How do I address feelings of hopelessness with my Mom who is a caregiver for my grandparents?

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Grandfather is 92 and is now in a hospice. My mother (daughter-in-law) visits him every day. Grandmother is 88 and requires a lot of care as well. She is in relatively good health but is demential, diabetic, and has hand tremors. She requires four insulin shots a day and can't do it herself because of her shaky hands and that she has almost no short-term memory anymore. My grandfather used to do that but now that responsibility has fallen to my mother.

My mother works from home as a part-time accountant and also manages some of her own real estate. Because of the schedule for grandmother's care, my mother is not able to do the activities that she used to do. She can't go to church anymore, can't go to nightly Bible studies, and most importantly, she can't leave town to see her own father who is also in his upper 80's.

I call her every day and she recently expressed to me that she feels stuck and feels that life has no purpose or joy. Her only joy is being able to talk to me. She and my grandparents have always had some animosity but she does it out of an obligation after her husband passed away. I've suggested moving my grandmother to a home as well but grandmother is stubborn and expects my mother to keep caring for her. She also does not want to spend the money required to get some in-home care.

How do I encourage my mother and most importantly, get my grandmother to go to a home so my mother is not overwhelmed with feelings of despair and depression?

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Heart, life caring for an elder is hard. I hope that you are getting advice for your parents' own situation via an eldercare lawyer. Yes, assisted living and nh costs are high, but your parents can qualify if they are truly impoverished. Don't assume based on what friends, neighbors, say. Consult an eldercare attorney.
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Everyone is quick to say NH, Assisted Living. In actuality 100% of the time it is finances that make family care at home. The average cost nationwide for a NH is $9000.00 per month! 10,000.00 for Assistant Living. These elders are living on ss benefits. If no proper prep was done like passing down assets within 5 yr look back the government uses their home as payment. America the living dream, grow up, go to college, get married, buy a home, work your butt off and then loose your home that should pass on to the next generation is leined by our government. I have taken care of my blind mother with dementia since 2011 and will have no place to live when I put her in NH because the prior generation did poor planning. They plan for death not for living into their 90's. The government has to start looking into caring for the elderly. However,if you are on Medicaid you have no worries. Those of us middle class working Americans are paying the price and can't get help from anywhere.I have contacted every single agency and cannot getan aide so I can go food shopping. Believe it, its the truth. Forget a social life, I haven't had a day off for over 3 years.
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Thank you for your responses, jeannegibbs and terryjack1. I have been speaking to my mother and although there are a lot of things to be taken care of, we will continue pushing forward in helping mom get her life back on track.
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Keep supporting her, it's unfortunate that sometimes as we age we loose function and mental abilities. Sounds like grandma would do well in a small facility, she would receive more one on one attention and it would give your mom a break. She would know grandma is safe, what if grandma wonders outside, gets into her medications and takes a lot, stranger things have happened. When my grandma was no longer safe at home, she moved in with us, when she required to much care we move her into a facility and visited weekly. She had dementia and eventually forgot who we were, she didn't speak, more importantly we knew she was cared for and wasn't in danger if we left the house. It gave us peace of mind. We love our family but sometimes it just isn't possible to quit work and take care of a loved one, nor can we be with them 24/7 at home. Have your mom (or you can) call your local area agency on aging, they have staff there that can discuss options for grandma, what's available and they can assist with all the info needed in order to determine what's in her best interest. Good luck.
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Your mother must be the one to make changes. Keep talking to her and supporting her.

Grandmother has no incentive to make changes. Things are working just fine for her the way they are. She doesn't want strangers in her house. She doesn't want to leave her house. And, whatayaknow, she has someone who makes it unnecessary for her to spend money on strangers or to leave her house. Why on earth would she agree to change? (Well, she should agree to change out of love for her daughter-in-law, but for whatever reason --probably dementia--we see that is not happening.)

The only thing that can change this situation is your mother setting some boundaries. "After the end of this month, I won't be cleaning your house anymore. Would you like me to help you find someone to do it?" "For three days next month I will be visiting my father. We need to figure out who will give you your shots. I'm calling a county social worker to help us figure that out."

Poor Grandmother. She is losing her reasoning ability. She is losing her husband. She doesn't want to face any more changes! I can feel very sympathetic to her situation, without thinking that someone else should sacrifice their life to an irrational extent. I can also understand why your mother, who must be a very empathetic person, is reluctant to oppose Grandmother. But Grandmother really does deserve professional help and a more viable situation. And Mother deserves her own life, to continue her career, and to visit other family members, and to have a social life.

This is not your problem ... in the sense that you should not feel guilty if you can't change it. But the to the extent that you could encourage Mother and empower her to make healthy decisions, you'd be doing mother Grandmother and Mother a favor!
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Thank you for your reply, Babalou. I am trying to work with them both to get grandmother to accept help and let my mother live her life.
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Your mom needs to be the one who draws the boundaries. You can support and encourage her; you can suggest that she go to see a counselor who may be able to help her be more assertive in her dealings with her mother in law.

You can point out to your mother that she's endangering her ability to have enough funds to retire on in the future if she fails to work to the end of her career. And that THAT will have an impact upon you! If she can't cut back for her own self-interest, perhaps she can do it for you.
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