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Hey all, a few of you may remember my previous posts about my grandmother who broke her arm, and only a week later had a massive stroke.


The past few days have been a nightmare. Though she is doing well, and in physical therapy (much to her complaints) the nurses and social worker are saying they can only treat her for 21 days and then have to send her home, regardless of her condition!!! It is just her and I here with no family support, and I KNOW I am not physically or mentally capable of caring 24/7 for a partially paralyzed dementia patient. The issue is, her daughter (my mother) has POA, and (with the doctors backing her up) has basically told me "oh, you'll do great! You always have. We believe in you" aka "we are going to take away the next 5-10 years of your life and you have no say in the matter."


I have talked to the area on aging, her doctors, and even a couple of elder care attorneys, voicing my concerns only to be told the same thing, without POA, I have no say in her care.


I am sick to my stomach, crying frequently, and scared out of my mind. Can they really dump full responsibility on me with no recourse? Am I able to just refuse and move out to let them figure it out? I know this must sound really selfish but I have been caring for my family since I was 11 years old, even up to when my grandmother has the stroke, and I honestly feel that they are not taking mine, or my grandma's health and safety into consideration.


I'm only 27, and even if it's a late start, I still have some chance of making a future for myself. Right now I feel like I'm standing before judge and jury waiting for a death sentence. I feel horrible for essentially punishing my grandma for something out of her control, and other people's lack of empathy, but I feel like I'm losing my mind, and am afraid for both of us if I get forced into this. And sugestions are welcomed.

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I don’t have much time to answer and hopefully others will chime in...

Oh honey! (I do not say that in a condescending manner... just in a sympathetic one:) You are NOT stuck, but you are going to have to be very strong and stand up for yourself in a way others may not be used to.

To your mother... “As POA, you are responsible to get proper care arranged for Gma... I am not it, so you should start looking elsewhere.”

Let all flattering language roll off of you and do not argue specifics AT ALL because that turns it into a back and forth. It gives her something to grab hold of and make you feel badly about. You say that sentence over and over again in front of a mirror. Then, you say it to the doctor, the attorney, your mom and anyone else who wants to guilt you into this.

This is not your mess and you have zero responsibility here... even if you have been living with her up until now. This kind of care is above and beyond, and it is up to HER CHILDREN to figure it out, not her granddaughter.

And you need to understand that what they are saying about you having no say in her care is true... BUT that is not something for you to fear because there are two parts to that - of which you are only hearing one. The other piece that no one is mentioning is that you have no responsibility for her care. None.

You may need to start thinking about new living arrangements but you stay calm and be a person of few words in this.

“If you don’t choose to provide Gma with proper care, Mom, that is your choice. I think it would be foolish and unkind and irresponsible, but it is your choice. I can’t make your choices for you. I can only make mine. I will not provide care in this situation... the game has changed. If I need to move out, I will do so in a reasonable timeframe, but from this point forward, I will provide NO care in this matter. I will visit Gma and kiss her forehead and bring her flowers, but I will not be providing any kind of care.”

Do not get dragged into into an argument.

And please do check back on this site regularly as you navigate this... there is much wisdom and kindness here and people will help you firm up your resolve and give you tools to move forward in a healthy manner. It is hard to break free of old patterns, but I can hear that you are at a critical juncture. You can do this. You have much ahead of you... even if you have to get through some weeds first.
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cwillie Jul 16, 2019
A perfect answer, I wish I could vote this as helpful 10 times!
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Not sure how else to update, so I guess this is as good as any.

I honestly wish I could thank everyone who responded individually, but I wouldn't know what to say except thank you a million times over. I was crying yesterday reading everyone's replies, and felt a glimmer of freedom for the first time in so many years. Everyone's advice and strength gave me hope.

I called a family friend who is a notery, and explained the situation. With their help I drafted, and had noterized, several dated copies of a letter stating that I was no longer physically or mentally capable of caring for my grandma. That I felt, with the dramatic change in her health, it was a very unsafe situation, and that releasing her back to her home, would be very dangerous as she would be there alone.

