Hello everyone. I just joined this site and wanted to introduce myself. I'm a 34 year old woman looking after four children, a moderately retarded 55 year old uncle, and an 86 year old grandmother with dementia. Life is stressful and overwhelming at times.
The reason I am caring for my uncle and grandma is because there is nobody left in the family to care for them. Initially, my parents moved them to their home so my mom could be the caregiver. Sadly, my mother died 8 months ago at the age of 57 from an aggressive form of ovarian cancer. Her illness was very unexpected and very fast moving. Of course this devastated our entire family and life's felt like one transition after another since then.
My father decided he didn't want to live in the house and so he asked my brother if he'd stay and continue to take on the role as caregiver to my uncle and grandma. He burned out badly so he said he couldn't do it anymore. Now the family had two options- move Uncle and Grandma to a nursing home, or continue to care for them in home with my help. I could not entertain the thought of putting them in a nursing home. My mom never wanted to see them like that, even though her mother was awful to her.
When my mom died I found myself still wanting to make her happy and proud of me, so I agree to move into the house with my family to care for them. The big perk in all this is that the kids now get to live in a house with a backyard. We imagined that we'd move here and the kids would get to connect with their great-grandmother and her past. I thought that my grandma would light up from all the life and sweetness her great-granddaughters bring to the home. The reality has been that grandma still holes herself up in her room and then complains that her life is reduced to being confined to her room all day. We encourage her to join the family in the living area, but she never wants to. She has become a form of entertainment for my children because she is constantly talking about the "bugs, snakes, and little trolls in leather coats eating her medicine" that the children can't see. This living arrangement is like a circus fun house.
I do believe though that the kids will benefit from living with extended family. They are learning to be more patient and to respect elders. Still, there are days where I want to pack their bags and drop them off at a facility and go back to my own family. These feelings get stronger when I'm not feeling well myself but all I hear from them are complaints. They certainly don't care how I'm doing, but I have to remind myself that they aren't well themselves and don't think like normal people. I have to keep my intentions in check and be ok with not getting validation from Grandma (Uncle is pretty good about being appreciative).
If you read this far then you are very patient! I look forward to seeing you all around on the forums.