the middle of the sandwich
It is not just a baby that I take care of, it’s my two grandparents, as well. I don’t hands-on take care of them as much as I make sure someone else is always there to do it. My mom has been doing the errand and appointment running, as well as the meal fixing, but she and my grandma do NOT get along. Then it’s me who gets to hear all the complaining from both sides. Lately my grandpa, who has stage 5 Alzheimer’s, is beginning to wander, a characteristic of stage 6. Previously, we could leave him home alone for a few hours during the day, but now we can’t. He has also had three falls this month. Until now, my grandma could dress and feed herself in the morning, and now she can’t. She could pay her own bills and shower. Now she can’t.
I went to a meeting with the financial attorney and my grandma where we were able to formulate a plan for using funds for more in-home care. I have been looking for people to interview who can dress and shower (or in my grandpa’s case, provide cue-ing for ADLs), prepare and serve meals, and stay home with my grandpa when we aren’t there. I will soon be taking over the bill-paying, and this is going to be quite an endeavor as my grandma, losing what precious independence she has, micro-manages me as much as possible.
Sometimes I just don’t know how this happened. How did I go from being the kid in the family, to being responsible for so many people? I worry all the time about the Alzheimer’s that runs so strongly in our family. What happens if it’s my mom next? And then me? Who is going to hold it all together someday when I can’t do it anymore?
Boy, I better have a lot more kids, in the hopes that at least one of them takes care of me!