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I am 22 and I graduated from college with a BA around a year ago. I was working at a part-time job when my grandmother had a stroke and then a few falls. She needed someone to help her around the house, with her medication, and with driving, so I moved to a different state to move in with her. Physically, she is doing fairly well, but I have seen a slight cognitive decline over the past few months and she has become more forgetful. A few days ago, she appears to have set something on fire while trying to cook. Now I'm wondering whether I should always be home around dinner time. If I should be, then how can I get a job or go back to school? What will I put on my resume?

How have any other young caregivers, or others in this situation, dealt with caregiving at the beginning of their work lives?

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This is my paternal grandmother and my parents live in a different state. They visit my grandma as often as they can, but they both need to work and can't take a lot of time off. They have tried to convince my grandma to move to Arizona to live with them, but she refuses. Until they can compel her to move somehow, I'm not sure how much more they can do. My parents were caregivers for my mother's parents and aunt as well as my father's uncle, so they are certainly aware of the responsibilities and sacrifices that caregiving entails and call or FaceTime as often as possible.

My aunt, my dad's sister, lives in the same town as my grandma but only comes around once a week if that and generally tries as hard as possible not to be involved. Unfortunately, she also wants some amount of control over the situation, so she decided that she wants to be responsible for helping my grandma pay the bills. This has me worried because she doesn't always do this, and though I can pay many of them, neither my aunt nor grandma will check to see if the bill has already been paid. My aunt (and dad) have POA and there isn't much that I can do to challenge that. What makes this a bit harder is that my aunt is clearly my grandma's favorite child and previous attempts to discuss these issues have resulted in immense drama and my grandma taking my aunt's side.

In sum, the responsibility and sacrifice are falling to me because my parents can't move and can't convince my grandma to move and because my aunt is either oblivious or self-centered. You are completely right that it shouldn't be my responsibility, but it has become my responsibility.
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Do a search in that upper right hand window. Type in keywords "sacrificed my life". See everything that comes up and read all of it. There's a lot.
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Noooooo.......It will begin with having to always be at home at dinnertime to keep your grandma from setting the house on fire. Then it turns into having to be there at lunchtime so you can give her her meds. Then it becomes having to be there in the morning to make sure she can get up to do her Activities of Daily Living (ADL's). She will continue to decline, her needs will increase and before you know it it's 5 years from now and you're writing posts about how you had such wonderful opportunities and you sacrificed them all to take care of a woman who treats you badly and drives you insane.

But as far as a resume goes, if you decide to give up your aspirations for now and you later need to create a resume having a gap in employment to care for an elderly family member isn't that big of a deal nowadays. However, it WILL be a gap in employment and spending years caring for a grandparent is not the same as spending years caring for a parent. An interviewer may not be as likely to sympathize with caring for a grandparent as opposed to a parent.

You are at the very beginning of the caregiving journey. You have no idea how badly it can turn your world upside down. You've spent years in college earning your degree and now you've come to a fork in the road. I understand your desire to help your grandma and I think it demonstrates what a caring and loyal person you are but my advice would be to RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN. This should not be your responsibility. Your responsibility at this time is to begin your life, not put it on hold for the next however-many years. Your grandma will only decline and you may spend years (depending upon how old she is) caring for her.

Is this your paternal or maternal grandmother? Where is your parent? Why is this huge responsibility and sacrifice falling to you?
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