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I have a situation with my client, a gay male 71 years senior, which is especially troubling to me. Apart from his many serious and life-threatening health issues, he is mean-spirited, exceptionally arrogant and proud of it, manipulative, and seems to derive pleasure from tormenting me with irrational outbursts of anger bordering on rage. The outbursts are getting worse lately with his latest outburst on Friday complaining that he didn’t like the way the Tupperware was stored in the closet. He said it confused him and began to raise his voice and use profanity directed at me as if I was responsible for the order in which the lids and containers were stored (nothing had ever changed in the way the containers were stored). I offered to help him reorganize it in an order that he preferred. But that was not what he wanted to do. He wanted to vent his rage onto me and I could almost see a mild smirk on his face as if he was having a good time doing it. I never engage or respond; instead, with yesterday’s outburst and loud profanity, I told him that, “I need to get away from you for a few minutes. I’ll be back soon.” These types of berating outbursts are happening 2 or 3 times per week.

Yes, he does have mild HIV-related dementia which is partially responsible for his confusion and frustration with the Tupperware, or is it? He lives in an apartment complex for elderly with a social worker present throughout the week for issues that come up with the residents. The social worker knows my client for many years and is familiar with his abusive ways with caregivers. She shared that he had always been an arrogant and bold person in his approach with his caregivers, so nothing is new.

If this wasn’t enough, he has a 65-year old roommate that I’ll describe using the kindest of words to be a low-life degenerate who has spent his life in and out of jail and rehabs. He is streetwise and crafty. He boasts having been a crystal meth addict for 40 years and still alive today. He is also gay. I am not responsible for him in any way. The reason he is living there is because my client needed a roommate to justify his 2-bedroom apartment (Section 8). This roommate bosses me around and coerced me into configuring his computer equipment, TV, and other equipment. He approached me yesterday and said that my client had authorized me to do the tech work pointing to a note on the refrigerator. This degenerate creep added, “and this is a today thing, too.” Do I have to do this type of work if my client has asked me to? No monetary show of appreciation was offered. Instead, I get a call at home at 9:00 p.m. from this degenerate rudely responding on the phone without introduction: “How do I get this software to work?” The man is a pig.

I know that I am being taken advantage of by my client who is not all that demented after all, but instead likes to indulge in negativity due to his own insecurities and instability due to his body failing him. What kind of karmic consequence does this type of behavior bring about for my client and his health situation? When he is in the company of anyone who visits (nurse, building resident) he is as pleasant and kind-sounding as a saint and on his absolute best behavior.

Help! I know that I’ll probably need to get another client in the future, and perhaps sooner that I realize. It’s just that I need the work desperately. I am 59 years senior and have had exceptional problem getting work in all of the fields that I had relied on in my earlier years and before our economic recession (USA).

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Were you hired directly by them or by an agency? Doesn't matter. Quit. Believe in yourself. Take the time you've already put into the deal and use it on your resume - and/or to bolster yourself as an experienced caregiver. I admire you for not responding to the insults and degradations. Since it is affecting you however, quit. YOU CAN FIND SOMETHING BETTER - BELIEVE IT.
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Steve good job here in Ireland no salary just caregiving an old lady with dementia free room and board?
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Steve,

I work for a home healthcare agency and had one of our caregivers reported behavior from a client such as you experienced I would have yanked that caregiver out of there that minute. Being humiliated, demeaned, and taken advantage of are not job requirements.
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Thank you to everyone who responded to my situation question. I know that finding another client is inevitable and necessary. I'll begin this coming Monday by posting a notice on the community board. I don't really care if it gets back to my client. Once I find someone, I'll give him a fair 2 weeks notice, and that'll be that.
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The next time you have to set something up for the roomie... LOL It would be a twisted mess and I;d say.."I dont know how to do this"..For me it would not be a fib... I don;t!!! Then let him figure out how to untwist it!
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Get another job DOH!
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Life is short. I almost died in a car accident. Your life can be gone in a nanosecond. Get out of there and seek employment elsewhere.
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Steve, I was wondering if he acts the same to a woman? He probably does, but it did cross my mind. First off, I don't see why you'd have to put up with profanity spewing from this miserable unhappy man. The next time he starts the cussing, can you look him in the eyes and tell him, you KNOW he's unhappy about his circumstances. You KNOW he's sick, but it's NOT YOUR FAULT and you don't want to hear the cursing aimed at you anymore. Period. Then I'd get myself an ipod and plug my ears with the ear buds and listen to my favorite music if he starts it up again. As for the roommate, tell him you DO NOT work for him, so if he wants something done he can do it himself. Period. Unfortunately I don't see anyway around this except to draw the line in the sand and see what happens. Sorry, wish I could wave a magic wand for ya.
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Steve, to tell the truth, I would be looking for a new client. This one sounds like bad news. Your job as a caregiver shouldn't include tech services for the roommate. That could be done as a favor if you wanted, but some people are just not appreciative of favors done. I once heard that it was best to avoid doing things for people because soon they expect it. In some instances that does apply. This looks like one of the instances.

I know someone that sounds so like the man you are caring for. He has AIDS and has alienated most people around him with his egotistical arrogance and craziness. The only way to get along with him is to act like you admire him and never disagree with him. I tried to imagine working for him. That would be dreadful. It is sad that you need the money, because it gives him leverage over you. The only advice I have is scout around for other clients and tolerate this one as long as you can. It's not good having a job we don't like, since work is such a large part of our lives. I hope that you're able to find new clients soon. If your present one is anything like the man I know, he is not going to change.
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