I need advice! I take care of my 84 year old father and 95 year old uncle. While my father's great depression hoarding and complete disrespect for women drive me nuts, my uncle is driving me to tears. My dad wanted our uncle to live in the house because he can't afford to live in a retirement home. Thing is, he isn't the one truly taking care of him, I am. I live in the house too with my son, and am going to nursing school so I can't work enough hours to move out. My uncle keeps touching all of my things. He uses my bathwash and/or pours expensive things in the sink because he doesn't know what it is, he's used our TOOTHBRUSHES, has moved my tampons in the fridge and/or thrown them away, couldnt find his hairbrush so he used my FOOT PEDICURE BRUSH and is covered in his hair, turns the thermostat up to 90 degrees at night, he sneaks into my fridge to eat my son and I's food at midnight too when I already make him dinner(with my own money!). This is financially burdening me! Just today I had to spend another $35 dollars for health related items he threw away and I'm on a tight food budget because I'm already financially crippled. I ask him about it but he always 'never remembers doing it'. He's gotten upset that there was no toilet paper and smeared feces all over the walls, he pees on the floor, I have to watch out that he doesn't sneak in and eat raw food from the fridge. I'm not getting paid for this!! I never accepted him as my responsbility and feel that my space is invaded no matter where I hide things! How do I elderproof without stuffing everything I own into my incredibly small bedroom! I feel resentment towards my father and my uncle and have bottled up these emotions for a while. I feel lost.

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I'll make some assumptions here. Your dad is giving you and your son a place to live. He is helping give your son some after school supervision. Your income is extremely limited due to going to school and having a son to care for.
Dad was annoying with his attitude but really didn't need that much supervision. So moving out might not be your first choice.

With uncle you have a real problem. One that will get worse not better. Is he basically alone in the world without children or other siblings?

Call Area on Aging and see what resources he is eligible for. Ask for an evaluation. Get your dads support if possible.
At the least they both should be eligible for meals on wheels.

Take some time to secure your belongings both for uncles safety and your peace of mind. Make it less obvious and less interesting.

I assume uncle has some money? What is he doing with it? Does he contribute to the household? Perhaps your food is more to his taste.

Is he wandering at night?
This could be very dangerous. Be sure to let the Area on Aging know that he needs more supervision than your dad can give him.

Come back and give us more information and let us know how things are going. 
Helpful Answer (2)

You asked how to "elderproof" everything of yours. Unfortunately, you can't. Uncle is beyond elderproofing and needs monitoring, perhaps in a memory care situation in a facility which can limit his meanderings.

In addition to the sage advice of posters before me, I'd suggest seeing if he can qualify for Medicaid and get him into a facility, even if your father objects. If Uncle can't afford a retirement home, he might be a candidate for Medicaid.

Your father's insistence that he move in and apparently that you care for him, whether by default or mandate, reflects what I consider a demeaning attitude toward you as a woman, as a daughter, and as a mother, as well as for your son. Keep thinking of how unfairly your son is being treated by your father and uncle if you need motivation to get out.

Move quickly past thinking how you can work with this situation and think of how you can get out and away. You can't change this situation. Staying in that dysfunctional arrangement can and will change you and probably your son. And it could ruin your career if you can't concentrate, can't study, fail your exams, and flunk out.

If you can't get into a dorm, perhaps you can find a home for student nurses. Check with your campus offices to find out. (I don't really know which department would handle student housing).

I also don't know whether or not this situation might still exist, but when my sister went to nursing school, she moved into the dorm maintained by the hospital itself. In exchange for a 4 or 5 year (I don't recall which) commitment to work at that hospital, her tuition was forgiven.

When another relative went to nursing school, she just wasn't ready at that time, took some time off and explored other venues, but when she went back to nursing school, she distinguished herself by outstanding performance.

You want to ensure that your school days position you for a good career, not one that's mediocre b/c it's been crippled by abusive parental and relative treatment.

Are you a freshwoman, sophomore, junior, senior? How long do you have to go before graduation, and do you need to maintain a minimum of credit hours per semester/term?

There might be some arrangements that can be worked out for you.

BTW, where is Uncle's family? Are you the only daughter in your family, and if not where are the others (besides being absent and noninvolved)?

Another concern I have is twofold:

1. That being forced to put up with anti-women attitudes is going to force you to find ways to maintain your self respect, or drag you down, affect not only your performance as a student, but perhaps your self esteem and your own career.

Patients can be hostile and treat nurses poorly. You need to maintain self respect to be an effective nurse.

2. Depending on your son's age, he may see this Cinderella and misogynistic treatment as normal, grow up to incorporate those attitudes, and may become a chauvinist himself. That would be one of the worst legacies he inherits.
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I'm not sure how old your son is, but, if he's a minor, I'd be very concerned of allowing him to live with uncle who apparently needs proper care and supervision. When people exhibit those types of behavior, they need medical attention and admittance to a place where they can receive the level of care they require. It seems your dad is not equipped to care or properly supervise your uncle. I'd treat it as an emergency.
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Uncle obviously has dementia, I have doubts that he is safe to be home alone and it seems that your father is unable to supervise him... where is he when his brother is doing all these things? Put locks on your bedroom door and if you have more than one bathroom lock your personal one too. Look into getting Uncle into a day care program so he is out of the house and supervised while you are away during the day... make it non negotiable because the only alternative is for you to remove your self and son from this crazy, unsafe environment.
Helpful Answer (5)

Find a roommate and move out.

The only other choice, get a small dorm room style frig and put everything you have into it. Get a padlock for your bedroom door. Keep everything locked up.

Simplier to rent a room somewhere else and get out of there.
You owe it to yourself and your son to not subject yourself to this environment. Move.
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Dear badluckstreak,

I'm very sorry to hear about everything you are dealing with. It is a lot take on and very unfair to you. Are you able to talk to a social worker and see what other options are available to your uncle and possibly dad? Given his age, I think he might be suffering from dementia. I know its hard to be more patient when dealing with so many challenges. I don't know what programs are available but surely he can live in assisted living or a nursing home. I think he needs a doctor to review his meds as well.

We all start out with good intentions, but eventually it just becomes too much. I know I made this mistake with my dad. I let all the anger and resentment build and in the end it affected my compassion and judgement. I hope you can access some resources in the community and hopefully make things better for you and your son.
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You have a responsibility to your son to not put him through this.
Find a room to rent in the home of a fellow nursing student, decrease your own stress, pass all your final exams.
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