RANT ALERT: Hard time dealing with being full-time caretaker to my Granddad...

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My sweet Granddad (89) had a stroke several months ago, and being the only single family member, I became his full-time caretaker in his home. I volunteered with the knowledge that I would have support from other family members (18 in total, 14 in town). "Support" was actually meant mainly in the figurative sense, instead of the literal sense that I took it under, as I was told a few weeks ago after I pleaded for help and suggested starting a rotating schedule of 3-4hrs every other month from each person to give me a break, and them valuable time with him.
My mom and Aunt (his only children) help with most dinners and clean up (thankfully, because I apparently can't cook...), and on occasion, a cousin also brings dinner... as well as their very energetic children.
I'm with my granddad 24/7, helping with anything from transfers, bathing, home therapy, taking him to appointments, outpatient therapy, and putting up with a friend he adores, but annoys me to no end.
My granddad is the sweetest person you could ever hope to meet or take care of, served in WWII and loves to tell about it, and I've never heard him say anything bad about anyone (knowingly, until the stroke).
What I'm having a hard time with is the fact that I (27) put my life on hold thinking I would have breaks given by family, but that didn't happen. We finally started a respite care, but now he wants to get rid of it because it either is too much money to spend, or he doesn't like having a new person each time and thinks it's pointless to have someone "baby sit" him, as he puts it.
I feel like, yes, I'm here for him and his needs are what matter, but what about ME? I feel selfish for even saying it, but I want someone to care about my needs and my sanity! I'm not one to stay grounded in one place for long, and I don't like being around people all the time, even if it's my sweet granddad. I feel stuck. And I want out, but the alternative, a home, is not in our price range.
I have good days where I feel like I can keep going just a little bit longer, and then the really bad days where everything and everyone annoys me and I want to pack up my stuff and leave.
I'm thankful that I have a creative job that I run from home, but I can't get everything done in a timely manner like I need to because I'm constantly answering questions or getting up for something that he "needs" and won't get himself. And I'm quickly getting burnt out on everything, including my art...
I feel like I should just suck it up and take it and appreciate what help I DO get, but if I do just suck it up, I'm going to go insane and I want to do what is best for BOTH of us.
Apologies for the rant. I'm glad I found this site for caregivers to help me realize that I'm not alone. No one can truly understand what we go through, unless they have been through it themselves.

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Unfortunately, the stroke affected his vocal cords, so he is unable to speak clearly or loudly. I would love to be able to voice record the stories.
Thank you for the link!
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Instead of writing down his memories, voice record! I recently installed Easy Voice Recorder App on my phone for my daughter to do interviews. The Library of Congress is encouraging people to submit the interviews for use by other people!! http://www.loc.gov/vets/vets-home.html Please do the paperwork and participate, he would have valuable insight!!

Perhaps this project could be your art for the time being. It would be a fantastic way to collect data for a Master's in History at a small college nearby. You could collect and scan in old photographs as well, write it up, and that would be your thesis. One of the professors at a small college has "adult" grad students although I have no idea how much this costs. Perhaps your family would be wiling to contribute to your educational funding?
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That's on my list for my dad.
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Yes! He got to go a few years ago! Such an awesome thing that they do!
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You are such a loving granddaughter and it shows. Google the freedom flight, might be something of interest, don't know if it is in your area.
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Thank you all for your comments.

Patrice, thank you for your comments, as well. I did make a mock schedule and sent a fb message to everyone telling the exactly what was needed and why, but it was shot down.

On another note, I just learned how to tie a tie. Why? He has a WWII recognition tomorrow and I wanted him to get to wear the tie he wanted (we've been using clip-ons). THIS one, has the Raising of the Flag at Iwo on it, which he got to see in real time! :) Next week, I hope to go through some photos from the war with him and write down what he has to say and the memories that he has. I want to be able to get as much recorded as I can before he goes. I really don't see him lasting too much longer... Which is why I want to hold on for him. I want him to be as comfortable and happy as possible.
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I just wanted to say that you will have no guilt when this is over. I still would encourage a family get together, perhaps mom and aunt could provide some food. After eating and chatting, say something like while all are here I want to show you the schedule i made and where I need help. You put everyone on the hot seat, so what. Either they will help or they won't. You could set schedule up monthly, weekly,?whatever works then email to all at the end of the week for the following week. My favorite saying is expect nothing and you won't be disappointed. If that all falls apart perhaps you could find someone in the neighborhood or from church to come and help you out. You would, of course, need to pay them but at least would have the same one or 2 people come each week. For me caregiving was very rewarding, good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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As you can read on this forum, often siblings don't ever come thru with help, no matter how upset you get. You're blessed with such a lovely gpa and he is blessed to have you. Just tuck in the back of your mind that caregiving for an elderly loved is a fluid situation and you have to be ready and able to adapt to the changes. ff is right - pls start thinking "what if" and putting together a plan for when you need more help.

About your art - my dad was a gifted artist, but when he was stressed and tired, he had no heart to create. Take care of your gift.
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Star, if you read other forums here on this site, you will see that there will come a time where having a home base business will not work out because the person one is caring for will need total time and attention. You really need to start planning for the future.
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I didn't make very clear that I have a home based business, selling my art online. My granddad loves seeing me work and even the way I wrap my packages. :) So that part of my life, the job part, I'm not too worried about. My art is what allowed me to quit my day job.

I'm not upset with my mom or aunt at all. My aunt is not physically able to help much and absolutely has to work to live, as well as my mom. My mom does come over to give me some breaks and they both understand that I need breaks. In fact, I vent to them quite often.

My cousins and brother, however, are the one's I'm upset with because they are the ones with their own families and the "no time" factor of things.

I have to say, respite came today and it was a nice break. Went and picked up donuts I'd been craving, went to Target and got some things to send to my niece and nephew who live out-of-state, and watched Downton Abbey over at my mom's and got to see my cat Picasso.

I appreciate all of the concern that has been shown here. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I just packed up and left, leaving him with a situation he doesn't want. It's an idle threat, really, that comes up when I'm frustrated. As long as I can get the respite break each week, I think I will be okay. I just have to let go the fact that his other grandchildren won't be helping out with breaks.

I hope all of you have had a wonderful day and that you continue to see the sunshine. :)
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