Feeling burned out with a baby on the way. Is it time to pay for caregiving?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I agreed to help my aging grandmother nearly 2 years ago. I cannot continue to care for her. My husband and I are young and are ready to live our lives for us. I am currently 12 weeks pregnant and my grandmother has become a mean and bitter woman, She brings me to tears nearly every single day. I often ask her to walk away, or I choose to walk away myself when she turns on me. I am becoming angrier every day when she starts lecturing me. She has told me to color my hair- so my husband will feel like he's with another woman, or to put my face on before I run to walmart. My husband is my only support, other members of the family try to support me when I am on edge, however they have no idea the constant stress I'm under. My husband and I decided we will be moving out of state, though I've never had a child we tried for a long time for this one and the stress cannot be good. Funny as I read this it's more like I am trying to justify my decision... I just can't do it anymore, and I don't have to. I will have a home health aide come in to check on her as she is aware, I only wish she could see through my eyes how difficult living here has been.

Expert Answers

Merrily Orsini, MSSW, was a pioneer in the business of providing geriatric care managed in-home care. She currently serves on the board of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice and is Chair of the Private Duty Homecare Association. She holds a master's degree in social work and is a nationally known writer and speaker on aging, elder issues, and in-home care.

How wonderful of you to have taken the time out of your life to care for your grandmother. What a shame that you are unable to enjoy that time, and to have a warm and loving relationship. However, you should be proud of yourself that you have done the caregiving for so long. It is now time to seek professional help. Call in a geriatric care manager so he/she can assess the situation, and help with future plans.