Elder Care & childrens care...guilt...choices...obligations..love..


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Ok, I wasnt going to bring up my grandpa again or much at least but, I need help. Went there to spend my nightly shift ( besides days to care for him off and on) and I heard him yelling my name looked in he was on the couch( hes blind and can barely walk and thats not his "spot") I did raise my voice "damn it you need to wear the life alert or hire someone.."( not the first time he was "lost"). I know I shouldn't of but between my kids, dad, sister, ex, no job,aunt, neighbors and just having another issue with son, my patience is thin. So, he kicked me out and then asked my son to help him and my son has helped him but was unsure if he could direct him from this location, he didnt want my grandpa to fall. So when he said he didnt know he got mad and kicked my son out too! I had to get a neighbor to help!

Before anyone says hes old and they get this way, I agree. But for everything financially he has helped with, I and the rest of my family gets put down,name called, guilt trips etc. My dad and Aunt says it was this way when they were little. He has praised me on occasion then comes with a put down in the same sentence or the next few days. He puts me on bad terms with the neighbors so Im this non working stupid low life who at times has a bright moment and helps him at times. Anyways, he cant feel his life alert button as he has no circulation in his hands and feet, but refuses to keep trying to find one that will work. I found a watch type but he doesnt want to pay...

So because Im not working I should be there all the time basically right? But when I did that I couldnt look for work, be with my kids. Sure my kids can be there with me but.. as I mentioned that doesnt work. So, how do I get over the guilt of not being there all the time? Am I doing enough for gpa or not enough? What would you all do? How do you get the strength to say no or know whats the right thing? I have enough trying to get my kids to school and handle them and hope for a job, we all handle things differently at different amounts right? Yes, Im questioning myself again :/

I dont mind helping him, other family... but I think I just have a lot going on and while others may be able to handle it all, I think I cant do as much. I feel torn, confused hurt, all the "why me's" with everything for everyone. I dont want to hurt anyone either. I want to help everyone but... Im not sure Im doing this right.. The guilt I have is just amazing...


Active Member
You want an honest opinion, right? So I will give you mine since you asked.

I think you are doing a wonderful job and I'm not just saying that. You have your hands full with not one, but TWO difficult child's, it's any wonder to me that you are still sane, LOL. And then trying to help an elderly and disabled parent on top of it? I think that's more than anyone can handle all by themselves. Especially dealing with children and a parent who are not willing to cooperate with anything you say. I don't think anyone could do it (well) under your circumstances. I think you sincerely want to, but you're only human.

That's how I feel.


Well-Known Member
Awww GuideMe,now Im crying. Your sweet. I know you all get it, I know theres many of you who have health issues, mental health issues, family issues, work issues etc on top of your kids too, so I know, you all just get it :) Thank you


Active Member
Awww GuideMe,now Im crying. Your sweet. I know you all get it, I know theres many of you who have health issues, mental health issues, family issues, work issues etc on top of your kids too, so I know, you all just get it :) Thank you

Just speaking the truth and you're welcome.


Well-Known Member
Yes we get it.

I had to give up on elder care. I was burning out... am burning out anyway with difficult child care but at least it's at a slower rate and I might have something left after all is said and done.

You do what you can with what you have. It is hard when others don't understand, but they don't walk in your shoes, and usually are not prepared to be there for you, either.


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You know how I feel...lol.

Grandpa needs to be in a home, both for his own safety and for the health, mentally and physically, of you and your kids. This behavior is not typical of older people. Besides, your family says he has always been that way. He's just kind of...well, ok, a jerk. Nobody is making you take care of your entire family plus two difficult child kids and in my opinion you shouldn't do it. It will destroy your health and happiness and affect your kids.

But it's your life. If you feel you are somehow responsible for your grandpa, dad, disturbed sister, and other adults in your DNA collection, without them even treating you well, then you do what you have to do. Grandpa's voluntary monetary gifts were nice, but right now he is calling in the chips. "I gave you money so you owe me your health and happiness by making sure I don't go into a home even though I'm very sick and can't see and refuse to wear any sort of Life Alert." This is unreasonable. He is deliberately making your job harder by refusing to wear life alert. Makes no sense other than he is stubborn and you are going to put up with whatever he wants whether you like it or not (my guess about his thinking).

