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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.

They may be unwilling or unable to pay your son what he's worth, and your son may not insist on it. But tell them they can make it up to him by being more appreciative of his contributions.

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

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



71 Comments | Post Comment
How did older sister get in charge of mom's momey? Your son should petition the court to be named her guardian. If her money is basically just Social Security, he should be handling it. If its a major estate, he should ask that an impartial fiduciary be appointed, who would pay him a salary.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Girl Scout Leader
Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:09 PM
Re: Girl Scout Leader

Well said!
Comment: #2
Posted by: LouisaFinnell
Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:21 PM
LW1: I know I'm not going to be popular for this opinion, but honestly, this is one circumstance when I believe that a professional care facility would be much better for the family.

First of all, a 44 year old man who has no other job than to care for his grandmother is kind of hiding out from life. Unless this is a career that he wants to pursue in the future, (which it may be), he has an obligation to live his life and to develop his skills. Four years is a long time to do that as his sole focus in life.

Secondly, paying ANYBODY $500 to be the sole caregiver of a 92 year old Alzheimer's victim is still too low, but maybe the aunts have a reason for doing so. We hear from MOM here, who thinks her son is some kind of a saint. But we don't know anything about what this guy did before taking care of grandma. And why is he so insistent that she not go into professional care? that may be one reason the aunts are holding back as well.

My mom is not that old, but I can tell you at this point she would be the first to tell us to have her put in a reputable facility rather than to have the resentment, and exhaustion, or anything else (including "putting our lives on hold") build with any of her children. She has told me as much and I know the rest of the family knows as well, because we have seen people care for alzheimer's victims and it is not pretty. I have so many friends with parents in that situation and honestly the care facilities have been the best for EVERYONE, including the elderly person. Elder care is not like the nursing homes of our youth anymore. They are professional care facilities, most of the ones for Alzheimer's victims are specifically designed from the ground UP to take into account any type of situaion that may occur and the care staff are excellent (depending on the facility of course). The same cannot be said for a private home, or untrained family. Yes, the love is there, but at this point, professional help is needed as well.

I think this is a time for everybody to let go a bit and to let Mom/Grandma live out her life in peace (including within her own family).
Comment: #3
Posted by: nanchan
Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:23 PM
LW1: What GSL & Louisa said. Need to add: Good time to check with local human services to see what grandma's alllowed in services with her income. A contract of some sorts should be legally drawn up so that her funds cannot be 'misplaced' by anyone and that one person who is or has been in control of her money is following all the rules. MEANING she needs to be turning into the court each year exactly what MOM's money has been spent on. We found out here in MN 1 month before grandma died, that my husband could have been taking as much as $4,000 per month of her money legally for things, upkeep on her home (even tho she was moved to the nursing home), etc. The taxes, siding of house, new furnace and AC. We logged in and sent to the social services every cent and how it was spent. My sons and husband did the siding of the house, one is a contractor, and the amount used for wages was approved for all documented. I would do cleaning and upkeep in the house, painting, etc. I could have hired it done and the funds would have been there to do this but I did it myself. Improvements such as new curtains, shades, etc all went on the line item ticket.
This was to show that with Grandma in the nursing home, her funds were not being mis-used. We did not have to do the court guardianship issue but showed accounts to social service accountant. BUT in this case of the grandson taking care of grandma BUT another daughter in charge of the money--this is a sticky slope. When grandma dies, someone will have to do all the paper work to show the court (depending on your state and probates) exactly where each penny went. IF the daughter were taking care of the grandmother in the daughter's own home, it changes up some.
Maybe you should suggest that the girls not only come to stay with grandma but to take her home with them for visits. To give the grandson respite time.
As it is, the grandson should be paid more, he should have home health nurses following grandma's care, social services should be part of some respite care, and you need a lawyer to get things straightened out that maybe sister dear has been whittling away already. Don't make your son the begger when grandma is dead and gone. His life as he should have had it, is gone. That should be worth something.
My husband has a cousin right here locally who did the same thing. Highly educated to be a teacher, but became his parents caregiver in their home. This included TIAs, strokes, dementia until his mom had to go to the nursing home. He would take breaks for a walk, etc and come back to find she would be found hurt on the floor, etc. Could be a 10 minutes around the block. BUT he still took care of his mom at the nursing home, something he did most of his adult life. Now that they are gone, his life as he should have had it, is gone. He was left the estate and funds. His siblings never said they were owed anything. He took care of mom and dad and even tho they would come to help respite, he got it all. Nothing changed, still lives the same way. But that leaves him rather lonely at 65 to start to have a new life of his own. Can be done, just sad not to have a wife and children--something he always wanted. This is 'old world' style of taking care of the family.
CONCERNED GRANDMA----You got that exact!
Comment: #4
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:40 PM
Nanchan, you asked:

"And why is he so insistent that she not go into professional care?"

If he loves her, as appears to be the case, I expect it's because he knows that going into nursing home would likely crush her spirit and hasten the end of her life. Spend some time (some real time, not just a brief vist) in nursing homes if you don't believe this is the case. "Professional care" in these circumstances often means infantalizing the patient and giving him or her a slow awful death, in which their spirit is destroyed before their body is allowed to die. My own mother died in a nursing home because none of us had the ability or resources to care for her. We tried for years but could not continue. We were blessed to find one that was not a hole of filth (we saw many like that), where the caretakers genuinely tried to help. Still it was heartbreaking visiting several times a week, and seeing the loneliness and look of loss on the faces of most of the patients.

There's little in the letter to suggest that anyone else in the family really cares about the old woman. The daughter holding the purse strings and making a self righteous stink about having to pay $500 a month for full time day and night care, is living in her own (non) reality. She's in a snit because the caretaker wasn't willing to work for what, a dollar an hour? She's raised his pay effectively to a dollar fifty an hour and is kvetching and spewing venom about it. If she causes more of a stink, which seems to be her wont, I hope the grandson walks and lets her deal with trying to find a good "professional care" situation or try being a full time caretaker herself. I'd imagine she'd last two days at most.
Comment: #5
Posted by: sarah morrow
Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:15 PM
LW2 - Oh my gosh. B*tch, b*tch, b*tch. "Everything was better in my day! Darn kids!". Come on. Every generation complains about the younger generation because they look back on their childhood/youth as being perfect and wonderful and forget about all the crap that went on back then, back when many abuses were considered normal, severe bullying was "boys will be boys", homophobia and racism were rampant... Heck I bet all those kids who worked in factories during the industrial revolution went to bed when they were told. Lucky them. There are some great parents today who say "time for bed" and everyone goes. There are people the same age as LW2 who were horrible parents who let their children run wild, bully others, drink alcohol, etc. For some reason we're programed to only notice the bad - for example, LW2 doesn't notice the 100 good parents she sees because there's nothing to notice; she only notices the two terrible parents and then it seems like they are all like that.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Zoe
Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:20 PM
OK: sarah, you asked, so here's why I wrote what I wrote.

My best friend's mother just died, two months ago. It was horrible for the whole family to lose her, but they were heartened beyond belief that she was as well taken care of as she was the final years of her life (she was 96 when she died).

This woman, who was like another mother to ME and a grandmother to my daughter, did NOT have Alzheimers, but lived in assisted living. In her facility, there was a wing for the Alzheimer's victims. Every person in that home was well taken care of, and supportive. My friend's mother actually REFUSED living with her daughter (not my friend but her sister) because in her words, she felt better at the facility. She was able to have 24/7 medical care, she had friends there (including some of the Alzheimer's victims who were constantly cared for), we even had her playing Wii tennis against kids in the 20s and she beat them because she was so active.

