I moved here from Utah with about $20 to my name after 2 1/2 years of unemployment, and had been reduced to living in a tent by the river. I was desperate, and took it essentially sight-unseen on the recommendation of a close friend. I knew one person, the woman who helped me get the job.
I am living on a large family-owned property within shouting distance of her sons houses, in a very rural, isolated area of the mtns. east of Monterey, CA, It is 22 miles of dirt and mountain roads to the closest village (too small to be designated a town). I have very little social network, and no one with experience I can speak freely to. I'm being paid cash. UTT, no receipts, just an informal employee contract and list of duties. Said duties have increased exponentially, but my pay has not.
I am only allowed "off the mountain" on my days off and am still struggling with basic issues like getting my car legal to drive, getting on MediCal, paying off back debts, etc. Basic "functioning in normal society" kinds of things. I can't afford to lose this job, because with the cost of rent here I would be back in my tent again. It's hard to camp and look for work when your plates are expired.
My employers (the three sons of the woman I care for) are frightening me. I don't fear for my physical safety so much as I am finding it difficult to do my job properly due to my fear of their impatience, explosive tempers, and of being held personally accountable for not being able to cajole, manipulate or somehow force their mother to do things like bathe when they want, change clothes daily, participate in family gatherings, etc. She can be a peach on a good day but is usually mean, belligerent and nasty. I need their support and back-up, it is becoming obvious that they simply want me to "get it done". I understand that they are under tons of stress, but it seems that they just want to install be here as a keeper and walk away..
They understand all about dementia and stubborn behavior when it suits them, but always, ALWAYS throw be under the bus when I she won't "behave". I have been threatened with termination if I cannot get my client to bathe every Wed.. and Sat. So tonight when she wouldn't bathe after my trying all day, I was criticized for not succeeding, and for not reporting the problem sooner in the day. I was also told that "We will be talking tomorrow." Yes, I should have called sooner, but in all honesty, I was afraid to. No one helps, no one listens, the women in the family are supportive but have little power. I feel so trapped. Any ideas?