I live in, with a lady of 93 and my 6 year old daughter. I was originally cooking dinner for her and her husband, but she lost her husband in May so I moved in as I was desperate to leave an abusive relationship and she put a roof over my head, for which I am grateful. I have never been a caregiver before. She has very limited mobility and has had many health problems since, chronic diarrhea being the worst I've had to deal with, sometimes round the clock. She has become extremely attached to me and I now cannot leave the house for more than an hour before she calls me and demands I come back. I wash her, dress her, clean her dentures. I cook and do the housework. She won't sleep til after midnight and calls me very early in the morning, sometimes during the night. I'm extremely sleep deprived. I love her but I feel like a bird in a cage which often overwhelms me and I have panic attacks. The family occasionally do a sleepover so that I can have a night off but they dont want to, so it's becoming rare. I get paid very little, just enough to get by and buy groceries. My alcohol consumption is too high, only wine, but too much, it helps me cope. I desperately want to get out but if I do she will undoubtedly be placed into a care home, and she really wants to remain in her own home. Because I dont have a "proper job" I am unable to rent a house privately, so I'm kinda stuck. I suppose I'm looking for advice on coping with anxiety and also hearing from anyone who can relate. Many thanks, Bex.

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I definitely agree with cwillie. After the holidays, it's time to start researching where you and your daughter might live. When you have something lined up, advise the family that you will need to be moving out in XX days. Give them a little time to figure something short-term out, but do not feel guilty if your lady goes into care. She has lived her life and raised her own children. You deserve the same, as does your little girl.

Good luck and please keep us updated!
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It really sounds as though she needs to be in a facility. Live in caregivers should expect to make a good wage as well as be provided with room & board and regularly scheduled time off (although having your daughter with you complicates that). It's time for you to make a new plan for your daughter and yourself and well past time for the family to step up. Look into finding paid employment, whatever social supports are available (welfare? food stamps? low income housing? a shelter for abused women with kids?) and go after your ex for child support.
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