Follow
Share

We recently moved my Grandmother in with us. I have 2 children, ages 13 and 15. They have already given up quite a bit of freedom, on days that I work they have Grandma duty when they get home from school. We have a caregiver that comes until noon, so she takes care of her shower, breakfast and lunch, so the kids are mostly keeping her company, warming up her coffee, giving her an arm to lean on to get from here to there and reassuring her when she asks every 3- 5 minutes that her cat has been fed. I don't make them help her with her bathroom issues (she wears a depend and I clean up any mess when I get home), I just need them to be here with her. If they want to have friends over they can, they just have to promise to check on grandma and not ignore her. They both get frustrated though, it does get old answering the same questions over and over and over again. They usually at some point ditch her for a while and decompress in their rooms. But they do check on her. It's just that when she is alone for any length of time she gets all depressed and moody and starts in with the "Nobody wants me here, I should just go to a home". Is it appropriate that I leave her with them? Is this asking too much? I don't think it's fair for them to have to sit and watch TV with her all afternoon, so I don't make them. I also don't want them to resent her, or me! Not sure what to do, I am new to all of this.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
It sounds like you are doing a good job, lesa1919. I guess it is a bonus that they get to have friends over, and it is not everyday. Watch for signs of burnout in the kids, and help them with some changes to the routines. I think I'd continue to offer to pay for "extra" sitting. like when you go out in the evening.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Well, what are your options, really?

Have an honest talk with your kids - and lavish them with praise for what they do and how much it helps you. Keep doors of communication wide open so they feel comfortable and safe to decompress with you as needed.

Regarding your Mom, how about having small things like a photo album for her to peruse. Can she call friends?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm so glad to read about things that work. My daughter is 22, but in some ways still a teenager. I can send her and my 68-year-old "son" (husband, LOL) out to play so I get a little quiet. They usually take a long walk, so it's even healthy!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Try redirecting questions to other subjects so you and others are not having to repeat the answer. Answer it once then when they ask again. talk about something else your grandmother is interested in. I do this my mother...so far it works!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Can you make a sign about the cat being fed, so that they don't ask that every few minutes? My mom is always trying to figure out how old she is, so I finally figured out to write big on a little whiteboard on her fridge, "You are 93!!" She can look over and easily see it.

Maybe your daughters could create a little "calendar" that says "Today is Monday, June 3" and "Suzie has been fed - YAAAY!" They can fill it in with Grandma every day when they get home from school and keep it where they can point to it when Grandma asks. With enough repetition, she'll look there first (hopefully).

Even with my mom, the constant repetition of questions every few minutes can drive me up the WALL! I tell her to write stuff down and then when she asks the same thing two minutes later, I hand her what she just wrote. I can laugh right now about it, but some days it's extremely frustrating!

Your daughters sound like they're doing OK and Grandma is too. It's tough to put everyone together without a few issues here and there. Good luck with it!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you very much for your advice and comments. jeanegibbs, I only work part time, 2-3 days a week. So they are only home alone with her from 3-6 during school, 2-6 during summer. I actually offered to pay my daughter the other night to hang out with Grandma so I could go to dinner with a friend and she said I didn't have to pay her. My kids have actually been pretty great about it. They are sweet, caring souls. I just want to keep it this way.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

lesa1919 - I had my mother-in-law move in with us too and both my husband and I work 5 days a week. Our son, age 16-17, had "grandma duty" too from 3-6 p.m. after he got home from school. He was also allowed to have friends over, but he had to help his grandmother any time she needed help and had to check on her occasionally to make sure she's doing okay. He whined about it then, but later, after she was moved to an Assisted Living facility, he admitted it wasn't that bad and actually kind of missed her being there. I looked at it as a win-win situation. He gets to have friends over when I was at work, and he was "somewhat" (her Dementia eventually got worse) supervised by his grandmother by the mere fact that she was there. I didn't pay my son anything. His "payment" was by being allowed to have his friends over when we weren't home. Plus, I felt it important for him to learn to help a family member in need if and when possible - which it was. And my mother-in-law would say similar things too - that she's just in the way, etc. I explained to her that it benefitted us and our son/her grandson because he gets to have friends over when they're normally not allowed - and that made her feel better - like she was helping out. It's not an ideal situation for everyone, but it worked for us. Good luck!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

They do this "on days that I work" -- is this 5 days a week, or 2? Is it for and hour and a half or (in the summer) from noon until 6? A few more details will probably get more specific answers.

When I married 40 years ago we blended our families and had 2 teenage girls and 2 preschool boys. Our babysitting policy was always to ask the girls if they wanted the job. If they didn't we got a sitter. We paid whoever sat the same -- family or other teen. We did not pay the teens for everything they did -- they had chores and responsibilities around the house. But we thought it was hard enough for them to adjust to such a drastic change in family dynamics and the makeup of the household that we wanted to reduce and possible causes for resentment that we could. I'm happy to say the the step-siblings all like each other!

I think that what you are having your teens do is Gramma sitting. Personally, I think that they should be paid and it should either be limited (for example, to one day a week) or it should be optional. You should have someone else available to do this, too. The funds should ideally come from Gramma's income or assets.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.