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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!

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Dear She1934,

Sending you love and hugs. I know its a tough road and you are such a good person to carry on. We all do the best we can every day. It sure isn't easy.

Maria Shriver has a new book. A reporter asked her about what she has learned being in her 60s. She said she is kinder, gentler and less judgemental. I really try and hope I can carry on those values in my own life.
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You are very much to be commended for your commitment to caring for this lovely woman. I am happy that it is working out so well and that you honor and appreciate her. But please please do not be judgemental toward those of us who are exhausted, sick and emotionally depressed while going through a completely different experience. My loved one was a charming, funny, independent, easy going man two years ago. He still has a few lucid moments each day, but for the most part, is an angry, confused, totally different person who barely functions, has awful nighttime incontinence, does not recognize me, calls me ugly names, tells me to get out, and so much more. His delusions and paranoia and restless nights are exhausting to the point of feeling hopeless. He cannot be placed because there is no money. I am here 24/7/365. I truly hope his never happens to you. Please be more understanding.
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I know this is old, but I always wonder what happens to people? I love an update to each of these caregivers story. As soon as I read this I thought of Depeche Mode's song, "Walking in My Shoes."
"Try walking in my shoes.
You'll stumble in my footsteps"
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Uh.... you've been doing this for how long? So she can still do things for herself and her attitude hasn't changed, and you even get PAID - wow. Oh - and you have an understanding hubby to help. So things are great for now..... right.
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Please note, this discussion was almost a year ago.
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wait to it drags on for years. Then come back and scold us.
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I feel grateful to be in position to care for my mother at this time of her life. It’s difficult, exhausting and stressful. We had a very complex relationship in the past. But this is my mother. It’s a shame to blast anyone on here for having a positive experience with caregiving. I was searching for support. Positive support.
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I understand you need something positive. Here is a nice experience. in 2013, I enjoyed being with my mom. She was pleasant, she had a caregiver, and I connected with her. I enjoyed having lunch with her and playing cards with her. Plus, since she had a caregiver, I could go out and do things. She passed in 2014. I miss her.

Then I start taking care of my father about that time. A different story. He doesn't want a caregiver so I take care of him. He is able to do some things by himself, thank G-d. But needs help with some things. He has a temper and is depressed that he can't drive to places like he use to. So I try to take him places sometimes. There are good days and challenging days. I try to make time for myself and my husband.

Make sure that you are your husband make time for each other, in order to keep your marriage healthy. May you and your family be healthy and happy
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Goodnight dear thread, goodnight Negative thread.
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Cwillie,
You make a good point, since the OP has moved on to other posts. And what is happening now is a new poster will be trapped and ignored here, needs to ask her own question so others on the forum may try to help her.
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Can we please put this thread back to bed?
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Thank you Sendhelp for welcoming me to the forum. And it will be nice to have someone looking out for me. I have an appt. with my Neurologist's Phy. Asst. in July and my husband is going to tell them that the medicine they started me on isn't working which I knew there would be a chance it wouldn't---but I was hoping that it would because for the first several weeks it had one bad side effect. It finally quit though. Then after a month of being on 1/2 a tablet, I went up to a whole tablet. That's when I stopped sleeping. Which isn't a good thing because I have Gran-Mal Seizures especially if I don't get enough sleep. Which my Neurologist is aware of because he is treating me for them. It took them about 2 years to find a medicine to stop my seizures. I haven't had a seizure in almost 5 years and I certainly don't want to start again!!! So I'm looking forward to starting on a new medication to see if it will help my memory for a while even if I do have to fight the side effects. So we'll see in July. :)
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If this journey were all peaches and cream there would be no need for this support group. Also it seems like my mom, as I am sure it is with other parents being cared for here by their children, seems to accept care and control from non-children care givers with less resistance. My mom was the parent and I was the kid, even while I was 50 years old. You might have a smoother time since you are not actually her child or grandchild. I imagine if you do this job long enough, you might have a different perpective of her son, especially when you add the fact that his health was failing while he was caring for his mother.
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BABYDOLL62,
Your post above went unread and unacknowledged.
You said:
"I'm just starting to go through what my sweet Moma went through and I'm scared to death because I know what to expect even though I know I won't know what's coming. So they say............."
Sandy,
There is way more to your post than meets the eye.  So I want to welcome you to the forum.    I want you to try to ask your own question so people can easily follow your progress.  You are someone who is going to need a few supportive friends, imo.
I will be looking out for you, and want you to know:
IT IS NOT OVER YET.
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Stephanitely86, since you are not working full-time, you and hubby try to save as much money as you can. It is very expensive to be elderly, and with you being 30 it seems like a long ways off, but it will come faster then you think. Assisted Living can average $5k per month, yes per month. Skilled nursing homes average $10k per month, depending on where you live.

