Grandchildren, elder care. Where is the balance?

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My mom is 90, had a stroke earlier this year, has vascular dementia. I have a grandson, 15 mos old, two hard working parents. A friend recently said to me, my mother reslizes that all the time she spent trying to take care of her elderly parents by herself, robbed time from her being with her young grandchildren. Find balance, is the answer. Not trying to tell anyone how to live their lives, but I realized that if I time shifted a bit, I could spend breakfast with my grandson nearly every am!

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Unfortunately, stories like this are becoming 'normal' to me now... If you have an elderly alz patient living at home with you, no, there is no such thing as any kind of balance. You can try, but it won't work. The bottom line, if you have an elderly parent, or whoever, at home, and that person declines to a certain point...then somebody, not saying it's going to be you, is going to need to be on call, 24/7. Literally. There will be no time whatsoever, eventually anyway, for grandchildren...or anything else for that matter...with the exception of caring for the alz/dementia patient.... unless you have a whole lot of help, and a plan in place. People need to plan for their time off I think.... Especially new care givers, they should plan for time off, have that time covered by someone else, and get a break. A lot of breaks. For just the reason the OP mentioned...grandchildren... and fresh air....nature....camping trips...romantic dinners....for family, relationships... If people want that time, they have two choices. Get a paid in home caretaker to come in, if you can afford that if insurance won't cover it, at least a few days a week, which will give you a few hours of life, or place your charge in a nice facility where they can be looked after 24/7 by good people, and you can have peace of mind and can visit in between trips to see the grandkids... If you want balance, it seems to me it's one or the other. Without backup, there won't ever be a balance. Just care giving.
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I'm sure a lot of us are trying to find this balance. Is your mom living with you? My mom is in a wonderful AL facility (after a less than wonderful first one), and I have decided that two visits per week are enough. I also talk to her on the phone daily. Her dementia has progressed to the point that she rarely remembers when I or anyone else has visited her, but she participates in one or two activities each day at the AL. Cutting down to two weekly visits has allowed me to care for my two year old granddaughter the 16 hours per week that her parents' work schedules overlap. I remember lots of good times with my grandparents when I was growing up and I want the same for my granddaughter.
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