Luckily the laws here provide me some protection (because I have lived there for more than 2 years) and I added that I would be moved out within 3 weeks. This allows me to at least have several applications/interviews lined up, if not a job by the time I leave.

I gave one copy to my mother (suprised pikachu face meme), one to the hospital my grandma is currently in, and one to the facility they were originallu going to send her to. I also kept a copy for myself, along with 1 extra copy incase it is needed later for a different facility/ lawyer (yes even after all this the threats of neglect contenue)

The ensuing chaos has admittedly given me some form of grim satisfaction, as the facility they were originally going to send her to was short term only, and cannot accept her without a home care plan. The hospital is now forced to look into other options, and has already contacted my mother about medicaid, assests, ect.

I know one person asked about assests as well, wondering if maybe my mother was after some of her belongings/ money. I can honestly say she has next to nothing. She gets around $1000 a month in social security, no other retirement fund, and a mobile home as old as I am that has fallen into disrepair over the years (nothing unsafe/ unsanitary, just normal old trailer wear/ tear) she does have a life insurance policy, with me as sole beneficiary, but does not come to full term until next year (I have already checked with them and one of the conditions of her policy is that if she is placed in LTC, it is considered paid) and from what I was told, cannot be taken by medicaid because it is not "real or personal property"

I stayed with the friend I will be living with, and had a long discussion with him and his family. We have been close for almost 10 years, and his family is amazing to me. His dad is happy that I will be staying, and joked that I could live there for the rest of my life, in exchange for one homecooked meal a week. (he and his dad both work with heavy machinery/ mobile cranes and work insane hours, mostly living off fast food/ microwavables.) They are setting up two/ three rooms for me, a bedroom, plus a spare room for an office/ art room/ ect of my choosing, connected by a bathroom inbetween them.

I am overwelmed by everyone's kindness and advice. I know I still have a long road ahead, both in looking for a job and moving, as well as re-learning many social skills and reforming a support system. I hope that over time I can move past this, that my grandma will forgive me, and that I can learn to live normally, away from the entitled, hectic world I have known for so long.

Thank you again so much for all of your love and advice, and I will update again when I am able/ if something new happens.
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AlvaDeer Jul 17, 2019
OMG you did a PERFECT job. Honestly you did overkill on a perfect job. You can see how FAST they swing into action when they know there is no plan. They can do the placement for Grandma so much better and faster from their own facility than the family could ever do. AND you have someplace to stay. You are correct that for yourself this is only the beginning, but your success is stone one on a stepping stone path to freedom, and each stone traversed will strengthen you as you go. I hope you will leave us frequent updates. I will remember your name and be following your message on your journey. I hope your Grandma will find a place with decent care for her last years, but that place is not with you. You are there to visit her and give her love, but you cannot sacrifice your own life to her. I wish I could have seen the family's faces when you actually acted for yourself with such strength. They might not like you a whole lot right now, but they will RESPECT you. Wishing you every single good thing.
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My advice to you is not to take on this care. You must let the rehab know this at once. Do not consult your family. Go straight to the Rehab center and ask to speak to the Social Worker in charge. Tell her that you can not and you will not be taking care of your grandmother. Tell them that you have told your family this and the family insists that you can and you will. Tell them that discharging Grandma home will constitute unsafe discharge of her. If you must leave to stay with a friend do so NOW. Because yes, they will discharge her. They will promise you help. You will never get that help. They will say "We can make this work". They will not make it work. You are either willing now to sacrifice your own life, or you must move away from this entire situation. My advice is that once you take this on you will not be free of it until the death of your Grandmom. Sadly. So sorry. You are going to have to stand strong. I would PUT THIS IN WRITING to the Social Worker at the Rehab and I would do it today. They are correct that without POA you have no say in what happens but if someone is suggesting you have to take on her care they are absolutely DEAD WRONG. So do not do it, and thank goodness you do NOT have the POA. You can see for yourself how desperate those who do have it are.
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Sendhelp Jul 16, 2019
Yes, exactly, I agree!
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One more thing. If you hear comments like, “How can you give up on your grandmother?” Or “you are abandoning her when she needs you most”, you say, “Come on, Mom. I call BS on that. I am not interested in mind games. Nor does any of this help Gma. You may want to spend your time educating yourself on what you need to do going forward. There are resources available to you... just get in touch with the hospital/rehab social worker.”

