I am in my early 30s. I have been my 90 year old grandmother's advocate for about 4 years. In early 2013 I became her Power of Attorney (durable and health). In January of 2014, she had a mini stroke, and she was placed in a rehab center, where she was then able to go home in late February, but only with 24/7 care. Both me and my younger brother shared taking care of her 24/7, but shortly after my brother got a job and moved away, so I was left alone with my grandmother. Now stuck between a rock and hard place with her care, I agreed to no longer work, and in turn, she moved in with me and my husband in late March with an agreement to pay me as her caregiver.
During the last 2 months, she has declined quite a bit, to the point where I can now barely reason with her. She overlooks her own safety, and when I try to redirect her attention to being safe (or whatever the need is at the time) she gets frantic about whatever is on her mind. For example, she'll stand in compromising positions just to wipe her nose, when she could fall if I wasn't there to help. If I redirect her to sit down and then wipe her nose, she acts irrationally and can't understand that she is being unsafe otherwise. In general, I am totally worn out. I have to pay all of her bills, manage her meds, Dr. Appointments, laundry, monitor bowel habits, handle all of her food and calorie intake, do all bathroom changes, bathing, hair washing, etc, and she complains to me through every minute of her personal care. Plus, me and my husband are trying to slowly clean out her house by ourselves with 50 years of junk, and my dear husband takes care of both our lawns. It's been such a drain on us.
I have nobody in my immediate family for support. My own mother is very ill, and my Uncle is in his own little world and has no concept of what I deal with for HIS MOTHER. My brother and sister live out of the area, and I am stuck in this crappy situation in my early 30s when I am supposed to be making my own life happen with my husband.
I realized that I needed some relief. I contacted our Area Agency on Aging, but my grandmother doesn't qualify for any programs. I enrolled her in a private pay adult day program 2-3 times per week, which gives me 8 hours every few days. I finally decided a vacation was due after a few years of caring for my grandmother, and 5 months of hell with her in my home. I got away with my husband for a week, thanks to a respite stay for my grandmother. When I picked her up, it was like I had no break at all. I feel completely drained again.
I have done all I can think of to do right by her, but as she has progressed, I have been having a horrible time getting through to her. We now have arguments daily because I want her to be safe, healthy, etc, and I try to help her, but she doesn't want to listen and she is constantly doing the opposite of what she needs to do. We NEVER had disagreements in the past, but ever since July, she has been unbearable. I notified her Dr immediately when I noticed her becoming more disagreeable and confused, and we tested her for a UTI, which came back negative. Her Dr said she's just declining/progressing. I also put her on a waiting list for a Nursing home back in February, and she still has people ahead of her on the wait-list. I don't know how much longer I can deal with her. I feel that I have given all I can, and I feel so bad about it. I am trying to be as strong as I can.
Any thoughts on how to be more effective getting through to her or making the situation better in general is appreciated. Thank you for reading such a long description!