Confused, it's up to you. You can always change your mind and say "no." If you need to work, you need to work.

in my humble opinion Your kids should not have to put up with the kind of nonsense Grandpa just did by kicking you and son out of his home. That's my opinion...nobody has a right to abuse you, even if they did you some favors (probably to ensure you'd feel indebted to them later on). My Dad gave me money here and there and was shocked when I finally told him to keep his money and his inheritance, but I refuse to talk to him if he is abusive, yelling, and demeaning me. I never expected to hear from him again or get any money from him and I didn't care anymore. When I told him this, it was after he had cursed me out and I said it in a very calm, low, but firm voice. "Dad, I'm sorry. I am done listening to anybody yelling or abusing me. I'd love to talk to you anytime you want a mutually respectful discussion, but I will not listen to abuse." Then I hung up.

You're not "allowed" to hang up on my father, although he is allowed to hang up on YOU and call you every rotten name in the book, so I figured he'd never call me again and and I accepted it. I was shaking from that phone call and many, many others through the years and decided I was done allowing him to put me into that state.

He is 90.

He called again and has treated me with more respect than ever before because he knows I have strong limits these days. He also knows his money will not influence what I let him get away with. I feel silly that I waited for so long to stop our abusive relationship.

Sometimes to get a better life for ourselves and our children we need to take risks and try new things. I feel bad that you put so much on your plate and feel obligated about it. Really, an assisted living home could take better care of Grandpa than you can and you could visit, even visit every day, and it would not be so stressful. Dad and Sis can't be helping your peace of mind either.

Anyhow...I hope you choose yourself one day and I am sorry you are struggling now. Wishing you peace and serenity.
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Well-Known Member
You are doing a great job. Maybe Gpa needs a complete health evaluation. Even if he says he doesn't want your help, if you are the family member there and you choose to help him, try to get on top of what is really going on with him physically and mentally. Try to Google your State's Elder Affairs Department to find more resources to help you to help him. And forget about what he is saying to the neighbors, they are in no legal position to help him, and despite what he may be saying they may be relieved that they are not being burdened with his care. Despite what you think they think, if you are trying to help him they probably think better of you than just relying on what he says. Try to remember to, you can only do what you can do, but if you think that he needs more help than you can offer or what he will accept, it is time to get a medical social worker in to give you new ideas in how to get him the best care. Also if you feel he won't accept your help but you feel he is neglecting himself or not able to be alone by himself, you can try to report it to your State Agency Abuse Hotline. In my state they take the calls for people who can not take care of themselves anymore.


Roll With It
I think the others all have great input. You are doing a tremendous job handling all of these things, any ONE of which would cause most people to be totally overwhelmed.

I dare you to go and write down everything you currently do for each person you do it for. Make a separate page or column for each person and list everything. Not just 'help Gpa" but each and every little thing that entails. then look at those sheets and see if it is even POSSIBLE for a single person to handle all of that. Once you really SEE all that you do, you can then see WHY you need to find some help and set some boundaries.

Please reach out to a medical social worker for the elderly. Your Gpa NEEDS NEEDS NEEDS more care. Even if he has 'always' been like this, he needs to be evaluated for problems like dementia if he is lost in his own home. That simply is not normal even if he is blind. Unless he moved in the last couple of months, he should not be getting lost in his home, even if he doesn't usually sit where he was when he got lost. The anger sounds like he is trying to mask the problems, which is typical. I doubt the family has any clue how bad he has gotten, so take their opinions lightly. If they want to have a say, they can take over the work.

If you need help finding info on your state's resources for the elderly and their families, send me a PM with your city and state and I will look up anything I can find.

You really ARE doing an amazing job with all of this You just are in a situation that NO ONE could handle without help.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
So, how do I get over the guilt of not being there all the time?

This behavior is not typical of older people. Besides, your family says he has always been that way. He's just kind of...well, ok, a jerk.

I wonder whether you have followed the abusive family of origin threads, Confused. Given the nature of the family history you have described, I think it is likely the guilt you feel has to do with verbally and emotionally abusive family patterns.

So, my thinking is that you need to see the grandpa's unavoidable nastiness as a gift, in a way. His behaviors are pushing you to that place where we really begin to look at how our families may be unhealthy, how that has affected who we believe ourselves to be...and how to go about changing our beliefs about ourselves.

It can be done, Confused. And every time you peel back a layer of wrong thinking learned in the withered black heart of a dysfunctional family, the freedom you revel in will strengthen you in ways unimaginable to you now.

So, that's the first thing.

My husband has an amazingly stable belief in how things should be. I suspect this is because he is the oldest son of an Italian mother, with all that implies. Nonetheless, husband' take on how to care for the mother who pretty much worships the ground he walks on is: She has had her life. I am living mine.

husband is kind to, but very honest with, his mom.

