New caregiver and need serious advice.

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Hello, I have been a caregiver for my elderly grandfather (81) for about six months. I moved halfway across the country and quit my job to help him because no one else in my family could. The episode which caused me to move out here was when he fell in the driveway and broke several ribs and suffered from concussion. A month later my grandmother passed away. It hasn't been the easiest. I have been very nice and supporting of him and always bite my tongue around him when he says terrible things. Lately it has gotten out of control. He is repeating himself over and over. Refuses to take a shower, he hasn't showered for months. Stopped taking all his medications even though I have begged him to do so. Medications for blood pressure and heart beat. He brags to people that he quit taking them and doesn't need it even though his blood pressure is 180/90. He is spending large quantities of money, very large. Whenever I try to ask him why he is doing these things or confront him in any way about medication he gets explosive and mean. He drinks six beers a day. And barely eats. He says very negative things to me and is downright mean, he is not the grandfather I once knew. It's gotten to the point where I want to give up and buy my own place, but I feel guilty leaving him here alone. He would never ever consider a nurse to the house or anything along those lines because he thinks he's in perfect health. He is a very stubborn man. Whenever we go anywhere he won't let me drive. This is worrisome because I should be driving him and he is getting worse and worse with driving around. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have if you have been in a similar situation.

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Just a comment on gun safes.....I didn't see any mention in the original post, but if there are rifles or shotguns, you'll need a larger safe than one just for hand guns. And they are EXPENSIVE, very, very expensive.

Moving them without assistance is not an option as in big, hulky man assistance or movers' assistance. There's also the neighbors to consider; they may not want the liability of guns stored in their house.

They may also not want to pay additional insurance to insure the guns.

Sophie makes a good point of not telling relatives what to do, but rather state what you will do. Then moving and getting out is more in your control than if you were depending on (and waiting for) them to step up. After you notify them, it's up to them to get involved and if they don't, APS can.
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Based on how Grampa sounds, consider the following as well as the excellent previous advice 1) Secretly get the guns away from grampa...you can secure them in a gun safe that locks. Lock them in there, deliver the safe to the neighbors and hide the key. 2) Report grampa to the state for being an unsafe driver 3) notify the doctor in writing only (via fax is OK) that Gramps is not taking his medications, is drinking to excess, and is still driving and that you have ridden with him and find his driving to be dangerous. This puts the 'monkey' on the doctor's back and s/he won't tolerate that for long. 4) Before you leave, consider checking out a couple of assisted living facilities where Gramps could move to. 5) Leave, leave, leave, leave. Some seniors need to live alone until there is a catastrophic failure. He sounds like he's one of them. Advise your family you are not staying. Don't tell them what to do, tell them what you are going to do. 6) Notify Adult Protective Services of his condition. Don't let any of the above bully you into staying. You did far more than you needed to and now you need to get away from him. Good luck.
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Why in the world would you quit your job and move cross-country to care for your grandfather? Who on earth told you this was a good idea? It's not.

If your grandad can't live alone and is a cantankerous old man, it's time for you to get on with your life and let his children step up. It is not your responsibility. Get a job, make plans to get your own place and tell your parents they need to make other arrangements.

Babalou is right about his driving.
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Wishing you well and hope you listen to this excellent advice from Babalou and Garden. Especially not to drive with him.
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I think it's clear now why no one else in the family would step up to care for him. I would give them notice either or both by e-mail with read receipt acknowledgment, or certified mail with return receipt requested that you are leaving on a given date (and make it soon).

Then contact APS and let them know of the situation as they may have to step in.

You have every right to leave; you're the only one who was willing to help in a very trying and untenable situation, you've gotten no cooperation, and your grandfather will ruin your emotional health if you continue to stay with him.

You can't really "care" for him because he refuses care. So there's really no point in staying except to be an emotional punching bag, which I'm sure is how he deals with everyone.

Start making plans to return to where you lived before, or someplace else while you reconstruct your life.

But please don't feel guilty leaving him as long as you call APS. Let them take over. You can't feel responsible for someone so totally uncooperative.

And in the meantime, don't drive with him.
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Do you havepoa for him? If not, it's unlikely he would cooperate and grant POA at this point. The next step would be legal guardianship but he would have to be ruled incompetent and he sounds borderline.

My dad is very much like this and could not be at home if mom didn't keep him out of trouble. If she were to die or go into care I would have to force dad into care somehow. But it would be a battle. It might take a crisis and getting APS involved in both our cases.
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I would notify his doctor that he is unsafe driving, that he's stopped taking his medications and appears to be mentally unstable. And that you are leaving to return to work in 2 weeks time. Ask his doctor what the best steps to take are. Send this letter via certified mail and keep a copy.

inform grandpa that you will be leaving in two weeks and that you'd like to take him in for a checkup before you leave.
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