Background: My sister, age 71, has mild to moderate dementia, which the neurologist and PCP think is probably caused by long-term alcohol abuse. I am 68 and had happily lived alone for 20years before I rescued her. I have never enjoyed spending time with her because she has always been narcissistic, self-absorbed, and low-energy in addition to alcoholic. She was living on her own in NYC, repeatedly ripped phone off wall, forgot to pay rent or utilities, and had moved an unemployed 40-year old man (with a criminal record) into her apt and he was stealing from her. She has lots of money that she inherited. Landlord and police were calling me repeatedly. Finally I went and got her and brought her to my tiny house in Vermont. Have taken her to doctors and dentist etc and she is now healthy and has been off the sauce because there is no alcohol in my house. (I was a social drinker but removed alc from house because of her.) Whenever she is in a place where alcohol is available, she drinks without restraint and says she has no problem with alcohol. She has little short-term memory. Thinks she is fine. Doesn't want to stay with me but only wants to go live "in the Caribbean." There is no other family and she has no friends.
Help! I can't stand this any longer. I have no peace or time to myself because she is constantly under foot and unpleasant. I feel guilty that I'm having such a hard time emotionally. I know that most people have it worse. But I am losing all my social supports because I have to stay with her and can't have people over or go anywhere for more than a few hours. And my sister is also miserable living with me. We both need another living arrangement.
I want her to live someplace else. She has enough money. But she won't contribute to any household expenses and insists she won't go anywhere except to "the Caribbean." I am tempted to get her a passport and put her on a plane, but she would either get lost or drunk at the airport or at her destination, and then what would I do?
I have paid a friend $100 per day to take her places once a week to give me a bit of time without her. But that's not enough. I feel as if I am going crazy. I can't get away from my sister's poisonous presence. And she can't get away from me.I'm clearly not cut out to be her caregiver. I dislike her and she is not happy here and I am miserable--I go sit in my car and cry just to get away from her. I'm going to see a social worker at the local Memory Center today.
I can't be the only one with this problem: A close relative I don't like but who needs help and has nobody other than me.
Is there somewhere for people with mild to moderate dementia who think they are fine????