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Before being my grandmothers caregiver I didn't have a decent job. I could not afford college, so finding employment was hard in a declining area where I lived. When the market was saturated with others laid off that had more experience or education, minimum wage jobs were fought over. That sounds like an excuse. Maybe it was. After being laid off from a job that I could only get part time minimum wage, I did the math. I was making more money doing odd jobs here and there and selling stuff on eBay. So I stuck to it. I finally saved enough to get a cheap apartment and go to a trade school. Then grandma fell.

Now it's been years. The thousands of dollars I painstakingly saved are gone. I have nothing. No income, no marketable job experience, education, 63 dollars in the bank and a chronic back/spinal issue that has gotten worse after having to transfer grandma.

I've burned out twice. Once 2 or 3 years ago. Time blurs. Last Christmas l burned out again. But it was a different type. More like depression. It still hasn't ended. I stay awake at night usually getting about 2 hours sleep. All I do is worry where do I go and what do I do after. I just Google and Google and read jobs I'm not qualified for. I can't even sell stuff on eBay anymore. It's too hard to find someone to sit and watch grandma to even run to the post office. And now that her dementia worsened, I'm to emotionally stressed to do it even if I could. So now I'm broke and been broke since Christmas. The money I saved for my future was spent on groceries and depends. All the Christmas money people gave me (because they saw me struggling) went to pay the overdrawn bank account.

Sometimes I wish this would end. Then I hate myself for that. Then I think I need this to continue because now I have nowhere to go. I don't even have a friend to stay with anymore. When you haven't met up with your friends in years and always decline invitations to dinner/weddings/BBQ/movies/bars/basically any and all social interaction, they stop calling. Even phone calls were awkward. They talk about their child or going to the game or wife etc. I talk about having to clean up urine from the hospital bed at 2am or how I had to make 2 breakfasts because grandma forgot she asked for a waffle and refuses to eat said waffle because she said she wanted a English muffin and I was wrong.

I fear the future. I crave escape. I just want someplace warm to live, low stress and a job where the pain doesn't kill me.

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Not sure where to start this is new to me, its not easy being a caregiver, those who don't take care of a love one have no idea. I don't think my daughter even understands what it is to take care of her grandma(my mom), I literally just calm my mom down from her having crying outbursts and freakin out thinking that she is missing a little boy that she thinks she was babysitting. It is 1030pm CST and I'm lying right besides her, I forgot to mention that I sleep with my mom so that I can have better control of her, it keeps me from getting up n checking on her frequently. My mom is 89 has Alzheimer she hallucinates, I don't know why but between 1am 3am 4am sundowning kicks in and she gets episode's were she thinks there's something on the stove she see's ppl, missing children and just drives me freakin insane. Im lying here with the covers over my head so she doesn't get bother by the light (cell) and I dim the light to its lowest and it still freakin bothers her. I get all these mix emotions: hate love angry frustrated lonely happy moody were I don't want to be around anyone because I have no energy. Well I better try to get some sleep she stop crying but she is having a conversation with ? ? Im not sure but she will ask the questios and answer them too as though she is the other person as well. Thanks for listening! Good night
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I stopped considering him family years ago. He's just a dick who calls grandma when he feels like it.

My mother tries to get him to do things but he won't when I had to go to the dr mom made him come over for a few hours but all that time he made a huge deal he had to leave at 5 because he's going out to dinner with friends. Then a few months later I wanted to volunteer at a church homeless program to cook but he said he's done his time for the year of watching grandma. And refused. It's not that my mother doesn't get after him. It's that he doesn't care. From what I observe I don't think he realizes how he is. It's like how you see strange people at 2am in Walmart. They don't know they're the strange ones. He's been that way all his life. Hence, I don't even bother asking anything from him. I don't consider him at all. 