I know I had sticker shock when it was time to place my parents in senior care. Glad I was fugal all my life. And glad my parents were fugal, too.

Many of us here gave up full-time employment, thus losing out on years of fully time salary... company sponsored health insurance... company sponsored life insurance... matching 401(k).... profit sharing.... workman's comp.... paid vacation days... paid sick days.... tuition reimbursements... higher amounts being placed in Social Security and in Medicare. Those item could be equal in monetary value to your salary, thus it is like losing two salaries.

Oh, I just remembered one thing, your hubby's Grandmother would need to have a "workman comp" rider on her homeowner's insurance, just in case you get hurt on the job. You are now an "employee" and most homeowner's insurance doesn't cover that.
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I'm happy it's working out for you. Ive been a caregiver for a number of years and the previous posts are right, it gets harder, much harder, as time goes on.

The big thing is people do need to vent and this is a good place to do that because many of us can relate.

I try to avoid the negative people because they will pull ya down and it's already hard to keep spirits up.

So, stay positive as long as you can and enjoy the time as much and as long as you can because it can get harder.
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I'm happy it's working out for you. Ive been a caregiver for a number of years and the previous posts are right, it gets harder, much harder as time goes on.

The big thing is people do need to vent and this is a good place to do that because many of us can relate.

As for me, I'm happy to do what I do even though there's many days when I'd love to just get in the car and drive away. That doesn't make me a bad preso., it just makes me human. Fyi I never did leave.

Im happy to do what I'm doing as long as I can and I try to not let the negativity get to me and that includes my own negativity, and that's something I thing every cargiv
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My Moma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in Aug. 2002, 9 years after she had Brain Surgery for a tumor that was leaning against her pituitary gland. It wasn't malignant Thank God. But she had to learn how to do everything again. Feed herself, walk, swallow, use the bathroom, write--everything!!!!! The Nurses were so Gold. They told me exactly what I should and shouldn't be doing. One thing I shouldn't be doing for her is waiting on her hand and feet. Now that one was the hardest one out of all of them Not to do. I remember she had just finished up in Therapy and she was in her wheelchair using her feet pushing herself and using her left arm pulling herself on the arm rail on the wall, and the Nurses and I were walking really slow beside her and she stopped and called my name. I said are you ok? She said yes but I want you to push me the rest of the way to my room. I looked down the hall and we had about 5 rooms to go and looked back at her and as bad as it hurt my heart I said, the only way you're going to get to your room is to keep on pushing with those size 10. Now come on lets go. I turned around and started talking to the Nurses and they were looking at me real funny and I said what? Wasn't I supposed to say that? I'll help her if that's what I'm supposed to do. They said at the same time, NO!! We always tell the family it's best to let the patient do the work themselves because they'll get to go home faster but they never listen to us. I told them that I want my Moma at home. After that Moma did really good. She worked hard and the Therapy Dept. got our permission to get her on video so students could see the before and after Brain Surgery. But then the Alzheimer's hit. It like "Steph" wasn't bad for quite a few years. But that last year I wouldn't trade for anything. Although she didn't have much breath, she wanted to dance to Anne Murray. So we did. Then she got mad because she said I was leading. We sang a lot together. But at night. Oh my goodness. She had 5 siblings to pass away in one year before she did of Alzheimer's and she walked around the house looking and calling out for them and her parents. And it all happened at night. And you don't get rest and sleep the next day like you think you're going to. Because they're not tired and sleepy because they don't remember doing the things they did. AND Steph, I'm not wishing any ill upon your Grandma, but at some point, hope she's not a big woman because you're the one that's going to have to turn her in the bed and wash her and change her. That's something that will have to be done more than once a day. And one morning you'll notice that she got up not talking. That's when everything is getting ready to change. Please read up on everything that you can now while you have the time because you won't have the time later on. I wish you the very best I really do. I'm just starting to go through what my sweet Moma went through and I'm scared to death because I know what to expect even though I know I won't know what's coming. So they say........................................
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These were your words:
"Do I sound like a selfish brat? I'm quitting my full-time job so I can provide her with 24/7 care and I really feel like this will take a huge toll on my personal life and even my marriage. Any advice is appreciated!"

