Should I stay or should I go? - AgingCare.com

Should I stay or should I go?

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Long post I'm sorry. :( Hoping someone has some advice for me. I recently moved in with my great grandmother to help with her care. She has COPD, and can no longer make her own food/coffee, bathe, or other strenuous activities. She lived alone and 6 of my family members were taking turns with am/pm duties. Breakfast dinner dishes cleaning meds etc. I really wanted to help everyone out and offered to visit, stay at grandmas, and give everyone a break.

I decided I might want to stay in town to go back to school so it turned into maybe I can be grandmas live in care giver and go to school as well. (The closest CC in my town is a 1.5 hour drive) I had been working as a caregiver and always told myself when the time comes I would love to be there for my family when they need me. I thought I was good at this. Lol. I had my concerns before I made a decision and asked my mother (who does A LOT for my Great Grandma) if she thought it was a good idea and that I was afraid my GG might not be very nice to me, she has a reputation of being feisty. My mom assured me everything would be fine. She had talked to my Great Aunt who thought it was an awesome idea as well and I could even bring my dog! Yay! looking good!

Fast forward 1 month and here we are. It's a late Wednesday night. I moved on Sunday. THREE DAYS! I want to pull my hair out! I want to go back to my comfy town! I want to pack my things and go! my gosh my Great Grandmother is NOT NICE. after I get here and experience the wrath everyone admits "yeah she's mean" "oh she always makes people cry". Wait... didn't I ask that BEFORE I moved away from my home?! I was so excited. I was a caregiver before I moved and always said I would do it for my family when they needed. But this feels really bad. And it's not like she just became mean. She's always been abrasive but it is worse now. I'm not used to being treated poorly, especially for the people I care for. She demands and talks to me like I'm stupid, like I do everything wrong. Now, I know it's only been three days, and we are working on it. But she expects me to just know what she wants. I told her " Grandma it takes time to start adjusting and anticipating needs" but she wants it NOW! And if I get it wrong she talks to me like some kind of small minded human who doesn't know how to do a darn thing. She questions everything I do like it's a puzzle for me to find the right answer. And of course I'm always wrong.

It doesn't help that I am a very sensitive person. And some may think that sensitive people have no place caring for aging or ill people who can sometimes behave in undesirable ways, (I've heard it) but I believe my type of personality helps as I have a lot empathy that lends a soft and compassionate side to those I've cared for. Everyone's different, but the last person I cared for always said she loved that I was very caring and patient with her. I gave her time to decide on and figure out whatever she needed to do for the day, and while that was my hardest job, its a cake walk compared to my own Great Grandma!

Back to the situation. I know how important it is to find the right match for a caregiver. My grandma who was a caregiver as well always told me, "if its not a good match say no!" "You'll burn yourself out to quickly" "You'll know if it's a bad match" Well, I know it's a bad match with my Great Grandmother but she's FAMILY. Would that advice even matter when it's family? My mother and great aunt are trying to make it work for me but part of me feels like they only want to keep me around and convince me to stay because they don't want to go back to the 6 person am/pm schedule shuffle... I feel like I want to leave. I'm not the last option and I don't want to end up feeling like I never want to see her again. But even after three days. I sort of feel that way. Does anyone have any advice? I'm sure I've left a lot out in the situation. Like when other people stop by she acts like a child. Very sweet. Polite. Wants to chit chat in her sweet voice but after they leave, she starts questioning me like I'm doing something wrong, making me feel like I'm more of a burden than help. :(

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Give your family notice that you are leaving. A simple "it's just not working out" will do. You do not owe them your freedom and/or your happiness and frankly, your too young to put up with this - these years should be the most fun, carefree years of your life - you're young, healthy and kind hearted. You should be out enjoying your youth. Pick a date and stick to it - leave. The longer you stay the harder it will be to leave. I would like to believe your own mother would want you to be happy over what's conviieient for everyone else - good luck.
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Well, you've been used by your family, which has sadly and cruelly withheld or misrepresented the truth. Now it's up to you to leave, as advised by RainMom and Eyerishlass.

You've already experienced what many others have written and complained about here: you're treated poorly while others are treated with respect. That's a major clue right there that this isn't a workable solution.

Leaving is the only solution. It's not your responsibility to either provide care for GGM or to arrange for care for her when there are other relatives, including your mother, who should be addressing these issues.

