Moved Grandma to Independent retirement near me and I'm exhausted already! Just need to vent and ask advice.

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I am glad to have found these forums!

Sandwich generation. Some backgound. I am 42, DH 48 and we have 16 month old twins and my 85 year old father-in-law with us. My FIL was always in excellent health until the kids were born and then multiple surgeries have affected him. He is very mobile but has early dementa. He has lived with my husband and I for years now and has been very easy to live with so far.

The issue is my very needy and lazy grandma is 73. (I love her very much BTW, just stating facts!) She realized she was spending her money to fast and looked to my brother and I to find a new living situation for her. She once had a lot of money, but paying for help when she didn't need it took its toll. I found an awesome independent retirement home 10 minutes from me and she moved in. The month of July felt like it would never end between getting her moved, having a yeard sale at her place and getting her situated with doctors.

Mentally, my grandmotehr is great, physically, not so much. She has osteoarthritis and a bad back with failed back surgery and is totally reliant upon her scooter, which I hate. Once, after a hospital stay, she was so weak that she went to rehab and could actually walk again with a walker, but as soon as she went home, she got right back on her scooter and now can only transfer again. She also has incontinece issues and takes 27 pills a day!

I already know, as her previous neighbor has warned me, that grandma is thinking that she is going to move in with us one day! She is always inquiring about the health of my FIL, and I know her ulterior motive. I have gleened from reading this forums that this is a terrible idea. She has enough funds to live about 4 years there if she stops her ridiculous catelog shopping habit.

She is running me ragged already. She doesn't like to lift a finger for herslef and will manipulae people into doing things for her. This neighbor that she used to have would walk my grandmother's dogs every day for her. My grandmother could take them on her scooter, but she won't.

She needs her pacemaker replaced now and we had 3 medical appointments last week and another 3 lined up this week already. This places huge stress on my DH, who is taking care of our twins and FIL whle I am gone.

Still yet, there will be the actual procedure and hospital stay. Then I still have to take care of getting her set up with a urologist and opthamologist and vet.

Then there are the phone calls daily, letting me know the moment she runs out of something. And taking care of her finaces, changing addresses, consolidating bank accounts, the list goes on and on.

My mother lives 10 minutes away too, but this is her step-mother and their relationship is not great. My grandmotehr has done some very greedy and selfish things and I don't blame my mother and am not going to ask for her help. My mother has her own health issues and loading and loading my grandmothers scooter would be a challenge for her. She has always been the grandma I have known in my life even though we are not blood. She has never had any children and does not understand their constant needs.

I was feeling pretty stressed before reading these boards about my grandmother's eventual request to move in. But I know now that I need to put the needs of my family first and that I cannot do that and be the caregiver she needs. This will mean a NH down the road, so I will have to be strong.

The retirement home provides all meals, has on site caregivers that charge $10/day. This is a huge savings for her right there! They also provide housekeeping. The transportaion my grandmother cannot use because they are not able to take her scooter. I am trying to get her set up for our county para-transit service and I know she will act like she can't go anywhere by helself, but I am not taking her to get her nails done, dang it! I also have her set up with a pharmacy that delivers.

I do not mind taking her to an appointment or two a month and going over a night weekly after my kids are in bed to take care of her bills and bring her things she needs. I know that she is looking to me for companionship as well and I hope that as she makes friends, that need diminishes a little.

Any other advice or words of wisdom for me to balance things and set boundaries? Anyone have experience with para-transit? Is it un-realistic to expect her to use it in a town new to her, and by herslef, even though all she needs is the address of her destination?

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Yes, that story is one more perfect example of why you need to set (and stick to) clear boundaries. That demonstrates exactly how grandma thinks - it's all about her all of the time. She'll never be considerate of you and your needs, so you need to do it for her.
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As foljs get older, they return to the ego - centric way of thinking that we are used to seeing in small children. This is why it is so important to set boundaries.
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Hahaha, have to share a funny...not so funny story about my grandma

So, the cardiology office actually cancelled her procedure and claimed that we called to cancel it because she was in the hopital, when in fact, we called them to let them know she was in the hospital so they could order the pre-op stuff, which was done. Well, after many phone calls they fit us in and that part is now behind us.

The funny thing is that I mentioned to grandmother that we were going to have to look at hiring someone to take her if she has so many appoinments in the future becuase it is too hard on me. Her solution "can't you hire someone to run your business instead?" Haha! As is if I am paying someone out of my pocket to do what I want to do so I can cart her around. Unbelieveable!
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I"m sorry you have to jump through so many hoops for her. Hopefully after she gets her pacemaker and you get her settled, you can cut down the visits. Just hang in there a little longer. Believe me, I know how you feel!
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I just want to cry, I am so frustrated!

