I didn't really know where to post this, I guess this is as good a place as any.
We may have (will know for sure in a few days) the opportunity to live rent free on several acres of land, in a country setting, in exchange for caretaking the property and looking after the elderly person whose land it is.
After all the moving our family has done in the past 2 years (a LOT) I normally wouldn't even consider another move, and SO is pretty sick of moving himself. We are doing OK financially but not wonderful by any stretch. i.e. we have NO money left after our bills, and sometimes have to juggle those a bit to make it all work. We also hate out apartment complex for several reasons, one of them being that it is not child friendly at all and there is nowhere for our kids to play outside.
So with all that background, I can't help but be tempted by this offer. We'd have the top two floors of a large farmhouse all to ourselves (it's privately enclosed with its own kitchen and bath) and would be responsible for looking after the elderly gentleman who lives on the first floor. He has an aide during the day, but whoever is living in the house needs to fix him supper each night, help him get into bed when he's ready, remind him to take his meds, etc. On Sundays he needs more extensive help since the aide doesn't come in that day. He wears adult diapers but is not totally incontinent so there is also a bedside commode to empty/clean whenever the aide is not there. The horse and cow need to be watered and fed daily, and the yard maintained (riding mower provided). You can't leave him by himself, so unless respite care is arranged in advance, someone needs to be home in the afternoon/evenings and all day Sunday. That's pretty much the job description. If he were to pass away, we would be allowed to stay on to caretake the property.
Downsides: It's just over an hour from where we currently live. SO would need to put in for a transfer and would probably end up with a 20-30 min commute to work. We would have to either find new therapists for ds and myself or plan to travel back here one day a week for all our appts. Internet service is an arm and a leg out there. We would have to supply our own cooking/heating gas. We are a multiracial family and the area is not diverse at all...I don't know whether that will be an issue; it may not be, or it might be huge. It's in the middle of nowhere.....10 minutes from town and 20 minutes from the "city." The gas station closes at night. I'm used to 24 hr everything.
Upsides: the location sounds like a dream come true (except for the lack of 24 hr access to beer and junk food, lol). There is a cabin at the far edge of the property (several miles away) with a grill. It is near a river. There is a pond on the property about a mile from the house, for fishing, swimming and boating. There is a very tame horse that the kids may ride, and an old friendly cow who apparently follows visiting grandkids around in search of treats. If we decided not to homeschool, the school is literally right next door. There are fruit trees in the backyard, a large garden plot and canning supplies already there. There is a swingset in the yard. The property is fenced, but very far off the road, such that it is safe for even little ones to run around fairly freely. It sounds like so much fun.......gardening, eating fresh all summer, canning and freezing for the winter, fishing. I feel that it would be a good envrionment for ds with all his behavior quirks and sensory issues. After all, back when kids worked on farms all day nobody had ever heard of ADHD, right? Interacting with nature and animals would be such a positive for him. And horses don't care about social skills!
We are thinking seriously about it.....very seriously. I'm more than willing to do the work around the property, except for the riding mower, which I'll leave to SO! What do you all think? Would you do something like this?