Hello all. I am 33 years old and I am the only caregiver to my elderly deaf aunt. She is also diabetic and doesn't take to the diets I provide for her. I have been reduced to hiding food in my room and locking the door to keep her from certain foods that could be harmful to her. I have tried very hard to explain to her why it is that she can't have all the foods that other people can have. My grandmother found out that my aunt was deaf when she was very young. She then promptly removed my aunt from school. She cannot read, and she cannot sign. The only way of communicating with her is for her to read your lips, which she is fairly good at. The problem comes in when she decides she doesn't want to "listen to me" anymore, she just puts her head down and refuses to look at me. She has a pet cat who I have also moved into my home even though it had made my home uncomfortable for my cats. She has since almost killed her cat because she refuses to listen to me. She feeds him anything she can get her hands on. We almost had to put him down last year because I did not have the funds for the very large vet bill that was due to her not following instructions and hiding things from me.
Her bills continue to climb and climb. Every year the medications she is on become more plentiful and also more expensive. She also is becoming very poor with her personal hyigene. I have to argue with her frequently to shower. This has resulted in a few UTI's. Actually she fights with me daily about just about anything.
I love my aunt dearly, but the heavy load of caring for her is becoming harder and harder being that I am only one person. I have been her caregiver for 11 years, and she has been living at my home for 2 years now. We have no other family that could assist us. My mother(her sister)passed on after battling cancer 8 years ago. There is no other family. Everytime I tell my story the first response is "Don't you have any other family members who could help you?". I can't tell you how frustrating it is. I truly HAVE NO ONE ELSE. I don't have parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles...Myself and my aunt are the only family we have. I love her immensely, but I just don't know how long I can keep up with this without some kind of help. I can't be with her constantly since I have to work to support us, and I'm afraid I don't have enough money to pay for an outside caregiver to come to the house and help. Even if I found a good senior community for her I'm not sure I could afford it. I guess what my question is, is does anyone know of where I should start in looking for some assistance? Who could I talk to that would have some suggestions?