There is a strength he can access because he sees clearly, without emotion. What he needs, how he wants his own life to look determines how he will choose to move through the morass of elder care.

It has been an interesting facet of my husband for me to have become aware of.

husband does not do guilt.

He does: Determine the facts. Tell the truth. You cannot make anyone happy. If you have to do a garden party, so says husband, don't do it. (There is a Rick Nelson song about a walrus and a garden party and the futility of all things of that nature.)

Regarding your own search for work: husband would say there is nothing more important to our interpretation of self than independence. Work isn't about anything else.


That is your primary goal.

You do not have time, and you are not and never were, obligated to lay yourself down for the convenience of family. Your job right now is to work yourself into a place of independence.

There is nothing more important than that.

Your grandfather and your family can believe whatever they want to about that.

That is what my husband would say.



Well-Known Member
GuideMe hugs :)

InsaneCdn, yes see! Its so hard to handle our kids and our elder because at the same time there is usually a problem right? How did you handle saying no on the elder care? Plus the overwhelming stress!Thats why I wrote you all, because you all get it! No matter how annoying I am, you all are always here for me :)

MidwestMom, I know, you always told me my kids first, me a job then others when I can :) Im not sure how to quote you but when you said "nobody is making you take care of your entire family".. well ..I don't know. I mean, I could say no but no family will step up, and not only do I have no where to go, even if I had my own place Id feel guilty saying no, I mean, Ive needed help and gotten it( financially) and I couldnt see anyone being on the streets, I do love my dysfunctional family, I just cant handle caring for everyone! If I was rich, Id hire 24 care for gpa and visit him, buy a place for sister and dad,pay off Aunts ( gpas daughter) and my cousins who do really care about me( moms side) mortgages, and my own place with my kids. Of course Id help others who werent family. Aww I know a person can dream right? But his other son never helped him, his daughter doesnt want to come down anymore, even my sis when she comes down she is back and fourth helping him but she doesnt want to ( she wont) and she has issues anyways. Your dad sounds a lot like my grandpa. And the age!!! My grandpa will be 92 next month. Im proud of you standing up for yourself ! Sorry you went through heck with him.

2much2recover- Id help him a little then it turned to over full time care, at one point it was over 18hrs a day. He got stronger and I lessened the day time hours. ( he is mad about that but yet wants me to work) He always wants me to do something-everything ( he denies it) but yet I do it wrong 99% of the time. ( always been that way even before he was blind). As far as the neighbors they say they like to help him, hes a sweet old man ( many have been on the block for over 25yrs, a few left the same time grandpa has lived here) so they are friends with him and do what they can, or he will call them - especially two certain neighbors and tell them he hasnt eaten( he refuses my cooking most times) I havent done this or that can they do it etc. So they work their fanny off and they tell me"you need to do more for him and be there all the time since your not working and shouldnt work so you can care for him and my kids should understand that.You should bow down to him for everything financially he has done for your kids and you."Ummmm in a way I agree but realistically , I need to pay bills and support my kids... Im not getting younger, I have no social security hardly built up, if something happens overnight, I am in big trouble then I lose my kids for being homeless! I have no medical care for me either as I mentioned before. Oh and I told them the only way I could do that for grandpa 24/hrs is to have no kids and they didnt say anything but shrugged their shoulders at me! They have kids would they have gotten rid of them to care for an elder I asked, they didnt answer and said we are talking about you....So ya he tells them bologna bout me.

susiestar, can I post the list here? Id like your alls input on it! I know he has a lot of issues! Yes hes in the same home hes been in since 1956!!! My Aunt is his POA but not medical. doctors have cleared him and says he is still of sound mind, as did lawyers but that he should have someone there at night and check in on him during the day as much as possible because he is a fall risk and his medications cause dizziness. But still, hes still cleared. They know all his issues but say" keep an eye out, keep reporting back in case we need to change something " He does have a nurse come in once a week just to check in on him.


