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My husband's Mom (91) is living here full time. They think we shouldn't complain, that we knew what we signed up for, and sometimes we think they think we are trying to take her money which is totally untrue. To them, of course she is grandma. to use, we are the caregivers and do all we can to keep grandma happy and comfortable. But it is so hard. No privacy, trips to the doctors, nurses in and out, can't travel. and snippy remarks from her. What can we do to make our kids understand???

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Tom&Margie- you have been given some very good viewpoints from others who have been through this & more. Freqflyer has nailed it!

At 91, grans level of care & demands on you both as her caregivers will only increase. Caregiver burnout is real. Having an elderly parent with dementia in your home is a death knell for a marriage.

Not to sound harsh, but just why should your kids "thank you" for taking care of gran? They could well look at the situation and think you all are totally unrealistic and loco to be doing this. You made the decision, not them. Likely what they hear is an endless diatribe on all the medications, time, doctor appts, nasty attitude, hygenie, etc that life with gran 91 is. I wouldn't be surprised that when they visit, they look at each other on their drive back to their homes and say "there is no way we are EVER doing that". Think about their perspective. I say this as my mom is in her 90's but mom had me very late in life so I'm in my 50's and have a teenager. My situation may be closer to what your kids is. I look at my mom (was in IL & is now NH & on hospice) & there is no way I would be her caregiver, she needs to be someplace with the staffing, equipment and ability to provide 24/7 professional oversight. My parents wouldn't want me to place my life on hold to deal with them. And my role is to do my best to be an advocate for my mom to have the best care plan. Both my parents had their moms in NH, so the idea that Grannie was in a facility was normal. Our son has grown up with going to the IL & NH are just done. I think that for some NH = snake pit, as they have no past experience just fear. Please think about the message that your kids may be seeing.

I'm curious about the FA's statement. So gran has enough $ for a year in AL? Maybe 75K? Out of curiosity where is the $? Sitting in a bank liquid? Or Invested with a brokerage firm, so it was larger in the past but she has been drawing down to pay for nurses, etc so now is down to 75K? Has $ paid for things at your home? Did FA put her into LTC policy? Or has $ been placed in an annuity?
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Tom and Margie, so what is she saving her money for? Take her on a tour of some assisted living places (tour ships that don't leave the dock, one poster calls them) and investigate sources of payment. She gets social security, does she have a pension? Widow of a war time veteran? Is your state one of those that allows you to use Medicaid to pay for AL?
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tomandmargie, think about this, what if something happens to the two of you and you both can no longer care for Mom. One out of every 3 Caregiver passes away leaving behind the love one they were caring. Those are not good odds.

Where will Mom live then? Of course, in a retirement facility. Wouldn't it be better for her to go there now while she is still able to learn her way around the facility, while she can meet new people and develop new friendships, and have professional care?

Of course, Mom doesn't want to go to a retirement facility [please don't call it a nursing home] because her generation has a false stereotype about these places. Why is she saving her money? She should use it for her care, either in a retirement village or for hiring caregivers to come to the house.

Tom and Margie, have you figured out who is going to take 1st shift of 8 hours of care for Mom, who will take the 2nd shift of 8 hours of care, and who will take the 3rd shift of 8 hours of care? Eventually that will happen, maybe not tomorrow, but months down the road. Do either of you know CPR, or know how to take a blood pressure reading? Do you know the correct method of picking your Mom up should she fall? Will you take turns giving Mom a bath or helping her to the bathroom? Are you ready to keep doing this for another 5 to 10 years? My Mom's sister lived to be 100, so it is possible. There will be no vacations or even sick days off. And someone will always have to be home, so that means one of you will be going to your own doctor appointments on your own, getting groceries on your own, etc.

Surprised your financial advisor is saying care for Mom at home.... does the financial advisor plan to come over once a week to help with her care? I sorry if that sounds snippy, but really now.

I truly believe your children don't want their grandmother to outlive the both of you. Your children want you around a long time, and caring for an elder at home is very exhausting work. One of our posters here recently had a heart attack and is in recovery. Another of our posters here, her sister took care of their their Mom, and the sister died from the stress.
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There is no way your children will understand unless you actally ask them to do specific things. Could they start by taking granny out for lunch? After that, the hairdresser Dr's etc. You can go the first time if you anticipate problems then leave it up to them. As far as repite is concerned. Why not try a few days in some kind of facility and have some alone time. if that works (and make it) you can increase the time and have a real vacation and enjoy each other. make one of your kids the contact person while you are away and make it clear they are only to contact you for emergencies and specify what is an emergency. refusing to teke her pills is not an emergency but a bad fall is, if you get my drift. She is paying for the care so the caregivers are expected to deal with anything that comes up.
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How wonderful it would be if she could be in a retirement home but she is not allowed to live alone. Assisted Living would eat up her finances in less than a year and our (her included) financial advisor has advised us to stay away from them or they will EAT her money with the care she needs. Besides, she has made it very clear that she does NOT want to go and wants very much to stay here. It is more a matter of her grandchildren not understanding and not knowing the facts, I love them dearly but none of them have ever said "Thanks for doing s great job taking care of Grandma", that would mean so much.
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A little sympathy from your kids sure would be nice, but not very likely. It may be useful to remember you are providing the role model to them for when your time comes. Consider an adult family care home for your MIL; somewhere nearby so you can visit. Use Mom's money to pay for that and then the kids don't have to worry what happened to the money. :-) Plus you will get some degree of your life back.
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tomandmargie, do your grown children all agree that they think that their grandmother should be in a retirement home, around people of her own generation? That they actually do know the demands this is placing on you, and how exhausting it can be.

Your children feel that you and their father made the choice to bring their father's mother in to live with you both, thus you need to live with that choice. Sounds like the kids can see the forest for the trees.
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Don't complain to them. They can't possibly understand. (Taking on the role while you enjoy respite would help them.) Complain here. Vent away! (If you are just venting and not asking for advice, make that clear.) We ALL understand. Also, I highly recommend joining a local caregivers' support group.
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For starters, stop complaining. No one can understand until they actually do the caregiving. It's like so many other things in life that you don't understand until you experience it. But when you need time away for yourselves, like a long weekend or vacation, get one of the kids to stay at your house. This will be an eye opener. All the things you listed such as no privacy, Dr. visits snide remarks from Granny are all part of it. Of course you didn't know what you were signing up for. Not until you walk a mile in those caregiving shoes. Also, let those snippy remarks roll off and keep on keeping on. She probably isn't any happier with the situation than you are. You can do this.
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Tell them that you're taking a vacation, or that you doctor has ordered you to take two weeks of respite and that her care is for them to figure out. Set the date and leave. They'll get it. Or they'll discover that they love to care for Grandma and she can go live with them.
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