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Hi. I'm 21 and the primary caretaker for my grandmother with Alzheimer’s and have been for 3 years. I try to be good and set high expectations for myself in taking care of her since it's primarily just me and I'm not in a position for caregiver assistance. But, I feel so worn out constantly. I've gotten to the point that I don't even spend time with my grandmother. If I'm not tending to her needs, I find myself in another part of the house and I hate that I do that because she feels isolated. She never was social that I can remember, but she was always with her husband (my grandfather) until his death, so she's used to always having someone by her side. She's in a wheelchair and doesn't navigate herself anywhere so generally don't worry too much about her getting herself into something dangerous.
I want to spend most of my time with her like I usually do, but I think about her impending death and how scared and confused she feels and then I distance myself because of how scared I am that one day, she'll be gone. I just want to be good to her like she was to me growing up. What should I do? (sorry if this was a lot to read!)

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Wow! You're 21 and have been caring for her for 3 years? I commend you. But that shouldn't mean you give up your life for her care. At the least you need to have some help from a homecare agency or palliative care. If she is Medicare or Medicaid qualified, they will pay for her care and give you some respite time. Call your state Agency on Aging, they can help. With her conditions, the appropriate place for her is a care facility. If she can afford it, a private MC facility would be best. If she is Medicaid qualified, a nursing home with memory care would be appropriate. Caring for someone doesn't always mean at your expense. With her dementia and other health issues, finding her an acceptable new "home" that insures her safety, provides proper medication and understands her illness better than you do, you ARE taking care of her.
You are a very magnanimous person for dedicating yourself to her, but as her condition worsens, you won't be able to care for her anymore, so do what's in the best interest for both of you... get her the care she'll require and the peace you'll find in knowing that she's cared for.
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PowerOf3 May 2020
I agree, it’s going to become too much for you. You aren’t qualified to handle the progression and you’re smart enough to realize it’s already taking a toll. At least do the legwork so when it becomes so overwhelming you already are armed with the information to get her qualified elder care.
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Place her in long term care. You don't need money and neither does she. You are far to young to be taking care of her.
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Syd125, you are far to young to be taking this on by yourself. If you are in your own home, not your parents you need to start looking for Memory Care for her. I would hate for you to "wake up" in 5 or 10 years and wonder where the h311 your life went.
Your grandma will continue to decline, cold hard fact that you already know. Are you ready to care for her when she needs equipment to help transfer her from bed to chair and back. Do you have a house that is able to accommodate wheelchairs, equipment and the like?
Is there anyone else that can take this on or is it all on you?
You need to step back and at this point in your life take care of you. It is not selfish.
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