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Struggling to cope with everything

Hazara8

Registered User
Apr 6, 2015
416
Hi,

I’m currently caring for my grandad in my family home where both my parents live. My grandad has dementia but has just moved into an isolated flat within our house and I’m his full time carer.
I’m really struggling to cope with everything at the moment as I’ve got a part time job to be able to afford to do things and pay rent and my hours this week for half term have been doubled and it’s causing loads of stress. My mum has a full time job but my dad is retired.
I’m really lucky to be getting some money from my grandad to be able to live on and function but I’m finding that because my hours have been increased this week my mum is holding this against me and blaming me and saying I’m not helping enough.
How do I cope with not only the emotional stress of caring but also a mother who expects too much and parents who do very little?
Thanks x
The fundamental factor here, is that at 24 you have the very real and meaningful responsibility of caring for a family member with dementia. That alone constitutes a commitment which cannot be played with if one understands the nature and the implications of this disease. It sounds as if you are perhaps more aware of the situation than others? Whatever, you convey admirable qualities in embarking on this care when you have a life yet to lead. For those of us who have trodden the path of caring for a family member stricken with dementia, we know only too well that it can become a nightmare which has no escape due to the unpredictable nature of the disease. One can understand reluctance to have outside help/carers initially. But if and when the dementia evokes dramatic and frankly dangerous behaviour, then outside help will become not just a need, but a MUST! Assessment is a requisite at some stage In order to apply appropriate "best interests " care. However, by all accounts you are doing admirable work in looking after your grandparent, but you must be fair to yourself. 24 is a wonderful age and it comes just once. Don't succumb to the pressure of " you owe your elders" when the role of care might be shared and shared willingly.
 

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
1,062
Yorkshire
I don't know what advice to give you but I just read your post and wanted to say what a lovely granddaughter and daughter you sound. I hope you manage to find some help to get some balance in caring for your grandad, being a good daughter and being YOU. The being YOU bit sounds like it has taken a back seat and you could lose out on being YOU altogether. I hope that doesn't happen as you sound a lovely person.
You sound like you love your grandad and parents but they seem to expect a lot of you.
When you came back from uni and moved back in with parents and had some time on your hands while looking for a job and didn't have friends near by yet, the idea of you helping with grandad probably seemed a good idea all round. Grandad got help he needed, mum knew someone was looking after her dad while she was working and you got something to do with your time and a bit of money to pay your way. I guess you didn't expect it to be a full time long term thing though and it seems like your parents and grandad are sort of slipping into assuming that is what it is. Which isn't fair on you. I don't know how you can manage it but I hope you can somehow manage to get them to see you are 24 and have your life to live too and wanting to have some life for yourself as well as loving and helping them is not wrong.
My mum was adamant she didn't want carers and wouldn't go to day centre, she too is scared of meeting strangers and got herself in some real stresses about it, but last week she went to day centre for first time and enjoyed it and is saying she will go again. She is also talking a lot calmer about having carers come in for a couple of afternoons a week, though we haven't got that sorted yet. Now she has been awarded AA and can pay for them with that she seems a bit less reluctant. But mainly I'm putting this change down to fact she was prescribe sertraline for anxiety and agitation by the memory team about a month ago.
I'm not saying this is right for everybody and I didn't do it to get mum to agree to carers, but because mum was spending most of the day extremely anxious and agitated and getting aggressive when she was mixing things up. It was heartbreaking to see her that upset for so much of the time and incredibly hard to cope with looking after her in that state.
That may not be case for your grandad and they may not work or be suitable either if it is, but has grandad been visited by memory clinic support worker, or a Social Worker ?, (although I'm not overly impressed with help SW can offer) is there anyone there that can chat to him and maybe your parents about having outside help? They may have already tried that so sorry if suggesting things already done.
Have you been in touch with any carer support people? I was referred to our local making spaces one by SW who did mum first assessment and we were also given numbers of alzheimers society local one and and a local dementia charity who offer carer support when mum got her info pack from memory clinic on diagnosis. If you've not got details of any you can probably google to see if any in your area. They may be able to help you come up with a way to discuss things with parents and grandad to share the caring more and get some time for yourself as well being someone to talk to about what there is available in your area.
I hope you get some recognition from your parents of the good job your doing and also some help with grandad so you can be 24 and have some time for yourself x
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,223
South coast
Honestly hun, you are going above and beyond, you are amazing.
My OH has a catheter and sounds like he is at a very similar level to your grandad. I dont work, yet just before Christmas I suffered carer breakdown, so now I have insisited that OH has carers in the morning to help him wash/shower, dress, shave, etc and soon he will be starting day centre once a week. I need all of this and Im not working. I dont know how you manage it!!!
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,378
Nottinghamshire
It sounds to me as though you’ve slid into this route via a similar route to my daughter who was 21 and looking for a way to earn a little money to fund her last year at university. Helping her dad with cleaning and gardening and making sure he remembered to take his pills seemed like the perfect solution as he paid her for helping.

