I'll try to keep it as short as possible. My aunt has been taking care of my grandmother and grandfather for a long time. Before that my grandfather was taking care of my grandmother who has alzheimer's along with the help of my aunt. Fast forward a bit, grandmother lives in assisted care in a place called On Lok in san francisco, she's been staying there for 15+ years and has had Alzheimers disease ever since I was born. I am 27 now. 6-7 years ago grandfather had a stroke and long story short, my father did not want anything to do with him and he went into a state of depression and developed dementia. Since then he is unable to care for himself and needs 24/7 assistance. My aunt is the sole caregiver and has been for the past couple of years, she also has power of attorney. Ever since I moved in last year I have been helping out everyday and it has been very difficult. It's like I have to give my whole life dedicated to them and it's tough on me because i care about them but at the same time it is unfair. She has began to rely on me as well 24/7 while I work and have a full time job. Grandfather is ineligible for medical. But the financial burden is very steep. What kind of services can we get to help our situation. She needs a lot of help and I don't think I can keep going the way I am now without losing my temper. She also does not work and takes care of him 24/7, are there any types of services that can help financially even if it's not much. Thank you for any information that you can provide.

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I have to take exception to the comment that "It's just what you do for your family." Or rather, I take exception to stating this as if it's a hard and fast rule, beyond question, rather than what it actually is: a widely held but not universal or unquestionable point of view. I'm just not on board with the idea that one is obligated to make any sacrifice necessary to take care of any person who happens to be a blood relative, regardless of their personal merits or how they may have treated you or other people in the past, just because "it's what you do."

I think we're all entitled to our own lives. More importantly, we're all entitled to make our own judgment as to who and what is worthy of our personal sacrifice. Nobody should get a free pass just because they're blood relations. Nobody should feel obligated to make huge sacrifices for someone just because they're family either.
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Find out why grandpa can't get Medi-Cal. Usually there are errors or insufficient documentation. Now your aunt needs care and her Medicaid application will be totally separate. You must submit five years of financial documents. Incomplete data is the biggest reason for rejected applications.
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You know, I really thought about all this on this holiday. Today I have really been aware of how alone we are here. It is just my mother and me. No one called or came by to see her or me. I was the only person she had to talk to. She talks about children almost all the time or the neighbor across the street. I don't know if anyone can understand how difficult it is to listen to someone with dementia talk about children they used to tend in the daycare. She talks about what they did and what their parents said. She talks about things she did long ago, telling the same stories again and again for seven years.

Now to hear someone come into a caregiver group and criticize, saying to ask someone else to do what we do, is hard to hear. It's not like people are lined up to help. The truth is if they care, they don't show it at all. I would absolutely love it if someone did take over for a while.

I do believe that caregivers can become mentally ill from all the stress. It goes with the territory. Many of us who were sane when we come in lose our grip on reality when dealing with someone with dementia. It bothers me when someone accuses us of complaining and being mentally ill. If we can't complain here, where can we complain. And personally I am as crazy as a bessie bug now because I've been caregiving too long without anyone else that cares.

Complaint over.
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Blessings to you for helping your aunt and grandfather. Grandparents in nursing care, their daughter (your aunt), taking care of them, and now your aunt needs help and you've moved in with her. As far as financial help, I'm guessing aunt isn't old enough for any kind of social security benefit she may have earned from previous employment in other words is she 65 yet, or 67.5? If she is, she should have social security. If she's younger than that, and has any major health issues and cannot work she should apply for disability if she's under 65. Otherwise keep working on Medicaid for the grandfather. If grandfather worked which likely he did, he should already be collecting some type of social security benefit and/or Medicare/Medicaid. Aunt could also look into doing a caregiver contract for taking care of dad, have it legally done through an attorney, cost varies, but it's typically low, maybe 200 to 500.00, low compared to things like wills or living trusts. This would make her an employee to the grandfather, and although likely the only source he'd have to pay her with would be from his ss, it would give her the funds to keep a roof going over grandpas head, she can use those funds to pay utilities, buy food, pay rent/house payment, etc,.. just like she would any other job, it's income, she'd also have to pay income tax out of it, I'd recommend to do that quarterly.

