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Nearly a year ago I agreed to move in with my elder relative who I live close to due to a diagnosis of advanced stage AD and safety concerns. I have had to endure a lot, and give up even more during this time along with trying to carry on with my other life responsibilities. I did not expect to basically be left totally on my own to handle every aspect of my elders care, day in, day out, for months on end. One of my elders children is the POA, and does not live close by, quite far actually. Via phone everything has to be ran by the POA first, then the POA decides what will or wont be done. I have been voicing my concerns and my opinions that this elders health issues might be more than home care can handle (aka me) for months now. I also voice my stress, exhaustion level, and near nervous breakdown status. I get empty promises of looking into how to get me some time off or help in return. All I can do is wait and see, as patiently as possible, if anything will change. It doesn't. Several weeks ago I made a decision that for my own sanity and health I can't continue on like this. I made it clear that I am no longer willing to continue caregiving and options need to be sought out for this elders care. I am hearing that it's "being looked into" but that's not very comforting. Waiting patiently isn't a game I'm mentally able to play much longer. My question is that what can I do, if anything to get myself out of this situation other than going into an early grave to escape.

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Great advice all around. It's much appreciated. The thing is it's quite a dysfunctional family situation as far as the POA and the siblings go, of which I am not a sibling. The elder has always been like a parent to me however, which is why I took on the responsibility to begin with. I was the only one coming by nearly everyday to help for 2 years before a live in caregiver was needed. So, you could say I've been caregiving a lot longer than the near year spent living in. I was the one who saw that something was wrong about 3 years ago, and the one who rallied to have evaluations begin. I'm the one who has been to nearly every test and Dr appointment leading to the diagnosis of AD, and every Dr appointment thereafter. I was the one who agreed to move in after much persistence from the POA. I am the one who has had to see less and less of this loved one each day as the stranger of the disease takes over. I am the one giving the weekly reports to POA of health issues, concerns, and the need for help in the areas such as the elders bathing and much more. The need for the POA to begin the research in all aspects has been made clear on my part. I am not saying it's intentional neglect of responsibilities, but with AD you can not put off until tomorrow what needs to be done yesterday. In the beginning I also wanted a NH to be a last resort. Half way through it was clear to me that the NH option was making more sense. Now, when I know I can no longer continue with this I know in my heart that a NH is the only logical option. I had much guilt over this idea, and a feeling of failure at giving up, but when I think about what the last 3-4 years have been like I am taking it a bit easier on myself and I am losing that "door mat" persona. I was told this evening that live ins are trying to be arranged. I honestly think this is a foolish idea when this elder had a wonderful NH in mind if/when the need arose. I would say the AD is nearing the end of the 6th out of the 7 stages along with some pretty serious health concerns, so I would also say the need has risen at this point. Regardless of what is decided, I have reached my limit in this caregiving situation.
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Have you discussed with the POA the need for assisted living or nursing home care? It may be that the POA is totally clueless about what resources are available. It would make sense for your relative to live close to her family. Let the POA know you are leaving -- period! -- and discuss the options of private care vs assisted living or nursing home care. Maybe you can have a suggestion for a good facility that would fit your care receiver's needs if she stays in the same city. You know it is time for you to move on. Helping in finding placement would make the transition smoother. Good luck!
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AnonymouslyMe, write a letter and mail it Certified Mail with return Receipt... hopefully the POA will sign the Receipt and the post office will return it to your attention. Does the POA work outside of the home? If you know the work address, send the Certified Mail to the office... better chance of it being signed then mailed to POA's home. Mail regular copies to the other siblings, too.