Your view of facilities is very differnt than mine: when it became apparent that my friend's mom was dying, she was moved to a hospice attached to the home where for a week, her children were able to come and go at will. This is a woman who survived Nazi death camps, two husbands, a nasty divorce... yet her last eight years living in a controlled environment where she admittedly felt "safe" and not as a burden to her (very successful and more than willing to have her live them) children were some of the best years of her life (her words, not mine).

Your view of these facilities,again, is very different, and I would challenge you that each facility is different, and that all families have different needs. I notice you don't address my other issues: that of the son being diefied by his mom, and hiding out from life. I agree that the other sisters don't seem to care much, but if the son walks away (as you seem to infer he should do at the end of your post) how does that benefit the aging grandmom? Is revenge really any way to handle this? Is resentment/ I don't think so. The best thing to do is come up with some kind of compromise and unfortunately, I don't think anything else is going to work. The son will continue to hide from his life and resent the lack of money (or his mom will) because the sisters aren't going to behave. going and getting a court order is a great idea on a post, I agree, but cmon. You want to make your family mad? go get a court order.

Really, the best thing is for this family to have 3rd party care involved, and at her age and with Alzheimers, it should probably be in a controlled safe environment. sorry I can't agree with you.
Comment: #7
Posted by: nanchan
Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:40 PM
I have a 2 year old and I agree with Concerned Grandma - there is a lot of letting kids do whatever they want these days. Whether it's because parents and kids are so busy that it's just easier that way, or because the "professionals" are telling us we should let them, we're ending up with a society that seems rather messed up.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Just my opinion
Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:11 PM
LW1, in most areas, you can't even get a good catsitter for $500 a month! Yes, it's possible that the grandson is hiding from life, as another poster suggested, and if he started out unemployed, he might find that this is a better use of his time than some job he's overqualified for. He might not have expected her to survive as long as she has, and now that he's committed, he doesn't want to give up on her. At 93 with Alzheimer's she probably doesn't have much time left, and as long as he's doing a good job it's unnecessary and ungrateful to question his motives. He deserves to be paid for what he's doing, and it should be _at least_ the going rate for a full-time hired caregiver in your area. (Would your sister rather pay to put mom in a nursing home? Show her the going rate for a good facility, and maybe she'll get the picture.) You need to get a neutral third party involved at this point, such as an attorney or social worker, because the older sister is trying to maximize her inheritance and won't give up that money without a fight. This is a financial decision that shouldn't be complicated by old grudges, jealousy, greed, or whatever other family dynamics are going on here. It's important that your son get the compensation he deserves now (including back pay, if possible) because Grandma probably didn't anticipate what's happening, so the cost of his services won't be reflected in her will.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Baldrz
Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:25 PM
nanchan, you're right of course that the son should not walk away. I was being flippant, and perhaps should have clarified that. The sisters who would like to have the son work as a slave laborer would deserve it but the grandmother would not.

I'm glad you've had good experiences with nursing facilities. My own have been mixed. Some we investigated when looking for one for my mother were pleasant, but some were nightmarish. In some nursing homes patients are left to fester with bedsores, and staff members have been caught assaulting patients. The point I was trying to make was that the grandmother most likely does not want to live in one, and that is most likely why the son is working himself to death for almost no pay, taking care of her.

Re: the mother deifying her son, I see no evidence of this. She reported the situation as she saw it. I understand that you read something different into the letter than I did. But that is not what I got from the letter. Perhaps that is why my take on it is different from yours.

Comment: #10
Posted by: sarah morrow
Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:26 PM
To Concerned Grandma:
It really creeps me out that you were watching over my shoulder as I raised my kids and I didn't even see you there. How do you know how I prepared meals for my kids? My kids ate what was made for dinner, and I'd be willing to bet they weren't the only ones of their generation that did so. They also went to bed when they were told to, did the chores they were assigned, and treated others with respect.
Obviously my kids are an enigma, because the rest of the current generation of kids are all spoiled and lazy. I should get a medal of some kind for that.
I get really tired of all the "my generation never did that" letters. I'll bet someone near your age did exactly that, Concerned Grandmas. And someone near my age. And someone near my (future) grandkids age will too. There are always spoiled freeloaders, no one generation has the monopoly on bad behavior.
Comment: #11
Posted by: KJ
Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:24 AM
I always read these posts but never comment but this time i felt i should... the grandson should be viewed as a hero.. its how I view my husband who gave up a career at 22 to take care of his grandmother who would never have survived to make 82 if he had not. And my husband never got paid. Then his dad had a stroke and lost kidney function. Again my husband shouldered the care for him because his father never wanted to be in a nursing home. He simply wanted to be at home. Its hard work people. Should he be paid? IF that is his desire, yes. And I would find out what a home health care professional gets paid in his area and then a legal agreement should be drawn up to make sure he gets paid that. My husband didn't want money, he wanted his family to be happy till the day they died. His father understood that and instead made sure my husband was his sole benificiary and went that route. Maybe the sister in charge of the money should talk to the son giving the care, find out what he wants and then go from there to make a decision on how to deal with this. Its sad that people seem to think he is doing something wrong. Like i said in the beginning, this guy is a hero.
Comment: #12
Posted by: steph
Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:45 AM
Concerned is right about parenting. An employer said that he and his fellows have experienced new, inexperienced college grads interviewing for jobs. The kids have such a sense of entitlement that they demand salaries and benefits on the level of employees at the level of 20 year's service and experience. When they are offered a job and salary at starters level they leave, then complain that they can't get a job.
Comment: #13
Posted by: sarah stravinska
Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:05 AM
i applaud the young man who is taking care of his grandmother. there is no guarantee that the money his aunt is controlling would pay for a 'nice' facility. there are plenty of horrible ones for lower prices. i know from personal experience at camp, college and rare hospital stays that i don't do well in a 'facility' environment and my family knows that i don't ever want to leave my home to go live in one.
auntie should loosen the purse strings, pay her nephew what he is worth and she should start spending more time with her mother. what kind of example is she showing to her own children, to grudge spending money on her mother's care?
this daughter should have been left on a doorstep somewhere.
Comment: #14
Posted by: alien07110
Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:41 AM
LW1--"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." This is perfect advice for LW1. In this day and age of "disposable" elderly, it's rare to find a family willing to take on the responsibility of caring for an elder family member so as to avoid placing him or her into a nursing home where they are often simply forgotten until they die. There simply is no dollar amount that can compensate for the amount of love and dedication such a momentous task demands.

LW2--This one is too good to pass up and I couldn't agree more. The LW apparently has come to realize what I've observed for years: In today's modern society, children are sacred beings who are fully in charge of the family dynamic. Most parents revolve their entire existence around their children, molly coddling them as if they were royalty and meeting their every whim and demand. These kids don't respect their parents, they treat them as a means to an end. God forbid anyone speak ill of a child or try to harm its self-esteem or there will be litigation and retribution to pay! I shudder to think how the world will be in twenty or so years when hordes of these spoiled self-entitled little brats grow up to be our world leaders. We're already experiencing the first wave of these self-important young people who graduate college and expect to walk into a high paying jobs in which they enjoy flex hours, do precious little, receive endless praise, and ascend to CEO in a few short years. Sadly, many of these people find themselves depressed and defeated when they realize the rest of the world doesn't think they're as special as mommy and daddy did. Many become miserable adults. But soon these people will be the majority. We're creating Armageddon.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Chris
Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:45 AM
What Girl Scout Leader said, but nanchan has a point. Perhaps there is more here than meets the eye. Also, what Baldrz said.

However, I must say that the facility nanchan describes sounds second to none to me, and not at all like the ones *I* have heard about second-hand, because someone I know personally had a loved one there. I would rather kill myself than linger for years in a place like that.

How is HE paying for himself if the sister is such a miser that she's bitching about giving him even 1.50 an hour?

@Alien 07110
"what kind of example is she showing to her own children, to grudge spending money on her mother's care?"
She's teaching them how to treat HER in her own hour of need. What goes around comes around.

