My son says I am in denial about how "bad" my grandmother is, how do I know when to place her?

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Good Morning,
More than 10 years ago my grandfather leaving my grandmother with no income. I was paying her bills and mine (as a single parent) . When I could no longer afford two houses, grandma and I agreed I would move into her home. She was in her mid seventies then. Over the years her need for care has increased, I didn't really notice until 2 years ago. When she started putting dirty dishes away, and forgetting to change clothes, and some other things. I talked her into not driving anymore leaving me to provide transportation. This year she seems to have gotten much worse, in fact I have been on FMLA since November just to take care of her.


We are now at a point where I have to do most everything for her, even in the sense of thinking. She no longer has the ability to make decisions. Not that she's not there, just that it overwhelms her to think about it. She can still shower herself if I remind her to, and physically dress her self. However I must place her clothes in the laundry basket every night or she will wear the same thing every day. She has renal faliulre so bladder leaks have been a thing for years. She is now losing control of her bowels. Sometimes leaking on herself, as well as when she does make it to the bathroom she leaves a mess everywhere. Commode, floor, toilet paper, etc. I have noticec she isn't brushing her teeth. I almost can't leave her alone in a room.


All that venting (thanks it helped) to say my son now 25 (still lives at home with us, and helps alot) says it is time to place her. He claims that she has reached a point that home care it not what is in her best interest.



I disagree, I think I can still handle it--- even through I am very tired and waiting for an opportunity to have my own life. I beame a mom 2 weeks after high school. Just as my boys reached teens we move in with grandma. Now that my boys are both grown I am caring for grandma full time. Mom passed 17 years ago so I am in this pretty much alone. One son helps alot the other does not, nor does my only sibling.


As her sole caregiver and POA, I am the one to make the decisions. How do I know when to place her?


I hate feeling guilty for wanting to have my own life... but I am 43 and have never been able to just do me.


If I were not here grandma would have gone to a home a few years ago.


I have no idea what to do?

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You have a son who has given eight of the best years of his life to supporting you in supporting his great grandmother. If this sterling young man is telling you that enough is enough, given his track record of service and dedication, I think you should listen to him. At least look at what options are available, keeping an open mind while focusing on what is REALLY best for your grandmother's physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. I don't doubt that he is putting her first and thinking of her best interests - do you?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Im so sorry that you are facing this diffucult decision. You have always been a super woman, single mom raising 2 children, helping mom, helping and paying for grandma. This is why this is so hard, you've always made things work out by working hard and sacrificing. From all you describe you know the answer and your son has helped you also.

I had to place my dad, we did not have a loving relationship, yet I bawled like a baby and felt guilt ridden for being the one to make that decision. I know how hurt your heart must be having to let go of grandma and let others provide her care. Hugs!!! She needs a village at this stage of her life, you be the one that loves her and visits with special treats, let others do the dirty work. You are not abandoning her, you are giving her the gift of the best care possible.

See an elder law, Medicaid knowledgeable attorney to find out if you must forfeit the house. If you've been paying for many years maybe an Attorney can help you keep it. Do this before applying for aid. It will cost some money but, if you get to keep your home it is money well spent and they can help you navigate the application process.

I know this will be a challenge and want to encourage you to use this website to vent, rant, ask questions or just to know you are not alone. Love and hugs 2 u and family.

Ps: you have obviously been a tremendous mom, to raise a son with so much care and compassion. Great job!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Apply for Medicaid - get her into a nursing home. Visit her and love her - but get back to work to save for your own retirement.
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Reply to Kimber166
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How do you know when it is time? When you ask yourself if it is time.
What plans are in place for you after grandma is placed? Are you concerned about where you will live?

It sounds to me like it is time. You need to take care of yourself and get back to your job. FMLA will not last much longer and you probably need all of that time to make arrangements for grandma.
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Reply to gladimhere
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I agree with the others...you and your son are amazing! You don't have to feel guilty about finding grandma a place where she will have appropriate care. You do need to have time to take care of yourself, plan for your own retirement, be active in your son's lives, and visit Grandma. It will still take quite a bit of your time to make sure grandma is taken care of so you will still be involved.
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Reply to Grammyteacher
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Why does your sister think she has ANY say in this?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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When did gram add your name to the deed? If within the past five years will pose an issue with Medicaid. Would you be able to buy out grandma's half. Or does grandma have resources to self pay for care? You need to consult an elder law attorney well versed on Medicaid in your state.
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Reply to gladimhere
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You should have a back up plan if your sister doesn’t follow through on caring for grandma when you go on your trip. It is admirable that you don’t want to alienate her but why does she get a vote in the matter when she Isint really doing any of the work? I know she’s family but sheesh. Doe what is best for you and grandma. Good luck
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Reply to Choupette
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If you have had to stop working to take care of grandma, it's time to place her. You can't stay on leave forever. You need to earn a living and prepare for your own retirement. You also want to start your marriage on the right footing. Wouldn't you (or your new husband) like to be able to enjoy married life without being a full-time caregiver?

I agree that your sister should have no say in the manner. You can't allow her wishes to control your life and your choices.
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Reply to CarlaCB
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I want to thank all of you for your resonses. Its actually quite amazing how helpful it is to know there are people somewhere hearing me. I have been blessed with an ( 2) wonderful young men. No idea what I would do without them.

Thankfully years ago, when I gave up myhome grandma addeded my name to the deed of the house. Then not long ago when she removed her name. So the house is soley mine. This will be a large problem with my sister, but it was grandmas choice. she refuses a will but as desginate what my sister will get and what I will get. The houe will be the only point of contengtion.

As I work in Academia they have approved me being off for the rest of the academic year. It allowed them to hire a full time sub. So I have until June to figure this out.

My sister, who by the way lives only 12 miles aways and works only 2 miles from our house and only comes to visit about every 2 months . Does not apporve of even respite care. I called her to discuss the idea of a day program so that I could return to work. She adimittly protested.

About 1 year ago my long time partner proposed, we are getting married in May, and have planned (paid) for a trip to Las Vegas. This was done some time ago. Grandma has gotten worse since then.
i was talking to my sister about placing grandma just for the week long trip. Again complete refusal. Now I know that My son and I are the decsion makers, but i do not want to alienate her.

I have suggested she come stay that week. Perhaps having to do the caregiving herself will cange her prospective.

I kow that I will have to place grandma this year, I just feel so bad that I can't take care of her. And I am afraid to not have her. She had been a part of my everyday life since I was a young child.
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Reply to loveforgrammy
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