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I take care on my mother in law at great lose to my husband's business. I am POA for my mother in law, so i started to take a salary to recoop some of the lose. The brothers freaked and so did my mother in law ( very loudly and very rudely)and demanded I stop taking the money.(so i stopped) They all insist I do it for free, but I can't. They said that they found a way to help her... Se has mild dimentia so she thinks she can do things and can't. The biggest thing she won't do is bath. I tried to explain that the 5 days a week I spend with her is for love but the bathing i have to charge for. Back to the help they found for her... they told me, and, she told me she could bath herself. One of my brother in laws would take her once a week to get her hair done. Well two weeks after "the meeting" No hair done, no bath. So I went back to the routine...by and by....I try to bath her twice a week...she refuses. She lives alone in a house I remodeled for her after a flood, and doesn't drive she has no friends and doesn't want any stangers in the house.. So I do everything...It would be easier to have her live with us but I have a 800 sqft house with two teenagers, myself and my husband. There is simply no room, her house is bigger...I'm not moving...I can't leave her to fend for herself. The one son takes her on holidays(lives out of state) and other visits once a week and takes her to breakfast (with her about an hour or less). I don't know what to do. In the last "meeting" One of the brothers threatened to "hurt us so deeply we will never recover".....unfortunely that is already happening a major guilt factor is i am so busy trying to do everything with out help i haven't had a chance to document all that i've done it's all snowballing out of control,,,actually sending this thread is setting me back even further, but mentally I'm useless at this point... got any advise?

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My mother who lives independently feels the same way. I travel 35 miles one way when I go to help her and no offer of gas money, even though I would never accept it. She talks about hiring someone to help her, but that as far as it goes. I refuse to become her unpaid help. She has the financial resources to hire outside help. So I only visit every two weeks and do only the bare minimum. When she gets to the point where living independently is not an option then she will have a choice of assisted living or NH. I will refuse to become her unpaid servant in my own home. The reason for this penny pinching, inheritence for me and 3 others. No thanks, let her use it on her own care!
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I especially liked the almost last sentence of Jeanne's post; "Bad decisions ruined the years of your life you were living through." I would just add, take time for some counseling and looking at how those decisions were bad and why. A lack of honesty, pressure from jobs, a complete lack of focus on what each of you were going through. How did you all get so disconnected?

I hope you can start over with your husband and children. Even if you can't, its better to be able to see clearly where you were and why. You don't want to go through something like this again. It might be a completely different situation, but the communication skills or lack of them, can end up giving you the same feelings.

Love and Hugs, Cattails
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Unappreciated, could you consider family counselling, now, while you are still in college? Divorce is always an option. An attempt to salvage the marriage doesn't mean you couldn't still go ahead with the divorce if it doesn't work out.

Sounds like you BOTH were under a lot of strain, stress, and trauma.

Please remember that you both made choices. They may not have felt like choices at the time. You may feel exploited and perhaps you were. But how were you "forced" to care for MIL during the day? A gun to your head? A threat? Black mail? Your BIL did not feel "forced" to do what you and your husband considered his part. He made a decision about his own behavior. So did you. You decided to go along with whatever was "forcing" you to care of MIL every day. Your inlaws claimed it was your responsibility and they would tell on you if you didn't do what they thought you should do. And you decided to go along with that.

