I am POA and health proxy for my 91-year-old aunt who is very healthy but has dementia and no short-term memory and no sense of the impact her demands make on me.

I have already had a nervous break down related to this caregiving and my small retirement savings is leaking into paying for her expenses because her Social Security only covers the cost of her independent living residence.

I have two questions:

Since my aunt was living in California when I moved here to Albuquerque, she was a resident but she now has a New Mexico ID because we couldn't do anything without it. Does anyone know if one loses one's state status after a specific amount of time? I've looked online but couldn't find an answer to this. (In order to get anything in NM, you have to have 'Real ID' (Pray that you and your loved ones will never have to go through that process!)

Even though I am now on medication and doing therapy to help with my depression, anxiety and rage, I still lose it and find that I am thinking really violent thoughts about my aunt but instead of striking out at her, I hurt myself instead. Obviously this is not healthy. So I'm wondering if I should go to report myself as a potential elder abuser. This would avoid a potential family disaster and might also finally enable me to free myself from this responsibility.

For the legal issues I know that I can hire an elder care attorney but they are very expensive and I would like to avoid that if possible. I've done a tremendous amount of research online but haven't found the specific information I need. On the off chance that any of you have information or experience in either of these areas I would be so grateful if you could help me.

This site is amazing and I'm sure that it has actually save lives!

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Marmorado, you are not being ridiculous but rather honest and unvarnished. You are using words like ridiculous to diminish yourself and your feelings. You are trying to talk yourself into caring for your aunt. Perhaps are you trying to meet someone else's expectations of you? Whose expectations are you trying to meet? Yours?

I commend you for going to the hospital. Persist in your efforts to value yourself and your life. Yes it is ironic that the bed was on geriatrics but does it really matter where the bed is? Isn't the more important thing to get your life back on track?
Helpful Answer (2)

When you move to another state to live you lose residency in the old state right away. In my state when you move in and plan to stay you are a resident. Why did ask? Is the change of state something you should be reporting, because the relative actually is on SSI, not SS?
So, if you are concerned about physically hurting your aunt don't see her in person or only see her with a third party there who is capable of restricting her. You can also resign being her POA and health proxy and relieve yourself of this source of stress.
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Wow, you are amazing! Thanks so much for your responses. I did check into the hospital ER but when they told me they only had beds in the geriatric unit, not only did that strike me as ironic, it also struck me as TOTALLY counterproductive given why I was in there in the first place. I decided to check myself out and see if I could gird my loins and give it another try. Not doing so well. As far as self-hurting, I don't mean that I am stabbing myself or causing any scary wounds. I just bang my head but not to the point of bleeding or digging my nails into my palms as hard as I can. I'm ridiculous sometimes. Sorry if I exaggerated. Meds and therapy have helped me stay out of the bottom of the pit since then. Just thoughts of returning to the bottom of the pit, which is very different.
Thanks again!
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You haven't abused your aunt at all and thoughts don't count. Instead, please consider going to the ER and asking to use the Baker Act to get yourself emergency mental health services. It is a very courageous thing to do to admit you need help. Show the nurse your wounds and be honest about your thoughts and what is causing them.

Forget about your aunt. You need to take care of yourself. Do what you need to do to get yourself help. Remember that on a plane they always say put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.
Helpful Answer (4)

As a last resort, I think that YOU going to the ER and reporting that you are suicidal might be one way to go. You talk to the SW at the ER about the fact that there is a vulnerable elder at home.

I'm sure that others will be along with better suggestions!

Hang on!
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