Active Member
Do what my uncle did to his mother, that he loved very dearly, but you want to talk about a difficult old lady, I have a story for you for another time! But finally he went to court to get , i forget the term, but medical power over her. Her doctor refuse several times, but eventually he won and put her in one of the most fanciest nursing homes , really lovely. At the very least you can force (with love) him to have a nurse on duty at his home


Well-Known Member
Scent Of Cedar, thank you for sharing and your right. See, I keep going back and fourth on why I was born( I like being alive, scared of death actually and am just saying everyone asks the questions why we were put here, whats our purpose etc) So, I figured Im here for one of the two reasons. 1) To be everyones punching bag incl from family, friends and exs, maybe my kids. That was my purpose. OR 2) Like you said, to learn NOT to be like grandpa or most of my family or others who I dont know who are similar in that way. For example I am not prejudice as almost my entire side of grandpas family is. Basically if your not well off financially or white, you are below them. Im not this way, I have dated and had many different friends from everywhere! I see the person how they treat me. My grandpa and a few others agreed that they would rather see me with a wealthy white man who is cheating on me, then a black man( they said the n word) or even Mexican etc who would never cheat on me or hurt me in anyway! Really? Oh thats the other thing, grandpa denies hes this way on front of people he had to work with and the neighbors. He says some neighbors that are not white are wonderful to their face and yes sometimes to mine and others, but then he goes back to his beliefs. Thank you, it gives me a lot to think about.


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Im glad it worked out for your Uncle and his mom! I refuse to get Medical Power, let my Aunt ( his daughter aim for that, she already has POA). But getting someone there, Im gonna see what I can do again. Hes so mad at me right now, he just might get someone else in.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Once upon a time, in a faraway land where time and distance had lost all meaning, there were born to the peasantry a generation of female children whose task and whose talent it would be to unravel the tangled skeins of deceit, viciousness, and trickery that bound the hearts, the souls, and the bloodlines of those families into which each was born.

Maybe that is why you were born too, Confused.

Would you like to hear the rest of the story?



Active Member
Im glad it worked out for your Uncle and his mom!

Oh, it only took ten years for my uncle to win POA over her. Her doctor kept saying she was fine and able to take care of herself. She refused any help from anyone. She became blind and her house was, remember the house on the hoarder tv shows? Well, yeah that's how her home was along with feces all over the bathroom and mice all over the over home. Telling my family that she talks to this nice man who comes to her home to visit her. No one knew who the hell this man was. But she REFUSED.....she SPIT....on anyone's help.

One day my uncle had enough. He went over there, with his LAWYER, I don't know what he was trying to accomplish with that, maybe trying to trick her into believing that she had to leave and go into a home (mind you, my uncle wanted her to live with him in his million dollar home, but she didn't want to). Anyway, so there's my uncle and his lawyer at her door, knocking on it, probably yelling through the door because my aunt wouldn't answer. So after 15 minutes of her not answering, he got really worried of course and broke into the house, soon as he broke the door, my aunt was at the top of the stairs and flung herself down the flight of stairs. My uncle and lawyer were horrified.

I always compared that whole experience to Sparta, 300........ and she was Leonidas

and by GOD she rather die than give into the enemy. SPARRRRTTTTAAAAA!

However, she survived and today, is in one of the best nursing homes around. She actually started to really love it. She was a hit there, knew everybody and everyone loved her. She was little Ms. Popularity.

My Uncle was so happy. Really happy. Relieved that she was actually happy.

He called her on her birthday and told her he was going to take her to dinner to her favorite place.

To witch she promptly said no and hung up the phone.

Disclaimer for those that are wondering. My uncle is a great guy. He never did anything wrong to my aunt. My aunt was a great mother to him. They have decades of very happy memories. I have really good memories of my aunt as well. However, when her husband died, she went coo coo and became a you know what.


Well-Known Member
I'm really baffled by anyone feeling they have to take care of all their relatives because the others won't do it. There are other options than one-on-one and all the time.

I already told my kids NOT to destroy their lives to take care of me.

You are not obligated to take care of your entire family, even if you love them. I doubt it is even possible to take good care of so many people. Somebody has to suffer.

Maybe you want to read up on "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. I mean, at one time I had trouble saying "no" myself, but it wouldn't have crossed my mind, or that of my even very dysfunctional relatives, to EXPECT me to care for all of them. As bad as they were, they weren't THAT bad. I would have said no to everybody as far as long term care when I didn't have the credentials and I'd have felt it was on my head if something happened.

This so far out of the realm of what I'd accept and what even my "DNA collection would ask of me, I can't relate. I do feel your children are VERY needy and they are the future here. They need help NOW without the distractions or they may finally be too old to get the help. This chaos is not good for your Aspie daughter or very troubled son.

I have no idea why you feel responsible for everybody in your family when there is good out-of-home care, but really it's your decision. I just hope nobody suffers long-term because of this.

