I’m a caregiver for my grandma along with my mom. She’s bed bound with very little movement and has all the complications that comes with that.
I find it hard to balance the day in and day out of being a caregiver with other things like school. I took time off this summer and this semester to try to give myself time to adjust to the work at home, but I honestly don’t think I can handle school, work, and caregiving at the same time. Also, I have a younger sister (13) who I am often responsible for.
One major issue I’m running into is the fact that my injuries are preventing me from doing my work. I’m a freelance artist and because of the amount of time I spend drawing daily, i have stress injuries in my hands. since i’ve been caregiving for my grandma, i haven’t been able to work because the lifting involved with caring for her stresses my hands and by the end of the day when i have time to work, my hands are on fire and i can’t even lift a pencil.
The fact that my grandma has for a long time had an abusive dynamic with my family doesn’t help at all. she outright doesn’t like us, and will not hesitate in letting us know, but she’s glad to use us as caregivers to avoid the nursing home.
I’m feeling like a lot of my identity is being taken away and absorbed into my grandma. Sometimes I feel like a diaper changing machine and nothing else. my mom and I try to split the work, and I am only in charge of turning and changing her diaper every few hours, but it is still overwhelming. at this rate, i can’t see myself returning to school, or work, or even being able to have friends or things that i enjoy.
Any advice? I know many of you are parents as well as caregivers, with a lot more responsibilities than i have. how do you balance it all?