You were concerned that caregiving would take a huge toll on your personal life and even your marriage. So that is the advice and warnings you received, Stephanitely.

Now, please take that unappreciative finger of shame and point it back to you.
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At first when I read why you were posting I was rather upset that people on here were being rude and directing nasty comments towards you. I am new on here and just started taking care of my 92 year old grandmother who has severe dementia. Everyone I have encountered so far has been very kind and honest with their responses. My grandma used to be just like yours. She used to get up and take care of herself with no issues at all. It wasn't until within the past 6 months that she has gone down hill and FAST. Just 4 months ago she was cooking a huge meal for my entire family and now she barely cooks for herself. The stages of dementia are not predictable. I wish they were. If I knew that I would have done so much more when she was well. Believe me you are blessed right now with how your grandmother is and at all expense enjoy every moment with her. None of us can predict the future and for your sake I hope she stays healthy and as alert as she is now for a long time. This site is definitely full of people who care. I am grateful I found it!
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Stephanitely86, you have one clear advantage when it comes to caregiving, you have youth on your side. Thus you will have the energy to go this journey.

Some of us on the forums are senior citizens ourselves who are/were taking care of our own parents who were in their 80's and 90's. Believe me it was quite a surprise as I was aging myself that I was having my own age decline. I was in my late 60's and now am 70.

I never thought I would face age decline like I did. It would take me twice as long to do something that I could have easily done quickly when in my 30's and 40's. And lack of sleep hits us senior aged caregivers much harder than a younger person.... it takes days to recover :P Now I know why my parents were napping so much... I am doing the same now.

As for paid outside the house employment, you would still have a chance to get back into the market and find a good job. I know for myself, I thought I would be helping my own folks for a couple of years.... NOT.... I've read where some senior caregivers were doing this hands-on caregiving for over a decade. Forget finding employment later on for those who are seniors themselves... jobs are really far and few between, plus so many of us hadn't been able to keep up with new technology.... [sigh].

I remember when I first came on the forum a few years back, someone had written that I was now too old to be a caregiver.... really?  Boy, that person was sooooo right.  If only I had listened, and realized the more I enabled my parents to remain in their home, that it was only going to hurt my own physical and emotional health... and it did. 
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Yeah, my dad has lived at an assisted living now for nine months-and hates it.  He's recuperating from a stroke and numerous health problems and waiting for his new little cabin to be built since we had to demolish his bug infested trailer.  He was living in stench, the only way we got him out of there was because of the stroke!
Well, cabin is done, he knows it, and is ready to come back home to it!
When I first started posting about this I had numerous comments telling me to absolutely not let him come back. My first reaction to some of the comments, I have to admit, kind of hurt my feelings and surprised me with WHAT ALL "the filling in the blanks actually mean"!!! Oh boy, were they right!!!  I thought maybe my dad is different, he won't decline, I can do this.  All  the changes are only starting with my dad!! 

Everyone here has helped me and guided me so much!

Wishing we never rebuilt his little home and trying to avoid the subject of moving back...... his friends bring him home to visit the cabin to see the progress and I think it makes it worse for him.


Just want to say that this community of friends here really know what they're talking about!!!!!!!!! I will be forever grateful to ALL of them, they are my rock and support and always someone is here to listen to me vent  or tell me like it IS and IS going to be!

Good luck and enjoy these precious moments you have with your grandma,  I do really hope she stays peachy for you, please keep us updated.

