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I am 66 years old single women. I have been divorced my 20 years. My two daughters and their family live 2 thousands miles away.


I moved in to my 90 years old mother’s home 3 years ago so she could stay in her home. I have my own income and I pay for all my expenses. I do not take any money from my mother. The family says I am living rent free. I do all the cooking, cleaning, yard work everything. I help with my mother's daily shower and hygiene.


My deceased brother's son is 43 yrs old and brother's daughter is 50. When they come for a visit they act as if they are in charge and I am the help. I have asked that the great grandchildren 10,11 and 12 years old not to play hide and seek in my mother's bedrooms ever time they come for a visit for the last 2 years. My niece told my mother that she wanted her son to have the same experience she had as a child coming to grandma house with no restrictions.


A lot of passive aggressive remarks and body language. This is my grandma’s house and I can do whatever I want attitude.


I admit out of spite, I ask them not to get in the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets with out asking. I also asked them not to eat in the living room with out a plate.


I put a lock on the stand alone garage. It has never had a lock. My nephew went out to the garage and complained about it being messy to his grandma. He said to my mother I had a hard time getting around in the garage because it is messy and I don’t know what I going to do about it yet. My belongings and furniture is stored in the garage. The garage is full of a lot of stuff but, not messy. He did not have reason to be out in the garage anyway. He wanted to get his grandfather’s table saw and take it to his home. My father is deceased.


This all seems childish and silly. The adult grandchildren say I don’t make them feel welcome coming for visits. I have asked them to call before they come so I can have their grandma ready for a visit. They live 40 minutes away and come by 3 or 4 times a year. Now they do not call my mother or come over at all.


Maybe my problem is that no one has said thank you for taking care of their grandma. No one ever does anything for free or just because, my mother writes them a check for changing a light bulb.


I never had a dispute with my niece and nephew always a good relationship. Now I don’t like them and they do not like me.


I truly do not want to apologize to them but someone has to be a grown up.


I feel ashamed of my behavior and it is my fault that they do not call or come to see my mother. Which means she does not get to see her great grandchildren.


My mother can not live alone and no one is going to quit their job and lives and move in to take care of her.


My mother is easy to live with and care for. We have a good relationship. She stays in the bed all day watching old western movie and t v shows. Having visitors is good for her and makes her happy. She enjoys visits but she ready for them to leave after 30 minutes.

Have your mother call and invite the relatives to visit. Before they come have whatever belongings of yours secured so they won’t be bothered. And when they visit, leave before they come, treat yourself to a nice day out and do activities you enjoy, returning after they’ve gone. Tell your mother you want them to have a chance to have a nice visit and for her to give them your best regards. Your mom can tell them when she is tired and ready for rest
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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The short answer is that they don’t have a clue as to how you feel. It’s normal for you to feel annoyed and I wouldn’t want to be around them. Is it possible that when they visit you can get away?
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Is it possible for you to secure and prepay a small party room in a party center and meet there? A set location and a set menu paid for by you and your mother. Your job would be to care for Mom, not to spend the visit deflecting insults from your “family”. When Mom gets tired, leave. She may need to find some strength somewhere and tolerate them for more than a half-hour though. No one comes to the house before or after. Make that perfectly clear. Mom needs to rest and she cannot do that with relatives around in her home.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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My son n laws mother passed away yesterday. My family will be making the 2,000 mile trip here. They are staying in a local hotel.
Maybe with my daughters support and backing me we can have the needed conversation with my brothers children. The family need to do there own research about elder care and aging. Anyway
My mothers home is a two bedroom home with a sunroom not a lot space. When we have company the house fills up the volume goes up, a lot of activity.
I don’t no how to explain the effect of over stimulation for my mother. What I go through to settle her.
All I want is..when they come for a visit have the children bring their toys or electronics or play with toys and art supplies here and play nicely. No run and playing hide n go seek in the house. Just be mindful that I do live here and it is to my home too and that I am here to make it possible for her to stay in her home.
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Reply to anonymous982783
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I am surprised that they are so immature that they can't see that grandma has aged and things have changed.

I would have to say, if you want your children to have the same experience at grandma's house then take them to their grandma's house, this is great granny and it is different. You say their visits make her happy and it is only 3 or 4 times a year. Can you deal with the rambunctious little ones for a visit, it sounds like you get nervous and your mom probably feels the tension and it increases her agitation, just like a baby feeding off it's mommas feelings.

I think locking your personal belongings is completely okay. I think anything done out of spite is not good.

I think that apologizing for your personal behavior is a good way to build a bridge. Write down your points about why grandma can't handle over stimulation and compromise with what the kids can do. Just sitting is a little stiff and probably won't work. Maybe hide and seek with rules about volume and locations, but make sure that your mom doesn't enjoy watching them play. I personally love to watch children playing games that are rambunctious and busy, to much screen time for youngsters nowadays.

