AgingCare fam, I need to be as forthright as possible: I hate caregiving. I'm a live in caregiver for my grandmother and it's all just too much. I tallied up a list of everything I have gone through as a caregiver:

- Grandparents' constant fights, yelling and cursing at each other
- Right off the bat, grandpa falls and ends up in hospital/rehab for 3 months
- hired a HHA via agency who brought in bedbugs and caused over $7K worth of damage
- Having to send Grandpa off to the nursing home
- Grandma getting pneumonia and ending up in hospital
- pandemic
- losing grandpa to covid-related pneumonia
- multiple horrible fights with family over caregiving
- sewage backing up into the house (needs new cesspool)
- water damage and flooding in basement
- Grandma falling and fracturing her hip
- Grandma getting Covid at the same time I did (and me ending up in hospital!)
- Grandma getting shingles on her back
- Grandma developing broken heart syndrome
- Aunt treating me appallingly and dismissing what I do in caregiving.
- bee infestation
- manipulation by a family member
- having to pay rent, grandma's medication, diapers, pads, groceries and occasional oil bills

I just can't do it anymore. My other family members and I agree that grandma should have ended up in a NH after fracturing her hip, but my aunt (POA/MP) said no. She belongs in a NH- and that's coming from someone who HATES NHs. But let's face it- things get so bad that they just can't stay home anymore. It isn't fair to me, especially the way I'm being treated. So now I'm suffering for it because she won't do the right thing. And she guilt trips me for it, which is manipulative, emotionally/mentally abusive and unfair. If I could have it so I'd never see her again in my life, wouldn't it be great! She's become a crazy person (she wants to sue a former tenant from 10 years ago because Grandma gave them a valuable antique cash register!)

It's become a madhouse of a toxic situation and I'm already suffered enough. I haven spoken to an elder law clinic, who suggested to find a place first, get it, start moving my stuff out and THEN tell my aunt that I can no longer continue doing this. In order for me to do this, I need to find a better paying job that will allow me a decent place to live, which I'm working on.

Does anyone have any words of encouragement to offer during this most awful time?

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I would go to a shelter before I would subject myself to any more of this.

Couch surf. House sit. Dog/cat sit...get out NOW.
Helpful Answer (6)
Kimmotion Jun 2021
I'm working on getting out. Need to find an affordable place to live first and get my stuff out, then tell crazy aunt I'm leaving.
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I hear you.

I understand.

Good for you for having a goal. You are surely at the end of your caregiver journey.

There is nothing to feel guilty about. You have dealt with more than enough.

Time to let Dear Auntie take over. I imagine that it won’t take long till her views change.

I agree with Barb. Enough is enough. Give Auntie a date, and move out.

Keep us posted.
Helpful Answer (5)

What are your skills and aptitudes? YOU WRITE WONDERFULLY. What kind of employment will get you out the fastest?

Does it help at all with the guilt to know that YOU ARE RIGHT about everything the aunt is guilting you for?

I SO HOPE that when you say “paying”, you DON’T mean that you are using YOUR MONEY to pay for what Grandma needs? I would STOP THAT right now.

You are SMART, you are COMPASSIONATE, you are RESOURCEFUL, you are A SURVIVOR.

Are you taking a step, even a baby step, EVERY SINGLE DAY TOWARDS SECURING YOUR FREEDOM?

There are a whole bunch of people here who will believe in you and your value as a productive human being. BELIEVE THAT!
Helpful Answer (5)
Kimmotion Jun 2021
Thank you, Ann! I do love to write, and a I read a lot. Currently, I work in libraries- a full time job at a law school library as an assistant and part time at the public library as a page. Looking to change careers and go into real estate, so I have had a couple of interviews for a real estate assistant position.

Yes, I pay rent to Grandma's account to help with bills. On top of paying for Grandma's meds, which was another $100 this month. Usually my other relative helps with some of the costs of medications and whatnot. But recently, it's been decided that Auntie should be paying this, not me or the other relative. Especially since Auntie won't even consider splitting the cost 3 ways among us. No, her response was "you should be grateful to be caregiving for grandma and paying low rent." And this crazy woman thinks I'm going to rent the lousy accessory apartment from her after grandma is gone!?! Hell to the NO! I'm out, if not sooner.

