I don't know what to do. Any advice?

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I am 23 and am a caregiver to my grandparents. My grandmother has Parkinson's and has anxiety attacks throughout the day and my grandfather is a diabetic and seems to be depressed and anxious all the time. Both seem to be going down hill in the past few months. I have tried to get a nurse in the home to help but they are not okay with letting anyone in their house. I have no other family members close by to help. My grandmother can no longer leave the house to even see a doctor and my grandfather seems to have given up all hope. Both of their doctors have been no help and claim they are getting healthier but I see absolutely no signs of that at all. I simply just do not know what to do to help them.

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imno123, All such Great advice, I have learned so much from this blog, and the people really care about each other, we all wish you the best and hope that you come back to let us know how you are doing! We get very invested in each other and it will be such a wonderful resource for you as different things come up along your journey. Believe me, they really do know so much about every aspect of Caregiving and will help you with even the find or at least point you in the right direction. You are way too young to be doing this all on your own no matter how much you love them! And clearly you do for which we commend you! Wishing you all the best! STACEY B
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One of the ways to get the evaluator in the front door is to tell Grandma that you have a friend who is coming over to visit with YOU (not her). Explain this to evaluator ahead of time. If Gma will let in this friend of yours, then evaluator can see her behavior directly.
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Imno, make sure you EMPHASIZE to them that you are not able to provide the care. Give them a date that you will leave and do it. If they need to go to the hospital for any reason, tell them you will not take them home as you are not going to be able to do this any longer. They will assist in finding a place for them to go.
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I can't even begin to explain how thankful and grateful I am to each and every one of you for taking the time to give me advice. All of this advice has been extremely helpful. Right now, I am waiting for Health and Human Services to call me back to let me know what service we can be eligible for. I'll definitely ask them if they can do an at-home evaluation. I am also trying to get them a new doctor, specifically a geriatrician. Thanks again to everyone!
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Iano bless your heart for trying - many in your position would not. That they raised you is commendable but please don't see it as your duty to care back - you are very very young to take on such an arduous task and with no support (shame on them) you cannot and should not attempt it alone - you will burn out long before they do sweetheart.

I think there may be some mental health issues and an assessment would be a first step towards understanding the heap of poo you have found yourself in. Once you know the size of the beast you will be better placed to help them and it my be that the courts can relieve you of the pressure and address the individual issues. Grandad can go into care for sure but it would be better if they both did but would that leave you homeless? My concern is for you honey. You need to gain professional help they are trained to handle 'ornery folks and they will get in to see them so don't worry on that score.

You need to stop thinking so much about them and think more about your needs - because that is going to be the lasting legacy and you have to be ok with everything that happens.

Please don't put blinkers on and think I can do this - it really is too much for you xxx
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In the meantime, while you are getting all this put together from the excellent advice listed here, see if there is a church friend that could come stay with them for a brief bit while you go out and take care of your self a bit. My Mom loved her church friends. Does Gramps have any old 'geezer friends? Have them come visit. Start taking the two of them to assisted living facilities in the area. Call the recruiters at assisted living facilities and working with them. They are usually full of good ideas. Check with meals on wheels and the visiting nurses. Also, WRITE the doctors a note and FAX it to them. This generates a record that they won't like. They have to deal with it.
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Babalou is right. Call for help. Area Agency on Aging is a good starting point. Their refusal to let someone in to evaluate is a big problem, especially in combination with not being able to get out for an appointment, plus their use of a non-geriatric type of physician who is working alone and not getting the big picutre as a comprehensive geriatric evaluation might. Maybe you can convince grandpa that grandma needs the evaluation for her anxiety and since he calls the shots you know he wants her to have it done, and he can insist - you said he wants to go to a facility himself though? Maybe the finances would allow for that to happen, often the assisted living facilities have special rates for couples too, and maybe he would talk to someone about it? If the finances don't allow, there are needs to see about Medicaid in their future for skilled nursing care. Medicare, which they probably have, does not cover much at all. Another option you have is to locate facilities near you either by just looking around or going online and getting someone from a facility or even an "Assisted Living Locator" service to advise. The system is complicated and varies state to state to some degree. Hardly any of us knew much about it when we first had to get into it. And it is emotionally extremely hard to see this happening and understand what is happening to the people who raised you to top that off.

If they succeed in refusing all help but yours, or even visiting a geriatrician instead of the current physician who has his or her head in the sand, you are stuck waiting for something bad to happen that forces one or both them to go to an ER and/or get Adult Protective Services involved. We have heard of cases on here where the caregiver is holding things together well enough that there is no imminent danger and APS does not feel they can do anything.
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It sounds as though both of your grandparents are no longer mentally competent, either due to dementia, mental illness or both. It also sounds as though their doctors are substantially clueless.

I think that you are going to need to make a plan to get out of being trapped in this caregiving role, which is beyond any human being ' s capacity. You need a real social worker to help out here. I would start by calling your local area agency on aging and seeing where they point you. You tell them that you are caring for two vulnerable, ill, elderly adults and that you can't carry this burden any longer. Start there, and let us know tomorrow if you got any help from them. And remember, this is NOT YOUR FAULT.
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lmno123, there may not be anyway that you can help them other than to help with meals and making sure they take their medications. Most likely what is wrong with them is not fixable, so the only thing you can do is help them with staying safe and fed. You are going to have to have help, though. You are too young to be donating your life. These are critical years for you. You need to be going to college, starting your career, choosing a spouse, etc. These are years you cannot donate to caregiving without having a huge effect on your own life.

So... live your life with yourself as the priority and help your grandparents as much as you can. They will need to bring in help, but if you are doing everything, they won't need to. I would say to decide what you can do to help them, then help them line up help to do the other things that are needed.
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My heart goes out to you. This is an extremely difficult situation especially because it is two people who are sick and not just one. You must get help in one way or the other. Taking care of someone is not suppose to be at the expense of your own personal health and well being. Enlist support from somewhere. Pray first then act next. It also sounds like they need different meds. and a new doctor. Love and prayers to you.
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