Oh most definitely. I like to be able to physically talk with someone who doesn't argue back. Just hope it doesn't kill my back or joints. Am am moderately concerned about pain management. Norco really wreaks havoc on my digestive system. I rather not take it. Maybe I'll look into medical marijuana, specifically CBD that way I'll get the pain reliving properties without narcotic effect.

If I don't get fired with my first paycheck, what is more important? Replacing falling apart clothes, worn out shoes or a phone with a battery that substitutes as a hand warmer / potential emergency road flare? Hell, most likely I'll spend it on food and cigarettes. -_- *survival mode*
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Okay, that's my leash snapped. Your uncle is a bit of a tit, isn't he. Sorry if you wouldn't say so.

Your mother has got to stop being afraid of him and challenge him about your grandmother's care costs. You don't happen to live in a state with those filial responsibility laws do you? - it'd be nice to think of some people one would be glad to see caught by them.

You're going to feel so much better once you have regular money of your own, and - fingers crossed - co-workers you like and... well, just some normality! Doesn't matter that it's a basic job,it's still a start. Hope you can get it organised really soon.
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So I got word that I was hired. Not sure when I can start. Desparately need the money and break from caregiving. So that was good. Then uncle somehow found out and called grandma. He told grandma "guess he'll have to work harder" and then spent about 5 minutes bragging about random things. I wish long distance calls costed more. Then he wouldn't call grandma.
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Thanks cdnreader but I'm not a woman :p

I doubt I will get more respit as we cannot afford to private pay anyone and the aging agency that provides the current 3 hours a week is struggling budget wise. They cut everyone's hours across the board. Apparently, they didn't get a grant and lost private funding.

My interests and dreams huh... I'm not sure what is attainable to be honest. I like to read which I am able to do (with interruption). I also like to cook but have to wait until I put grandma to bed. If I boil water she panicks because she sees the steam and thinks it'll boil over. Frying up an onion or chicken breast makes her cough so I wait until she's asleep and close the bedroom door.

My dreams are simple. Some not so attainable as others. I'd like to go on one of those Indian hallucinogenic spirit walks in the desert. I saw a tv special on it. Apparently, it's constitutally protected and legal. Think it might be good for me. Bring me clarity of purpose. I'd like to work in a different country but immigration for unskilled labor is hard. Finally, after all that I'd like to die on a warm beach.
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Dear Tiredreader,

You are an amazing young woman. Not everyone would be willing or able to care for their grandmother. Its hard work. And its not easy I know.

I hope you can find more respite care. Or with the help of a social worker access more community resources. I know its not easy giving up all your time to be a caregiver. Its always hard to find the right balance. But I hope you will also take time to pursue your own interests and dreams. Time gets away from all us. I wouldn't want you to have regrets.
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Initially, she was so sick we all suspected she wouldn't last the month when we brought her home from the hospital. She got better. Then inertia. Also money wise. The only places we could afford are cespool of urine type of nursing homes. The type you wouldn't put your worst enemy in.
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So, why can't Grandma be looked after in a care center?
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Randomly getting killed out of the blue by debris.... That can focus priorities when you see someone die. That's how I get by I can tell myself tomorrow if I live I can read another book , have another cigarette (yea I know), eat another taco. There's always a worse off poor sob. Even if I don't have a life I have life. And I appreciate it.

Recently my mother said she'll watch over grandma in the evening so I could try to get a part time job at a restaurant. That "work" will be my "vacation" ;)

Doubtful. Only helps when my mother yells at him. Not financial wise. He had grandma pay him back for the 2 99cent yogurts he bought form the store for her.
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Tired...

I applaud your philosophical attitude, and yes you're right, and one doesn't even have to go as far as a war zone to count one's blessings. Only yesterday lunchtime a woman not that far away from me, out in town minding her own business, got hit in the head by falling debris and killed. 29 years old, same age as my daughter; I dread to think what state her family is in this morning. It does concentrate the mind, the sheer randomness of fortune.