Then, get busy... doing anything but engaging with these people. You don’t have to be mean or snotty... just stay very even and do not explain yourself beyond the above. If they ask why you aren’t around and you feel you need to answer, a simple, “I have my own responsibilities and future to work on.”
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Aquacrush Jul 16, 2019
Thank you so much for the reply, it really put me at ease. Honestly my biggest concern was being in trouble legally for abandonment (which they have threatened me with), but with her being in the hospital right now, and the drastic change in circumstances, I wasn't sure what part of the grey area I was in. Ive been very open and honest the entire time that I was concerned about my abilities if she came home.

I know part of it is being a bit...jaded? (Not sure if thats the right term, but its the closest I can think of) It felt odd for them to say "you have no authority decision wise, but if you refuse we will have you arrested" if she was still living here I could understand, because I would be leaving her helpless, but this is a real opportunity to get her more professional help, better than I could ever think of accomplishing.

Moving out is no issue, where I only have a few years of work history due to caregiving, I don't really have any possessions outside of my clothes and a sketchbook/ drawing supplies which all fit into a backpack, and my cat (my tiny soul mate). One of the few friends I have who knows everything that is going on (bless his heart, he deserves a metal) has offered to let me stay with him while I start work, and can either stay permanently after or move into my own place when I feel ready.

Thank you for easing my mind some on the subject, and making me feel less selfish about my own needs.
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Your mother is the one who has POA; therefore, she has a legal obligation to your grandmother. Let the chips fall where they may. Accept your generous friend's offer for you to stay with her while you find employment and a place of your own to live.

Move out now while your grandmother is still an inpatient. Then, stop answering telephone calls from the hospital and your mother and let your mother deal with the hospital social worker.

The hospital will not dump your grandmother at home alone. If your mother abandons your grandmother, the hospital will make arrangements that are safe. You need to remove yourself from the equation because, right now, everybody is taking advantage of you.
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I'm a RN and caregiver. If mom has POA then get out NOW while you have the chance. Once you get POA then you are the responsible party. NOW. Move, say No and mean it. As a nurse and caregiver to my mother, I am 67 , it does give me a sense of purpose , but I'm much older. LIVE! get a husband, a kid , a career a life, do not spend it on your grandma unless you want to be saddled for years. Once grandma goes, then mom is next. Get it?
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ML4444 Jul 19, 2019
Oh boy did you ever say this one right. Mom is next... the poster needs to live! Thanks or saying it better than I did....I also needed to hear this.. xxoo
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Aquacrush, can I recommend that you put a letter together that provides your moms contact information and state that you can no longer care for your grandmother because you don't believe that it is a safe environment and you will no longer be living in her home. Then send one to everyone that has been pressing you to continue. I would hand deliver a copy to the hospital social workers supervisor and ask her to sign and date a copy that you keep. This will prove delivery.

I won't give your useless mom your forwarding address, her lifestyle will catch up to her again and she will try to guilt you into taking care of her. Nope! It is time for you.

You are obviously a wise and caring young lady. God bless you for everything that you have provided for your loved ones. That you can see the situation is no longer sustainable puts you ahead of many caregivers twice your age. You will go far in life.

Stay strong, stay determined and stay away from users! Hugs!
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sudalu Jul 21, 2019
What a well-thoughtout and truly caring comment, Isthisrealyreal.
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You may have no say in GRANDMA’S CARE, but you sure as heck have a say in YOURS.

I will disagree STRONGLY with YOUR COMMENT that YOU are being selfISH. You are rather being self aware, self concerned, and self caring.

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR AMAZING SELF EMANCIPATION!!!!!
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PLEASE READ THE UPDATE:

Aquacrush
Jul 17, 2019
Not sure how else to update, so I guess this is as good as any. 

