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First off, thank you to whoever reads and responds. I am between a rock and a hard place. My grandmother is almost 89 and within the past 2 years has had a heart attack, breast cancer, a stroke, hiatal hernia surgery and pneumonia. Her and my aunt lived in an apartment together but due to finances, they had to move in with my mother and I. I'm 24 and still in school and working. I understand I am an adult, but I was not spoken to about them moving in. It just happened and I had zero say. I was told this would be temporary but it's now been over a year. We are on the second floor so grandma cannot get out without the help of an ambulette which is NOT covered by her insurance so it's about $300 per trip to the doctor. She has Medicare and Cigna (she's a retired employee from Cigna)...We've been told she can apply for Medicaid but she has this huge fear of "committing fraud" and going to jail. She doesn't have any assets, just a small pension. My aunt and mother baby her and don't explain to her that Medicaid can help with these travel costs. So instead of trying to apply for Medicaid, they just say "I don't want to aggravate her, forget it"...totally giving in to her ways and odd thoughts.


Since the stroke a few months ago, her mental status is definitely declining and she will call her daughters "Mom", or ask questions that she always knew the answers to. She'll say random things that make zero sense and constantly repeat herself about other things. She's also become a bit paranoid. She'll hear a small noise and jump and asks us ten times, "what was that????"...She's also been having fecal incontinence during the night and it wakes up the whole apartment because she's screaming and my aunt has to wake up to clean the whole bedroom up...and this is WITH diapers. She is on a ton of meds and a strict diet so basically my aunt is her full-time caregiver. My mom and I have to work. They basically picked up their lives and placed them in our apartment. I mentioned to my mother that I truly feel she should not be living with us as she is becoming more difficult to take care of. My mother agrees BUT my aunt said "I am absolutely not putting her anywhere, she will be heartbroken."....Gram also refuses outside help. I have to wake up for work at 6am and I have classes to attend. I'm not sleeping well because of her nighttime surprises and when I tell my mother this is affecting my life, she just says "well we'll see what we can do". I am asking, does anyone know how to go about discussing the seriousness of this with family? or even having a doctor advise having her placed? I feel heartless writing this but she is basically declining daily. Her primary care doc actually told my aunt he thinks placing her somewhere would be best but my aunt declined. The weird thing is, my gram was never around for most of their childhood. They both allow her to walk all over them.


HELP!!!! I know I could pick up and go... but then my mother would be suffering financially.

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How long has Aunt been caring for grandmom? I would say she is in her 60s? Is she able to collect SS or Medicare yet? If no to the last two questions, then she relies on your Mom for a place to live and food. Even if she is collecting SS, it may not be enough to live on.

Best case scenario would be placing Gma in LTC on Medicaid. Then Aunt finding a job to help with expenses. You would each have ur own room.
Since that may not happen, then u need to do for yourself. Find a room to rent. A friend to share an apartment with. Use a library to study. Or, tough it out until u get that degree and can get a f/t job.
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Lori0099 Jan 13, 2020
Aunt is 63 and has limited income bc she has been on disability for over 20 years now.... (long story) so yes, at 63 still relies on her mother. Aunt is capable of working but is a bit of a hypochondriac with her “health issues” and swears she can’t. Honestly, I call bull. Basically, her placing gram would be a disadvantage (for her) bc she would no longer have her 88 yr old mom to depend on. So sad.
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Lori, I teach in a community college and I see far too many students who give up and drop out because their home situation becomes complicated by relatives moving in that disrupt the household so much that the students cannot concentrate on school -- I would hate for you to become one of those students. I think you need to take the advice several people have already given, to move out as soon as you possibly can. As has already been said, "We'll see" inevitably means "We won't actually do anything." You deserve to be able to move forward with your life, not to become trapped in the role of one of a triad of caregivers for your grandma (who probably should be in a facility, but that's not a decision you get to make).

I wish you well --
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Lori0099 Jan 13, 2020
Thank you so much. I actually had to drop a few classes due to this situation and yet I’m told “oh c’mon you’re young. You can do this.”...it’s like they don’t see what I see! They’re in complete denial and sadly as I grow, I’m seeing more and more selfish behavior...and it’s such a turn off. The not discussing them moving in was the first red flag...but all that has followed is just flat out rude. If I ever have a child, regardless of their age, my priority would be that child and his or her needs, not my mom who wasn’t even there for a portion of my life. Ugh!
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Could you talk your mother in to leaving with you? I don’t know if this would work but what if you and mom packed a few bags and went away for a few days (to a hotel) but told your aunt you were moving out? Since talking to her hasn’t worked, maybe a little action will?

I sympathize with you. It’s not quite the same but when I first moved out on my own, I rented a room from my aunt who was renting a 3 bedroom duplex. I had moved out of my parents house because of my drug addict brother who came and went all night long, always had his TV or stereo blasting and made noise & has bright lights on all night long with no regard for those of us who had to get up and go to work in the morning. So I moved out and rented a room from my aunt although....we split the rent in half so I consider more than renting a room. A year later, she let my cousin (her son) move in to the 3rd room without discussing it with me and while continuing to charge me half her rent. And I quickly found myself in the same situation of living with someone who stayed up all night (and hogged MY bathroom. Every night when I was ready to Wash my face, use the potty & go to bed, he was in the bathroom and stayed there for about 45 minutes!), he blasted the TV all night and I could hear him coming and going. He also started eating MY food. And I finally snapped when the landlord raised the rent $200 a month and my aunt told me I’d have to pay her $100 more a month! I didn’t think it was fair that I had to pay 1/2 the rent when she moved her son in to the 3rd room. Anyway. My heart goes out to you. This is a terrible situation to be in.