When I do street sales and festivals, I see the kids the LW is complaining about. When I had a store selling a lot of recycled toys, I saw many of the others, and some of them were very touching. One thing I found out that way, is that most kids don't AT ALL behave the same way depending on whether they're on their own or with their idiotic parents. I've seen perfectly well-behaved little adults turn into obnoxious monsters the minute mommy and daddy were within eyesight. Lookit-lookit-lookit-and-pay-attention-to-ME 101.

Not all kids are brats, but when you see nothing but that, I admit it's enough to try the patience of a saint. I admit I have to force myself to remember the ones I saw in the store after a street sale or a festival. So I cannot really blame the LW for her exasperation.

P.S.: LW, EVERY generation complains about dismallly the new one is being brought up. There were graffitis in ancient GREECE about that. Take a deep breath. Getting stinkingly mad only raises your blood pressure, it doesn't raise the kids!

Yay! Right on!

Comment: #16
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:06 AM
LW1 - $250 a MONTH for 24/7 caregiving?? In two words: Un. Believable. You're darn right the sister should be sent a written estimate of what this would cost for a professional to perform these duties. Shame on this family, who is blessed to have a grandson willing to do this!
LW2 - What Chris said. And a little more: Much of this started around 1980, when well-meaning ninnies in the child development and education fields decided it was important for all children to "feel good about themselves", whether or not they had any reason to....This has had some unfortunate consequences - every kid in the class on the honor roll (some "honor"), child-centered households such as the one described, hovercraft parents who can't even stay out of their kids' college experience, and young adults who become defensive at any hint of criticism. Every parent should be reading John Rosamund's child-rearing columns; he believes in common-sense parenting in which children understand their place (which is NOT in the center) in the family and who are raised pretty much as our grandmas raised their kids - with love but not indulgence.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Linda
Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:24 AM
LW2: All you have to do to confirm the validity of this letter is to talk to a teacher who has been on the job for 15 years or more. They will tell you that the behaviour of children has gone downhill along with most parenting that they see. I look at it this way, parents have gotten lazy. Raising kids and raising them right is hard work and no one wants to do it anymore. Add in the fact that you have to be careful as to how you discipline your kids for fear of being investigated for child abuse and you have a no win situation.

Most but not all kids anymore have no table manners, no manners period. They will not listen to their parents or any other adult for that matter. They are lazy and won't do anything as far as chores such take out the trash, dust, vacuum, pick up their room, etc. No ambition to completea task. But it is not their fault. It is the parents fault for NOT training their child in what needs to be done. If the school or others try to correct their child they get all bent out of shape and raise a fuss about their child being mistreated.

Don't believe me? Like a I say, talk to a teacher who has been in the system for a number of years and they will tell you just what I have. Parents need to stand up and BE PARENTS!!!

Now I know there are some great kids out there. But they are becoming the oddity rather than the norm. And that is really sad to see. Their parents are doing a great service to these children and when I see parents like that I try to let them know they are doing a great job. But as time goes on I see fewer and fewer parents like that. And it is really sad.
Comment: #18
Posted by:
Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:31 AM
As Freud so aptly put it, "It's a tragedy when a man outlives his body."
My parents are now in a decent assisted living facility, but only because in-home 24-hour care is upwards of $15,000 a month! No lie. LW1 should seriously investigate the going rate and present it to the sister.
Actually, I think we can blame Dr. Spock in the 50s and 60s for starting the "kids first" revolution. It took awhile to permeate the national consciousness, but having taught for 22 years, I can affirm that the self-centered and entitled behavior is far more the norm than it used to be. I recently had a 17 year old student who already has two children, and she's still an immature Miss Attitude. She announced to the class that she's gay. "Not gay enough, apparently," I said. I don't think she got it.
Linda, I agree with you about John Rosemond. Wonderful child rearing advice, but the city paper that used to carry it near me stopped. Too many complaints from modern "child centered" parents.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:32 AM
lW2-I know what you mean. I know families where the mom has to make 3 different meals for the three picky eaters. But there's a way out; you say "I am only able to serve salad, baked potatoes, and chicken, and that's it." If the kid whines and screams that he wants scrambled eggs, you ignore it or leave the room.

Another reason for this problem is that today, parents often have too much junk food in the home. There was no soda, chips, candy, or cake in the house when I was a boy. Today, cabinets are crammed full of it, especially in "low-income" families that say they can't afford fresh vegetables.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Roger
Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:57 AM
RE LW 1- My husband cared for his mother until she died, because she was disabled she qualified for a caregiver and he was paid by the state for it. It helped with any other bills they had that her SSI didn't cover.

RE: Nanchan- I don't think the Grandson is hiding out from life, I'm sorry but if he is anything like my husband is then he is doing this because he loves his grandmother wants to care for her. You don't know the individual circumstances of this family and assuming he is hiding out from life does a disservice to everyone including yourself. You should never make assumptions like that without knowing the whole story.

LW2- I have to say I was a bit insulted when I read this letter. This person assumed that any young parents (I'm assuming under 30 here so I fall in the demographic) all do the same things. I can tell you that If my children don't eat what they are given then they have to wait until the next meal. They don't fight about Bedtime, and they don't fight about family outings. Because while I let them have some say I am still the mother and it is my responsibility to make the best decision for my children. So I say don't assume that all parents are like the ones you see.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Yoshi Mama
Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:53 AM
First, the grandson is a saint for being willing to care for his grandmother. However, I do think that he is taking on more than he can handle (and at virtually zero compensation) ... it may be time for a professional caregiver.

Nanchan: OK, keeping in line with my earlier posts, yeah, it might be a good idea to ask the sisters why the low pay ... but unless there is a compelling reason (i.e., drug use or gambling), WHO CARES???!!!??? Sounds like he wouldn't have enough time to go to the casino or pick up some tramp on the street anyway, given the full-time care he's giving his grandmother.

Maggie: A 17-year-old mother of two? Her attitude aside, something's definitely wrong there. As for LW2 itself, I guess I don't have a problem with anything she wrote. I know that, at least with the dinners, there'd be but one. Sure, I might let the kids have some input in planning the means, but it would certainly be parent-led. (And no later than 6 or 6:30 p.m.)

As far as the activities ... I don't think one night a week for a family outing is too much to ask? And I mean more than going to a high-school game -- I mean bowling, or going to a family movie ... that sort of thing. Yeah, you've got to let kids have their own activities SOME of the time (to help them make good choices), but family time ought to be non-negotiable.
Comment: #22
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:21 AM
Re: Zoe

Just saw your letter, and agreed. Is the "child-centered family" more rampant today? I dunno, maybe, maybe not. Again, we only see the bad examples and not the examples where children go to bed when told, participate in family activities, eat a nutritious meal together, etc. It's because the media has altered our perception of what an ideal family is (children get their way, no matter what-types) and presenting it as normal. How sad.

Maggie: Just what Zoe said about the severe bullying back in the day being "boys will be boys" -- just like the town "mayor" holding court in the corner tavern, praising those whom he felt was deserving and scorning those he disliked or behaved in a way he disapproved.
Comment: #23
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:29 AM
Alzheimers patients need more care than the average nursing home has to offer. Simply just room colors changes things. They are a speciality patient needs super speciality care and sorry to say, they are few and far between. Willing to bet as we age even more, the need will be higher than now.
The brain of an Alzheimers person is mis-wiring on its own. When death rates used to be by about age 70 and now moved to 90, that is a huge group of people who will be needing care. And you can count most of us in that catagory. Till a discovery of a cure is found, we are all left open with our own outcome.
Here is the core family that is switly disappearing. The unity of the family has always been to take care of their own. How many reading the posts on ANNIE have that core family group--not just a spouse or child, but someone they know will take care of them? If not, what provisions have been made? Have you decided? This is why so many avenues have strongly been pushing the living will. WHAT DO YOU WANT.
And apparently grandson's and grandma's pact is solid. Just the daughters who can't agree.
Comment: #24
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:47 AM
LW1: It's nice that your son has basically given up his life to care for your mother but it's also really stupid. Don't you think your son is hiding from the world and life by doing this? What happens after your mother passes?