I honestly wish I could thank everyone who responded individually, but I wouldn't know what to say except thank you a million times over. I was crying yesterday reading everyone's replies, and felt a glimmer of freedom for the first time in so many years. Everyone's advice and strength gave me hope.

I called a family friend who is a notery, and explained the situation. With their help I drafted, and had noterized, several dated copies of a letter stating that I was no longer physically or mentally capable of caring for my grandma. That I felt, with the dramatic change in her health, it was a very unsafe situation, and that releasing her back to her home, would be very dangerous as she would be there alone. 

Luckily the laws here provide me some protection (because I have lived there for more than 2 years) and I added that I would be moved out within 3 weeks. This allows me to at least have several applications/interviews lined up, if not a job by the time I leave. 

I gave one copy to my mother (suprised pikachu face meme), one to the hospital my grandma is currently in, and one to the facility they were originallu going to send her to. I also kept a copy for myself, along with 1 extra copy incase it is needed later for a different facility/ lawyer (yes even after all this the threats of neglect contenue) 

The ensuing chaos has admittedly given me some form of grim satisfaction, as the facility they were originally going to send her to was short term only, and cannot accept her without a home care plan. The hospital is now forced to look into other options, and has already contacted my mother about medicaid, assests, ect. 

I know one person asked about assests as well, wondering if maybe my mother was after some of her belongings/ money. I can honestly say she has next to nothing. She gets around $1000 a month in social security, no other retirement fund, and a mobile home as old as I am that has fallen into disrepair over the years (nothing unsafe/ unsanitary, just normal old trailer wear/ tear) she does have a life insurance policy, with me as sole beneficiary, but does not come to full term until next year (I have already checked with them and one of the conditions of her policy is that if she is placed in LTC, it is considered paid) and from what I was told, cannot be taken by medicaid because it is not "real or personal property" 

I stayed with the friend I will be living with, and had a long discussion with him and his family. We have been close for almost 10 years, and his family is amazing to me. His dad is happy that I will be staying, and joked that I could live there for the rest of my life, in exchange for one homecooked meal a week. (he and his dad both work with heavy machinery/ mobile cranes and work insane hours, mostly living off fast food/ microwavables.) They are setting up two/ three rooms for me, a bedroom, plus a spare room for an office/ art room/ ect of my choosing, connected by a bathroom inbetween them. 

I am overwelmed by everyone's kindness and advice. I know I still have a long road ahead, both in looking for a job and moving, as well as re-learning many social skills and reforming a support system. I hope that over time I can move past this, that my grandma will forgive me, and that I can learn to live normally, away from the entitled, hectic world I have known for so long.

Thank you again so much for all of your love and advice, and I will update again when I am able/ if something new happens.

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GraceNBCC Jul 19, 2019
Well done!
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To add a bit more context for those who haven't seen my other posts, I have always been the go-to for my family, and have been in an on and off caregiving role for 16 years. I cared for my mother when I was 11-12, cleaning and sterilizing her nephrostomy tube during her 5 kidney surgeries. I cared for my oldest sister during her battle with lung cancer until her death when I was 17. I cared for my other sister with Parry–Romberg syndrome until her suicide when I was 22. And now my grandma the past 3 years.

I think part of the mindset of pushing this on me stem from the simple fact of, they always have. And now that I'm getting older and seeing more and learning more about myself, and pushing back, they don't know how to handle it. I've honestly enjoyed the time I've had with all of my family members, and have never minded caring for them, but it is reaching a point that I feel like there is a huge safety concern.
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AlvaDeer Jul 16, 2019
All I can say is no wonder you are depressed. There are not enough pills in the world to cure what you are doing to yourself. Move away from this needy family now and get on with your own life. Continue to see someone to support you in this decision. Do not expect to escape feeling of guilt. All decent people have those feelings. Only psychopaths don't. Get on with your life. You are used to doing this now. Either you choose to continue to be everyone elses caregiver and give up your own life, or you have the courage to get out there and get your own life, and yes, it is a massive step and will take enormous courage.
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