I'm pretty much the only caregiver for my 91 year old Grandmother, and her Alzheimer's is getting pretty severe. Just the stress of dealing with her remembering, (She will think people who died 50+ years ago are here, or thinks we're in an entire different state. She doesn't recognize me, and thinks I'm her nurse. She thinks that there are around 15 people living in our small 2 bedroom house, and so on). She requires a ton of meds, needs help with bathing, getting dressed, eating. She's a sundowner, and get's anxious very easily. It's all starting to become too much for me. If it were only for a little while then I could do it, but it's the 24/7 day after day for not even months but years. The closest thing I get to a day off is running up to the story. I get about 1 1/2 day off about every 6 months, and It's just completely taking it's toll on me. I'm only 21 and I swear it's giving me grey hairs. I want to look into AL, but the only way we could afford it is with SS and Medicare. Any suggestions as to if moving her into AL would be the best thing? If so, how would I pay for it?

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I agree that it sounds like you might be way overextended. The physical and mental strain alone must be incredible. You've done the right thing by sharing and asking for information. I hope you can find relief.

If someone else is in charge of the finances, then they may be the proper person to make the financial arrangements for her care. IF they know what you've been doing....well....I'd wonder why they think that's okay. You are doing the job of several people. Do they know your Grandmother's condition? Maybe, they need to visit and stay with her a few days so they understand what the current status is.

If she has assets, she may apply those to pay for the cost of her care in a facility. I don't know what state you are in, but, some states, like NC, they do have state programs that provide for the cost of Assisted Living or Memory Care facility, if they meet the income/asset and need requirement (disability). Significant dementia qualifies here as a disability. It's a state sponsored program and some states do provide this benefit. Some do not.

Of course, there is also Medicaid for Long Term Care in nursing homes. Not sure if she would need that or not. I'd ask for a professional assessment. Most facilities' state/federal applications will require that a standardized form be completed by a doctor regarding the patient's physical, mental health, ability to perform daily activities, etc. Usually, they need your input on this information if the patient is not able to accurately report the information.
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KayKay, please note that Medicare does not help in paying for Assisted Living. Unless you mean Medicaid [which is different from Medicare] and Grandmother moves in a Nursing Home.

Call your State Medicaid office to see if Grandmother is eligible. If she is low income, she shouldn't have any problem. Call your Dad and ask him if it would be ok to sign his Mother up for Medicaid, because you cannot do this anymore, you are physically and emotionally drained.

If Dad says "no", then tell him "grandma needs a HIGHER level of care". If he doesn't want a nursing home, ask him to bring in professional Caregivers to be there around the clock. If you still hear "no", give a leave date, or if Grandmother has a medical issue, dial 911, have them take her to the hospital, then tell the hospital there won't be anyone at home to take care of her.

Either way, you need to break yourself from this caregiver as Grandmother now needs a much higher level of care. In a nursing home there would be 10 people helping her out... the doctor, nurses, aides, housekeeping, chef, waitstaff, etc. And these people work shift work, thus when their shift is over they can go home and have a peaceful night sleep.

Keep us up-to-date on what happens.
Helpful Answer (1)

KayKay you have mentioned on other threads that your father, who lives in a different state, has power of attorney for your grandmother. Well, it's time for him to step up and make some practical decisions. He is responsible for your grandmother's welfare, he has the authority to make better arrangements. Call him.
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It is absolutely time for you to stop doing this by yourself. I'm not sure if the solution is in-home help, assisted living, memory care, or even a nursing home. But it is way past time for one person doing it alone.

Does Grandma has assets? (Stocks, bonds, large insurance policies, property, savings, etc.) If so, those should be used to pay for her care. If she has little in the way of assets, she is probably eligible for financial help.

There are several ways to approach this. What we did in our family is to make an appointment with Social Services for a Needs Assessment. An intake person came out to the apartment and interviewed Mom. Sometimes Mom's answer was not correct or realistic (she had dementia). Two of her daughters were there to clarify answers. The outcome was that first she went on a Medicaid Waiver and received in-home help, and later was admitted to a nursing home.

Others here will probably respond with slightly different methods they used in their families.

The important thing is to get started looking into financial help if Grandmother doesn't have the means to pay for her own care. You've been doing awesome to care for her so far. It is time now to turn the hands-on care over to others, while you continue to be her advocate and her loving granddaughter.
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