LW2: Raising powerless children who wait for others to tell them what to do may sound like a great idea on paper but in the real world it's just as bad as too much power. You have to teach your children balance. They have a say in some things but not others. It's a much healthier approach than children should be seen and not heard.
Comment: #25
Posted by: Diana
Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:36 AM
Yeah, I've heard about ancient people griping about teenagers, that's kind of funny. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anyway, about the older ones complaining about the younger ones, I've heard it said that the older generation talks about the younger generation as if they had nothing to do with it. Interesting observation, isn't it? But I do agree that more and more parents are too lax and too "worshipful" toward their kids. I have to fight it myself, and my youngest is 17.


The son should be paid because he has personal needs. As someone above said, how is he taking care of himself without any money? But he is saving the family tons of money and it is hard work as already noted. He deserves it.

Your comment about casinos and such; he should have some fun time, we don't know if he gets any. Ever taken care of an older person? Much like the effort needed for a baby.
Comment: #26
Posted by: jar8818
Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:39 AM
Re: jar8818

I don't deny he needs his fun, and I agree with everything else you've said. I guess that, from nanchan's remarks, I infer the sense that perhaps the grandson's aunts suspect that he is (or was) a heavy gambler, or used drugs. I don't know if tha'ts true, but he sure is entitled to his fun and/or basic living needs.
Comment: #27
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:03 AM
Re: Bobaloo

Gambling? Drug use? WTF? Again, you're pulling fiction out of thin air. And you know what, even if he was? How is any of the sister's business what a grown man does with the money he's rightfully earned? I'd like to see how loud YOU'D be screeching if your boss checked whether you have a substance abuse before he paid you for your work. Good flamin' grief, man.

Comment: #28
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:31 AM
LW1: Let's remember how bad the unemployment situation is, and it's not getting better any time soon. Grandson may have decided that being on unemployment while fruitlessly looking for a job that doesn't exist wasn't as useful as helping out his beloved grandmother. The sister in charge of the finances should be shown just how much it would cost to either have grandma placed in a home or to have a professional full-time caretaker. Odds are she will find she could raise the grandson's salary substantially as still be saving lots of money.

The LW and her siblings should get together for a family meeting once they have this information, and have a serious discussion about what is best for the grandmother's long term care. LW should also think about what her son will do when his grandmother passes away or gets worse and must be put into a facility. Hopefully one thing he is doing while being a caretaker is making other plans for his future.

LW2: Stuff and nonsense. Every generation seems to have old fogies who complain about how children are SO MUCH WORSE than in the "good old days". And it's never a reasonable or legit complaint -- there are good kids and bad kids in every generation. If all you see are the bad kids, that's because that's what you focus on. There are plenty of good kids out there if you're willing to take your blinders off.

And some of the things you complain about are petty and have absolutely nothing to do with become a successful adult anyway!

They're not your kids, they're not interfering with YOUR life, so just butt out, Mrs. Kravitz. Better yet, maybe join a club or volunteer somewhere, since you seem to have a lot of extra time on your hands that could be put to a much better purpose.
Comment: #29
Posted by: Mike H
Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:31 AM
WOW! So now I say the grandson has a gambling problem? Talk about reading WAAAAYYYY too much into a post!

Let's review what the facts are, shall we?

1. Nursing homes are not always ASSISTED CARE facitilies. Each one is different. (how many times do I have to type that? How many? Can you people READ?) There are many excellent and specialized (read that again, kids! SPECIALIZED!!!) facilities that work with Alzheimer's victims. And guess what? The people working there are SPECIALIZED to work with Alzheimer's victims! These are different and much more expensive than assisted living for people who have other concerns. You people must live in the sticks, because these types of assisted living facilities exist all over the place and are SPECIALIZED for the needs of the patient! Golly if you don't believe ME, GOOGLE IT!

2. It is INCREDIBLY hard on caregivers, especially primary or singular caregivers of Alzheimer's victims to do this type of care on their own. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about this, it sometimes can even lead to murder because the caregiver snaps. Everybody who wants to make this grandson into a saint is WRONG. He is probably losing it, in some way or another, especially after 4 years and I"m not even go into WHY he started doing this at the prime of his life in the first place. Yes, it's romantic for all of you to fall back on the "he loves her so much"... well I think that's great too, but four years as sole caregiver to a basically (more than difficult to deal with than a baby or physically infirm) incapacitated person is enough for any non professional to snap.

These people need to look outside of the cheap option and get some help, not only for Grandma but for themselves
AND NO MORE ASSUMPTIONS PLEASE! Gosh, Maria you were right. these people are not kind. I may join you soon. No, I won't. They would like that too much.
Comment: #30
Posted by: nanchan
Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:00 PM
Re: Maggie Lawrence--I had a 19-year-old mother of 3 in one of my developmental classes once. She'd come bopping into class 10 or 15 minutes late, and then get mad because she missed the pop quiz that I'd warned them (many times) would be in the first 10 minutes, no makeups.

I had a nursing student who worked in a county hospital and one night he came to class, shaking his head. He'd seen a 23-year-old grandmother that day.
Comment: #31
Posted by: Joannakathryn
Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:04 PM
Re: nanchan

Please don't. I, for one, wouldn't like that at all and I'm not the only one. It's Bobaloo who came up with this yurunda and she does that all the time. Check my post #28 to her.

Comment: #32
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:14 PM
Re: Joannakathryn

A 19 year-old witb three kids, yeah, if she starts producing at 14 she could have even more than that, but a 23 year-old grandmother? Help me figure this out. Unless both she and her daughter became mothers at under 12 years old, I'm having a hard time figuring out the math!

Comment: #33
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:19 PM
LW1 - What Girl Scout Leader and nanchan said. That's a really complicated situation and my concern is when Grandma passes away and her grandson has to move on, the job market might not be so kind to him. The general rule of thumb, unfortunately, is that it's harder to find a job when you're not already in a job.

He needs the assistance of at least part-time help. That would allow him to build up his job skills enough to not end up perpetually unemployed and potentially discriminated against because those offering jobs will only see that he hasn't worked in X amount of years, not that he was a loving and dedicated grandson.

LW2 - Zoe and Mike H, thank you for saying what you did. I'd like to invite that judgmental old bat to climb down off her high horse and spend a couple days with my family, see how ADHD and autism affect our lives.

If after she takes in a full plate of that she manages to have something substantial to say, then maybe I'll give her a listen. Until then I"ll continue to customize the menu at every meal so my son and I can eat things that won't trigger our sensitive gag reflexes, allow my son to sleep on the couch when insomnia hits him again, and I'm fine with most of our social events being just the three of us given we all hate crowds.

In light of the fact that we're also teaching our son good morals and live by example, I don't think he's going to end up being a degenerate in the adult world. He might still need help with some things as many with his condition do, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there, and that won't have to do with moral fortitude.

I've listened to cranky jerks like her tell me and my ex that our daughter was a brat because she couldn't sit still in church when we were struggling to find a diagnosis for her. I've had to deal with the stares, the judgmental comments muttered under their breaths, the "He/she needs a good spanking," "Are you sure she doesn't have a discipline problem?" "I don't want your kid near my kid/grandkid," the whole nine yards. I have learned to roll my eyes and tune them out, but that lack of empathy or understanding can still get under my skin once in a while.

Thanks for letting me vent on that.