💜Bella
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It isn't even her grandmother, but rather her husband's grandmother. I hope this caregiving job pays REALLY well, because there is so much to lose. OP loved her sales job, and now she's doing this? WHY? I'm sure her in-laws love the idea, as it gets all of THEM off the hook!
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Steph--I was happy to read that optimism is your coping mechanism. I hope you can keep this up throughout your time with your grandmother and throughout life, as it's a healthy way of looking at things. Just remember that reality will sometimes require some changes in plans.
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Sometimes a comment or question will hit a hot button for a lot of people so it can draw responses long after the original poster wants or needs help (some threads are still getting advice years later). Since this is causing you grief my advice would be to stop following the thread (click "following" under your question and follow the steps to stop following). You can still check in from time to time if you wish but you will stop getting posts in your news feed. Any new unrelated questions can be asked on a new thread.
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Stephanie, if you had wanted hope and optimism, then just ask for that, as many here do admire your spirit in taking on the task of caring for you Grandma! The majority of us started out in your same shoes, just wanting to show and give our LO's the very best care possible. You would have gotten super support in this too, if you had posed your original post this way, and will still, but your Original post made it sound as if you were already questioning your decision to move forward in this.

There is no question, that many find the caregiving role incredibly satisfying at times, but in the long run, it is incredibly difficult, and as part of the majority her, I would hate to see you in so deep with it and so very difficult to get out of, if you had any other viable options from the start.

But clearly you are ready to take on this task, and I wish you well! Please do come back for support and friendship, as it does get lonely, this caregiving role you have taken on. We are a special breed!
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Just curious why you didn't return to your original post, and ask this question of all the responders of the same?

I hate to say it, but this IS the honeymoon stage of life with Grandma, as she begins her journey down the rabbit hole.

Eventually, those same stories she's ALREADY told you several times over, will have you pulling your hair out! What is sweet and amusing now, will become your biggest irritant, and so on, and so on.

Having had my (NOW 87) FIL in my home for the past 13+ years, and yes, before I became aware of his Narcissism, it was all peaches and sunshine! I was also still working outside the home, having a social life, and had been with my spouse for 20 years, had raised our 4 kids to adulthood, and so had a much bigger foundation under us, but things have changed DRASTICALLY, and will for you too! I just hope that after reading all of the responses to your 2 different posts, you have opened your eyes to the potential possibilities down the road, and are better equipped to make good decisions for you, your Grandma, and your marriage, when/if the times comes.

Please don't negate what everyone here has tried to tell you, based on their long term experiences, as it is real, painful, and life changing!

Getting the heads up, on what life is likely to become in the future, is a good thing, and gives you food for thought on how to manage her in the here and now, and the future. Good luck!
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Oh yes I remember the honeymoon phase, alright. As my mom declined mentally, my mother, the petite 5'2" 115# managed to wrestle me to the ground with a real tight grip to my hair. That was because my cell phone dropped on the floor and when I bent down to retrieve it she told me I used it too much and to stop it. Well, there I was on the floor helpless- I couldn't shake her off for fear she would get hurt by me, so I opted to just hang out until she let go. That was a long 5 minutes or so!
Totally out of the blue this happened.
You just move forward. She didn't realize what she had done, of course.
Then she began swearing like a sailor- that lasted until the time she passed.
I am hoping your caregiving journey is smooth sailing but realize you may have periods where the waves almost take down the ship.
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Good luck to you

I hope the caregiver agreement includes gma paying into social security so you don't lose out on your contributions
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Yes, I've actually loved my job for the past 8 years- I've been working in sales and customer service (currently internet sales specialist) at a local furniture retailer 😉I've sold cars too for about a year in between. I'll miss it and the people, but it didn't pay as well for as hard as I was working. Not too long ago I put in my 3 weeks notice (as my boss says I'm irreplaceable) and I don't think I'll regret it. They'll welcome me back with open arms. With our caregiver agreement my salary actually more than doubles. I understand things are fine right now, easy peasy most might say, but I'm well read on what can/will happen in the future. Thanks for listening everyone ❤️
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