If you could get a job, and be around people your own age (something we all need) you'd feel so much more competent and the need for socialization would be satisfied. Maybe your kids would like you better too if you felt good about yourself. The thing is, no matter how many people you try to take care of, you still don't feel good about yousrelf and you are still very worried about your kids.

I don't have any answers because I am not in your head...I am different. I just hope for the best for all of you. You ARE a good person, but you are not treating YOURSELF good. I hope one day you do.

Take care! :)


Well-Known Member
Scent Of Cedar, Very well said....I understand.. but.. always easier said then done.

GuideMe, yes thats a long time! Glad they are both happy though. Ya, its up to my Aunt to fight him to go to the VA if she sees fit, I am no decision maker on that.

Midwest, Ill get the book. Well the out of home care is that grandpa asked me to promise that if he ever got to the point he needed care( before he went blind and had heart and mobility issues) to keep him home -no NH. Of course the VA he was in ( short stint)was wonderful at least in my eyes, as it was in my dads and Aunts. My grandma ( moms mom)was so depressed in her NH it was so sad and I didnt want that to happen to anyone else. Of course grandpa can afford care but refuses. Well one lady twice a week for maybe 2-3 hrs total to cook, clean bathrooms, make the bed and vacuum.

****how can I work on me if my situation never changes? Plus grandpa isnt talking to me, sits all on the bed or chair "depressed" looking since our fight. I apologized to him for cussing, but he refuses to be around me. Oh daughter is still mad at me to because I made her go to school. Look I just cant handle those two subjects with her learning disabilities as I cant handle any of the math. To have a tutor come we tried she locks her door and refuses to open it, if she happens to actually sit out with them she completely acts as if they arent there looks away etc. So Im really really stuck with her! Thought Id mentioned it because I seem to be making everyone around me ..mad at me!

*****Also, since Im on this adding topics... I have a question. My son most of the time comes with me to grandpas house except for the two weeks my grandpa didnt want him there when he was violent and nasty mouth at his house and few other days. Last night my son was in a great mood( shock I know) and stayed home to watch tv. Well I got a call not even two hours later he wanted to be with me, so I had to leave and get him. As soon as we got to the house, he was asleep within few minutes( he took his night pill ) He has no issues with my dad and as far as I know theres no separation anxiety. I was hoping he just has a bond with me and missed his mom! What do you all think?


Active Member
GuideMe, yes thats a long time! Glad they are both happy though. Ya, its up to my Aunt to fight him to go to the VA if she sees fit, I am no decision maker on that.

Just in case, by no means was I implying you should do it. I just wanted to tell that story! My aunt put my poor uncle through hell and , yeah it was kind of funny the things she would do. I guess I just wanted to tell it. But rest assure, wasn't trying to imply that you should do it!

In fact , you should be scheduling your next vacation, not who you're taking care of next!


Well-Known Member
Confused, you made that promise before you knew how hard it would be and that you can not keep him safe.

I think personally that it is ok to go back on that promise.

If GP has VA, like my hub, care would be covered 100%. He doesn't have to go to a nursing home. There are assisted living homes and even nurses who can come to give him care. It doesn't have to be you.

This is your decision, of course. But you are also dealing with two kids who have many more years than Grandpa, but who need help NOW...while Grandpa is getting so much attention. In the end, you can not make his life better, but you can make your kid's lives better. I mean...at least, this is how I would think.

I am tired and did not read your whole post (sorry!), but did see the part about GP and your promise. He is too difficult and sick. You are not a nurse. You should not have to deal with his behavior day-by-day. Nobody but professionals can keep him safe and ensure he is as comfortable as possible until his life is over.

As for your son, not sure I understand your question, but I think he should be with you and his sister and not his grandpa so much. He is handful himself and needs all you can give him so that he can become the best he can, without sharing your time with Grandpa.

Confused, your grandpa is being unreasonable. His refuses to wear a help bracelet. He won't let anyone but you take care of him, although he can afford somebody who does this for a living and gets paid. Don't you find this a little unreasonable and abusive? Don't you value your own life at all? It can be done a different way. You just need to tell him that things are going to change and this is how.

If he is angry, well, he is angry with you half the time anyhow, and he takes up too much of your time.

Of course, this is just my opinion, but it sounds like he is abusive and always has been and cares little about your children, knowing they need you so much, yet taking up so much of your time and making you feel guilty because he knows he can make you feel guilty.

Hugs. I hope you find the guts to do what you probably know is best for your young ones.

Confused, all of this IS your decision. You can say "no."

Please do get the book and I wish you luck ;)
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