A neighbor called last night to check in on me and grandma due to an incident she helped with while I was at work. Auntie was really rude to her and ungrateful. I apologized to the neighbor about that, and expressed my gratitude for her help.

You what kills me?! Auntie doesn't even work. She's a stay at home mom! The neighbor and I agreed that she really has no reason why she can't be over here.
I support you! Your grandmother will adapt to her new surroundings. Transitioning times are the toughest but please don’t let that deter you from taking the first step towards freedom!

You deserve a better life. Keep us posted. We care.
Helpful Answer (5)

If your Aunt is the POA, why in the world are you the one stuck with her? You are being taken advantage of for sure. Surely you must have a friend whose couch you can crash on temporarily until you get your ducks in a row, right?

You need a lot more than just words of encouragement at this point, as nothing anyone of us says that might be encouraging is going to change your situation. Only you my dear can make the changes necessary to make a difference in your life.

I hope and pray that you will once and for all, say enough is enough, and walk away, and not look back. You've already done more than enough. Now it's time for you to live your life the way you see fit. I wish you the best.
Helpful Answer (4)

I think it will take too too long to first find a better paying job, then find a place to live, then start moving your belongings out.............sounds like it could take up to a year before you're actually OUT of there. Do you have it in you to bear it for that long? I wouldn't if it were me. If I were in your shoes, I would tell the Aunt today that I'm leaving, pack up my things in a U-Haul and leave. If that means you have to rent a room in a house that's affordable, then rent a room. It means you're OUT of that horrible situation you've been left in *shame on your Aunt* and you'll be free finally. Your mental health is worth a lot more than $$$ or a better job or ANYTHING. That's the part the elder law clinic doesn't get........they're looking at things from a logical and financial standpoint only. If you're out of your mind or in the hospital with a nervous breakdown, what good is money at that point?

I'm sorry you have been left with this terrible predicament, but have been so kind and gracious as to do all this caregiving for so long. God bless you for your sweet heart and I pray that you will find your way out of this mess, once and for all.
Helpful Answer (3)

You can do it! I believe in you, Kimmotion, and look forward to updates from you on your progress breaking free and getting to a much better place in your life.

Again, it sounds as though you will definitely face some adversity along the way but YOU CAN DO IT! 😊
Helpful Answer (3)

I know I'm going to have to leave, but I'm afraid and feel guilty for doing it. I feel guilty about leaving grandma because she would never abandon me. But it's becoming impossible for me to stay because of my Aunt. Let's face it, Aunt isn't doing what she is supposed to be doing and handling things poorly. This is an absolute sh*tshow, excuse my language. I finally realized that Aunt is only trying to salvage her inheritance while parading around like "I'm going to keep mom at home". No, if you really cared, you would place her in a facility where she obviously belongs.
Helpful Answer (3)
LoopyLoo Jun 2021
Moving out is not abandoning her.
Tough situation. Do not spend ANY of your money on grandma's necessities. That comes from HER money. Period. You are paying rent. Maybe you're getting a deal on that, maybe not. Regardless, you are giving a LOT of value in return.

As POA, your Aunt is not responsible for physically taking care of grandma. She can make decisions for her, if she is no longer capable. She "should" have grandma's best interests in mind, but, it doesn't always work that way.

Don't try to make things perfect. Tell Aunt now that you are leaving very soon and that she needs to make other arrangements. You really should give her some notice. It's not easy to take over caregiving or make appropriate arrangements so I think it would be kind to give her a heads up. Do it in writing if you don't want to listen to her complain about it and try to guilt trip you.

As others have said, stay with a friend or rent a room in someone's house. This can be your transitional step. Then continue working towards what your real preference is but you can't always get everything lined up properly in a short amount of time.

Heck, treat yourself to a hotel for a week while you sort things out! Just so long as you can get out on your own and start living your own life again.
Helpful Answer (3)
Kimmotion Jun 2021
againx100, thank you for your response. I actually did not know that POA doesn't mean that the POA person is still not responsible for physical care- I thought Aunt was. She has med proxy though- is it still not her responsibility? Or does it depend on what arrangements have been made between her and my grandmother?
Id like to encourage you to think about moving outside of the area, it may be easier to transition to the same job in a cheaper place than to find something that pays enough for you to live on your own in a high cost of living region. It would put you farther out of the family orbit as well.
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