isn't worth losing this time with your child.

I am sorry my answer is rambling around, but without all the facts it is hard to give you a straight answer. God Bless you, you have a good heart!

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