So it was a bout a week ago that we had our primary care visit, after that was done, we were supposed to be all set for 5 days. I was going to get a break all the way from Wed to Mon when the pre-op labs had to be done for tomorrow's pacemaker surgery. Day after PCM, we get a call and I had to go pick up grandma and take her to get her potassium retested. I took her and got her back home. Two hours after that, dr office called beause her potassium was still high and I had to take her to hospital. The nurse siad she was going to stay in until after she had her pacemaker replaced. So I go no break while she was in the hopital and now I find out she is being discharged today and I have to turn around and bring her back in tomorrow for her out-patient procedure. I am glad that she stabalized, but I am annoyed that I have to stop everything leave my family again today, and all day tomorrow. She is so excited. I am mad and frustrated. She has some kidney dysfunction, so we are going to have to follow up with a kidney doctor after. Ughh....I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I don't want to go pick her up, I want to go to my room and cry instead.
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There are self test kits for testing inr which are covered by insurance. Can grandma still do a stick of her finger and insert a slide into a machine, do a reading and call it in to an 800#?. Even if you have to assust her 1x a week, it's a darn sight easier than a trip to the lab. And yes, get her a transport chair.
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Consider getting a "second hand wheel chair" she can use to take advantage of the the "independent living" transportation service. She can use it to go to her appointments, fold it up and store in closet and use scooter all other times. That way she can go where ever the available transport goes and does not make you the automatic taxi service!
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One thing to check is whether you have a public health nurse who can come in and do the pro-time check at your grandmother's facility. Or whether they have on-site home health people who can do that. At my mom's independent living facility, there's a "Village Nurse" who is wonderful and comes in once a month to take my mom's INR (pro-time). She faxes it to mom's doc who calls me with any changes to her coumadin/warfarin dosage. So no need to visit the doctor.
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Thanks for all the responses and advice! I should also mention that grandma is a retired nurse supervior, so she knows her medical stuff and probably feels very comfortable being in those settings. Naturally, she is a horrible patient herself!

The appointments currently are directly related to getting her pacemeake replaced and meeting her new primary care dr. She will have to see the primary care monthly to monitor protime levels for her heart medication after out initial visit. The podiatrist will be every 9 weeks. The cardiogist, urologist, and opthamologist should be infrequent.

Bablou - I looked over all the early dementia and altzheimers lists I could find online and see really no symptoms. She is pretty sharp, up with current events, remembers the past clearly, prolific reader. Not sure why writing the dollar amount for her checks is a problem. I will mention it to her doctor. Thanks for the advice.

Blannie, Yes, definitly hard to feel sorry for things that are a result of her poor choices. Part of the reason my mom is, for lack of better word, disgusted with her. She won't do the physical therapy. She had home health for a while, but if someone is not there to make her do the exercises, she won't bother. Lazy, lazy lazy!

Fregflyer, I never thought of questioning follow-ups that are so soon! I am going to do that for sure. What I think I'll do is tell them I will call to schedule the follow-up visits, just to make sure they dont' get scheduled so close, rather than booking them on the spot.

CarlaCB - Wow! You are right, they do sound a lot alike! I could imagine my grandma saying the same thing. That is exactly what it is -feeling entitiled. She is like a queen on her throne and when my grandfather was alive- he the king. When he was still alive, they'd keep a blackboard in the house and when we'd have a family get-together, our lists of chores would be waiting there for us. Eventually, my mom exploded and that stopped, but I know my grandma just keeps her mental chore list for us now. I admit, I don't want her to ask me to walk the dogs, so I always try to situate myself so she doesn't have the opportunity to ask me. I'm not lazy, I just don't want to be doing things for her that she could be doing for herself. Her excuse is that she gets the leashes tangled in the scooter - well, not if she only takes one dog at a time! Get this though, I mentioned that there are on-site caregivers there and grandmas was initially off Wed and Sat evenings. She is actully coming back on those nights now to walk the dogs! The caregivers been there 14 years, she's must have dealt with people like my grandmother before. I was incredulous when my grandmotehr told me. I just don't see how she doesnt think this is not right. I don't think she'd narcistic, but I don't know what I'd call her.

I hope that it doesn't happen that way with the appointments for my grandmother. I can't do this weekly. I work from home and it is easy to be taken advantage of of when you do.

Thanks again all for the great input! I am feeling much more confident in my dealings with her now and when I start to feel anxious again, I'll come back and re-read all of teh positive support!
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Wow, twinsmom, I can relate! Your step-grandmom sounds a lot like my mother. If you gave her an inch, she'd try to take a mile. Once, when she asked me whether my sister or I would respond to the letter she received from her insurance company, I suggested she do it herself. When she objected, I told her that everyone would like to have someone else do all their grunt work for the, but life doesn't work like that. She smile slyly and said "It does when you get to be my age." In other words, she feels entitled to have someone else take care of all her tasks even if she could do them herself. She also roped other people into walking her dog (when she had one) rather than taking her dog out using her scooter.

You really have to set boundaries with such people. It's all right to say "NO" and mean it. Don't run over there every time she calls. Limit your visits and your running of errands to once a week or less.

About the doctors' appointments, I tried to do as freqflyer suggests but it hasn't worked. My mother sees 5-6 specialists. My sister and I split up these visits. I don't know who to limit them or which ones to cut out. They are always saying to come back in 3 weeks or to follow up with a different specialist. Sigh..
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