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To ask you your opinion on my situation?

(36 Posts)
Fatshionista Sat 10-Sep-11 00:53:12

I don't know where to post this and this section gets a lot of traffic.

My 74 year old grandfather has been caring for his 93 year old mother in law (my great-grandmother) for six years but he is now tired and stressed. After Christmas he plans on putting her in a home.

Now, I live in a decent sized house with DD1 3, DD2 9 months and DSS on the weekends 2.9 as well as DP. DP works full time but I'm a SAHM and we were thinking of turning the dining room/kids playroom into a bedroom and caring for my GGGM here full-time. My father and uncle won't take her in and she's 93 for gods sake, has always had family around and I can't see her put into a home.

DP is fine with his idea and knows because of her age it isn't long term. She can still walk and get up and down stairs and can still make tea/snacks so isn't completely incompetent but I could see a home killing her emotionally and she lives for my DD's.

AIBU to have her here full time and become her carer? I know it's a lot of responsibility but I feel it's my duty as she has been so good to me and DP over the years and dotes on her GGGC.

Tortington Sat 10-Sep-11 00:55:20

if you feel you can manage it - go for it

don't forget to ring about an occupational therapist - to look into adjustments in your home.

LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Sat 10-Sep-11 00:55:44

If you want to, DH agrees, the kids do too, then it's a lovely offer Do think about yourself too. Noise, holidays, pets etc...

Fatshionista Sat 10-Sep-11 00:57:47

We don't go on holiday as we're too poor Loopy sad. We have a dog but she loves the dog and we can keep her contained. Noise is an issue but I'm sure we'll adjust.

I just think this all seems too easy. It has to be very difficult but I'm so emotionally charged all I can think of is the good it'll do.

AgentZigzag Sat 10-Sep-11 00:59:03

If you're going into it with your eyes wide open, I think it'd be a lovely and selfless thing to do.

AmberLeaf Sat 10-Sep-11 01:12:20

If you and your DH are in agreement, go for it.

It will be hard work particularly if she becomes more frail/or unwell.

If I were in your position id do it, I was carer for an elderly relative [though not in my home-hers] and Im glad I did it and I know it made her final months happier than they would have been if she'd gone into a home after leaving hospital [which is what SS were suggesting as she needed a lot of support]

Hard work but worth it.

jasper Sat 10-Sep-11 01:18:38

if you are all in agreement, go for it. What a wonderful thing to do.
Good karma comes back to you smile
It is a great example for your children

SnapesMistress Sat 10-Sep-11 08:10:02

I think it would be a great thing to do if you can cope. Just remember that there may come a time where a home is the only option if her needs significantly increase and you should not feel guilty for bringing in extra support if you need it.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 10-Sep-11 08:18:04

I remember your previous thread Fatshionista. Have you now fully resolved the issues you had with your Il's and dp? I also recall that your home wasn't particularly securely rented. If all that hasn't been properly sorted, then I would be wary of offering a permanent home to your GGM - were you to have to move suddenly, what would happen to her then?

I think what you want to do is lovely and you sound like a wonderful grand daughter. From what I remember, you are a very generous person and I'm sure you'd cope emotionally, but I think you should only take this on if you have a stable and truly supportive relationship and a stable home.

meditrina Sat 10-Sep-11 08:22:48

I sounds a lovely thing to do. But a thought on practicalities - will you be able to manage if she becomes unable to go up an down stairs? Or become less mobile?

Sn0wGoose Sat 10-Sep-11 08:31:24

And what about DGGGM's opinion? She may love your kids, but seeing them for an hour is mightily different to living with them - she might find it too much (noise, stress etc) at her age?

marriedinwhite Sat 10-Sep-11 08:42:57

I think the principle is admirable but have read your post again. Your 74 year old grandad has been caring for six years and is now tired and stressed. You may be younger but you also have 2 (sometimes three) very young children to care for and a partner and home to look after. My grandfather, who had my mother to help, cared for my grandmother for 8 years before she went to a nursing home (where she lived for another five years). I do think you need to be mindful that great grandmother's needs will only increase in the next few years. Also of the fact that your grandfather, father and uncle are further up the chain of responsibility than you and if they are not prepared to take in your grandmother they should at least be doing a great deal more to help your grandfather. What will you do when she's unsafe to stand up alone and you have a sick child who might need to get to hospital. As your chldren get older you are going to be out and about a lot more than you are now.

Plese think carefully OP.

FabbyChic Sat 10-Sep-11 08:49:37

Are you in receipt of any benefits? Specifically housing/council tax if so taking in your GGGM will result in them being increased as you have another adult in your household who they presume contributes financially.

maxybrown Sat 10-Sep-11 08:57:07

I agree, whilst it is a very admirable and lovely thing to do there is a LOT to consider and should not be rushed into. I completely understand what you mean about a nursing home, my Grandma is in one (albeit she has dementia) but do bear in mind, and I do not mean this to sound crass at all, that she could live for another 10 or 15 years. If another poster above is correct and you are renting, I think this could be a problem as rent could end at any time realistically and could be an awful stress on you all. In reality things are often different. her care needs could change repidly too, quite unexpectedly - would you be prepared for this? Then would her care be detremental to that of your children - not because thats how you would be, but purely because of cricumstance.