LW3 - Yeah, it can be hard to transition from college to the working world. I had a hard time after I got my undergrad degree because I thought something would fall into my lap easily once I was done. We had ONE course in our senior year about putting together a resume and portfolio, but not a lot of talk about how to pound the pavement in the job market, especially given the major I was in can be really competitive and in a lot of ways depend more on who you know than what you know or how good your skills are.

I wish that some of my professors had prepared me better - they talked about how successful they are NOW and never about what it took to get their feet in the door or how hard it could be. They made it sound easy. I think their being full time professors also isolated them from a lot of realities and lessons they could have passed on to us. It didn't help that my emotional maturity was delayed in general either.

For that reason I'm glad that in my MBA program all the professors are working professionals and share their experiences, including their own failures and misfortunes, and how tough it can be getting to where they are. I suspect I'll be better prepared for whatever comes my way after graduation.
Comment: #34
Posted by: PS
Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:28 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette

"A 19 year-old witb three kids, yeah, if she starts producing at 14 she could have even more than that, but a 23 year-old grandmother? Help me figure this out. Unless both she and her daughter became mothers at under 12 years old, I'm having a hard time figuring out the math!"

A girl can start menstruating as young as 8 or 9, and in the past 10 or 20 years there are more reports of girls starting puberty earlier than earlier generations. It's quite possible she could have had her baby as young as 10-12 years old, which would mean her daughter gave birth anywhere from 11-13 years old herself.

Either way that means something is VERY wrong with the situation and chances are neither of those young women initiated it. Legally, they couldn't have given age of consent laws in a lot of places.
Comment: #35
Posted by: PS
Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:35 PM
nanchan, I think Bobaloo is the only one who dreamed up the drug addiciton or gambling problem. Fantasy land again. And Bobaloo, I'm asking you nicely here, what does your imaginary mayor in a tavern have to do with anything we're talking about?
That beats mine, JoannaKathryn - and it is a disgrace. I knew a 30 year old woman who was a grandmother - both she and her daughter got pregnant at 15.
Comment: #36
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:04 PM
Re: Just my opinion---I have noticed with many people I have worked with throughout the years, it seems everyone wants to compete with who has the worst kids. I am so embarrassed when I hear these conversations. I have to shake my head and leave. When I have made comments it's taken as though I feel I am the perfect parent. No, I have made so many mistakes but my kids where nothing like the horrible monsters these mothers seem to enjoy taking about.
Comment: #37
Posted by: Cathy
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:10 PM
My sister's and I did everything legal when our mother was diagnosed with alheimeizers. One sister cared for her for a few years, then another sister. I offered, but I live across the country and they didn't want her living that far away. She went to an Alheimeizers day care center during the day which cost around $200 - $250 a WEEK. This was just during the day. The judge ordered that the house be sold, then allocated 1/5th of all of my sister's expenses in her home, house payment, electricity, water, etc. be paid for Mother's part, then on top of that he ordered that my sister be paid $500 a week on top of everything else as a care provider. At the end when she could no longer go to day care, nurses came in and helped. Mother's care was above and beyond what she would have had in a facility. My mother in law refused to live with any of us, but she was blind and could not care for herself. The courts also ordered that her house be sold and the proceeds used for assisted living, which also happened with my cousin. The courts usually order that almost every penny of their money income be alloted for their care. My cousin was give $50 a month for himself. Everything else went to the nursing home. If anyone cares to do the right/legal thing with LW1, chances are the courts will order back payments made for at least two of the four years, the grandson has been caring for her. The aunt needs to open her eyes and do it willingly. Chances are the sister in charge of the money is dipping into the till.
Comment: #38
Posted by: Ann
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:25 PM
Re: PS

I remember when I still had the store, a young woman came in holding a toddler, and it took all of her strength to control him - he was all hands, Mister Octopus, you would have thoufgh he had 13 of them and it was, "what can I grab, what can I grab". She outright said, please excuse him, he's autistic. I looked at how she had her hands full (literally) and asked her where was her halo and wings, and how did she manage not to strangle him? People with special needs children ought to be given a medal.

Genuine entitled, mannerless brats are legion, however, as any teacher knows. I'm not a teacher, but I know several and they all say the same thing.

I knew at what age both the mother and daughter would have to be for anyone to be a grandmother at 23, it's just that's I'm totally flabberghasted that anyone should start mensing that young, never mind be sexually active. Last I heard of it, girls pubescent at age 8 were still the rare exception and generally, it was because they had been raised on soya milk due to lactose intolerance. Good flamin' grief, stuff like THAT sure wasn't around when *I* was that age!

Comment: #39
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:26 PM
LW1: It's extremely common for people to suffer along in intolerable circumstances because it doesn't occur to them to ask for help. They think talking to a lawyer will cost them a lot of money and make things worse, and they don't understand about social services. They wait until there's a huge crisis before it even occurs to them to get more information about their situation, and by then it's too often too late. Problems that could have been resolved easily and cheaply grow into life-changing nightmares, and all you have to do is nothing.

LW1's situation can be resolved with the professional assistance suggested by Girl Scout Leader, but someone has to make that call.
Comment: #40
Posted by: LouisaFinnell
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:30 PM

BTW, you know what the grandson should do? He should start taking classes so to get official accreditation as a geriatic care-giver. This way, then he hets his certification, the years he volunteered caring for his grandmother will possibly be credited, and his dedication will at the very least become on-hands experience.

Geriatic care is a field where there is a growing demand for qualified and dedicated workers. If he does that, chances are he'll have it made in the shade when it comes to employment when his grandmother finally passes.

Comment: #41
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:32 PM
My dad got sick a few years ago. He was about 90 years old. Spent sometime in the hospital then went home. My sister moved in to care for him. She was there 24/7 except for short breaks. Changed his diaper when he went in his pants. Changing your father's diapers for him and washing him with a washcloth. That is the reality of this kind of care folks.

So when he sided, she billed the estate $30,000 for her year doing this. Not one person in the family complained. Lucky we didn't have an idiot relative like the one LW1 talks about, to make a holy stink about it.

My feeling was, how come my sister was asking so little. She should be asking more. But she wanted to leave something in the estate for the rest of us. Like Maggie said it can cost $15,000 A MONTH in a pro facility, where the person is rotting away before they die. Instead of being in their own home with someone who loves them taking care of them.

I can't say what I want to about the LWs sister because the PC polics and the censors would get me. So I'll say it in polite words. She's a user and an idiot. Stupid and venal. Mentally ugly and and disgusting. How's that. Sarah Morrow is right. But I'd go further. He should bill them for what he's really doing. He should charge them what my sister charged my family's estate. If they won't pay, hit the road and let them care for grandma themselves and see how long they last. They'll be begging him to come back and take care of her again. Then he can name his price and it should be high.
Comment: #42
Posted by: Jack Alan
Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:59 PM
Re: Maggie Lawrence, Lise, etc.


Somebody on here said that there was a reason why he was being paid less than he deserves. Why is that? That's what the hell I want to know.

What I said was -- and don't try to twist my words around -- unless they see a reason why this man doesn't deserve just pay for his work with grandma, then they ought to pay up. Period.
Comment: #43
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:13 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette

And for what it's worth, nanchan is right. Going back to my first bit of advice -- it's time to put grandma in a 24-hour care nursing facility, one that truly does care about their patients. They are out there if her daughters are willing to check them out. She needs the care than just one person alone -- her grandson, no matter how willing or able he is, there's only so much he can do -- can possibly provide.
Comment: #44
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:16 PM
Re: Jack Alan

Your recital of what the sister is made me laugh, because it's my sentiment exactly. Let's just say that she's teaching her own children how to treat an elderly in need and chances are that she'll get her own at one point.

The grandson won't walk away, because this is a labour of love before anything else. He loves his grandma, and doesn't want the poor woman to end up in a facility. And if he did walk out, there would be no reason for him to come back affter being begged, because the sister would find the cheapest place available and park the old woman there until she dies.

