We just moved Grandma in 1 month ago. I am so new to this. I am actually an RN, but nursing school was 20 years ago and we did not learn how to live with our elderly grandparents. Our geriatric rotation was 5 hours and then we got to go home. I can do anything for 5 hours. A 93 year old 24 hour confused room-mate is harder.
I feel like the only reprieve I get is when her caregiver is here in the morning for 3 hours (I escape to the gym), or when I am working, which is not all that much of a break!
It's the dementia that is making it so hard. She asks the same questions over and over, and she hardly ever stops talking!! Sometimes I just have to ignore her because I feel like I will lose my mind if I tell her one more time that yes, she did have lunch, would she like a snack? I don't remember her being this chatty when I was a kid. She wants to talk non-stop. If I leave her to do laundry, dishes, dry my hair, clean her room (you get the picture), she gets all weepy and tells us she is in the way and we should send her to a nursing home. She actually isn't in the way (and we tell her this over and over), but we cannot sit and visit with her all day. I have stuff to do! I did remind her of her crochet project and that helped for a couple of hours. And I had her help me with a sewing project I am working on (even that was hard, I asked her to rip out 2 seams and she asked me at least 10 times if I wanted her to rip out both seams. I finally wrote "rip out both seams" on a piece of paper but she was still confused). THIS IS SO HARD.
We know her days are limited and we want her to feel loved and wanted, and she was just wasting away in her retirement community because her mobility has become so limited. She wasn't leaving her room. She lost 30 lbs in 6 weeks. Every time I went to see her she was sitting in her pajamas alone watching TV. We take her out almost every day. Yesterday it was just a walk around the park in her wheelchair, but she got out. Today she got her nails done. I know for the most part she is really happy here. We have kids and a lot of activity.
OK, I feel better. Just needed to vent. I don't have anyone to vent to. My mom is racked with guilt because she didn't want to move her in with her, and my sister has a million kids. So thankful for this forum. And wine.