My grandmother is struggling with both mental and physical decline/issues. While she is quite willing to discuss the physical issues, she is unwilling to acknowledge or discuss the mental ones. My grandfather, who lived with her, and I have been doing our best to help her maintain her independence, though I also feel we have somewhat enabled her to ignore her mental struggles as well. However, about two weeks ago, my grandfather died. My grandmother living alone does not seem to be a good idea at this time for any number of reasons (falling, losing things, isolation, grief etc), and understandably, my grandmother is not ready to consider moving. The complications are this: 1. I am also responsible for my mother, who struggles with schizophrenia. My grandmother is very critical of my mother, as my mother is often difficult to understand and has difficulty following instructions. From the other side, since my mother is difficult to communicate with, it is easy to see how my grandmother gets confused even more easily and thus impatient. Either way, it is in neither of their best interests to live together. So how do I live with both? 2. My mental health. Because my grandmother is unwilling to discuss any mental issues she might have (I don't want to self-diagnose) it makes daily functioning quite difficult. My grandmother has always been one to need to be in control of the situation, and it would make sense in her grief that she would try to re-exert her control. However her need to have control over me as well as her forgetfulness, confusion, and some plain old passive aggressiveness is wearing me down mentally very quickly. For example, I have asked her multiple times if she would like me to move in. In response, she states it is my decision. However she gets upset when I have to leave for less than an hour to get a shower at the house I have been living in previously, half a mile down the road. This has occurred every day for the past week and a half.

I have a thousand thoughts going through my head, but no solutions. Guidance and thoughts appreciated. Thanks!

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No, you should not take on the care of your grandmother. You have quite a lot on your plate. I am certain she would "like" you to do so, but that is not the question. I would "like" a billion dollars, but it isn't happening.
You do seem to realize that you have reached your limitations. That realization is a good thing. Grandma will have to be placed in Assisted Living or other care, whatever her finances will support.
Life is full of loss, and those of us so "lucky" to live long face an old age that is quite honestly, and quite realistically, and quite sadly, nothing but one loss after another. It is the way of things. Not everything can be fixed. Not everything can be made happy.
I am so sorry for the losses all are facing, but I am glad that you seem to understand your limitations. Wishing you, your Mom, and your Grandma, good luck moving forward.
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Harpcat Aug 2019
This is the best answer by far. Life is full of loss and we can’t make it better. We have to put on our big girl panties and face the music. When we live long enough, things will happen to us that will not bring us what we want in life. You are young and a kind person, but no. I think deep down your instinct has told you not to. As I always say, use your head not your heart when it comes to difficult decisions.
Alania - YES, you should move in with your grandmother:

If you want to live 24/7 in a psych ward with a mentally ill person who will become crazier, more controlling, more forgetful, more confused, and more dependent, etc. as time goes on.

If you want your life to be controlled by such a person.

If you never want to leave the house because it will upset her.

If you never want to see your friends or do fun things with them.

If you never want to have your own life doing your own things.

If you want your entire life to evolve around grandma and her growing and endless needs.

If you think in the near future you will be ready to pick her up when she falls, clean up after her bathroom accidents, wake up multiple times at night because she needs something or can't sleep, etc.

If you want to be a martyr and sacrifice your life your grandma.

If you think you will never get burn out and can live with resentment.

If you think you will be fine after grandma dies because you will have lost years of your life, and by then you will have no jobs and no friends and not know what to do with your life.

Go ahead and move in.

If not, listen to the good advice of others here and find an alternative for grandma and you.
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lindaz Aug 2019
Well put, Polarbear! I agree she should DEFINITELY NOT move in with grandma or have grandma move in with her. Even if she thinks she can handle both of them, she cannot. Living with a person who has dementia is always much worse than you think it will be initially AND it only gets WORSE as time goes on.
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No - move Grandmother to a facility that can cope with her mental issues.
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Alianna, don't you want a life? Caregiving for dementia and aging is not the same as for schizophrenia. Don't take on 2 people.

Also, your gramma can't control you unless you give her control. But I don't think she "needs" to control you, I think she is fearful of how her life is upside down right now, as is understandable, and your love and attention are comforting. Maybe allow her some time to grieve before launching her into yet another big change. Check in on her often and call, make sure she's eating and taking care of her self. I'm sorry for your quandary, but you are young and need to have your own life. You've already done the lion's share of generous giving of yourself. But you're not responsible for other people's happiness. Wishing you peace!

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A thousand times, NO. Do you work? Have a husband or kids or hope to one day have that? Do you have friends that you like to do things with? What ever little issues you have now with your grandmother WILL become large ones that you will be forced to deal with 24/7. If she doesn’t want you leaving now to go 1/2 mile road just to shower....
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Please, please, please do NOT be a fool. Do not move in and now have double responsibility. It will become a nightmare - do not do it or you will live to regret it. Your grandmother has mental and physical issues - a red hot flag - and you are taking care of your mother who has problems. Why add gasoline to the fire that rages. Start thinking about your own physical and mental limitations - you are only human and can take just so much. Don't take on more - you do not deserve it. And why add fuel to a bad relationship between your grandmother and mother. Please either consider a caretaker for your grandmother or start thinking of placing her. The three of you will become an atomic bomb if you are in one location. Don't do it.
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Do you want to move in? She hasn’t asked you to move in. She knows you are caring for your mom. Where do you live now? By yourself or with your mom? Isn’t that going to be too much? What about your dogs? Does grandma like dogs?

It may be time to make arrangements for grandma to be in a facility. She doesn’t seem to be able to be alone. She falls. You sound concerned about her being controlling. Is this something you have thought about before or is it a reaction to your grandpa dying? Sorry for the loss of your grandpa. It’s an emotional time for the family. It isn’t the time to make a huge decision like this.

Your grandma will adjust if she moves to a facility or will adjust to in home caregivers. Wherever she is you can visit her.

Think about this seriously. I don’t think I would do it. What about a job? Would you be paid by grandma?
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Alianna, you've received lots of good advice here. You should sit down with someone objective and discuss these situations, both your Mom and grandmother. It's not clear if you work, have a family of your own, etc., but regardless you have a life that you need to lead as well.
Don't make a hasty decision about this or anything else until you have looked at the pros and cons of what is best for YOU. It may involve some difficult choices, but you have to think of the consequences - good, bad, or neutral - of such choices. Short term and long term.
I wish you the best. Many of us here struggle with the same issues, just different and varying levels of them. But it's all about the people we love and making sure they are safe, healthy, and cared for properly. Include yourself in that dynamic because if you don't, you may regret it. Thoughts and prayers to you and yours!
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So she's asking you to give up the best years of your life to help her? I'm sure there is a better way to help without a total sacrifice from you. Don't let her play on your guilt.
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