Taking Care Of My Grandmother

Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 06:59 am
It has recently been brought up that I should go back home to Alberta to take care of my grandmother. I initially brought it up myself to my mother because no one else would and I didn't like how family was treating her already since her illness. My grandmother has wetlung, and her kindeys had failed her over the year from medications. She has to take dialysis every week, and might have to move to Edmonton because our town doesn't have a dialysis machine. She is herself still, and can walk. She just can't really do too much to strain herself cause she's weak and get bloodclots if she does too much. So I would basically be a caregiver as in; cleaning, cooking, shopping, ect. In a way I don't mind, well I didn't at first. And she;s grown to the idea of me coming home. But I started to get scared lastnight, and this morning. I live in Toronto the last three years, and myself have been needing therapy. I've gone through a lot in my own short life, and it hasn't been easy. My family is made up of a lot of selfish people. My mother is an educated woman who has spiraled into a drug addition the last ten years, I left her to live with my grandmother for a little while when i was 15. After that I moved everywhere and anywhere running away from things. I lived in a foster home till I was of age, and eventually moved to Toronto to get away from my family and friends who felt like they were holding me back. i've spent my life moving from palce to place taking care of someone. I'm just scared of it. Scared to leave my bf, were not sure what will happen if i go. he has never left the city, and still has another year in college. My friends out here, my therapy. I feel like I am trading my life I worked so hard to get to open up to, and it makes me angry that no one else is stepping up to help my grandmother. everyone is wanting me now to go, but won't go themselves. there is just so much going on in my head right now.
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Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 08:25 am
welcome to a2k.

I have my life on hold right now for the sake of my gram. (she's90)

it is important to me. my life started similarly to yours, and in the end I had to decide what was important to ME. my relatives have to be who they are. (mostly selfish and with little compassion) everyone chooses what they are about.

I know in my mind that seeing gram not suffer is more important to me than anything else I could be doing right now. She tried to take care of me when I was 16 and on my own. it is only right that I help her now when she has no one else who will.

good luck to you...
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 09:32 am
i talked to my grandmother this morning, telling her i was scared after thinking about it. but we decided it will all take it's time. we both realize how selfish our family is, but i know i want to do this for her and the family that does care but cannot help the way i am able to. when i called this morning she was still asleep, and my uncle who has always used her picked up the phone drunk. i kinda realized that she does need me. and it won't be bad at all, just take some time to get used to a new life out there. me and my bf are going to talk to a counciler about some options for our relationship that will be taking a new path into long distance. i don't know, i'm still nervous, but i have almost two month to prepare myself for this. i'm just glad that when i am there, she won't be hurt anymore. that she will be loved and cared for how she should have been long ago. i just need to be strong, and find myself through this new life. at least i have a cool grandma to hang out with who watches wrestling and loves my company. : )

if anyone has experiences in being a caregiver to their grandparents or parents, please write me. it's nice to know i'm not the only one, and i like to know how it is for you all.
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 01:37 pm
You might find the information and support at this website to be helpful:


Having moved from California to New Mexico last year to care for my aging mother, it has been very helpful to me in better understanding her needs as well as my own, and in coping with the frustration and helplessness we caregivers often feel.
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Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 02:47 pm
Talk to her Doctor.

He/she may be able to write a prescription for health care services like the ones you are going to provide 9home health care for preparing food, bathing, companionship, etc.

Maybe you could go to her home and get these services set up for her, but not plan to live there.

You need to take care of yourself. If you don't feel you are up to caring for another person - we all know it's really a LOT of work - then insist the family solve this problem. Bring in a social worker , if needed.

This should not be ALL on your shoulders.

Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2010 12:23 am
Sully is right. You'll need all the support and outside help you can get. Don't forget to also arrange periodic downtime for yourself. You can't take good care of anyone else without also taking good care of yourself.

When my mother had her blood clot episode, after being discharged from the hospital her doctor arranged for a visiting nurse to come in twice a week to do the required blood tests for the Coumadin and monitor her general health for three months. Before the blood clot episode stopped it, her doctor also prescribed physical therapy to try and help her regain some of her lost strength. All of it was fully covered by Medicare and her senior health insurance plan.

We have someone come in once a month to do the heavy duty housecleaning such as thorough vacuuming, mopping floors, dusting and cleaning the bathrooms.

I do all the cooking, grocery shopping, looking after her dogs, gardening, errands and driving to appointments, as well as the day to day housekeeping.

That website link I posted earlier has lots of advice and resource links to help you and your mother through the transition. It also has a community forum for caregivers to share stories, resources, tips and frustrations. It is a good place to vent when needed.
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