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Hi, new here. I am an RN, single and lived in a beautiful mountain area. I have moved to suburbia (don't like it as I am a big outdoor person) to care for my elderly mother. I still have my home in the mtns. which needs major repairs and I am caring for mom 24/7. She has always been critical of me and made me feel bad in many ways thru the years. As much as I miss my home, I am OK being here as she needs the care. But, when I mentioned that I would need financial help for my mortgage, etc. and just money for things like my car fuel, upkeep, etc. never mind just some extra for me, she balked at $500/wk. My mom can easily afford this but thinks it is WAY too much.


Is the amount I asked for too much?? She'd pay a lot more for an aide or companion. I don't want to be rich (evidently) but be able to have a little spending money for me. I feel hurt. I have already saved her life by holding some of the meds the MDs discharged her on which would have dropped her BP to 0 if given as prescribed. I don't want an award, just for her to appreciate my value and that I care for her enough to give up my life and she should care for me in this way.

It sounds like a perfectly reasonable amount and your mother should pay it. I receive money from my father for my 24/7 caregiving (which he pays taxes on so I get credit for the work with Social Security) and thus have some money coming in for my own expenses and savings, etc.

But these red flags jumped out at me:

"She has always been critical of me and made me feel bad in many ways thru the years."

"I don't want an award, just for her to appreciate my value and that I care for her enough to give up my life and she should care for me in this way."

We read so many posts like yours on this forum: adult children of abusive or difficult parents giving up their own lives to, I assume, try to finally earn the love they deserve.

Please rethink this situation.
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ADKwoman Aug 21, 2019
Thanks, SnoopyLove. I'm not sure that I am looking for love as I know already that she really doesn't know HOW to love. I don't expect that to change. But my Mom has always instilled in me this feeling of guilt if I did anything imperfect or wrong, like it was a direct attack on her. I think I still feel guilty even thinking of throwing in the towel.
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Go back to your life and let mom hire someone else to help her. $500/week is CHEAP labor.

Lets see, 24 hours X 7 = 168 hours
$500 / 168 hours = $2.98/hour

Where can I go to find a RN to help me day and night 24/7 for less than $3/hour.

Remember, even when you're sleeping, you're still on call.

The only way for her to see your value is for her to pay someone else at the standard rate of $20 -$25/ hour 24/7. Then she will beg you to come back.

Did you have to quit your job to come and care for your mother? If so, she's costing you your earnings and your future financial security.
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gdaughter Aug 23, 2019
that was my math as well!
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I think you should go back to your home and your job. Let your mom hire help through an agency.

IF you were to stay, you should set up a caregiver contract through a lawyer (lawyer gets paid with Mom's funds).

$20 per hour would be a bargain. Let's say 5 hours per day=$700 per week. If she need 24/7 care and supervision, then that's more.

It's not that you need help with your mortgage. It's that you should be paid a wage for doing a job. And mom should be allowed the dignity of paying her own way, shouldn't she?

Take it or leave it, Mom.
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ADKwoman Aug 21, 2019
Thanks Barb. I Love "the dignity of paying her own way." It may be a real eye opener for my Mom to look at it that way.
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It sounds like you really want two separate things. The first is a proper payment for the work and for the impact that this has had on your life. The second is for her to appreciate your value - in fact probably for some love, respect and gratitude.

You say that your mother “has always been critical of me and made me feel bad in many ways thru the years”. People usually get meaner, not nicer, as they age. It is probably unlikely that your mother will change now to give you the love, respect and gratitude that has never been there before. So don’t take on her care in hopes of that.
If you are willing to do the care for other reasons, hold out for what you think is a fair rate of pay. If mother won’t pay it (and you say she can easily afford it), just STOP. Let her work out what to do – or if you are really kind, help her to find alternatives. But don’t work underpaid for love, when the love isn’t there. You will end up bitter, as well as poor.
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ADKwoman Aug 21, 2019
Thanks for your response, Margaret. My mother says she is grateful that I am here with her, but I wonder if in her mind she believes I am obliged as a "good daughter" to be here for her without expecting anything in return. She took her own mother into our home when my grandfather died and brought this fact up multiple times when the family was encouraging my mom to go to a really nice assisted living place. But the fact is that my grandmother moved in to my mom's house; my mother didn't have to move. My dad was fine with the arrangement and best of all, my mom got a 'free' housekeeper as my grandmother was always cooking, washing dishes, cleaning, etc. until her sudden death at 90. Grandma was a true asset for my mom... she made my mother's life easier!

In contrast, my mom is elderly, feeble and requires physical care, gets up multiple times a night for trips to the bathroom or into the kitchen for a 3 a.m. ice cream. I am up assisting her for all these things. I walk around like a zombie all day. She has always focused on the negatives in every situation and now focuses on feeling sorry for herself and crying about it. She has traveled the world, had a wonderful husband (my Dad) and after he passed she had 25 yrs. of being doted on by her gentleman friend. She has always been healthy and never had financial worries, but now all she focuses on is her idea that no one suffers as she does. I try to get her remembering the wonderful trips she has taken w/ Dad or her friend, but she always goes back to feeling upset about her present state. It is so draining for me (and anyone who spends even a brief time with her).