It really sounds like it’s best for grandma to be placed. Your aunt may be depending on her financially but that’s her problem. She can work right? Does she work?
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Lori, you were not asked whether you wanted to become a caregiver. There are now 3 people orbiting around your Grandmother -- totally irrational. I read your reply below that you've already tried to have a mature conversation with them, and I'm sure you are dreading being "iced out" of the family if you leave. There is no real benefit to anyone if you stay. Your gramma needs more care than the 3 of you can provide and it will only get worse. There is a reason they don't want her to apply for Medicaid, and I think your instincts are correct. When gramma gets sick enough she will go into the hospital and then maybe hospice anyway, but I wouldn't wait. Your mom is choosing her mother and sister over you and this is the wrong priority. I would move out as soon as you can, even if you need to couch-surf with some friends for a while. But if you stay those 3 will burn you out, so you must care for you. It's dysfunctional and you need to extricate yourself. They will be mad for a while but they obviously don't care about your present or future, they only care about perpetuating the self-serving circus.

In a facility on Medicaid your gramma would get all the care she needs, and maybe can even engage in the social activities. By your description of her current state, she may be suffering from a UTI, which can cause delusions and behavior changes in the elderly. She would need a test and antibiotics. My MIL is in a very nice facility on Medicaid. We have peace of mind and she is well cared for. Maybe your mom and aunt are thinking about "old school" nursing homes, which admittedly were pretty awful. Maybe take them to visit a newer one. They may be shocked.

Your family is making fear-based and emotion-based reactionary choices that are not helping your gramma. But as some point you will need to realize you can't bring about any positive change, so leaving is the only productive option. Your mom can figure out how to solve her financial issue if you leave. She's a big girl. I truly wish you all the best moving outward, onward and upward as the only clear-thinking adult in the room.
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Lori0099 Jan 13, 2020
You hit the nail on the head with the “burn out”. It’s total nonsense to see adults who should be thinking rationally being so selfish and irrational. Maybe I don’t know some of the behind the scenes info but what I do know is I’ve had it! Thank you for the positive words.
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Sounds as if your grandmother could have developed vascular dementia from her stroke. Her behavior also indicates this. Please read up on this and discuss it with your mom and your aunt. This will not get better. In fact, today is probably the best your grandmother may be as this will progress downward. I would contact her PCP and discuss them sending a social worker to help your mom, aunt and yourself with finding placement for your grandmother. They will know how to guide you all with this. It's a sad situation and I'm sorry you are all faced with it but if you read on here, you will soon find you are not alone with this.
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Lori0099 Jan 13, 2020
I do believe this is vascular dementia as well. Spoke to my aunt about that was immediately told “no”. LOL, God help me. It’s good to know I have a support system here.
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Your grandmother is no longer competent to make decisions. Does either your mother or Aunt have POA? If not you are in a hard place.

Her doctor cannot talk to you about your grandmother's health, without the appropriate forms being filled out, however you can tell her doctor about the situation and ask for a cognitive test.

As you are living in an apartment building and your neighbours are having their sleep disrupted too, it will only be a matter of time before your landlord comes knocking and eviction could be mentioned.

I have to ask, how big is the apartment? Does your landlord know there are now twice as many people living in it?

Your primary concern should be your own future, not your mother's finances. Your grandmother and Aunt currently should be paying 1/2 of the rent, utilities, groceries etc. If you leave it should not be a hardship for your mother as the others will be paying 2/3 at that point.

Your mother and Aunt are dealing with F.O.G., Fear, Obligation and Guilt. They are not thinking straight. That is why they will not have the Medicaid paperwork completed, have a formal Needs Assessment or Cognitive Assessment.
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Lori0099 Jan 13, 2020
My aunt has POA. The one who is totally against placing her anywhere.

The landlord does know and surprisingly was ok with them moving in. It's a 3 bedroom so aunt and gram are in 1 bedroom, but, it is RIGHT next to mine so I hear everything. He also lives across the country and isn't around much. Other tenants haven't complained yet. Everything is going against me.

You are 100% about the F.O.G....only issue is I don't seem them changing any time soon.
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Well--this is a sad situation.

First off, you are a good person to be financially supporting this, as much as you do. And living with a stressful situation and having as much on your plate--something's gonna give.

You don't 'owe' grandma anything. You are looking out for mom, it seems.

Aunt seems content to keep on keeping on---this is the dynamic she knows and is comfortable with and probably hasn't given a single thought as to how negatively this living situation is affecting you.

Is aunt incapable of financially caring for herself? Is she 'using' grandma for financial support? I imagine with her 2 sources of income, she should be doing OK.

Can you ask for a sit-down mtg with aunt & mom? Just tell them straight out what you see and feel. Say you really need some peace and quiet and that YOUR voice needs to be heard in this household. If they continue to place you last--then maybe you should look into some kind of shared housing with friends, or a studio apt where you are able to sleep w/o being awakened all night. (BTW, if you are in an apartment, don't the other residents HEAR this??)

I'm sorry if your leaving puts mom in a bind financially, but this isn't working. I'm sure your mom 'gets it'.

Your last sentence was telling: 'gram was never around for most of their childhood..they both allow her to walk all over them'

Guilt, trying to 'earn' her love, something is really wrong here. Gram should be in a place where she can be cared for and not disrupting the lives of 3 other people.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Lori0099 Jan 13, 2020
It's like you knew exactly what to say. You are so right..... thank you.

Sadly, I do think my aunt is keeping grandma around for financial reasons.

I've tried the sit-downs...my mom is just very passive....and my aunt looks at me in total disgust like I am completely off the wall. You hit the nail on the head with much of what you said. I do believe they are trying to be "martyrs"....sad.
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