But there is nothing random about your family's situation. I'll keep my uncharitable thoughts about your uncle to myself (if you can manage to be restrained then what excuse have I got?); but the fact remains that the caregiving burden is currently falling on the person least able to shoulder it, and that is Not Fair.

I'm sure your mother is doing all she can, but she has rather thrown you to the wolves. One more thing she can do is rethink all this.

Has anyone written all the figures down on a spreadsheet and presented it to your uncle? "This is what it costs, in terms of money and time. This is who is currently paying those prices. This is what you're chipping in. Got anything to say for yourself?"
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Uncle gave grandma a $16 gift for her birthday and Christmas present last year. Pay for a lawyer is...
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No. We tried to get her on Medicaid waiver. Her life insurance policy has a cash surrender value so that messed up the assets. But it seems like with the way the money steadily is dwindling, her assets may qualify her for Medicaid soon.

To be honest, I let my mother handle all that. I get too stressed handling both the bills and grandma.
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You can have a Miller Trust set up to get Grandma to be able to qualify for Medicaid. Get uncle to pay for lawyer consult fee.
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Is Gramma on Medicaid?
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We get all we can with assistance. The elderly agency gives me 3 hours a week respit care. They cut it to 1 hour a week but I convinced them I was burned out so they kicked it back up. Budget cuts and loss of funding you know. 

The prescription isn't the problem but they keep raising the insurance fees every year. 

Energy assistance is non existent here. Alot of the money goes to heating the house to blast furnace forging steel hot levels. 

Grandma has chewing / swallowing issues and is incredibly picky eater so we can only buy certain things but we do get some food help. 

Grandma is $40 over income every month for extra government assistance. Nothing we can do about it. 

I have no income. Grandma can't afford to pay me anything. I'm 30 grandma is 90. 

It could be worse. I hate to come across as whiny. I could be a Syrian refugee living on the streets of Greece or hit by a bus and disabled. I shouldn't complain.
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Tired --- I realize that not all services are available across the contry/world but why are you and your mom buying necessities for your grandmother? Have you met with the county social services /office of aging to see what help you may have access to?? Let's be honest, any little bit of help would be an improvement. Prescription assistance would reduce medicine costs freeing up money for depends. Ditto on energy assistance. What about food pantries distributions to help grocery budgets go further? Money saved in these ways can buy helper services to free you up. If you know how to ebay, spread the word that you will do this for others at a % of the selling price or for a flat dollar amount (I would band the items and charge more for pricier items). Is there no income from your Grandma? Are you living in a place that is beyond the income available?
How old are you? Your Grandma?
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My mother works full time just to pay the bills and has health issues. She helps as much as she can.

My uncle.... He would call grandma on the phone about once a week from his winter home to brag about a new purchase of something (phone, car, etc) then I have to hear grandma boast about him to visiting doctors or guests. Then when I say he should maybe buy her some depends or boost instead of me or mom paying for it. She gets defensive and keeps saying all he did. But most of the stuff he helped with was 10, 15, 20 years ago.
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Where have your grandmother's children, your parents, been in all of this?

I don't understand why so many grandchildren are having to take care of their grandparents? This does not sound fair at all to me.
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Thanks Countrymouse!!!

I actually was able to volunteer cooking for the homeless at a church last week and it felt good. Really good. Finding someone to watch grandma for 5 hours while I cooked was challenging, to say the least. It took about 4 days to find someone to stay with grandma.
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Hugs, Tired. Just hugs, with fellow-feeling. I'm still trying to scramble out of a similar hole so I've got no business advising you. But the one thing I do always say to myself - though I don't always agree (!) - is "say yes!" If your friends invite you, say yes. If someone offers you a day's work, say yes. If there's a volunteer opportunity going, say yes. Anything that stops you sitting in a corner and sucking your thumb (which is where you'll find me all too often), say yes.

These years beat us up. As the hug image says, it is okay not to be okay.
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