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Hello all..I have been living with 87 year old father in his home since May of last year. It has been drama filled to say the least. I work from home and we have two Home Health Attendants. (one for weekdays and one for the weekend. Our weekday HHA chose her friend to work on the weekends. So when she wants extra money she works on the weekend instead of her friend even though we would prefer she NOT work on the weekend since she is very loud and obnoxious.
My father has a crush on the weekday HHA and acts as if she is the woman of the house. She takes advantage of the situation. She rearranges things, comes in late, leaves early...she runs the show. My father treats me like Im the HHA. Every day is a shouting match. He acts as if my children and I are up to something all the time. He hides his wallet, walks around the house acting as if he is the security guard/warden.
On Friday, I reached my breaking point. I work from home and my father came into the basement as if I was not doing anything. He started talking about coming down to get salt for the snow. I was on an important call with my boss. He was told several times not to come into the basement during work hours. Needless to say it turned into a huge explosion. I told him I was leaving and this time I did !!!! My children happily packed up their things and we left. We are staying with a close friend. When I told my siblings I left, my older brother (who arranged for us to come live with our Dad) he told me I HAD to go back. Truth be told I dont feel comfortable staying with friends because then I turn into an automatic babysitter.
I told them I would come back tomorrow but how should I proceed with this ? I feel guilty for leaving in the first place. The Aides had to put in extra hours because Im not there. But I dont want to react upon feelings of guilt. I want to feel empowered. How should I move forward..have any of you ever left your caregiver role and returned ?? Thanks as always for listening and Happy New Year

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Emjo, Im sorry to hear what happened with you. My mother passed away in December 2010. However she was in the early stages of Dementia (undiagnosed but it was very evident) She told my children that I NEVER sent her a birthday card, ever. My children were very little at the time and they were very upset with me. Had my mother lived longer I know she would be accusing me of all types of crazy things.
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Wow, surprised - you returned the favour when you wrote "When there is friction in any situation, a very popular method for "getting" the other party is to report non-provable wrong doing. Charges may not stick, but it bothers the dickens out of the falsely accused. And the reputation of the person accused is damaged"

This applies exactly to my situation with my sister who has made false accusations - non-provable wrong doing. I am supposed to have a vested interest in my mother's demise, among other things. How do you prove that unless you find arsenic in her tea?

Thankfully my reputation will remain in tact, as I have a good relationship with the people dealing with mother and sis antagonised them when she visited mother recently.

Your mother passed on some stories!!! It is my sis who does that to me more than mother, though mother provides fuel. People can be gullible about the elderly. Mother got a cab driver to call me the other day and tell me that I should visit my mother as she is lonely! I told him he didn't know the whole story and that the last couple of times I tried to visit she wouldn't see me.

toomuch4me. Glad you had somewhere to crash for the weekend. I hope you find another situation for yourself and family. It
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Surprise, you are so insightful. Thanks again. You know if anyone should be calling someone its me. However Im learning that people take out of control elderly folks with a grain of salt. "Oh just ignore him.." Yeah right. I called my closest friend when the latest blow up happened. She wasnt very willing to help us out and that bothered me. Thankfully another friend was willing to let us crash for the weekend.
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When there is friction in any situation, a very popular method for "getting" the other party is to report non-provable wrong doing. Charges may not stick, but it bothers the dickens out of the falsely accused. And the reputation of the person accused is damaged. It sounds like your brother, your dad, and the HHA have reason to torment you. You would have no witnesses to your innocence, but they would have several.

Being in a highly secure industry, you know that your personal reputation is essential to being trusted by clients. If you are under investigation by APS or CPS, you will not be as effective in work, and if charges are brought, you may lose the job.

My narcissistic mthr told nasty stories about me for the last 20 years to get back at me setting a simple boundary of no loaded and unattended guns in my home while I have little kids. She told people I had hit her, robbed her, she was penniless, etc. When I was alerted by APS that she needed rescuing, there were people who strongly opposed us based on lies she told. People are gullible, and they want to protect the weak. Little do they know who the weak one may be in any relationship.
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Thanks for your reply surprise. I have to have a phone that plugs directly into a router and it cannot be a wireless router. I also deal with people's personal info and that is why Im supposed to be a home office with a door that closes. My job has strict rules and that is the only reason why Im still living here.
I never thought about being accused of elder abuse and thanks for the heads up about the HHA and cps. She does watch every move we make. We have a captive audience for everything. She and my father sit on the couch all day watching us as we go through the house.
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Do you realize you are in the perfect situation to be falsely accused of elder abuse? If something happens when you are there "on duty" you *will* be held responsible. If something happens with the HHAs taking off with property/$, they won't be blamed, but *you* will. If something happens with your children, the HHAs will be there to report you to cps. I think it is a horrible idea to go back into this MESS.