None of you can go back and change your decisions. But I hope you will get some professional help in dealing with the aftermath of those decisions. Bad decisions ruined the years of your life you were living through them. I hope you can put them behind you and start over, married or divorced. It is time to heal.
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I've been in your shoes, but my husband and I had an attic fire one month before my husband was told by MIL's Dr that his mother can no longer be left alone. Sure his only sibling, a brother helped out in the beginning,(no where close to half). In a matter of a couple of months he stopped helping out completely because his wife would have divorced him. Meanwhile, my husband made one floor of our house liveable for our child and my because even though the fire was contained to the attic and the ceilings to the bathroom & a bedroom we had a massive amount of water & smoke damage throughout the house. So after the BIL stopped helping, my husband had to move into the MIL's house leaving our child and me behind. I was also forced to care for my MIL during the day so my husband could make a living & try to fix our house, we were underinsured, but my husband went to school for bldg. This went on for 9 months!!! I was attending college...GPA started to suffer, I started withdrawing from alot of classes. Our child was going through PTSD & I didn't notice it because I was also diagnosed with it. Well nine months later my MIL went into a nursing home. She had a minor stroke & was declared incompetent. It was when she was in the nursing home that we noticed my BIL had been receiving thousands of dollars from my MIL for nothing!!! Sure she paid me $10 to be there, but I didn't want to be there!!! I was always kind to her, but my husband & his family used me!! I should have been finished with college a few months ago, instead I'm almost starting over from the beginning (to be an RN). My MIL was in the nursing home for 11mos before passing away 2 months ago. My husband & I had a great marriage, but I hold alot of resentment towards him now & I loathe his brother & sister in law! The worse part is that I never got any credit from any of them & my inlaws told us that if we walked away that they would call elder affairs on us for abandoning her! I'm actually considering divorce after college.
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If you brother in laws feels strongly enough to issue a threat to you, its time you really make a decision to turn over the poa to her son's. You have done what you feel is right but you should not ignore this red flag! If your heart is heavy over how her sons may not take care of our mil call social services, get legal advice and especially talk to your husband, let him know your concerns he should be a major player in this situation, don't tackle this alone. GOD Bless YOU.
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What is wrong with people??? My goodness, how much can you take from so called FAMILY members who have no heart and are greedy??? Honestly, how can one person be so indestructible that they don't deserve some help from other family members??? In my situation, my sister and I share POA duties. My brother is so totally support of us and the decisions we make, however, he has some on going health issues of his own in addition to his 36 year old step son who has stage 4 liver cancer. We don't make demands on him because we understand, but we still supports us emotionally and morally. I can't ask any more from him. I really think fireguy69 should resigns all duties as POA but make sure that her MIL is cared for by either a third party or another family member. If the family doesn't step up, then I would call Adult Protective Services regarding elder abuse!!!

As for you christy I would check into adult day care or home health care. I would rather pay professionals than family to visit my loved one! My father also had Alzheimer's and my sister and I took my father out every Saturday so my mom could get a break. We love this time with him and for other family members who are older and can't take the love one out, why should it be an issue of paying them to visit other than greed?? Christy, I would check into adult day care for a couple times a week. Do it for yourself!! You deserve some down time and forget about involving the family!!!

God Bless all of you for doing what is right for a family member and having to deal with the unnecessary difficulties from selfish people!!
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My heart goes out to everyone who has posted here. Where is the humanity within our families. God bless each and everyone of you who do your best to make another person's life worth living. God bless you for trying to give them as sense of safety, comfort and love. I pray we can all find our own comfort among the storms.
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How CAN you do it for free? If you are not getting any help from family members then how do they all expect you to care for her out of your own pocket only? I can relate, and I agree it's totally ridiculous! I am going through something similar....but different. I have my husband's own family (including my mother in law) not wanting to help out at ALL unless she gets paid to do it! But I am not asking her to take care of him financially. I take care of him financially, but do not think I should have to PAY his family to visit him or take him out once in a while or come over to play dominoes with him while I take a BREAK...and a MUCH NEEDED BREAK at that! My husband also has dementia, so I can relate very much to your frustrations. I pray things work out for you.
