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I am trying to figure out how to live my life while taking care of my 85 yr old Grandmother. She lives in a trailer about 100 Yards from my front door. She doesn't drive. It feels like the never ending assignment and I am depressed to think I still have my parents and in-laws yet to come. How do I get to have a life?
I am the only grandchild caregiver and never hear from any on here. All my friends have careers and take vacations. I get so jealous.
I have family, including her son, my Dad. He has left her care to me and only visits when he can't avoid it. He says "I'm just not a caregiver..." AWWW.... I'm so angry at the lack of care from him, my brother and my cousins. No one comes to visit. They rarely call and they never ask what they could do for me or her. She has full capabilities and complains to me that they never come to see her. Sorry for the rant, just really burned out, frustrated, angry and jealous. I don't see any hope on the horizon.

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Don't feel sorry for the "rant" - you have every right to all of your feelings. We can't fix your situation but we can listen and give some advice.

Your dad's attitude is particularly disturbing. Do you know any of his friends who could talk to him? Since your grandmother has her full capabilities, you should tell her you are going with friends and then do so. Then let your dad know that she will be alone for the evening or whenever you are gone. Put some of the responsibility back on him.

You may want to read this article:

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/grandchildren-caring-for-their-grandparents-149490.htm. I hope it can give you some comfort if nothing else.

Please try to take care of yourself,

Carol
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This is such a difficult situation! If your Dad " just isn't a caregiver" (who of us is??) perhaps he could pay for someone to come stay with her so you can get away every now and then. My 71-year-old sister is in the same state--she isn't bad enough for adult daycare or a visiting nurse's aid, but she is apt to leave the stove on, forget to feed herself, or try to set a fire in the woodstove with disastrous results.
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I was the daughter in the almost identical situation. My brother rarely called or came to visit. I was lucky in the sense that my husband and one daughter helped some. Still mom's 99% care giving was left to me. And she lived with us so it was 24/7. She just passed away at 96 in July. I miss her deeply but I do understand the not having a life and now that she is gone I struggle with what the next chapter of my life looks like since my whole world was turned upside down and sideways when she passed. I am struggling with mourning her and also morning what defined me. My one suggestion is get someone to do respite care, there are those services in most areas, check with a nursing home or in home care service. Then take some time to do something for yourself. Even if its go get groceries and take time to breath. Caregiving isn't easy but I am glad that mom was kept with family and at home. Anytime you need to talk I am here!
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ferris1, I am sorry but reaming her out is not kool. She may not have any options. Her just proclaiming her frustration and stating she is done is not always an option. Yes she is burned out and complaining, that's ok, she needs to vent. I have been there and done that and there isn't always any alternatives that are doable in her location and some people like her dad are NOT a caregiver! I am not someone that usually blasts anyone but you come across as not being very compassionate. She needs advice that is constructive and uplifting!
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I say you are the most awesome grandchild ever! Regardless of the frustration, pain, anger, guilt, and the myriad of other emotions, you are still there, ensuring she is okay. You should get a medal, and the recognition you deserve for doing all you do in such a selfless manner.
I do feel your pain, and have been there, while my four siblings who all lived close, could not be bothered to visit long enough for me to leave for an hour or two. Do you feel guilt like I did for not wanting to be locked down? That was the hardest for me. I found a local support network through my Church family. Many Churches have "visitation" nights(days) where someone qualified comes and stays with your loved one while you have the day or night off. If you attend Church please ask your clergyman. Secondly, now there are a lot of caregiver support groups now who can help us identify and deal with the types of mental anguish, exhaustion, and loneliness we all experience at different levels when we are committed to long term caregiving.
I know you have heard it, but she is truly blessed to have you, and those avoiding her like your dad, need to know what they are missing of her final days, and they will surely carry that regret in to the time when they themselves need to be looked after. Keep your faith strong, and you will be able to get through this. I wish could help more.----Blessings----
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Thanks, although again I'm unique even from this article. I'm 38 and have spent the last 5 years caring for her. That translates to me spending most of my 30's with income restrictions and "living" freedom restricted. I don't have retirement and am a losing precious time and freedom with my teenagers. I tried to hire a non-medical help from an agency but they want a time commitment that isn't needed because of her abilities. I don't want this job anymore and can't get out of it. My friends say that I'm so lucky to have my grandma and she's lucky to have me. Although it's a romantic thought... It makes me angry and sad at the same time. I feel no "luck" in this situation. I've lost the relationship of a grandparent since I'm now the one ''bossing" her. I've lost my freedom to live in the prime of my life.
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Thanks all, Yes she already has a alert button. I dream of taking long weekends with my kids and/or husband. We live in the country. I moved her from where she lived so she has no friends here. I swear my neighbors avoid me because they are afraid I will ask them to check in on my Granny. She is ok alone 80%... but it's the 20% of the time where she does things that are dangerous. She needs daily "visual" contact. When she had a stroke 20yrs ago she still made dinner that night! So someone has to check on her. I've run outta "I owe you ones!". Tired of being trapped. She needs just enough help that I can't leave and not enough to warrent a living arrangement change. Thank you all for letting me vent.
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Hi,I am much older than you but in a similar situation.I care for my elderly mother who I can not leave.She has Dementia and is liable to do anything.Some days she doesn't even know who I am and some days she does.My mother did not raise me but I still had a relationship with her.We were not very close but I tried to keep her involved with the family.I was always told it would fall on me to care for her and they would laugh.I thought it was partially a joke but I kind of knew they were serious.I do everything for her .Including cleaning stool off the floor she tries to rub into the floor boards thinking she is helping.I am often ready to pull my hair out.No one helps me.They say they do not know what to do.If they get as far as staying with her for me ,they do nothing while they are there.I change her diapers ,dress her .I do it all.I am totally alone.Sometimes I just want another voice to speak to me so I can talk to someone that can carry on a conversation.This is a difficult place to be and no one understands unless they have been there.Sounds like you can get out some.I would take advantage of that time.Thank goodness she is not a total care like my mother is .Take advantage of all the time you get away from her.Tell her you have to have some time to do some things.She will be fine.While she can care for herself let her do it.Only take on what you have to.Do not do more than is needed.It is good for them to do for them selves.It makes them feel good.They do not usually like needing to get someone to do things for them.Makes them feel helpless. Let her do for herself and tell her you are there when needed.Check on her thru out the day and do your thing.It will be ok.I am surviving even when I feel like I am not.I have 4 children ,9 grandchildren and 2 sisters and a brother but still get no help.My sister has just been dx with cancer and I will help her too if needed.I would rather say I helped my family than say I did not know what to do.Everyone can learn if they choose to.I am sure your grandmother appreciates the help even if she does not tell you.Some people do not know how to say thank you out loud or to your face.But they think the thought all the time.Good luck to you.I hope you find some things that help you in all these responses.We all will be thinking and praying for you.
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There are a few things you can do. The first is to get in-home care for your grandma. Since she is still capable of taking care of herself, this care can be companionship for her and relief care for you. You can get away and relax so you don't bring your frustration back when you're with her.