I would also do some research about how much a 24/7 caregiver would cost and let them know that you are willing to let them hire caregivers and you would happily start paying rent when you are no longer providing caregiving services that you are not being paid for.
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DofNPDmother Nov 26, 2019
Excellent comment in last paragraph!!
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In our family we have underlying issues. What we are fighting about it not the real problems.
The family has been keeping a secret about my nephew wife. She is a hoarder and does not clean up after herself. My sister n law has been talking about the mess her granddaughter’s are living in for years. She says the house needs to be gutted. The house belongs to my sister n laws. She acts like a victim and says she tried and tried and nothing get done. Recently her youngest granddaughter was diagnosed with a Autoimmune Disease due to the about of mold in the house and other causes not completely determined yet. She is getting treatment but the house has to be cleaned out.
I don’t know where they are with that.
I have said I am not going to be apart of the secret any more stop talking to be about it. I not going to sit and worry about if “she” is cleaning out the house any more. This is about a child’s life.
So, I guess my nephew feels he needs to find fault with me. Maybe
I feel like get your own house in order. I am doing the best I can do here with your grandma.
It is insane to allow one person who has a mental illness cause so much stress and concern.
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 26, 2019
What does that have to do with the children playing hide and seek?
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It sounds like they are waiting for her to die so they can get the house and assets. If she is "easy to care for" I assume she can manage her own bowels and bladder, which would qualify her for assisted living. Nobody needs to quit their job and take care of her. If she just needs occasional supervision I would consider assisted living. If she is still "with it" she really needs to establish Power of Attorney in case something happens to her, and share bank accounts to manage the household. My mom had very end stages of Alzheimer's at 90 and she was kept alive with a PEG feeding tube since she forgot how to swallow food/water, and was practically brain dead that she could not even smile or move her arms/legs so I had to do range of motion exercise to prevent her from becoming permanently contractured. I even had to induce bowel movements since she could not even do that. With a hoyer lift I put her in the living room daily for hours, and back to bed. My relationship with her was basically feeding one end, cleaning the other, and keeping her clean. Her body was amazingly healthy because I maintained her life support. If I did not have POA I'd be really screwed. She was VERY expensive. One single diaper was 50 cents and she would go through about four a day, which means $120 a month just for diapers. The gloves and tube feedings were also quite costly. Disposable bed pads were essential for bowel movement day. Those cost a lot. Enemas. Tons of wipes..medications...but she did not die of Alzheimer's. Rinseless bed bath bottles were about $10 a bottle. Lotrisome cream for rash. It just kept on going and going. She had liver cancer and died from that, and at home. I took care of her for YEARS and YEARS. She died pain free, and her skin was in perfect condition. Strange all the years I battled Alzheimer's it was her liver that killed her. From onset of symptoms to death was less than a week. She could have been a walkie-talkie self caring person and died the same way!

I never regretted the feeding tube. She did not have to die of dehydration. I fired hospice when they tried to talk me out of it...but it can take 2 to 3 weeks to die of dehydration and I cannot possibly watch someone I Love die like that. That's MONSTROUS!

I told my brothers when mom dies it will NOT BE ME that does it. God will kill her. And indeed God took her--stole her from me. I had nothing to do with it but nobody on this planet could have given her better care than that I. Nobody.
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1GivingUp Nov 30, 2019
In regard to the comment about the family waiting for their grandmother to die to take the assets, in your situation, did you have a conflict or contest of the will due to you putting in a lot more work? Who of you and your siblings ended up with more assets in the end? You see, to me to put in love to a parent's care does not always mean that the Will will magically divide the assets according to efforts made by a caregiver, or to be fair. Would you in essence put your self first because you took care of her more and expect more from the will? Or do you all get along with your siblings? I am truly curious as I am going through an end stage situation and I am appalled by my siblings' behaviors. I was their caretaker as a child, and I had to take on more than I could chew... and I also kept them safe and such, but I allowed the one to take over as POA not to discard me and push me out of the famiily, like they did....and to me this is where America is failing...it is sad to see, and everyone should simply get their share and let rivalry be gone. I would like to know if it was or is the same for you now?
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Why not just move on? Get out of the circle, place your mother in AL, restart your life. No need for anyone to quit their job to care form your mother. She has lived her life, everyone else needs to do the same, including you.

You need your own life, your own space. It will come eventually, she will die, then what?
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NeedHelpWithMom Nov 30, 2019
So true. Things don’t always work out as we want them to.
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I did not read the whole post properly and am removing my comment. I would definitely find some more visitors in the area for her, maybe even take her to a day program once in a while to keep her interested in things. I heard of someone coming in to the home to do an art class with seniors recently.