I imagine you are still in upheaval about not being married anymore, and the family is using your guilt/shame to keep you in line. What a jerk to use your children as a way to manipulate you! Do you have a pastor who is not their pastor- a good place to know what help is available to you. I know you use the phone and computer to do work during the day. How about using the public library instead - here, we have 30 or more people who are freelancing from the library and they just run to the lobby to take calls. In the afternoon, their kids spend the afternoon there too. There are ways to make it work - harder to start with, but once you get the hang of being on your own, you will be so proud of what you have accomplished.

Your situation with POA and dad is probably similar to why you are not married anymore when you get down to root causes. Why not make a true new start, with you in the driver's seat?
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Abbey, you feel my pain. Some caregivers (Im sure not all) add to the stress especially when they want to run the show in your home. You never know what to expect when they walk through the door. You see them looking over things as if needs to meet their approval. I could NEVER walk into my job and have the attitude that things are going to go MY way.
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My moms live in care giver was driving me crazy, I felt like I was looking after and managing two people...instead if helping she just added to my stress. Mom fell and broke her hip and the caregiver couldn't manage her anymore ( she thought she could but there was no way) so I got Mom into asst living and with the caregiver gone 50% of the stress went with her.
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Toomuch, ok, I do see; but try this - rewind to where you had to move at short notice. Pretend you didn't have the Dad option. What would you have done instead? Do that now.

From your Dad's point of view, he probably does feel that he wasn't given much option either - it would explain why he's being such a [expletive deleted] to you and about you. Plan to get out at the earliest opportunity, beating an orderly retreat.

I do know how uncomfortable the disapproval/pity/exasperation/scorn/distortion of facts vibe from one's siblings can be, by the way - I get that left right and centre. My daughter correctly counsels me to remember that my siblings probably don't think nearly as badly of me as I feel/suspect they do. Humph. It's hard, but getting slowly slowly better… Hope it can for you, too. Whole new year ahead! x
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Toomuch4me,

I remember your story VERY WELL. Please don't go back without a list of DEMANDS! You see how happy your children are to get out. Don't go back unless they pay you enough so you can get an apartment when school is out. Don't go back unless you are given the power to pay or not pay that damned diva of an aide who is so rude to you. Write up a list of rules she is expected to follow, like cleaning up after herself in the kitchen, and NEVER bothering you unless your father's hair is on fire. (That's an image from Dr. Phil.) She has to sign the list to show she accepts it. She needs to know that YOU are her boss. You need a letter of apology and appreciation from your father, saying that he knows how much you do, and he is sorry for saying mean things about you.

You can look at your old posts by clicking on "News Feed" on the upper right. Reread them and recall how horrible your situation is. Read all the advice you have gotten. You are out of that house. Think LONG and HARD before you walk back in.
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toomuch,
You are working, caring for dad and don't have money for an apartment? Are you paying the household bills? Buying the food? Is that your payment for staying there? If so, that is very wrong! You should be paid for what you do for your dad as well. What would it cost to get a caregiver to do for dad what you have done?
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You know deep down in your heart that if you go back, that it will be worse for you and the kids, right? You know father will know that you Tried to leave but cannot. So now, he gots you under his thumb. And he will rub it in. And the HHA's will know that you are ... sorry.. nothing to them. I'm telling you this from MY perspective and from what father tells ME. And my oldest bro who said that I am nothing, and I will always be nothing. When people don't value you, they have no problems treating you like sh*t. And not feel bad about it. You're no longer a person..but a drudge. I'm so sorry. I just wish you really sat down and brainstormed with your friend and options for you and the kids. There ARE other options. If you don't have a computer, then make a deal with your friend. Borrow hers until you make enough to buy you one. The same applies with a printer. But a multi-functional printer that faxes/photocopies/printer. When you go back, you will start to believe THEM that you're a nothing, that you will never make it on your own (father and bro said this to me), etc.... It has a way of sneaking into our psyche. Remember, there Are Options.
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Get a loan and get an apartment of your own. Hey, that rhymed. lol
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Countrymouse, we were forced to leave our apartment due to the building being sold..we had very little notice so my family said it would be "ideal" for me to move in and help take care of Dad. It has been a disaster from day one. I work from home and I have three children. My father acts as if we were dumped on him and he thinks he is in charge of me and my children because Im no longer married. He also thinks we were kicked out of our previous apartment. With those two factors in place he treats me like a servant. Ignores the children except the youngest.
Im returning because we still need a roof over our head and I work from home so my father's home has the equitment I need. So yeah Im crawling back to the whispers and scorn of my Dad and the HHAs. They pretend to like me but I know they dont and have probably added their two cents to my father...
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What CM said.
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Where were you living before your brothers came up with their brilliant idea for you and the children to move in with your father? I'm thinking that if you were ok before, no reason you shouldn't be again…

