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When my uncle died, my cousins approached me about taking care of their mother. They said she was very forgetful and were concerned for her safety and felt she needed someone to live with her. I suffer from fibromyalgia and am unable to work full time. Initially, the deal sounded great, but as plans progressed, I became more and more wary of the idea.

While my cousins claimed I wouldn't have many duties, "just be there and check to make sure he remembered to eat her dinner", I was discovering I would likely need to do most of the grocery shopping, light cleaning, take her to doctor appointments. She cannot remember how to use the microwave, stove, or dishwasher. She can't remember where the silverware is, etc. then, lio and behold, my aunt Became belligerent about having someone in her home. While I was originally to have the upstairs to myself, my cousins suddenly sprang on me that I'd get one little bedroom.

The clincher then was they only wanted to pay me $300/month....

When I approached them about the arrangements being changed and I was not happy with the low compensation, my cousin, who is doing very well financially, got angry and said she wouldn't pay a cent more and that I should be glad they were getting a place to live rent free, (implying I'm ungrateful, greedy, and selfish).

Needless to say, now we are not even speaking. I trusted they were going to be honest and fair, and I started my plans to move ahead of time (yea, dumb me!). Fortunately, I wound up moving in with my elderly parents and I'm helping them instead.

I'm sad the relationship with my one cousin is basically destroyed, but I believe they were trying to exploit me and I escaped a bad situation. (They are also furious that they have had to move her in with one of the cousins and have to pay other caregivers.) What do you think?

Jen

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You didn't just dodge the bullet by getting out before you got trapped, you literally dodged a Stinger missile that was definitely targeted for you.
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$300 a month.... wow, a whooping $1.79 a hour to be a 24-hour caregiver [168 hours]. Gosh why wouldn't you jump at that chance, especially working with such lovely cousins :P

You definitely did the right thing. Sad that your Aunt's own children weren't willing to do the heavy work, yet blamed you for saying "no".
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Thanks so much for all the validation, folks. (Stinger missile, GardenArtist, lol!). I had no idea this would turn out as it has. Yes, I did have 5 decades of history! Lots of time as kids. Less as adults, but several times a year. And many good times.

The one I had the biggest fallout with hates her mother and I think she was hoping to rid herself of dealing with her so much. This one came at me so harshly that I have been taken aback. I knew I wasn't crazy or greedy!

I most certainly will be back. I'm dealing with things with my aging parents, but much is a process and they seem to be happy I'm around most of the time, lol!
We are starting to get some help from the VA for my 93 year old dad, and I have someone coming from the local Area Agency on Aging to assess other services. I helped my parents through some monstrous medicare issues and changes, but we survived. I may look at how I'd eventually receive payment for some homecare, but we're not at that point yet. I found a small part time job thank goodness, after the aunt situation fell apart.

Again, thanks for affirming that I'm not crazy... :)
Blessings, Jen
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Wow...$300....full time live in caretaker? Are these people that out of touch with reality? Be grateful you got out of that one. It will be interesting to see who ends up taking care of your aunt. With most NH's costing over 6000 per month and assisted living at least 3500 per month, watch these people squirm when 2 day shifts of in home care per week costs over $300.

There is good advice on this forum, read up and remember to create a life for yourself. Good luck to you.
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Update on this situation:
My aunt actually has Alzheimer's. Just diagnosed.

A discussion with a cousin became an argument. "What more do you want??" Questioned my cousin.

Now family expects me to forgive and forget. I'm not budging. People trying to exploit me, dishonest about how bad my aunt was doing, and then making me out to be the bad guy because the pay and communication was so terrible. My life, uprooted, moving, desperate to find a job, etc. really put me in dire straits.

I feel bad for my aunt. I really do. But major apologies will be required before I "forgive And forget". Grrrr.

Just needed to vent ...
Jen
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Screw them. Your cousins were most certainly trying to exploit you. Thank heavens you moved in a different direction. I'm sure the fallout is depressing and awkward. You probably had decades of connection with your cousins, and never foresaw an outcome like this. But always remember, they created the sh*t-storm, not you. It's probably best not to dwell on why they are so self-centered and disrespectful. Just move forward one day at a time. Take care of yourself and your parents -- in that order! And keep coming back to AC Forum for support and good perspectives.
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Nutty girl, they are clueless. $300 a month is phooey, I'll be she gets three times that amount in Social Security and they are trying to line their own pockets with the rest. Buncha ding dongs if you ask me.
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Nutty girl, though I totally agree you dodged some kind of heavy ammunition here, I would reconsider forgiving, though not forgetting :-)

They possibly really thought - or wanted to think - Mom was just having a little memory trouble, and that giving you $300.00 a month and a roof over your head was ample compensation for just being "around" for mom if she ever needed you, and a solution to your being unable to work. But, they were really having denial trouble. They did not want to believe how much work was involved because they did not want to believe how impaired their Mom really was. And possibly they did not know in advance that she would treat you like an intruder and not even be mentally capable of seeing you were there to help. They did ask too much of you, in large part due to denial and failure to think things through at all - they thought they had a quick fix instead of the nightmare that is Alzheimer's. I hope they are planning realistically for that now. Steer them here and convince them to get the paperwork done for POAs and/or guardianship if it isn't already, maybe think ahead to financing options for memory care if family care is just not going to work out.
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GardenArtist said just what I was thinking. She said it a lot better, though. It's a shame that family will use and disrespect you like this, but they will. At least she didn't ask you to pay rent. That would have been the topper.
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Yes.
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