Caregiver abuse?

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I feel that the family that I am a live in care giver is taking advantage of me yet claiming that I am the one taking advantage. I hardly ever leave the house yet I'm only paid if I'm busy cleaning or carrying out bathroom routine with client. I live with a husband and wife who built apartment onto home for 98 yr old mom. Husband's mother. Since I have no car to leave the house my hours are scattered thruout the day So I have no time to go anywhere. One night off a week and every other weekend. $15hr. With only being paid 4 to 6 to a few 8 hr shifts. But I'm always available and often asked to go outside of what daughter in law schedules. Oh I also am expected to take care of their house holds chores and its a big house and all the laundry. I don't have to cook dinner all the time anymore. But at times someone forgets to do their part and I'm left at fault for the lady not being fed. I'm expected to get her up in the morning and the hours are spread out to where I am here to get her in bed by 10. Leaves me no real time for myself or to spend time with my family. I am also told how to conduct my life as in that I am encouraged to not by myself a car, to save for When I will need to find my own place after she passes away. It's useless to tell the family. They ask way too much. They figure in the food I eat here and its because I can't ever get away to buy what I want to eat or my own food. I am forced to eat what's in the house and I don't like their choice of food which often is not enough to make a normal meal that doesn't include quinoa. I am grateful for them taking me in, and caring for me, but they don't see anything wrong with scaterring my hours all thru out the day. She says that I have all these hours in the day to do what I want. No it's that way so she gets out of paying for my time. She wants me to rest then. I'm sure so that I can get back to work doing what she needs. She meaning the daughter in law to the elderly lady. I do way more work for the able bodied lady then for the elderly one. I am even expected to clean up dog poop out of the yard and the dog is a great Dane! Clean out cat box. The house has 2 kitchens 2 big living rooms, 3 bathrooms. And lots of area to vacuum and sweep and mop. And laundry for 3 ppl not including myself. How do I tell her to make her see how it's her taking advantage of me? She once mentioned that she wasn't going to pay me to eat dinner. She's very controlling, and her husband doesn't deal with the issues.

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Factoring in the weekend off, I'm estimating you are getting an average of 5 hours a day everyday each month. At $15/hr x 5 hours x 30 days, you should make about $2,250 a month with free room and board. Is my estimate close to what you actually get? With free rent and food, your actual pay is more likely $3000 plus a month.


Since you are not happy with the current situation, you can either talk to your employer to change it or you can leave the job.

Can you get around on public transportation? It is cheaper to buy a monthly bus pass than to pay for each trip if you use it often.


Or save your money to buy a cheap car to use for now. That way you can leave to go search for other jobs during your off time. Good luck to you.
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You're being paid between $60-120 a day to work? Who is setting this schedule? Sounds like you work a LOT more than 4-6 hrs per day.

If you feel exploited, then you are. Can you talk to your employer? I get the sense you are a bit scared of her.

Chart out for 1 week all the things you do, times and such. Show it to her. You need a set contract as to what you will and won't have to do.

Do you have somewhere to go on yout "off weekend"? Can you pursue other job options during that time?

I feel like your employers are just mighty glad they found you--a hardworking gem who gets paid next to nothing and does all the heavy work in the home!
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If you feel you are being taken advantage of find another situation. However I understand that just finding another job probably also means finding another place to live.

When you were hired were you given certain hours of the day you were expected to work? Was this agreement written down in a contract? If you have such a document refer to it and have a discussion with the person who pays your salary.

Light housekeeping is usually included in a caregiver's job. I stress the word LIGHT. I don't think "light" includes picking up dog doo-doo and doing the family's laundry. Doing your patient's laundry, yes. But not the extended family. That's taking advantage.

I agree with what MACinCT suggested: you are not being paid to be on call.

In a professional setting you would now exactly what your hours are, from what time to what time, what duties you are expected to perform, what household tasks you are expected to complete, and as a live-in, what hours you are not expected to work (one night a week and every other weekend). Everything should be clear and agreed upon by all parties.

Without a contract to refer to the boundary lines can get blurry as you are discovering and the situation invites the potential for exploitation. It might be time to have a talk with the person you consider your boss and go over your responsibilities and her expectations again.
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It sounds like you are exploited. You are not being paid to be on call. Contact the state department for employment to see what the laws are concerning work hours. Do yo have a contract? Do they cover you with workmans comp if you get injured?
You do not have to answer this on this forum, but if you are an illegal alien, then you may qualify for a special exemption permanent residency if exploitation is determined.
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Time to get out of this situation and get a new job.
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