I DO however completely and utterly understand your feelings about homes, but your children are very young and like I say, you could easily stiill be caring for her when your children are entering their teens.

Kladdkaka Sat 10-Sep-11 08:59:37

Get social services involved in you do, that's what they are there for. They have been fantastic with my elderly father, arranging carers to help him get up and dressed, putting in stair lifts, smaller steps, etc.

Aftereightsaremine Sat 10-Sep-11 09:00:50

My grandmother is 92 & lives with my mum it really is hard work (she has dementia).
Having said that it's very rewarding for all including my dcs who are regular visitors & who have an amazing bond with her. It's also taught them that old people have a value & wealth of knowledge they love hearing her stories about the olden days.

So if you can I'd say go for it.

But my gran cannot be left on her own & yes it does impact on my dm life.

maxybrown Sat 10-Sep-11 09:06:46

But if OP house is rented, she will not be able to have fitted any such thing that her GGM might require in the future - that is also something to consider

ImeldaM Sat 10-Sep-11 09:06:57

I think its a lovely idea. It will be difficult, life is sometimes, and there might be a time where she will need more care but if you and DP are in agreement then certainly something to seriously consider.

( maxy, GGGM is 93)

maxybrown Sat 10-Sep-11 09:14:51


BaronessOrczy Sat 10-Sep-11 09:23:12

For 7 years whilst I was growing up my Grandma lived with us. I loved it - it was fantastic - and I'm so very grateful to have had that time with her (could have done without being the first person to find her when she'd passed on, but that's another story)

However, only now I've grown up and my parents have told me a bit of their side can I look at it in a slightly more balanced way. My Grandma refused to go into a home, even for respite to give my parents a break. Family holidays were a political minefield about who she would stay with. My mum found it very hard at the beginning when Gran was still spritely and mobile that she would come home and all her cupboards had been turned out for cleaning for example - gran was helping - so there are communication issues to look at. Dad felt a bit ganged up on, although he got on very well with her. And us kids didn't have a clue about any of it, we included her in our games etc.

But there were ground rules and my parents house lent itself to giving her some privacy (one of the reasons my parents bought it) and we had to knock and wait to be invited in, we had dinner together but not always lunch, we had to wait until after lunch before going to see her etc - which worked pretty well. She was doing well for 5 of those 7 years, but the last two were difficult.

I think your sentiments are admirable and I'd like to think I'd do the same. But you'd need a very solid support network and full family agreement - the others don't get to pass on all responsibility just because she'd be living at yours, they should do their fair share in another way. Also, what about legalities in terms of power of attorney etc just in case things went wrong? What about if your family situation changes and dh loses his job, you need to move, you have another baby etc?

But if you've thought about all of that - and your GGGM wants to come even when you've explained it'll sometimes be noisy! - then go for it


BaronessOrczy Sat 10-Sep-11 09:24:17

Crikey, that's long, sorry!

ImeldaM Sat 10-Sep-11 09:26:46

I thought maybe you had misread because of your thinking that it may be for 10/15 years, sorry if misunderstood.

festi Sat 10-Sep-11 09:37:44

I would do it in you possition if you feel confident, but before hand I would get ss and OT involved to cary out a full assesment of needs on GM and a full carers assesment on you. I would also put your name on the local housing authority waiting list.

However I would also consider your GGM could potentialy live for another 10 years and her needs will increase, If the time ever comes where her needs will be best met in a care home, this would be very difficult for your family but you will need to considedr her needs.

wishing you luck.

maxybrown Sat 10-Sep-11 09:40:25

No grin I sympathize completely, I really do - but when someone asks for advice on things like this, I think EVERYTHING needs throwing in for the thinking. I am not trying to be just negative about it all, but she could last another 10 years - it would not be uncommon now to live until 103 if well cared for would it? She is also still able to manage stairs etc.....I just mentioned the possible age thing as the OP said her DH was ok with it as wouldn't be for long, but there is no guarantee with that!

But essentially, if the house is not secure then that would need to be the first consideration.

LydiaWickham Sat 10-Sep-11 09:42:40

I think you need to not look at the woman she is now, but the woman she will be in 3-4 years if she keeps going. Could you, for instance, be happy toileting her? It is likely she will end up needing nursing care, could you do that? Could you put her in a home if she gets worse? Would it not be easier if she's already used to the place before she takes a step down?

It's not just the days, its the lack of personal time in the evenings you need to think about (you can hardly ban her from the living room).

Care Homes vary extremely, if she has savings/property to sell, you can afford a good one. Would you have the time to commit to visiting daily?

Talk to social services about all help available, possibly talk to age concern too.

Please keep in mind, your grandfather is also elderly. 74 is around the age where he might start to need care himself.

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