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My heart goes out to you, it's just amazing how family members can be when the time comes to caring for an elderly parent. You are going an outstanding work here unfortunately your BIL's don't recognize it. You can probably force their hand by resigning your duties as POA. They will have not choice but to find help for her. Do they want her in a care home which will have to be paid out of her estate. You are up against a wall and your health and well being needs to be addressed. I hope you seek advice from an attorney to help you make some decisions for yourself and what would be the best thing for your MIL. Keep me updated and stay strong!!
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Thank you sharynmarie. Like I said Safety is or business. I removed the toaster oven and disconnected the electric stove (not that she would notice) I set up meals for her to mircowave. I was called in for and emergency new mircowave ddelivery... because she set a meal for 50 mins and the thermal dynamics automatically shut the microwave down....I unplugged it and plugged it back in and it was fine. So as long as I take care of everthing she is fine....She worked hard her whole life in 1986 when she retired my FIL did everything for her. Cook, clean, drive, bath and finances, everything. She hasn't managed anything for over 25 years.She doesn't do anything except sit and watch tv and microwave meals.She won't even drink water cause she doesn't want to get up to go to the bathroom. I put out the garbage, laundry,cleaning... everything. I recently changed her pychiatrist cause MIL said she was scared of her (I was too)last one. The new one is thorough but doesn't have the benefit from good notes taken from the sacry Dr.... still fighting to get them but I don't feel confident she kept notes. It's going to take time for him to make an assesment. So to the world there is nothing mentally or physically wrong with her....but I don't keep any sharp knives in the house either. Maybe some "adult" proofing will help in your case.....but don't get me wrong...it's not easier just safer. Plus I don't treat MIL as if i think there is something wrong with her....when she start screaming at me or having a tantrum i leave...I could have died when she threw the medicine bottle at the pharmasist. No it's not easy when they start to lose it...but they have an excuse.
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One more thing, the attorney who wrote up her estate trust and the POA is not the attorney you want to go so. He/she works for your MIL not you. See a different attorney.
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Such a difficult situation. I do agree that you would need to ask the entire family including MIL if you can be paid before paying yourself. People with Alzheimer's/Dementia can become afraid of water, what stage is she?? This seems to be a situation that is causing you financial problems. Does you husband agree there is financial difficulties then the two of you need have a serious discussion. I would check into Geriatric Care Management. They will see that all your MIL's needs are taken care of and work with the family.I do not believe you forfeit a POA when you hire a Geriatric Care Manager. If the family refuses let you get the assistance you need, go to an elder law attorney for advice. It also sounds like your MIL needs to be evaluated by a dr. to find out what stage she is at. I have POA shared with my sister. Our mother has always been a difficult personality and she has dementia. Recently she refused a memory test and accused me and my sister of trying to have her placed in a care home plus take all her money.The dr. told us since she is not incompetent we can't do anything to help her if she won't let us. She started a kitchen fire and that is why we wanted a current memory test taken. The dr. also told us that when she gets to a point of not taking good care of herself, we can call Adult Protective Services who will come to her home to evaluate her (she will have not choice but to cooperate with them). Does your MIL still cook and clean for herself...laundry, housekeeping, etc. I do not recommend leaving her unbathed. Again get her to a dr. she may benefit from some medication such as anti-depressants. If she won't let you take her, then have your husband take her. Since you have the POA, meet them at the dr. office because the dr. will not discuss her health with you without a POA on file. Good luck to you and I hope a solution is found quickly.
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Of course she doesn't need the help, she has you. How does this happen? I read over and over again about poor individuals who have a heart, like you, and are taken complete advantage of. The family members do not help, except when money is involved. They find the one person they can push into doing it all because that person is kind, or doesn't know how to speak up.