Have you tried Friend to Friend America? It's a national organization of volunteers who befriend seniors. They aren't caregivers, they aren't free transportation; they are just friends/companions. The volunteers are screened.

Another thing you can do is take your mother to activities she enjoys: libraries, knitting groups, pools, charities, etc. Help her build friendships/relationships. It may take some time, but your goal is to get her comfortable enough so you don't have to be with her all the time. She would just need transportation to and from an activity, and there are home care and senior transport agencies that can do that. When you want to take a trip, a home care agency can also offer 24-hour, in-home care.

The last thing is tell your family you're taking a trip, and they need to step up. All they have to do is take turns and spending just an hour with your grandma while you're gone; she'd feel very loved.
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I am also a granddaughter caregiver. I get the same felling sometimes. I have 5 brothers and 3sisters, Gram's only surviving son lives in Texas and is now coming up (we live in Ne) once a month for 1 or 2 weeks at a time. Now that it's winter, that will be questionable. Gram is almost 99 and is in pretty good health, just weaker and has short term memory problems. I have "moved in" with her full time, as she can't live alone, I have a family still and want to do things with them. When I ask for help so I can go to an activity, I hear "sorry not today, I have plans!" or some such story! All have offered to help "anytime!". I do get help from my my mom's cousins, one brother, a neighbor, and my 2 adult daughters. But, I get so tired of asking and the SAME people stepping forward! Let me NOT keep them informed though and WATCH OUT!!!! Try some friends (yours and hers)and neighbors, church members, anyone you talk to and relate with on a regular basis. If she has the money pay for a relief caregiver. you can also check with your local office on aging. If she is on Medicaid or your grandfather was a war time vet, each will pay for in home help. Good luck!!! Take a deep breath, relax and things will work out!!!
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