In the fall my mother handed over the keys to her car to me in an agreed arrangement that I would drive for her. She has a plethora of issues that have impacted her health and can barely walk. This arrangement is fine, we work together to make plans so that they are sensible and don't wear her out. The problem is that mom used to be grandma's caregiver (an "independent," living in her own home, nine-decader). I told mom that when I became her driver I could NOT extend the errands/rides to grandma. Mom was not the sole caregiver. There are others who drive grandma. In the years leading up to mom temporarily giving up driving I watched as the lack of boundaries wore away and impacted her health. I even told her I thought grandma's demands and emotional exaustion were damaging her. I am certain that the stress is not helping here and now. Technically, my grandma is in better health than my mother. Mom is incapable of disconnecting as a caregiver even though she struggles to get out the car herself. Grandma insists that 'mom' drive her once a month to an appointment--that translates to me. Now, I already drive my mother to her own doctors appointments, groceries, bank, shopping trips, med pick ups... this is a LOT over the month. But again, I am fine with mom's needs--she works with me to make sure it's as convenient as possible. I work with her to get these in around running my business from home.
The demand from grandma comes through communication with my mom (who is struggling to track things through medication and fibro-fog). Grandma makes appointments and doesn't arrange rides, she expects the family to just be able to do it whenever the heck she needs one. She calls and it's "You're doing it." She does this to my mom. Who then calls me. I was busy for two of these months, and STILL ended up having to run grandma. This caused a serious upset between mom and I. Mom told me with grandma I could say no and she would honor that. Well, she won't honor that. The boundary issue is being violated across two generations here. When mom and I talked she got upset because she's stuck with grandma yelling at her until she gets her way, a condition that has been enabled for decades. The option of calling public transportation is out. Grandma insists it be family. She has memory issues, and this means often she thinks she made arrangements and hasn't. And on top of that insists that no one ever comes over and takes her places--yet she can't call the other drivers for this appointment cause they are already driving her too much <--see what's happening? Grandma's happiness is unattainable and she's used to mom caving in to her every whim. When mom and I were discussing the recent appointment she repeated something I heard last time--"I'll just have to get better and get driving again..." Ummm, and then decline her health. Signs show she is incapable of realizing her impossible to please mom's WANTS are more important than her own SAFETY. Yes, I have point blank mentioned this. I get a begrudging agreement that lasts as long as a phone ring.
That is the core problem here. I'm in a seriously tricky spot as the caregiver of a boundary-less caregiver. The stress of dealing with my emotionally abusive grandma is continuing to cripple my mother and wearing on me.
How can I draw the line and stick to it? Cause even when I do, the line caves because mom flatly refuses to respect my boundary if grandma is involved. Others in the extended family can say no and have it stick--but because mom is in between I'm stuck with the "What and I gonna do?"-fest. And no--I cannot talk directly to grandma. That will backlash on mom, unfortunately. My grandma, though she talks to the rest of my cousins, only calls me in a panic if she cannot reach my mom via phone. Looking forward to experienced suggestions.