Fireguy, you have to put an end to this. If MIL goes into a home, then the BIL's won't get all her money in the joint checking accounts. This money will be used for her NH care. Think about it. They are using you so they can basically take everything and leave your husband out. Listen to the attorney.

I would tell BIL's and MIL that things are changing. You are no long sole caregiver. And go back to your life. Visit her often. Nothing says you have to sacrific yourself to these selfish BIL's. I would love to see you do this, for your own health and well being. And remember, you are the Daughter in law, not the son, not the daughter, not even the grandchild. How did this happen?
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Thank you gailmcg. Yes I've been going to a support group as part of my resoultions for the new year. It was rejuvinating. Safety is out business....I renovated the house when it flooded in 2010 so when the bathrooms were redone they were done with their aging in mind....safety bars and handle grips seat lifts and grips...no exspense spaired. At that time My FIL was alive and needed much more assistance them her....which I gave(diapers, foley bag, dressing, bathing, medication). I know she's scared, and I think I am alittle enabing being there everytime she expects me to. How do I explain to her that I am the only thing that's stopping her from going into a home? She still thinks she can do everything and yes she puts her best foot forward for the family. One BIL took her for the week between Christmas and New Year. She came back with a gash on her shin and soars around her bra strap area. None bothered to tell me that their Diabetic mother fell and to watch the leg.....rather it took 3 days to get an answer of what happened... their response was she took a spill they figured I see it when I bathed her. Plus she didn't bath or change her clothes the entire week (hence the soars) I am supposed to think they are going to notice her dimentia? I have backed off and I am slowly weening her off me. There is no one else that's helping, not the 6 grandchildren less then 30 mile away and able to drive, not the other daughter in laws....who have oppinions....and not afraid to use them. She has too much of an income to qualify for help and she doesn't drive. She won't let strangers in th home and the friend I got to come by for 25.00 (to clean, cook and chat 3hrs worth) was dismissed by the family cause MIL said she didn't need her either. It's sad because I don't think even winning the lottery can fix this and that was always my go to thought when trying to get to sleep.
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Thank you everyone...I just took a moment to see the responses. mommag thank you, your anger brought tears to my eyes. I don't know what to do. I spoke with a lawyer and it seems that the BIL never filed FIL's will so that will cost me money to pursue and he's the executor (don't think the will is legal)...bottom line.... I won't get any help from the lawyer(once again helping them) but I will have to pay for it. They still haven't done anything for her....no hair appointments..and the breakfast date has stopped. I 'm still doing my thing bathing her. I just noticed that the 2011 calender I had with the detail of my comings and goings....my only record....is missing. I believe BiL took it after "the meeting" cause MIL doesn't touch anything or throw out anything. Husband is in a bad place, we were both threatened but my husband is being hit the hardest. He appreciates what I am doing for him but hates that the other 2 benefit. When MIL threw us under the bus it was the final blow. Husband and I have been telling the family that we couldn't do what was needed for many months and explained how much it would cost for outside help. All of our pleas went unanswered. That is another reason I started taking a salary. I knew it would get their attention. They asked me " What did you think we would say when we found out your were taking mom's money?" I replied "Thank you, cause it would cost us three times as much elsewhere." They proceeded to take MIL to the bank and have their names but joint on her account with out my husband. At first I was happy cause they would stop pestering me for paperwork and could see that I wasn't taking advantage. But the lawyer pretty much killed any joy I may have mustarded. Husband is now effectively no longer entitled to an inheritance, cause that's all she has. But that doesn't matter. I am hurt not being appreciated by the very women who say she loves me and needs me yet refuses to say she needs me to the family. I cut down my visits to only rides to PT , DR's and bathing..I used to arrange it so I would see her once a day. I'm down to 3 times a week. She's sad and cries all the time but dealing kinda. I haven't communicated with the family since "the meeting" the first weekend of the New Year. She has though, so hopfully she is telling them what's going on and not just saying "yep" to their questions (if they are even asking any) You're right it's only going to get worse..... I'm worried for her, my husband, our children and our business, and what those idiots(they're not dumb) have in store for us. No good deed goes unpunished.
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Bless you for seeing a need and trying to help. But you must take care of the caregiver (You!) Good advise Jennegibbs. She had to sign you on as the POA and presumably the rest of the family knew that at the time. Caregiving is not a required duty of a POA. It only gives you the power to make health related decisions IF she is incompetent, or if you are a DPOA (durable) to make financial decisions. No, that didn't give you the right to decide on your own to pay yourself. With developing dementia she probably is frightened! And does not want to admit it. That often is the reason elders don't want to take a bath - the fear of falling. Are there safety bars and a bath seat or tub bench and shower hose? If money for safety equipment is an issue contact Visiting Nurses, VFW, the church, senior center, etc. often they have loaner equipment. The senior center (every county has one - part of Area Agency on Aging) should be able to help you find a bath aide, . Trained people who confront these situations all the time. It will be worth it twice a week. The BIL will think so to if she "decides" not to have a bath for a couple of weeks.
I have found that as people lose their ability to do things they often try to cover that out of fear that family with take away their independence, no longer respect them, or treat them like a child. Make her environment as safe as possible, provide her with nutrition and necessary medication and let her make her own decisions even if you don't lilke her choices. You can be there when you need to for her safety, but don't try to tell her what to do or do things for her.
Most important is for the family to understand what she is like. If they are only with her for an hour or so a week it is possible she is at peak performance for them and her behavior conflicts with the picture you provide. Take time off, have them spend "real" time with her.
Contact your local Senior Center; most of them have support groups for caregivers just like you and there may be other free services. Our Senior Center has an elder law attorney available to consult with.
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Presumably she also raised your husband's brothers for free and out of love. So how come the entire burden rests on just one of her sons? And how come that entire burden got passed on to you?

If she is still legally competent to make decisions, it is up to her whether she wishes to hire your services. Having POA only kicks in if she can't legally make her own decisions. She can decide whether she wants to hire you or not. You can decide whether you want to work for her or not. Neither of you can be forced into doing something you decide not to do.

I suggest that you go back to whatever you were doing that prevented great loss to your husband's business. Get your own financial affairs back in order. Contribute as the rest of the family does, for free and out of love. For example, you could take her out for breakfast one day a week, and perhaps also have her over for some holidays. That should be fair, right?

If she has money, she should be using it for her own care. If she doesn't have enough money for her own care, her sons should be looking into how she can qualify for some financial aid, such as elderly waiver programs or medicaid. If you feel that she is at risk because she really cannot be as independent as she thinks she can, try once more to convince all of her sons that something needs to be done. If nothing happens, contact social services. You cannot, as a caring person, just let her fend for herself. But that very definitely doesn't mean you personally have to take care of her.

She doesn't have to pay you.

You don't have to work for free (or even for pay, if you don't want to).

If everyone calms down and you decide you do want to work for you MIL in a caregiver capacity, get a lawyer involved, get everything in writing, and keep records.
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I agree with many of the posts here. I also agree with Mayasbop who asked if you got permission to charge your mother-in-law, prior to writing yourself a check. If you didn't, then you made a mistake.

The best thing to do is admit that openly to all concerned and explain that you are not in a financial position to work for free. It sounds like you simply can't afford to and there is no shame in that.

