Two Boys, Mixed Signals and Hopelessly Confused Dear Annie: I am 13 and an avid reader of your column. I have been working at a summer program, and I ride a school bus there and back. Two young men ride the same bus. I have a crush on one of them (I'll call him "Liam"), but I happen to know he …Read more. Genital Herpes and Physical Intimacy Dear Annie: I am a 68-year-old woman who has been divorced for more than 30 years. I haven't been in an intimate relationship for the past 10. Last year, I discovered that I have genital herpes. The doctor said I may have had it for years before …Read more. Physical Abuse: False Charges or Different Perspectives? Dear Annie: When my daughter was 14, she falsely accused me of physical abuse. She is now 33 and brings up these false charges whenever she is having difficult issues in her own life. She blames me for all of her problems. Even worse, my sister …Read more. Yearning for Family in the Ozarks Dear Annie: Several months ago, my husband and I moved to the Ozarks after falling in love with the area. We left behind a lot of dear friends and the life we had known for 25 years, but we are quite happy here. The only sadness is my brother. He …Read more.more articles
Grandson Should Be Compensated for Full-Time Care for Grandma
Dear Annie: I am one of three sisters. Our mother is 93 years old and has Alzheimer's. For the past four years, my 44-year-old son has been her full-time caregiver. He shops, cooks, does her laundry, makes sure she takes her medications and is up half the night helping her use the bathroom. He listens to her complaints on a regular basis. He truly loves his grandma.
My older sister is in charge of Mom's money. A year ago, I suggested that my son be paid for his caregiving services, and she decided he was worth $250 a month. Because my son takes care of his grandmother, he cannot work full time elsewhere. This is his primary occupation. He has put his life on hold because he doesn't want his grandmother to go into a nursing home.
I don't live close, but I see my mother every three weeks and stay with her overnight. Neither of my sisters will spend the night, so they don't get the whole picture in terms of what my son has to deal with. I told my sister he needs a raise, and she said, reluctantly, that she'd give him $500 a month. However, doing so has caused friction between us, and now I am not speaking to either of them. I'll reconsider when they offer to spend a couple of nights there.
I know my son is saving Mom a lot of money because no one else in our family would do what he does. His care is worth a million dollars to me, and I love him so much for taking on this job, yet he gets no praise from either of my sisters. Am I wrong to resent them? — In the Middle
Dear Middle: Your son deserves both praise and remuneration for his caregiving. However, holding grudges and being resentful solves nothing. Make a few calls and find out how much a hired caregiver would cost in Mom's area. Present this information to your sisters so they have a better understanding of the value of the job.
Dear Annie: I am horrified watching young parents today raise their kids. When I raised my children, I fixed a meal and everybody ate it. Today, it's short order for each child. When I set a bedtime, the children said "good night," brushed their teeth and went to bed. Today, children negotiate their bedtimes and often retire as late as their parents. When I organized an activity, everybody went. Today, if the kids don't want to participate, it changes the routine for everyone. The kids think they are in charge, and they ARE.
Please, parents, set some good examples, draw the lines, make rules, and stick to them. I say this for the benefit of our children. They are getting the wrong ideas about how the world works. If parents don't wise up, these kids will be unfit to enter adulthood. — Concerned Grandma
Dear Concerned: Thank you. Nothing speaks with more authority than the voice of experience.
Dear Annie: I am an RN. "Wish There was a Time Machine" missed being in college. She said she is seeing a counselor and taking an antidepressant, but still feels awful. She is battling serious post-college depression.
She should consider a change in counselor. More importantly, she should see a therapist who can prescribe a different antidepressant that might work better for her. Some medications help, some don't, and the wrong one could actually make things worse. Ongoing monitoring is necessary. Please make sure she knows. — New York
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