Dear BV: This responsibility must seem overwhelming to you at an age where you should be able to concentrate on building your own future. I wouldn’t want this for my kids, and I think that few parents would. Yet, what many people find surprising is that millions of millennials have been hit with similar responsibilities and they, like you, are stepping up, which makes their own futures more vulnerable.
Your next step is to contact your local Area Agency on Aging. You can find them by going to the website www.n4a.org. Additionally, by accessing www.aging.gov and clicking on “Resources Near You,” you will be led to your local option for that organization as well as many more resources. Unfortunately, some states offer far better resources and support for caregivers than others, but at least it’s a starting point. Searching The National Council on Aging (NCOA) website is also a good idea. People at these agencies should be able to help you map out a plan.
I’d strongly suggest that you seek personal support, as well. Most communities or counties offer free or sliding-scale counseling. You don’t seem to have any healthy older adults in your corner, so this person could help you balance your family obligations with your own welfare.
I commend you for all that you are doing and hope that you can find the resources necessary to place your mom in care, preferably in the same facility as your grandma. You need to allow yourself to take time for building your own life while you are still assisting with your loved ones’ care. That will mean leaving more care to the paid professionals, but your visits and advocacy will be a huge contribution so no guilt is allowed, agreed? You need to do this for your family as well as yourself.