The brothers should check into the cost of in-home care or assisted living. If in fact you still are willing to help with your MIL's care, let them know what you need financially. They can make the comparisons and they can make the decisions.

You need to set your boundaries and decide what you and your family need to survive. Your MIL can be gracious and understand that everyone, not just her, needs a roof over their heads. Or she can take a different course and let her sons figure out the best alternative solution.

Personally, I would not want to be tied to anyone who threatened to "hurt us so deeply we would never recover." That is a big red flag and one that would seriously cause me to change course.
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The question I have for you is whether you asked your mother-in-law before you paid yourself. POAs are supposed to manage things for the benefit of the elder, so you might take a moment and think about how your actions may have contributed to the anger of her sons.
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Oh my, I meant to send that as a private message to Madge1 with a hug..oops!
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Thank you for recognizing my good advise! I am really a sweet person, but know how things can go and how some caregivers cannot stick up for themselves...I may be a doormat with 20/20 hindsight! :)
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Please read and re-read Mommaq's post. She may sound harsh to some but it is real and good advice. The thing with the BIL's not trusting you is a deal breaker. Just say no, you don't have to do this. Your husband is either going to defend you or be mad at you. If he is mad at you and you continue to care for his Mom under these circumstances, you will be mad at him. A no win situation. He may actually admire you for standing you for yourself.

I would love to know more of the dynamics of this family. Good Luck
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Oh my, I wouldn't do anything for her...she's not your mom. First, I wouldn't have the responsibility of having POA when she has living children who should be in charge of her money. You are an outsider to the brothers as they have shown you by not letting you be compensated. They do not respect nor trust you. Give the POA to one of the brothers or even your husband. After you are free of the POA, you can refuse to help her anymore, leave her unshowered and hair undone...who cares, it is what she wants...right? Let her sons worry about her. Get yourself a job outside of the home, you will feel better about yourself and you can work towards being more independent. Stand your ground and see what happens. This cannot be good for your relationship with your husband. He should stand up for you and if he doesn't....well that is just stupid. DO NOT BE A DOORMAT! Why are you obligated to do this? What are these boys going to do when she can't live alone anymore? My mother had mild dementia 8 years ago when she moved in with us because she could not longer live alone....she now wears depends, throws tantrum and sleeps all the time and needs 24 hour monitoring. What are you going to do when you are made to clean your MIL's sh*tty diapers and you don't have any money to get your own hair done? You will be furious and this will not end well, so do something now. I realize that you are doing this for your husband but the resentment will be far too great as time goes on and you will want to leave your husband if you are not compensated for this task (you may want to leave, even if you are paid!). Thank your lucky starts that she has not moved in under your roof. Ok, I have gotten my rant out in the open! Your brothers in law are already disenchanted with you for trying to pay yourself so what is it going to hurt if you refuse to do any more free work? Good luck and remember, I am on your side and think you should be happy in this life we have. I have my own issues in that my mother doesn't have any money to pay me and we cannot find a decent medicaid bed for her. Although I love my mother, it has not been easy on my children or husband to have had to share the craziness of a demented person over the last 8 years. I do believe we are all shell shocked at this point but each day we carry on! Smiles and hugs...take care of YOU!
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If you have had to leave a job or cut back on the hours you work because you are caring for your MIL than you should be compensated for your loss wages and any other misc. expenses. Keep receipts of all purchases you make for your MIL maintain a log for your mileage to include destination. stops etc. Should you BIL's not like how you are caring for THEIR Mother THEY can always take her home with them. It would appear they are more concerned that an inheritance than they are with the care of their Mother. I am also concerned as to how your husband responded to the threats made by his brother/bothers? Did he defend you? Did he sit back and say nothing? What exactly are his thoughts on the subject? It is important that the two of you are on the same page.
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I guess I see this a little differently. I wouldn't take money of her upkeep, but I would however expect money for the gas I use to take her where she wants to go. I also would expect food money with an extra mouth to feed. She ought to pay for her hair appts too. But the rest...no I wouldn't take her money.
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You are being used. Stand up for yourself. And what about your husband? Does he take up for you? This is her "sons" responsibility and you have somehow been sucked into this. And never, ever, let a BIL threaten you. If he does it again, go to the police. Just terrible.

And if your husband, her son, wants you to take care of his Mom, it is perfectly acceptable for you to be paid. I have a friend who quit her job, stayed home with her Mom and was paid by her Mom. Mom didn't want to go to a nursing home. They had a very loving relationship their entire life. Her Mom was happy to help her out as she was helping out her Mom. And by the way, Maybe a nursing home is a possibility too. Just remind her.

Let us know what happens, this just makes me angry. Take care of yourself.
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