I was working full time at the time, as a childminder and couldn’t get all the kids in the car to visit dad (although he would’ve loved it in the early stages) everyday so my daughter did the days I couldn’t. It soon became a nightmare as dad’s personality changed with the disease and he started to be very aggressive towards my daughter within about a year. Obviously we had to find another solution and everything we tried failed...which eventually lead me here to DTP.

Once I understood the dementia better, thanks to the people on here, I was better placed to find workable solutions. It’s been a very very hard road and my daughter became very depressed because she felt unable to cope with her grandad and knew it was hard for me so felt guilty that she couldn’t help. I had to turn work away to cope with dad and my finances suffered. We didn’t really choose to care for dad - we just got sucked in. It took a while to climb out but we managed eventually.

This isn’t about what your grandad wants. He’s ill and he needs help and your mum needs to understand this too. You need your own life and you need to be making friends and planning your own future. You cannot do this by yourself.

Please talk to your mum and see if you can find a workable solution. Perhaps you could let her read some of the comments on your thread to help her to understand how much you’re struggling?

My dad was 85 when he was diagnosed, although we had noticed things before, and I didn’t expect him to live more than a year or two with all his other health problems too. He was 90 when he died. Five very very difficult years for me and my daughters.

Someone once likened Dementia to being on a train journey with no idea of destination or arrival time. I was glad to see the end of the line.
 
Last edited:

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,051
Yorkshire
hi @GrandaughterMolly
it's great of you to have stepped into the breach to support your grandad and help out your parents
but my thoughts are that this isn't sustainable, is not fair on you and is not a career ... you are ticking by but you are not starting out on your adult working life to forge a path for your future, and at 24 having finished university that is what you need to be doing
you have a right to a full time, satisfying job that will give you opportunities for training and promotion ... you need to be in a pension scheme, paying full NI contributions and settling into a place and life of your own ... ie safeguarding your own future finances and welfare
your mum clearly understands the need for full time work as she is working (I am not suggesting she shouldn't be, just personally see a little hypocrisy there) ... it's as vital to be fully employed when young as it is when later in life
you don't sound happy with the situation you have all fallen into ... you can't change how others in your family feel or what choices they wish to make; you can take charge of your own life ... start job hunting and looking for somewhere else to live ... think of ways you can help but not take on all this responsobility eg visiting a couple of evenings, doing some of the admin, if you have a car doing some transporting/shopping ... how your family then choose to organise care for your grandad is down to them
sorry if this sounds heartless ... you clearly care very much for all your family ... you are allowed to care as much for yourself
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,660
Hoping that you are feeling a little more positive
X
Lots of lovely folks with amazing advice & life experience on this forum
X
 

GrandaughterMolly

Registered User
Feb 17, 2020
21
I really am, thanks all. Not sure what the next steps are for me right now, I need to get my life to some level of balance first then find out how to move forward but I really appreciate all the advice and kindness shown. Xox
 

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