Should I/Can I take care of my grandmother?
My mother has just recently suffered a severe stroke from which she will likely never recover. She was my grandmother's POA, and was paying half of my grandmother's stay at a nursing care facility. My grandmother was not willing to travel around the house with her walker, and after a few too many close calls, the decision was made to put her in supervised care.
This was two years ago.
My father (my grandmother's new POA since my mother's stroke) does not have the funds necessary to continue paying for half of her care. He will continue to be unable to pay for my grandmother's care until he has access to my mother's assets, which will take 6 months to a year.
I have been considering acting as her live-in caretaker in that time. For me, it seems very simple. She is my grandmother, she helped raise me, and she doesn't like the nursing facility and would like to come home. She has dementia, but her general attitude towards life and her family has never wavered. She is a model guest at the nursing home, I have been told repeatedly that she's a wonderful person to work with, she's friendly and funny and cooperates always with their staff. My grandmother is 93, she was diagnosed with dementia six years ago, during which time her mood and attitude has not changed hardly at all. I have noticed a lot of people experience caretaker burnout dealing with ungrateful or uncooperative elderly persons. My grandmother is not in any way like this.
My fiance, he has many more reservations. My heart is telling me that taking care of my grandmother is simply the right thing to do in this situation, but he feels I'm taking on more risk and responsibility than I understand, and he believes I might have a REALLY hard time, and that I might be ruining my future to do this. I'm 23, I've just gotten a new job with a good company that provides a lot of opportunity for growth. He doesn't want me to have to give up this job, especially since my current boss has been a good friend of mine for years.
He also believes that this cannot be a one-person job. He believes that he'll find himself helping me out often, if not daily, with my grandmother's care (since I couldn't be expected to be on duty 24/7.) This would cause problems for his own future; when he isn't working, he's developing a software portfolio. He wouldn't be able to focus on his future career if he's helping me out so much, but I don't really see how I might need his help, seeing as my grandmother is so docile, and low maintenance (for her condition.)
There's also the matter of cost. I have been promised by trustworthy family that I'll be paid slightly more than I'm currently making, but much less than the average live-in caretaker. I'm okay with that, but I'm not okay with the fact my family and I will be responsible for the entirety of employment taxes. That hasn't been worked out yet, and how much or the manner of payment has not been ironed out. This is another concern of my fiance's.
The greatest of his concerns is simply that I will not be able to provide care at the level the nursing home is able to provide care. He reiterates often that there are 4 or 5 trained professionals on staff at the nursing home at any given time for my grandmother, but that I am only a single person who has never cared for another person in my life. I don't have kids, I have never been responsible for someone's care. (I don't need CPR certification or anything; my grandmother has a DNR.) He worries I'm biting off a lot more than I can chew, and I'm oblivious to that fact because I'm so motivated to do 'the right thing' for my family. When, in fact, this may not be the right thing for my grandmother.
He's right. I'm having a hard time processing his concerns out of a sheer drive to do the right thing. I also have no idea what I'm getting into; other than generally managing the household, and making sure my grandmother is safe, clean, and well-fed, I'm not sure what my specific job duties might become.
What should I consider that I haven't yet considered? Is there weight to my fiance's concerns? Am I even capable of providing adequate care for my grandmother? (My fiance doesn't seem to think so.) I don't want to ruin my life, and now he's scared me so much I'm actually reconsidering.
Any words of advice from someone a little further down the road than me? Anything at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!