You thought it was a bad idea to start with - but you moved in. Now you've proved it was a bad idea, and you've voted with your feet… Can you explain how it could possibly be anything but a terrible idea for you to move back in again?
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Thanks for all of the advice. Jeanne you are so right. I did tell them that if Dad does any yelling or screaming, Im leaving. For good. This is my last chance for the situation. I was all ready to go move out of state. My brother called me last night and told me to that I needed to go back home and not make a rushed decision.
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I wouldn't go back for all the gold in the world. I'd tell your brother that no, HE had to go there instead. End of discussion. Get on with your life and thank God for it. Guilt? What guilt?
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They are not demands and they are not requests ... they are simply the conditions under which you are willing to work.

First, understand that you do not HAVE to go back. As long as brother thinks you do, you will never be respected. He can hire the current caregiver more hours, get an additional caregiver, send Dad to daycare during the day and get a caregiver for evenings and nights, put Dad in a care center ... there are lots of options. One option is treating you with respect, paying you, and putting you in charge of the hired help. But that is only an option if YOU want it to be.

I know you won't want to impose on your friendship for a long period, but don't immediately go slinking back to take care of Dad with nothing settled.

I can't remember your earlier post ... have you discussed your situation with your county social services department? Are there other housing options for you and your children at this time?

If you don't take advantage of this situation to change things for the better, then it was just a silly temper tantrum. How seriously is your brother going to take you then?
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Thanks Bookluvr. Im still new to this site so I thought my original posts were hidden somewhere. Now, in terms of automatic babysitting/gratitude. Im very grateful to my friend. So please dont misunderstand. Im sorry if I sounded ungrateful. We called her yesterday and without hesitation she welcomed us in. But the fact of the matter is she has alot of children of her own so it wouldnt be right for me to impose for a long time. My brother said I had to come back because he is not going to hire the weekday HHA as a live in. We tried that before. It did not work especially with us living in the house. Thanks for the advice regarding getting things in writing. I am going to take that advice. He also mentioned my children already being settled in their school. So I dont want to make a rushed decision. I was asked to at least stay until the end of the school year. I feel there are too many people thinking they run the show. Everyone wants to be in charge. My father doesnt want to give up power because he doesnt want me to feel its my house. He wants to feel as if he still runs the show, yet chooses not to do anything for himself. He sits in the couch all day..watching every move. When you encourage him to go out, he doesnt want to do it. He says his health is too bad. Anyway, Im going to write up my demands...I mean requests.
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By the way, you could have continued your latest actions on your Original thread/discussion. This way, those who have responded to it - would also know what's been happening. And also give their input on your new situation. And you didn't have to repeat the whole thing again in explaining the background situation.
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Did your brother tell you Why you HAD to go back? Did you Ask him why he said this? Did you tell your brother that you Will be going back?

Once you go back, your siblings will know that they got you by the tail. Your life will now be just a drudge - worse than an HHA, worse than a slave. A drudge. You will have NO live or ANY input of the household. You KNOW they need you back into that house. This is the time to put your darn foot down and put in WRITING what you expect when you go back. Make sure it's in writing.

This is the time to set your working hours, and what you Expect of the HHA while you are working. You will insist that they draw up what is required of the HHA, etc... This should be YOUR asset now that you got your family by the balls. Now grab it and run with it! Do Not go Slinking back. My goodness! You have been given power to CORRECT what you have been complaining to your siblings. Do It Now!

As for automatic babysitting, how bad is that compared to what you were going thru with your father, and the Disrespect of the HHA. (By the way, include in your written agreement, that the HHA must listen to you as one of their Supervisors.) And your kids? Is going back to father, and having him Yell at them, and accusing them of things better than the automatic babysitting? You need to get back on your feet. If that means babysitting, then so be it.

In our tradition, when you visit family, you are treated as a guest. But, we are also obligated to help out - to "pay" for our staying at their home. Cook, do the dishes, etc... When we leave (as in me going back home), we leave Cash behind to cover our expenses. When I spent 2 weeks in Hawaii at my sister's SIL's nephew, I left $400 hidden in the car as they dropped me off at the airport. I hid it where it would be easily found - with a thank you note.

Please Think before you go back. Sit down, and write what you need, require from your father and the HHA. Make sure your siblings sign it. And make copies for everyone. And do not burn your bridges with your friend. Show your appreciation because that's what friend's are for. They're there when you need them.

And truly, what it really comes down to is this: Your siblings can find an alternate option with regards to your father. You are not their only solution. And most of all, your kids. It's one thing to visit their grandfather and face that kind of verbal abuse, but it's another by bringing them up in it. Trust me when I say that this can mess them up later in life.
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