Why so many negative posts and replies?!

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Steph here again, for those of you who don't know. My new husband and I just moved into his 91-year-old grandma's house so we can provide care for her. My husband's uncle was previously living with her, but he is now in a hospice situation and isn't doing well. He was verbally and mentally abusive to Grandma, so it sounds cruel, but I'm glad he's out of the picture. It's difficult because she asks about him a lot, but I always seem to know what to say to ease her mind, at least for a little while. Yes, I'm new to the caregiver thing and I am stunned that so many people told me not to do it. Yes, we're being smart and responsible with everything, we have a lawyer and we have a caregiver agreement signed. We're going to be paid for the care we give her, so relax everyone! Lol. Grandma is doing great and loves having our company. We think she's in the early stages of dementia, because she knows who we are, but she just always asks the same questions over and over. She's a peach and a real joy to be around. She gets up at 8am every morning, puts half a bagel in the toaster oven and makes herself instant coffee. I bring her her pills. She's really easy and usually doesn't need or want company or help until around noon. Even then, all I do is check her blood sugar, if it's too high I give her insulin, then I sit with her for a couple hours and she repeats old stories to me like she's never told them before, I love it. She's able to make her own food, use the toilet on her own and everything. I'm mostly there to keep her company and make sure she doesn't wander or get too confused. She goes to bed around 8 pm and with my husband and I living in her basement, we can hear every creak in the floor above us. I love my new role, I feel like I've found a new sense of selflessness and commitment and I couldn't be more thrilled to help our grandma live as happy and healthy as possible in her final years. Shame on all you naysayers!


Steph, before you judge all of us too harshly, consider this:

Not all of us have had great relationships with the person or persons we came to provide care for in their later years. Not everyone had Ward and June Cleaver as parents, or the Brady Bunch parents, if that gives you a better frame of reference. Many - and I mean, MANY - of us had abusive parents who were alcoholics, physically / mentally / emotionally /sexually abusive to us, or abandoned us only to come back later, requiring care when everyone else had abandoned *them*. Many of us only provided care for our parents or loved ones out of a sense of filial duty.

So please don't be so dismissive or high-minded about this. You will need this site and the advice offered here in the months and years to come. Trust me.  Don't bite the hand that feeds you, because you're going to need it later.

Those who advised you not to become a caregiver were only trying to keep you from experiencing what many of us already have been through. It wasn't done out of spite or mean-spiritedness, and it certainly wasn't intended to evoke this kind of reaction from you.

I'm sure most of us are happy for you that you have an "easy" caregiving job....so far. Right now, things are simple for you and your grandmother. That's great, and we're happy for you that it's that way. But please don't belittle or attempt to shame those who have had a much harder row to hoe with their loved ones.
Ah, the honeymoon stage! So many answered negatively because so many have been there, crashed and burned. Most of us wouldn't have understood the nay sayers either when we began, or we would have thought maybe them, but certainly not us. I hope she continues to be a blessing to you and that you never, ever experience the flip side of the caregiving coin.
Lol! Why so many negative posts and replies? Lol - still!

Well, I guess it stands to reason - that so many of us have had a negative experience.

You keep on posting - maybe we can learn something from your positive experience. OR - maybe you'll come to see what we've all been talking about. Seriously- I'd be very interested in hearing how things are working out for you - say, six months from now.

Wonderful that it is working out for you! You ARE one of the lucky few. I hope it stays as good as you described.

But, shame on us who complain? Not sure you should be lecturing anyone on here. So best wishes to you and don't be judging the rest of us if you don't want it done to you.
This site is also a way of airing our problems and finding out that we aren't the "only" ones. Glad so far it's working but I just want u to be aware that Grandma will get worse. It will be like taking care of a child, dirty pants and all. There are stages she will go thru. Some may be combatant. If you can deal with this than you have found your calling. Me,
Cont: I couldn't and still can't. I haven't done well in my Mom's journey. Maybe because this all started when I was 65 and retired. Being the oldest and always the child who did everything. Now I am dealing with Medicaid and transferring Mom to long-term care. Tired of doing it all.
Exactly. Ditto above on all responses. Many of us are dealing with the end stage of any dementia - and it can be very, very brutal on our body and on our soul. Perhaps your calling is nursing. There's nothing wrong this. I commend you for this! But for many of us, it's not our calling and we do the best we can because we love our disabled elder and figure out a way to keep trucking along even though we've had it...over and over. Your Grandmother is in the very, very early stage of dementia so she'll be delightful company because you've stated she's still very much self-sufficient and you're just there to fill-in-the-blanks. Let us know how you're doing when she's in the middle and advanced stages because this will be a night and day difference. Also, because Grandma is not too bad yet - you really should hire an extra caregiver on a weekly basis or whenever you can afford to do so - so you and the husband can enjoy the honeymoon phase and have a life. Why get married and immediately take on the role of the homebound middle-aged-plus caregiver? Enjoy your freedom as much as possible.
Let us know when the novelty wears off. May Grandma continue to be a peach even then; and we will be here for you; and this up front is my solemn promise that I will never, never let the words "told you so" pass my lips. I mean it, I'm not being snotty at you.

Just curious though: so what kind of advice were you expecting, given you're confident you've got it all covered? 101 ways to make the same story interesting? Watch Teepa Snow for the state of the art in dementia management.

A follow-up: If you haven't already done this, you should take a tour of a nursing home for dementia patients - as soon as you can. This isn't for you to put Grandma in the home. This for you to see what you could be potentially dealing with - so you can plan for backup plan in case you've decided you can't do the caregiving role anymore. To the nursing home coordinator, you just act like you're touring the place for your relative. Just give the minimum details needed for you to get a tour of the place. Try to visit a nursing home with different levels of care. Look at the whole picture while you're there. I understand you love her. We all love our elders. I'm only speaking for myself, I never experienced a family member with dementia (vascular) so I had no idea what to expect. I heard and read of elders developing dementia but I didn't truly understand the impact - on me - until my mother's decline. It's not a pretty picture. Trust me. If you tell your husband that you want him to accompany you on a tour of a nursing home - just so the both of you can plan for a back-up plan now, like working with the attorney to save more money for hiring more in-home caregivers or working towards getting Grandma qualified for long term care policy to ease the burden on both of you, and he firmly says no or makes excuses - then you've got a much bigger problem. Sorry to be blunt. There's no reason why you and he can't explore a back-up plan now before Grandma becomes the person you don't recognize now. Nursing homes are very, very expensive when you don't qualify for long-term care which is my mother's issue; she doesn't qualify due to a pre-existing medical condition. So, I have in-home caregivers weekly for my relief - no for my sanity!
Ah to be young and know everything. Life not sullied by reality. You and your grandmother are in a moment in time, as we all are. While things and time aren't static they do follow a predictable pattern. Most of the posters on this site have the advantage of a long view back. Hopefully you'll have that one day. Shame on you for asking for people's time to give you a heads up and then coming back and showing your ignorance in such a disrespecting manner.
But pardon me, I have to remember that you are young, maybe a little younger than your years, and don't know what you don't know. I hope the uncle is comfortable and perhaps you can get off your duff and take GM for a visit. While you are there, think about how he got to where he is today.

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