As for just coping for you, it's hard and it's hard to not be angry at other family members for not stepping up. Most of us feel that at some point. Being a caregiver is usually an act of taking the higher road, your aunt has taken the higher road by taking care of her dad, caregiving isn't pretty, it's tough and it can be downright ugly, there's no perfect way of doing it and it leaves people almost battle beaten. Not one caregiving situation is the same, there are many variables whether it's medical conditions, family conditions, financial conditions.

Caregivers need breaks. If you've got the space, I'd set up a room where you live that's the break room, not kidding. You and your aunt can have quiet breaks away from everything going on in the home. My break room is outside doing yard work, and I set up my bedroom to the furthest corner and quietest corner of the house. I'll set my dad up with lunch or dinner and while he's eating, I got to that space, work on line, watch a show, etc.... In that room I'm not surrounded by medical supplies, and all the other things required for caregiving, it's a normal room. Anyone caregiving for awhile understands what that means. It'll help you a lot and your aunt if you do your stuff on a schedule as much as possible, so your aunt knows when you'll be there and not, and let her know ahead of time, that when you are there, you have to do this or that and cannot help with grandpa at certain times. If she needs your help, she should let you know ahead of time if possible. I hope something out of all this helps you. Stay strong.
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Michael... make someone else the manager of the situation and back yourself out. If you don't do that now, you will be unable to in the future due to finances etc. Youve read many on here supporting your need to break free, but only you can do it, all the talking / reading in the world won't do anything. I am one of 4 children, I am the sole care giver of my mother.. the other 3, all live within 35 mins of her but ignore her care or my begging for help, both financially and time off... Ive lost my business, my home, my free life as I Knew it, they all know this and they could not care less...but my mother? is very well taken care of, has everything she wants or needs and has a roof over her head ... point being, get out before u go under.
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Pamstegma -- Thanks for mentioning the five years of financial documents. I am 85 and preparing the information my son will need if he ever needs to send me to a nursing home. His father-in-law is exactly my age. I will suggest to my son and his wife that they obtain all the information they need about her father too.
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I can't speak on the financial end, but I can speak about the stress of caregiving. I'm an only child, so when my Mom was diagnosed with Lung cancer, my husband and I became to sole caregivers with majority falling to me. Many times I thought I would scream, at those time I would take a time out. Many times just stepping outside gave me a new outlook. At times when things would get so stressful, I found something in that situation to smile even laugh about. I know it doesn't seem fair but remember you are making they days brighter by helping and being there for them. My mom is now gone, but I so happy I stuck it out because I know she was much happier in her last days. Plus I have made some precious memories.
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You are 27, and no it is not fair. You need to build your life and career. If aunt can no longer care for grandpa unless you help, then it is time for grandpa to live somewhere else. Have you looked at facilities at all? There are many nice ones that will provide the services grandpa needs, without your help.

My mom was diagnosed with dementia 12 years ago, it can go on and on and on. There may be something else going on as ferris says, but there may not be.

See an elder law attorney that specializes in Medi-Cal planning. He is permitted to own a house and a car. Does he have quite the portfolio of assets? He does need to spend down all but house and car to become eligible.
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Michael, Michael, Michael,

Listen to us. You need to get gone from this situation. YOU'RE giving your aunt money????
1. Find a place to live. Make arrangements to move.

2. Call APS and tell them that your family will need assistance with a vulnerable adult.

3. Make yourself an appointment with a therapist and start working on your issues so that you don't ever again fall into "looking for love in the wrong place".

You sound like a really nice and decent guy. But you are being taken advantage of. This mess won't get solved as long as you are there. You need to upset the balance by leaving.
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Go to Starbucks and/or the library for one hour after work, daily. Eat before you get home.
I am guessing that you report to your aunt everything, otherwise she would not hold so much power over you.
So, practice regaining self back by not reporting to her.

Here are some phrases: Won't be home for dinner, sure you can manage dinner.
Be home later, don't know when.

Left work late.

Don't have time to discuss this now, I'll get back to you on that.

I'm tired, we can talk tomorrow, goodnight.

Money is tight right now, we need to discuss paymenf for my services and a decrease in rent.

You need to bring in private-pay help for cooking and cleaning.

Will be gone all day for two days, get someone else to come in.

See ya later, aunty dearest, love you, bye! Be back soon.
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