The fact that it would cost several times what she should be paying him is irrelevant - it's amazing the amounf of money a $@%?&*%$ bitch will be willing to spend rather than admit that she was wrong - especially when it's not her money. And Ann is right - she probably has her hand in the till already, whicb is one of the reasons she's being such a scrooge. On top of having the heart of a rotten potato. Yrrrch.

Comment: #45
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:22 PM
Re: Bobaloo

Post #43
I always find it mildly amusing that, after spewing out the most outrageous fabrications, you deny that you did, even though it's black on white in print...

"t might be a good idea to ask the sisters why the low pay ... but unless there is a compelling reason (i.e., drug use or gambling)", post #22. So yeah, you did "strongly" suggest it...

And you're right about that, unless there "is a reason", and there is ab-so-lu-te-ly no indication that there is, he should be paid what he's worth.

As for post #44... Ther IS one thing he provides, which no facility possibly could, no matter how fancy: LOVE. And given how cheap the sister is, there is NO WAY she'll be willing to pay for the kind of place nanchan describes. IF it's even available in their neck of the wood.

Comment: #46
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:34 PM
LW2: Yeah, sure, and you walked ten miles to school every day, uphill both ways. Tell us another one, Grandma.
Comment: #47
Posted by: DM
Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:11 PM
Re LW2: last night I went for a beer and a late supper at a local sports bar with two friends around 8:30 pm. At a nearby booth there was a couple with their four children, all under 7. The youngest was a toddler of about 18 months, still with a pacifier in his mouth. The three youngest kids ran all over the place, with the toddler wailing the whole time. The parents just ignored them. The father corralled them once but they were back at it two minutes later, getting in the way of the wait staff who could have spilled something hot on them.
What was this couple thinking?? Why weren't these small children in bed by that hour? By the time the family left it was 9:45 and those kids were all cranky and visibly exhausted. Because it was Friday night and both parents felt like supper in a sports bar! It's no place for small kids at the best of times. It makes for a very expensive meal, the kids only ate junk and drank soda, and this couple was young and did not look well off. This is what passes for parenting these days.
Comment: #48
Posted by: WinehouseFan
Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:36 PM

I like your idea about what the son should do. That's brilliant! Job recruiters will always look at a recent education much more kindly for sure, and if the son can use his experience with his grandmother to build a career so he can help others someday, so much the better.

As for the 23-year-old grandmother situation, what concerns me is if the mother and her daughter got pregnant that young, there's NO WAY they could have consented. The law removes their ability, and I plain don't believe a child of that age can possibly wrap their heads around what sex is, what it means, what the consequences are, etc.

Jaycee Lee Dugard said her idea of sex was laying two Barbie dolls side by side when Phillip Garrido raped her for the first time a week after he abducted her. Hell I'd seen some pretty graphic stuff by the time I was her age and I still didn't quite get the whole thing.

I don't care how "advanced" preteens are for their generation, they're still developmentally, emotionally, and socially not equipped to wrap their heads around that adequately. That's why we have age of consent laws is to protect them from someone taking advantage of them and then having the gall to insist it was mutual.
Comment: #49
Posted by: PS
Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:50 PM
Lise, I hear a guy's voice in Bobaloo's writing. Bobaloo, want to settle the question for us?
Comment: #50
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:53 PM
Re: Maggie Lawrence

If that's the case, he'll NEVER admit it.

Chelle wasn't calling her/him a troll, but I'm not so sure. It seems this individual takes great pains to invent a crazy scenario with almost every letter and then sticking to it as if it were proven fact. And then indignantly denying s/he said what s/he said... Either this is a troll having a lot of fun stirring shit, or it's someone not very gifted trying to perform a creative writing exercise, or it's someone very, very confused.

I can tell s/he'll be hitting the ceiling to the point where we'll need a spatula to peel her/him off, but... hey, I describe what I see.

SOME teens certainly LOOK like they know exactly what sex is all about... if not the consequences. I know someone who is a substitute teacher, and the horror stories he's told me about how many of his peers got trapped in false accusations of sexual harassment/abuse... sure, there are a LOT of sexually abused teens out there, but there are also a lot of little bitches out there, who are only too pleased to test their wow-power and use the system, knowing full well that it has swung the other way in the past 50 years and that the burden of proof, in such cases, is now on the innocence of the accused.

And these little vixens, for all that they know so much about sex for performing everything BUT with the boys in their school, don't realise that falsely accusing someone does a LOT of harm to the real victims. There you go, for the cluelessness about the consequences.

You know, I keep hearing about how generations are not emotionally the same age depending on the era... Marriageable age in the Middle Ages and Renaissance was as soon as the girl was nubile - 13-15. In the French colony that eventually became Quebec, girls had to be married by 14 and boys by 16 by order of the King. I wonder if they were truly consenting? But a woman was old at 30 back then, and life expectancy then was not much past that, especially for women who died in childbirth at a frightening rate. It MAY have been different.

Comment: #51
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:22 PM
Re: Maggie Lawrence

Gladly -- sorry I didn't do so earlier. I always thought Lise believed I was a man.

Re: Lise

Here we go again. At least we find common ground regarding post 44. He does provide her love, which is his greatest virtue.

You really want to know where I came up with this whole bag of gambling and drug use? Nanchan, in post 3. Direct quote: "Secondly, paying ANYBODY $500 to be the sole caregiver of a 92 year old Alzheimer's victim is still too low, but maybe the aunts have a reason for doing so. We hear from MOM here, who thinks her son is some kind of a saint. But we don't know anything about what this guy did before taking care of grandma. And why is he so insistent that she not go into professional care? that may be one reason the aunts are holding back as well."

I think you answered the last part pretty fairly in your latest post -- he provides her love, which no facility could. (And yes, there may be relatively few reputable nursing homes in his area. too.) But when she says "Maybe the aunts have a good reason for doing so. We hear from MOM here, who thinks her son is some kind of saint. BUt we don't know anything about what this guy did before taking care of grandma" -- yeah, that kind of raises some red flags with me, too. Maybe not the same as nanchan or you or anyone else, but the fact is, someone has raised questions -- valid or not -- about his past. (For all I know, he might be laid off from his job and trying to save money for college, to gain new skills. Had I not seen nanchan's comments first before commenting, I would probably have presumed that.)

With all that said, no matter how much love and devotion he's given her and has left to give ... grandma's (sad to say) at the point where she needs professional care. Unless he has the training, which he may or may not have, there may be situations that arise with her that he cannot handle as her health further deteriorates. That's why, if a good facility is available in their area, she needs to go to a care facility. And if her two other daughters have any guts, they'll help pay for it (or at the very least, arrange for aid to help pay for her nursing home bills. Sad to say, they're not cheap.)

Sorry, nanchan, if it sounds like I'm blaming you. Also apologies if our conclusions about the man's past don't agree. But this time, I had to say something to set Lise straight.
Comment: #52
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:39 PM
Re: WinehouseFan
I was thinking the family you describe ought to go to a place like Chuck-E-Cheese's, where they have a game room or activity area where the kids can run around and all that. Otherwise, for the most part, they're too young to go out to a sports bar where they have to "sit still" and mind their manners; they haven't learned, certainly not at home, it appears.
I agree with your assessment of the lax parenting in that case. I think, though, that LW2 was speaking to families with pre-teens/tweens and teen-agers who have not reached 18 years of age, and her belief that those families ought to go to activities together, eat together, etc. Again, I agree with that for the most part, although I am mindful that the reason for "split shift" eating may have to do with school activities (no, not running around, school activities such as sports and band, etc.).
Comment: #53
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:21 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette

Yes, but HOW do they come to know so much at so young an age? It certainly isn't through healthy means. It's not normal for a 10, 12, even a 13 year old to know how to "work it." Someone taught them that and I'll bet the farm it was someone who was much older and groomed them into something terrible.

