(I apologize in advance for the length of this:)
As of the end of June 2014, my older step-brother moved from the Southwest US up to our home in Ohio. We've never been close, there's about ten years age difference between us (he's 63) and we're very different people.
He's lived on his own for 30+ years and has a mean streak. He is highly intelligent and highly self-centered.
He suffered moderate strokes in March and April of this year. He spent two months in a TX nursing home, and found the experience very unpleasant to say the least. He very much wanted to stay on his own but finally realized he just couldn't do it by himself any longer and finally accepted our offer for him to move in with my family. He walks with the aid of a walker (when needed), he's able to bathe himself, go the bathroom, feed himself, drive around town, self - medicate,etc.
Between his SS income and his receipt of a lump sum disability payout, he was able to cover the costs of the move which included us flying from Dayton to Dallas, meeting up with him and driving back in his car.
It was agreed that we would provide him a private room, cover all his food expenses, laundry, trash, utilities, help with transportation, etc. In return, he agreed to pay us $500/mo.
My wife is a RN and it was expressed by us that having a nurse around could be useful should questions arise about health issues, medications, etc. Due to a degenerative back condition, she no longer does floor nursing. I too have a similar back condition that requires medication so more physical tasks such as moving this person are beyond our capacity.
Our hope was that he could remain independent and perhaps improve in Ohio with less stress and more help available. Finding his own apartment here in town also seemed a possible path that would've given him even more independence.
He is a 1.5 pack a day smoker....we permit smoking only outside-to which he has complied.
Until recently we'd felt the transition had gone reasonably well. We've tried to be as attentive as we could be to his requests, food preferences, laundry needs, setting up his bedroom, getting his driver's license, etc. I've also made it a point to try and sit with him for 30-45 minutes a day to visit. In other words, I/we've tried to make him feel as welcome as we could. No other family member or friend offered him a housing alternative. Just us.
The bumps that came up were...
1) a complaint of being too cold: The thermostat is set between 69-70 degrees. IN the summer, it doesn't usually fall below 72. We've also blocked the air vent in his bedroom, provided him a good quality space heater, and made available additional blankets and sweaters. He thinks we're keeping it "cold" just to :control" the issue...
2) one morning, he nastily complained that he was unsatisfied with the food situation. He claimed he spoke to my father (his step-dad), our sister, our aunt and his attorney and said if he didn't start getting prepared meals-he was going to refuse to pay his rent. I reminded him that a) the vast majority of the items he'd communicated to me that he wanted we in fact in the house and that b) if he wanted something else-he needed to let us know and c) "prepared meals" were never a daily service. Wife works 7 days on, 7 days off with 12 hours days, and my schedule is highly erratic. d) When we do have prepared meals, he's always welcome to join us. (As of a week or so ago, he acknowledged this issue had been resolved satisfactorily...)
3) the use of his car: In the month leading up to our going to TX to bring him back, he often and regularly offered us the unconditional use of his car. Knowing one of our vehicles was in need of a fairly serious repair-he almost daily remarked, "Well, once I get up there-you'll have another car to use as you need to..." To be clear-we didn't ask for this---he offered...
Once in Ohio, he continued to make the same offer, so we took him up on it several times a week. We liberally replaced whatever fuel we used. After a few weeks (and after the food complaint) he stated he was feeling abused about us using his car as we had been. I was floored. When I reminded him of all the times he'd reminded me of the availability of the car, he stated, "that's what you say." I asked him firmly if was saying I'd lied about the matter and he wouldn't answer. I told him it was certainly his car-and he had a right to change his mind if he wished on how we used it, but that I found it offensive to suggest I'd made it up. He then said "only in the case of emergencies," which we immediately respected.
Things were pretty quiet for about a month...
About 2.5 weeks ago, while the 3 of us were eating dinner on a Friday, out of the blue he tells my wife if it would make it easier on her she could use his car for work all week. We were surprised and identified a single day when it really would be helpful. Unfortunately, the next Monday, he fell in his bedroom and sustained another....