As for love, my mother 'loves' me but sadly she doesn't really understand what love is about.
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Take a month long break and have your mother hire help. Then she can see what this really costs. Did you ever ask her how she expects you to live without any money coming in?
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My (88) mom paid $1750 in Nevada per week for 24/7 care - 1 person. My mother let go of care because she said that was just waay to expensive. Then she hired care outside of the agency and paid $800 per week. She still thought that was too expensive. Now she's by herself. Fall risk of course, still drives and is a shut in. (She fell and broke hip earlier this year, went to ER, Hospital, Rehab , PT in Home etc . .) I have no control over her, and can't until she gets a pysch eval. - that's a whole-nother-story!

I live to far to check on her in person on a regular basis, plus I need to be home to watch my 74 year old husband making sure he is taken care of. He's beginning to become a fall risk, and has a few other issues cropping up now. My priority is MY husband/home/business and MY sanity.

Your Mom should be grateful that you asked for $500/wk and she gets to have YOU around! And remind her that wages are at where they are NOW so you can buy food and shelterTODAY, NOT 60 years ago.

$500/wk to pay your own daughter not only seems reasonable, affordable and a bargain, but you'd think your own mom would give with a warm hand rather than a cold one. I shake my head when I hear elderly parents won't compensate for their adult children that sacrifice their productive lives for a parent who is selfish and difficult - expecting you to slave over them. And don't give me that "they took care of you when YOU were a child" crap. For me, I don't buy into it. And, besides, my mom paid a live-in to take care of me until I was 13. So there. And my mom also, didn't do any care for HER mom (her uncle did - because my mom was a career woman with a husband, child and mortgage) So there again.!
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Tiger55 Aug 22, 2019
Good one! CapnREY.
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Just out of curiosity, if she's always been critical of you etc, why are you subjecting yourself to this? I ask as I was doing the same but became suicidal after all the abuse from my mother (and her darling loved children who did nothing). My mother refused to give me a dime and even ignored my 60th birthday (which I spent alone cleaning her home and waiting on her). I had to leave or kill myself. Yes, now she's probably written me out of her will, but my siblings will steal it all anyway so what's the point. I've digressed substantially - which I Ieave here to show - if you start to become broken altogether as I am now, you maybe should return to your life.
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ADKwoman Aug 23, 2019
Im sorry to hear what you have been put thru. I already have been battling depression for many years and I don't want that to get worse.
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You’re profile says mom is 100...so how old are you? Surely you’re not still working as an RN at your age are you?
I realize your question is about wages and that your request has been validated to you on this forum in spades.

There is some really deep deep seated need to be needed by your mother to prove you are good enough. Therefore you’ve subjugated her needs over your own. At 100 she has lived long enough. She has plenty of money for her care. My question to you is do you have enough for your own retirement? And possible care in the future?

Personally I think you should not be living with her but you didn’t ask that. Plenty of us on here have suggested that. But at least get someone hired to be there during the night so you can sleep. Unless you want your lack of sleep to cause your hippocampus to shrink so you can possibly have dementia later.

Do you feel you have value? Is your life more important than mom who has had by your account a fantastic, easy and LONG life? Shes 100 and has lived her life. Yes, aging is hard but it’s not your fault is it. Get a thicker skin, some self respect and decide how to proceed forward. Hope you will let us know what ends up happening.
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ADKwoman Aug 23, 2019
Thanks. Everyone here has validated how I feel. I really don't want to be here full time, I am glad I can care for my mom, but I can see it is running me into the ground already and if she feels I am not worthy of being paid a better than reasonable salary, why am I doing this. Not sure. Feel I was the only option left so I stayed.
Lots for me to figure out here, but I feel better knowing I am not being a 'bad daughter' if I tell her she needs to find another option for her care. I really appreciate everyone's insight and support
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I'm assuming you gave up a job when you moved to care for Mom. Yes, she would pay a lot more than $500/week for a full-time aide, and you would earn a lot more than that working as an RN. What you ask is not unreasonable at all. You still have bills to pay. We all do. If your mother still balks at paying you a reasonable amount, suggest that she hire an aide for herself and you will go back to your own home and your work as an RN.
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Obviously, you aren't asking for too much money. You deserve more than minimum wage, and you are asking for so much less. I do wonder, though, how you will fund your own old age if you don't work now. Who will care for you when you are broke?

You may be okay with being there for her, but can you afford it? Your mother needs to be realistic about her life and limitations. You probably do, too.

Hugs to you as you (hopefully) take a realistic look at your likely future if you stay with your mom. I hope you find an alternative that will honor her need for care and your need to make your own life.
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ADKwoman Aug 22, 2019
Thanks
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