Roughly 1 in 5 girls experience sexual abuse by age 18, at least that's the known statistic, meaning it could be higher - and again, girls legally CANNOT consent at age 12 in most if not all states here for a reason. Even IF they seem to know what they're doing, fact is they don't. Probably about any pediatrician or psychologist well-versed in adolescent issues could verify that.

Yes, things were very different in the Middle Ages. Marriage was viewed more as a contract and love was a secondary benefit to such unions. Given that the life expectancy back then meant that you and I would be considered ancient old coots by such standards, combined with higher infant mortality rates, when it came to breeding, the bigger the brood the better. The Duggar family would have fit in very well.
Comment: #54
Posted by: PS
Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:03 PM
Re: PS

While I don't doubt that there are families out there that struggle with controlling children with special needs, and that they deserve outings too, I think LW2's "high horse" is -- as I just said -- reserved for families with teen-aged and tween children who's only "brattiness" comes from being (at least in her view) spoiled. That is, being allowed to go to parties, to play hours-long Facebook/online games that encroach into dinner and homework time, driving to the downtown square to "hang out" with friends, etc., and all the parents can do is say, "OK" and let them run off and do their thing.

I doubt she is so conservative that she does not understand the challenges of children who, because of such disorders as autism or AHAD, are often unable to control their behavior; and also I do not believe that she thinks a parent's inability to control said children is unfit or otherwise a bad parent. She's concerned about the families with children who don't have that excuse.

Lise: I have heard of 24-year-old grandmothers. They happen in third-world countries, on Walton's mountain or on the south side of Chicago, right? Where I come from, yes, there are grandparents in their mid-to-late 30s, but I've yet to meet any grandparent who is THAT young.
Comment: #55
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:08 PM
Re: Bobaloo
Set "Lise'" straight about what? I'm not the one who came up with drug use and gambling specifics after nanchan's very vague wondering about why would he be paid less than what he's worth.

And, AGAIN, I repeat - even if it WAS the case - it is not the place of anyone to withold due payment for work done because s/he thinks it'll be put to unsavory use. My post #28 was only four lines long, do try to read it all.

P.S.: I had heard of 24 year-old grandparents too, but eeech... this is really, REALLY bad.

"Yes, but HOW do they come to know so much at so young an age?"

Granted that at least 1 one 5 girls have been sexually abused (officially, the real numbers are certainly much higher as we both know), but the others have yet plenty of avenues in this day and age (not like you and I in our time) to find out the specifics in a not-so-healthy way, foremost of which is porn on the Internet.

All the information about everything on Earth is on the Internet... including that, unfortunately, since they're not likely to be viewing the clinical videos about the birds and the bees, but rather the hard-core stuff where women are nothing but a f*ck-hole. Which unfortunately teaches them plenty more, besides the mechanics of the deed.

Comment: #56
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:22 PM
@Zoe and Mike H. - I agree with PS - thank you and everyone else why had the audacity to suppose that "older" generations could just be exaggerating a bit regarding parenting.

That stated, count me in among the bad parents. On saturday mornings, I cook a big breakfast for my family. One of my sons loves boiled eggs. My daughter and I will eat eggs pretty much however they are served and my other son doesn't like eggs or pork products at all. Gasp-- I boil our eggs so I guess some of you would suppose that I let my son "dictate" our breakfast menu. Double gasp - I don't make the son who doesn't like eggs or pork eat those things - I also serve waffles and fruit and milk and he eats what he enjoys. Oh the horror. I should be whipped for allowing my children to actually enjoy their breakfast instead of making it a power struggle. Oh no --- there's more. One son hates peanut butter with a passion and the other despises cheese. So I pack PB and J in one son's lunch box and cheese sandwhichs in the other - oh no.... don't look now, but I am creating the future bains of society!

Each week my sons get a list of about 20 vocabulary words. We work on these words as part of the homework routine all week long. The deal is, if they get a perfect score on their spelling tests on Friday, they get two dollars. They are allowed to decide whether or not to spend their money (on some crappy thing that will break in five minutes), or save their money for something they really want. They each got a perfect score this week (forgive me for being proud of my children's efforts, I know that is a crime but oh well...). While running errands this morning, we went to Walmart. One of my sons is fascinated with trains and wanted one that cost $10. I told him that he needed to save his money until he had enough to buy one. He pouted and whined and pleaded that he wanted a train right now. I very calmly and quietly told him that if he did not stop that behavior, he would not be able to buy anything at all today. He continued pleading and he got nothing. I explained to him that I would not reward such behavior. That did not stop my six year old from repeating, "please mom.... please can I have the train... please mom". As we walked through the store. I ignored him and kept moving. I am sure many of the self-righteous know it all types who happened to have witnessed this assumed my son was some spoiled brat who gets everything he wants. Not only did he not get a toy today, he received a timeout when we got home. He recognized that he behaved poorly and apologized to me. Here comes another gasp - then I HUGGED him! Because just as it is a crime to actually treat your children with love and consideration, it is also a crime for a 6 year old to actually behave like one in public. Oh the horror of it all.

My children perform very well in school. They get solid A's in academics and their teachers list them as satisfactory or above in all their behavioral assessments. They write comments stating that, "he is a courteous and sweet boy", "he is extremely helpful and so kind to his friends".... Wow, all of this and I don't have to scream at them out in public to appease the sensibility of strangers who so ignorantly believe that in order to be a good parent your kid has to behave like a grown-up at all times.
Comment: #57
Posted by: sharnee
Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:43 PM
i suspect the people bitching about kids today are the same ones who answered Dear Abby's latest poll that NO they definitely would NOT have kids again if they had the chance. ;-)

The cooking one peeves me the most. Somehow being a lazy cook got spun into it being rude to reject food that was poorly prepared or not to one's liking. My job is to feed my family healthy tasty meals that appeal to them. Pretty pathetic if I can't figure that out. And it's a lot less stress on me to make a few simple options for everyone to choose from than insist NO YOU MUST EAT THIS. I mean really now who cares?

Like Sharnee my kids (including a severely autistic teen) get complimented all the time, including from perfect strangers on airplanes. I've never force fed them unappetizing slop I decided they needed to eat, I've lost my temper a handful of times in public at most, I never ever made them cry it out or sleep alone, and get this: I never once spanked. Grandma needs to shut up and go play pinochle with other women who were too weak to admit they didn't want kids and live by it.
Comment: #58
Posted by: wkh
Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:22 PM
I think someone needs to take a clue by four to the Aunt in Letter #1. I work as a Home Health Aid taking care of my MIL. I earn minimum, wage at $7.25 an hour and after taxes I average about $800 a month. That's for 30 hours a week, not 24/7.
For the Aunt to grudingly pay $500 a month shows her lack of respect for her Mother and her Nephew and is a pretty good indicator of her basic personality.
Comment: #59
Posted by: Michelle Keane
Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:54 PM
I wish I knew more about the 23-year-old grandma situation, but this was in '94, and was second-hand info anyway, since my student witnessed it. I didn't. Hopefully, since they were coming to a medical facility, the authorities were involved somehow.

I know that some of the local junior high schools have daycare facilities for students' babies. When I was subbing in a local high school, one of the senior girls had just come back from maternity leave. Heck, even when I was in high school, back in the 60s, a sophomore girl's absence excuse was that her baby was sick. (I worked in the principal's office.)

Comment: #60
Posted by: Joannakathryn
Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:35 PM
@JoannaKathryn - When I was in 10th grade, I had a classmate who had a baby at 15. The girl told me that her mother was 30 and her grandmother was 45.