Hope everything works out smoothly, and it's a win-win for you and the elder who you were caring for.
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I really tortured myself trying to get out of the bad situation I was in, and it was several forum members that posted a few "in my face" replies that made me realize I really was in control of my own destiny and I was the one that needed to act to get myself out. One poster noted that I was being held under emotional, physical and financial slavery, and that really hit home. I got a lot of good ideas about how to do it, too, but ultimately, it was the written notice and then following through by leaving on that date that worked. In my situation, something bad did happen just a few days after I stopped caregiving, but fortunately people were in place and they handled it. Sometimes we also need to let go, too.
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No littleonway, I didn't give an end date notice before, I only stated I couldn't continue, but as of last week I did verbally give that end date. Your use of the label "door mat" is what I've been thinking to myself the last few months, telling myself it's my own fault, which it is for not making myself heard. Now that I've found my voice, it has been getting louder at least. Thanks for the advice Zoo, I am glad I posted this because I've been reading these forums for a while trying to find a similar situation to no avail, trying to find some kind of answers to prepare a game plan for myself.
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You walk out on that end date! POA is counting on your reluctance to no longer be a door mat. They will do nothing until you actually leave. You gave notice before and you are still there....this they know! Be strong and take care of yourself!
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If you really believe (or actually see) that they won't have someone in place before you leave, then you can also consider taking your charge to the nearest ER, and let them know the situation. That would force the POA to act, and would force the ER to contact social services to follow up. This threat helped in my situation, too. I said I was "done", "leaving on this day", gave verbal notice, and none of that worked. Only the written notice, with copies to all other interested parties (like your elder's attorney, for example), does the trick. It forces the POA's hand, removes any liability to you, and places "all eyes" on the performance of the POA, where the attention belongs right now. Good luck!
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I never thought of putting in writing the end date, but that's a very good idea, Thank you. I verbally addressed the issue, but that hasn't been effective thus far. I could never just walk out though, that's the part I struggle with. Perhaps I'll drive my elder to the POA's door the day after the end date if need be. I could use a road trip anyway.
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OK, I know this one from recent personal experience. You need to send a message, letter, email, text or whatever you like to the POA, telling them your last day worked will be XX and that it is the POA's responsibility to make sure a new worker is in place before that date. Then leave on that day and go on with your life. Even if something awful happens, believe me, you will be just fine. It is not your responsibility after that date. Just keep that front and center in your head and DO NOT FORGET THIS. Nothing else that is going on matters. You need out, so get out! They will string you along forever, if you let them.
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no, unfortunately not paid to cover all that, just the wages I lost. That's why I wanted it to be paid as a job, to show my earnings etc. I voiced this many times, but it just never happened. So yeah, I've lost out big time. Like I said, I gave up a lot, and that is just the tip of that iceberg. I only figured in 8hrs per day of care time when doing the math, but yes, especially with the latest health issues, it's on call all night, all day. If not for my own adult children staying so I can run errands, there is no one else. Which is why a couple months ago I knew this can't go on much longer. I voiced it, but not seriously enough I suppose. Almost a month ago I made it more clear, and this past week I gave an ending date. I'm not going to fold on that, but my fear is being ignored and/or put on hold until they see fit to finalize something. I can't just abandon my elder, and I don't know how to be taken more seriously by the POA if they know I'm stuck here like it or not. Let's just say my end date comes and goes and here I still sit. It's a paranoia that I dwell on constantly since the end date words came out of my mouth.
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AnonymouslyMe, are you really getting paid what you have lost in wages? Is the POA paying your health insurance and deductible? Paying your vacation days when you take time off? Sick pay when you can't work, or do you have to work through when you are feeling out of sorts? If your POA adding to your Social Security and to your Medicare so you have something when you retire? Adding to your 401(k)? And any other *benefit* that your former employer use to give?

If you are there 24/7, that means you are working 168 hours per week, even if you are sleeping, you need to be on-call if the elder needs help during the night. Normally someone would hire a person for the night shift to keep a watch on the elder.

Give two weeks notice and stick to it, don't waffle to the POA demands. Even if the POA promises to hire some help, the POA might drag his/her feet. You need a major break from caregiving, or it will ruin your health, and it will.
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Pamzim the POA is pleasant enough, and means well I suppose, but is also constantly too busy to do the things necessary of the POA, to be honest. Unless another relative has came to visit a few days a few different times, that's the only help I've gotten in nearly a year.
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I had to leave my job, so I am paid what I lost in that pay per month, plus $200 more, which comes to about $3.35 hr when I did the math. However, it's under the table, which was also against my wishes. I actually did give an end date of several weeks from now only to be told that's such little notice. Luckily I can get my old job back, which I am also anxious to do.
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Give POA a date... at this time I need help or you need to come on in and take over! You are being taken advantage of from what you have posted.. maybe not intentionally, but all the same. Tell them something "came up" that you need to attend to.. work, health,school? Just make something up!!! Get them getting the ball rolling or they will continue to stall!
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Are you being paid for your services?

The POA is responsible for arranging care. If you are an employee, you can give notice and walk.

You can't caregive without support. Give notice and leave
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