Don't beat yourself up mentally; just recognize that a mistake was made. Corrections need to be made, and you need to do so for your sanity and self respect.

I would however, document everything as I have a feeling some of the family may turn against you once you advise them that you're leaving.
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Go, go GO! I too worked in Elder Care and was treated with respect--or I wouldn't stay. (One client blacked my eye on the 1st and only day I worked for her...) but my others became "like" family and I truly loved them.

Your family knows what you were in for. You went willingly and with the best intentions. But it sounds like it's not a good match and you might get stuck there for years. Talk to the family, let them know it's not working and leave. You do NOT need to stay and be abused and belittled. Your family had this in hand, you were kind to step in, but she sounds like a real character.

No personal recriminations. Go have your life.

My mother, too, will be nasty and rude to family, then the phone rings and she's so sweet you cannot believe that it's the same person. I've had to cut myself off from her almost completely, she was making me so depressed.

GO! Go to school & live your life. You have options a lot of other posters here don't have. GO!
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You were had. Your family is using you. You have found out it is not what you signed up for, and believe me, your ggm is going to get worse. Her care will fall on you most of all, so you can kiss your schooling goodbye. It is more than you can cope with. (I know, because when my mother started 'needing a little help', I was amenable to that! I did a lot for her while she still 'needed a little help.' After things really went down the sh*tter, I entered a nightmare landscape I still haven't recovered from.) GET OUT NOW. Let the other family take their shifts, their opinion be damned. Otherwise, you are going to find yourself TOTALLY ALONE IN THIS. They will say, 'oh, Doppleganger is a saint! She's taking care of great-grandma, she is doing a wonderful job'. And there you will be, stuck, no one helping. I know this. I have seen it myself. I have seen it in countless other families. GET OUT NOW.
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Thank you everyone! I actually told my mom I'm going home! She was upset I could tell, and told me i was giving up again. I feel bad it's close to Easter but I decided I would leave on Saturday.

I talked to GGM, I explained that we are not compatible, told her when I planned on leaving, and thanked her for accepting my dog in her home. After all of that, we had the smoothest conversation we have ever had! Maybe we both felt some relief knowing that it is over now. I've learned an amazing lesson. I have a feeling it is not over yet though. Thank you all so much. If I had not come here I would have continued to let everyone walk all over me. I so appreciate all of the advice.
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I totally agree. Get out while you can. Let your relatives go back to caring for her in shifts. Pick a date to leave and stick to it.

Oh, and the nice sweet old lady who visits with friends and family? That's not your grandmother. That's her mask.
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It's a relief to hear that I am not just being too sensitive or doing the wrong thing by leaving. You all have really given me a courage to stand up! This really was a mistake!
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I would document the times when GGM yells at you, is verbally abusive, what she specifically says; add background circumstances so you can't be accused of provoking a confrontation. Also include dates and times. And do it on a password protected computer or device that no one else can access.

If you really want to be thorough, you can categorize the incidents: (a) verbal abuse: calling you names, swearing, etc. (b) refusal to cooperate: insistence on immediate service, refusal to eat properly, etc. (c) condescension: treats you like an idiot or indentured servant. There are probably more categories.

And remember that every human makes mistakes - we're not Borg or robots. The question is (a) what can we learn from our mistakes, and (b) what we do to get out of a bad situation and move forward.

Good luck. I'm glad you feel empowered to move on, and don't be surprised if the family starts criticizing you. Your answer can always be that if they feel it's such a mandatory obligation, let them work out time shares and take back the responsibility because they ARE first level relations.
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You are not giving up - grrr that makes me angry... what you are doing is being sensible enough and having the integrity to say this match is not appropriate for either myself or for GG - it is clearly causing her too much angst and I feel it would be better as it was with people she felt comfortable with. You then follow it up with I will be leaving join xxxxx at xx o'clock so you will all need to make arrangements for her once more. In future it might be best if you opt for a brief one week trial period where there is a crossover. TO suddenly go from six down to one will make her edgy and that of cause will exacerbate an already mean spirit
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Thanks for the update. Glad you got to talk smoothly with GGM, and lesson learned.
Relatives TAKE SHIFTS, no one is volunteering for 24\7, ard they?????
Didn't think so!
Go ahead and with a clear conscience that you gave it yor all, it just didn't work out.
M88
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