A 23 yo grandma sound like an abuse case to me. I mean really - the grandmother would have had to have been no older than 12 and the daughter no older than 11, assuming the mother was 12 when she was born.
Comment: #61
Posted by: sharnee
Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:52 PM
Instead of regurgitating the same old arguments to your sisters, try a new approach. Get an appraisal of the situation from your mother's health care team. Based on the needs specified, arrange for accurate quotations for her full-time care from registered agencies in her town. Invite your sisters and son to a family conference (provide plenty of refreshments!). Lay out your findings in a business-like manner, deducting benefits your son receives, such as rent and utilities, etc.
See how they like them apples.
Comment: #62
Posted by: Word A Day Mate
Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:06 AM
Ok, So as much as I agree that kids are getting more control then they should, I ALWAYS have an issue when people say "YOUNG PARENTS"

Young parents makes one assume, teenage, or early twenties. Such as myself. I for one do NOT let my 3 year olds tantrum, or hate of rice, ruin my dinner. I only cook one dinner and one dinner only. We go where mummy (and daddy) have planned, and there only. If mum says bed time he goes straight to bed. How dare you assume all 'young' parents are these pathetic helpless people who cant parent if someone left them a freaking play-by-play. Maybe YOUR kids are doing that with THEIR children, but MOST parents ARENT STUPID.

GAH * Rant Over*

Now to read BTL
Comment: #63
Posted by: FireGiggles
Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:20 AM
Re: FireGiggles--My aunt and uncle used to laugh about how they were with their first baby. He didn't want to go to bed, so they'd put everything up out of his way and leave him in his walker. They were 20 and 21, and as my uncle said, "We couldn't make him go to bed--he might CRY!" By the time their 3rd one came along, they'd grown up.

I learned by watching her, so when it was time for my son to take a nap, I put him in his crib and walked out. He seldom, if ever, put up a fuss. As far as being a picky eater, I really believe that kids learn to be picky from watching the adults around them. I was terribly picky, but all the adults around me were, too. With my son, we never let him hear us say we didn't like anything, and we didn't make a big deal if he didn't want something.

With him, it was more--Don't eat the plate! There's plenty more where that came from.

I suddenly stopped drinking milk when I was about a year old, according to my mother. For a while, they tried to force me, and to this day, I hate the taste of plain milk. I wasn't too surprised to find out that I'm allergic to dairy. A sudden dislike of a food could mean something like a food allergy.

Comment: #64
Posted by: Joannakathryn
Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:47 AM
@JoannaKathryn - "A sudden dislike of a food could mean something like a food allergy". I believe this is true. I don't force my kids to eat anything but I encourage them to try things that either they have never had or haven't tasted in a long time to see if they like it. The son who does not like peanut butter or any peanuts for that matter finally told me when he was about four that "peanuts make his mouth itch". That was the last time ever asked him to eat anything with peanuts in it again. If he has a nut allergy, it is very mild - but still that was enough reason for me to stop asking him to try anything with peanuts as a key ingredient.

Also, while I make large breakfasts once a week, I am not a short order cook. I know my children's food preferences and take them in to consideration when planning meals.... I go heavy on the veggies and proteins they all like and sparingly on the stuff they dislike. If we are having spaghetti and meatballs, with a side veggie and one of my children doesn't like tomato sauce, then no big . He gets the same noodles the rest of us are eating, but instead of topping it with sauce and parmesan, he just gets a little butter and parmesan on his noodles. But the dinner rule is everyone needs to eat all of their veggies and protein if they want to enjoy dessert after dinner. I don't really care if they eat the starch on their plates because, well - it's a starch. If I am serving mashed potatoes and I know one of my kids dislikes that starch, he doesn't have to eat it as long as he eats his veggies and meat. My kids will sometimes ask what's for dessert and decide if that particular dessert is worth the effort of eating whatever it is they don't want. Sometimes it is, sometime it isn't but I don't make a fuss about it either way. After we finish eating dinner and dessert and the kitchen has been cleaned, I say "the kitchen is what?" and all three shout "CLOSED!" in unison. They know that this means that if they did not eat what I offered, they will have to wait until breakfast for their next meal. Desserts are often simply bananas topped with a dallup of whipped cream or apples, peeled and cooked in the microwave with a llittle brown sugar and cinnamon. Simple, stuff but it is enough of a motivating factor many times that I don't worry that my children aren't getting enough nutrients or that they will go hungry.

Comment: #65
Posted by: sharnee
Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:33 AM
Why isn't the son handling his compensation? He and the grandmother seem to be the only ones coming across as more or less unaffected by this. As some others have implied, we don't know wnough about the son-his qualifications, the grandmother's needs, or his situation before this-to write him off as some loser living of Grammy at 44 or a misguided man-child who can't make his own decisions. I have a friend who cares for an elderly grandmother for the cost of use of one of her grandmother's houses. She has a nice place for her family to live and her grandmother has a loving daytime caretaker and gets to spend ample time with her young great granddaughter. The grandmother has mild alzheimers and requires little more than gentle redirection, assistance with daily activities such as bathing, and to be kept from inadvertently harming herself. These are all things that can be dealt with by family and don't require taking the risks of a nursing home or removing her from her family -they jokingly call it "the compound" because several related families live in one block of houses. Her grandmother spent her whole life building that situation, and in her old age, this allows her to keep what she has worked for. Girl Scout Leader has an excellent idea. Mom and the aunties need to stay out of it except for providing the son support and the occassional break and making sure that it doesn't progress past his level of ability to care for her.
Comment: #66
Posted by: Nichole
Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:38 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette

Your comment about not being the place for the aunts to withhold money for services rendered ... I'll agree with you on that. Hallelujah!

And for the record, I did have a boss who underpaid me once. (At least $10,000 less than what I should have been making for full-time work. I now have a different job.)

Also for the record -- the Walton's Mountain thing WAS made up (for sarcasm). Again, I don't see or hear of mid-20s grandmothers happening where I come from.
Comment: #67
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:44 PM
Re: Word A Day Mate

OK, you really think the aunts will agree to come along to a "conference" when they're so busy talking on their cell phones about bullshit with their friends, and trying to catch up on the bitch-fests that we call "The View" and "The City"? No way. In their view, they're paying their nephew -- he may or may not be a man-child, as someone suggested -- a just sum and very generously. (Lise: Told'ya it doesn't have to be suspicion about his past/how he'll spend it now, or even he's laid off and between jobs.)

Digging back into my old tricks -- time to subpoena these aunts and demand they justify why they're underpaying their nephew. NOW! Then we'll get a clear picture about what's going on and why they appear to be such penny pinchers, all while saving up for that platinum-plated Rolls Royce, to search for a Robert Redford-type, and decorate their house in a vain attempt to impress the neighbors when they have them over for tea-and-crumpets, all while watching "Queen for a Day!"
Comment: #68
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:58 PM
Re: Word A Day Mate

OK, you really think the aunts will agree to come along to a "conference" when they're so busy talking on their cell phones about bullshit with their friends, and trying to catch up on the bitch-fests that we call "The View" and "The City"? No way. In their view, they're paying their nephew -- he may or may not be a man-child, as someone suggested -- a just sum and very generously. (Lise: Told'ya it doesn't have to be suspicion about his past/how he'll spend it now, or even he's laid off and between jobs.)

Digging back into my old tricks -- time to subpoena these aunts and demand they justify why they're underpaying their nephew. NOW! Then we'll get a clear picture about what's going on and why they appear to be such penny pinchers, all while saving up for that platinum-plated Rolls Royce, to search for a Robert Redford-type, and decorate their house in a vain attempt to impress the neighbors when they have them over for tea-and-crumpets, all while watching "Queen for a Day!"
Comment: #69
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:58 PM
Re: Jack Alan (#42)
1. Capable of being bought: open to bribery.
2. Of or related to bribery.

Comment: #70
Posted by: Word A Day Mate
Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:47 PM
Re: Bobaloo

Mmmmm . . . Crumpets.

Comment: #71
Posted by: Word A Day Mate
Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:49 PM
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