I would try to write the others a long letter explaining your feelings and asking them to call you when they are ready to. Explain that you love them and that you are indeed not taking any money and find that the working in the home is unpaid, and so, rent is not an issue. Your mother has enough pension to cover the cost of electricity and such. This will lay to rest thier suspicions because most of us come from suspicious families...aka dysfunctional.
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If your Mother prefers to stay in her home, these so-called “adult” grandchildren get you as part of the deal. That means that since you live there, it is your house too! So, you live there AND your are your Mother’s full time caregiver - that gives you all kinds of authority, you just need to take it. You can set visiting hours (when your Mom will be at her best for the day). You can set the length of the visit (so Mom doesn’t get unnecessarily tied). You absolutely can set rules about hellions tearing up the house, or you can make them stop when they try. Make it all about your Mom. Phrase it all as her caregiver.

Also, you need to protect Mom’s stuff and her money if you think they are leaning on her too hard or too often. Stay strong and stand for your Mom.
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Reply to BeckyT
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Your story is a good example of why, in my opinion, no one should take on the responsibility of caregiving without having the authority to do so i.e. having durable power of attorney both medical and financial.

You are being treated like a guest in your own home, like unpaid help, and considered a freeloader by your other family members who haven't the slightest idea of what it's like to care for an aging parent.

Your nieces and nephews are adults. One of those two bedrooms is yours, and it's your personal space. Asking a 43 year old and a 50 year old to stop their children from invading your space should not create havoc. If grandma allows them to play in her bedroom, that's her business. Still, the children should ask for permission and knock before entering a bedroom or any room with a closed door.

The garage is where you keep your belongings. Your nephew should have asked for permission to go in there and should have asked grandma if he could have the table saw. If your grandma agreed, he needs to make arrangements with you to get it out of there because that involves touching your belongings. He sounds quite entitled and disrespectful of other people's things.

You earn your own money; therefore, I would hire a weekly housekeeper instead of doing all the cleaning yourself. If your mother died tomorrow, what would happen to you and to the house where you live? A long battle over inheritance? I know it's unpleasant to think about but your mother is 90 and things can change very fast.

And your mother needs to give someone the authority to make decisions for her should she become unable to do so. Get yourself and your mother consults to an elder law attorney.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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I would not want to have anyone come into my home and expect me to be their servant. I would simply say you are very tired and that you would like them to go get their own snack as long as they can eat it in the kitchen. It sounds to me like the family expects you to be the hostess at a party not realizing you are simply tired and have two jobs not one and do not need to be the hostess for visitors too, maybe ask them to bring a pot luck and enjoy food together as a family instead of expecting a traditional role of them coming over and you serving them hand and foot.

I can say that people will be suspicious and make passive aggressive remarks as they do wonder and worry about their elderly because many do get taken advantage of, and to let them know you are not one of these people who does that and can prove it to them. Ask them if they at all may be actually be feeling guilty that they are not around and thus want to put their guilt on to you to get their minds a rest. Tell them you do your work out of love for your mother and that you wished that some time people would understand you and say Thank You and not to expect service or to pay rent, when rent money is not needed by your mother as your work for her is being given for free. If you were to charge $20 an hour even if that means the hours you sleep with one eye open in case she needs help in the middle of the night that the work you put in is equal to paying rent if not more than rent of someone who is simply sharing a bathroom and kitchen. (You need to learn to ask for validation).

I would make sure to tell them that you would rather feel appreciated for all the work you do and that the remark about the garage sounded not positive but like an insult to you because you need to rest too and cannot do the whole of everything alone. You chose mom over the garage and that the garage was not in shambles but simply filled with your own household belongings while your mother lives.

Suggest he come and help you to organize it better since he is a man and men are good at organizing garages. This will stroke his ego. As again, they might be mindlessly making comments out of guilt.

As for the children in the bedrooms, let them, but put up a couple of cameras hiding in the bedroom for security reasons. Maybe even a baby-monitor from your mother's room into your own room. The children should not be going into your bedroom that is an invasion of privacy.

Please let them know that you would rather know when they visit because a person with dementia needs to be reminded over and over of a visit so not to scare her as to why all these people are in the house. You can suggest they look up some Youtubes video on visiting or talk to the Alzheimers Society about just showing up as it might be that it is the wrong time of the day too, as they do tend to get tired or want to be quiet during the later part of the day and not have a bunch of people come over and keep them on high alert.

You can tell them you belong to a support group for people caring for elderly parents and that you are only following the procedures that others use and do not have any other motives for asking them this.

I think by telling them now and not after they start accusing you of terrible things would be best, and having a written letter, maybe post it to see if it needs some changes on here...and we can all work together on this to see if it helps you.

Please explain to them also that visits are appreciated and they are missed, but that again, you are trained in taking care of your mother's condition and needs and that you only want that what they do is to visit with a notice and maybe some good food to share with your mom and you to avoid overworking yourself. Mom, is no longer capable of doing it all. You would rather that your mother does not suffer by not having visitors because people did not consider the whole picture but jumped to their own conclusions.
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You are the one in charge here. Put your foot down and say this is the way it is going to be. You're the caregiver.
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