Hey all,

I'm a 39 year old single father of three.. 12,7,4 and now my 93yr old grandmother that raised me. She had a stroke a few months back and recuperated well but cannot live alone as she has trouble making meals and paying bills so I moved her down to Florida to live with us. Aha been here going on three months and has started complaining when I work, date or leave the house in general.. Is this common? She suffers just the slightest dementia, forgetfulness and stuff but nothing serious. I have my hands full and need time to relax but she seems to be angered by me trying to even get out for two or three hours.

I fell guilty not feeling guilty? Does that make sense? She raised me and it's the least I can do to help her I her time of need as my father is mentally handicapped and can barely care for himself and I am the only child of an only child.. Just wondering if this is normal and should I feel guilty?

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You NEED to go out. But you kiss her goodbye and tell her WHEN you will be back. Remove the uncertainty from her mind. And bring back a treat, however small it may be, to make her anticipation positive.
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You really do have to get out. Otherwise, caregiving would be like prison. No, you shouldn't feel guilty. Just let her complaints roll off your back. You can tell her that you would go crazy if you didn't get out sometime. She may just be a little envious because she can't come and go as she used to. It would be nice if she had a friend or two her own age. That would take so much pressure off of you to be her only friend.
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I don't see any valid reason for your feeling guilty about not feeling guilty.

You do have your hands full as a single father of 3 children. They and yourself are your first priority. Then you need to make sure your grandmother is safe and taken care of without throwing yourself and your children under the bus. Obviously, this means you really need to keep your job because of your children, the house ya'll live in and for your own well being. Then, you also need to take care of you for you have so many depending on you plus taking good care of oneself is part of a healthy life.

Does your grandmother have any assets to pay for caregivers to be with her when you go out? Who looks after her while you work? Will your grandmother need to qualify for medicaid one day day for her dementia will worsen to the point where that will be needs and who knows how soon that could be? Does your grandmother have any other adult children? If so, what do they think about the situation?

Your grandmother's anger will worsen as her dementia gets worse. Her anger could upset the two younger children and might make the older child feel like not being at home much which you don't want to happen. Also, as the children age they will have more activities which will also require more of your time to be away. That is a very important part of parenting. You need to have a plan for who will look after your grandmother when you are away for those times.
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When you go out, do you leave her to "watch' the kids, or is she alone during those times? Early in dementia, it's okay to leave LO alone, but as it progresses, she will need to have someone stay with her.

Is she lonely? Is there adult day care she could attend? One of the best things about my mom's moving to Independent Living was the increased socialization she got there.

To answer your question, I don't find guilt to be a useful emotion. If you are doing what is right, you have no reason to feel guilty.
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