Hi, everyone! I love my Grandmother and am happy to be here with her. She has pulled me from the fire so many times, so I feel like I owe it to her to help her and keep her out of a nursing home. However, I am only forty years old, have no life; I can not work, I have no friends, no social activities of any kind, because Grandmother can not be left alone. Am I being selfish because I want a life? It’s gotten to the point that I feel like I no longer matter. I’ve gained fifty lbs and it’s taking its toll on me. What do I do? Please, help. Thank you :)

I believe you that you love your grandmother and you want what's best for her. But you sound so sad. If you feel like you "no longer matter", that's a huge concern as well. If your needs are not being met, you won't be an effective caregiver at some point. It's not selfish. Having the responsibility of caregiving for someone who can't be alone for any length of time is often too big for one person and it doesn't get better with time. You mention a 50 pound weight gain, but how's your health otherwise? How are you managing your stress? Have you seen a doctor recently? In the short term, I'd say find some way to get out of the house for a couple of hours to clear the mind - even if you have to pay someone to come over. Then, start making calls to reach a solution that's more workable long term: agency on aging, her doctor, clergy, anyone who might be able to contribute some ideas. One phone call will lead to the next, so don't necessarily feel like you're getting the run-around. What the solution ultimately involves will depend on the specifics of your situation.
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Reply to Mysteryshopper

Okay, it’s time to make arrangements for her to be cared for. I can appreciate stepping in and that you are grateful to her. She sounds lovely but be honest with yourself. Caregiving has become a burden. You are miserable. Time to move on and wish her well. You can still be a part of her life.

Best wishes to you and your grandma. Take care.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

You are not selfish because you want a life. You are far too young to have narrowed your life to your Grandmother's needs. Do you have other relatives who can share the load? I understand your feeling of responsibility but it is not healthy not to have your own activities and friends. You will probably hear many responses here encouraging you to set boundaries with your Grandmother so that you have space in your life to address your own needs. Investigate the local options for assisted living for your Grandmother. She may really benefit from a more social environment - you'd both have better lives!
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Reply to janeinspain

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