Rent Free living with a catch....would you do this? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-03-2011, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

 

 


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Old 06-03-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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Hey- your thread reminded me of the one awhile back- the poster was deciding to move to Hawaii or not. Daffodils advice was awesome!

 

"Here's my theory on big decisions: The harder a decision is to make, the less it matters what you actually decide.  When you're having a hard time deciding, it's either because the pros and cons are pretty even either way, or because you can't predict the eventual outcome.  So spending a lot of time thinking it over probably isn't going to help you much, but the two choices probably have an equal likelihood of turning out well.  You might as well flip a coin.  (Flipping a coin can also be a pretty good way of clarifying for yourself what you really want to do.  If you say you'll let a coin flip make up your mind, and then you find yourself happy or disappointed over what happens - then you know what you really want, and you should probably go with whatever that is.)

 

My other theory about decisions is that if you're deciding between doing something and doing nothing (just staying with the status quo), you should always go ahead and do whatever the thing is.  It makes your life more interesting and leads to fewer regrets.  I can't think of any time when I've decided to do something different and ended up feeling like it was a big mistake. 

 

It sounds like the idea of living on Maui makes you happy, and the cons don't sound all that serious.  Based on what you've written, moving there sounds like a good idea to me.  If you don't like it as much as you thought you might, it's a reversible decision.  (Moving there and moving back might cost you more money in the long run than just staying where you are or moving to a less expensive, sunnier spot in the lower 48.  But when you're 80 and you're looking back on your life, which are you more likely to regret - that you didn't move to Maui when you got the chance, or that you didn't accumulate as much money as you possibly could have?)"

 

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Old 06-03-2011, 06:41 PM
 
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I would do it in a New York minute!  Sounds incredible.  Absolutely incredible!


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Old 06-03-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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You need to look at it not so much as rent-free living, but as a  job caretaking for an elderly man and his property.  Part of the perk of that is the property and living rent-free..but you will be "working" for that rent..and probably working pretty hard.   It sounds like this gentleman will need quite a bit of care, so you do need to think seriously if you are up for that.

 

Yes, the property sounds awesome, the horse sounds awesome (I've always wanted a horse!), but realize that caring for an elderly adult is quite extensive.   Yes, he has an aide, but you will need to be totally responsible for him at times when the aide is gone..and if he can't be left alone, it does sound as if he needs quite a bit of care.   Not only will you need to take care of his physical needs, but he may need company and need you to be there to talk with him and spend time with him.

 

I would do, but I would be sure to go into it with eyes wide open and realize that you will be working hard for that rent-free property.


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Old 06-03-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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I don't, personally, think it's worth the price of rent - but then, I have no idea how much it would be saving you guys every month. You'd have to be okay with not going anywhere as a family on weekends or evenings, so essentially you'll be working those hours - regardless of how much care the man needs every hour, yk? It would be like being on-call, but housebound. Plus, how much would heating run? And would you constantly feel stressed with two (soon-to-be three) little ones running around trying not to bother the man downstairs day and night?

I dunno; I can see why it is a hard decision - lots of appealing aspects - but to me, it doesn't seem like it would be worth it (could just be our lifestyle and kids' energy levels).

I guess it would also depend on when your current lease is up or what you'd have to pay to get out of it, and how long of a commitment you'd have to give this guy to try the arrangment out (and your DP job transfer).

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Old 06-03-2011, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I forgot to mention in my first post that my grandmother died of cancer when I was a teenager. The last year of her life, my mom checked out a bit and got herself a job working afternoons/evenings when I was home from school to babysit. I'd come home from school, the CNA would leave and my mom would leave, an I woyuld be left to monitor the morphine pump, feed her ice chips, change her bedsheets once she started getting bedsores, and before that do transfers, by myself with no hoyer lift, from bed to chair to commode. I cleaned/changed her ostomy bags and eventually she had a catheter as well. She was completely unable to talk or move by the end.....it's making me really sad to write this so I'll stop but anyway just saying all that to express that I do definitely understand what all caregiving can entail. It doesn't sound like this man is anywheres near that debilitated.....he actually still walks, but just is very slow and prefers to use his chair. He is in his 90's but has no actual health problems like cancer or anything. But, of course, that's not to say that an issue can't develop in a year, or even in a week, at his age.

 

ameliabedelia, you brought up the same point as my SO. I suck at housekeeping....I can do it, but I'm disorganized so it is a struggle for me. He worries about me keeping up with the kids and our own home and still being available to this man once 4 PM rolls around. (Before that, my time is my own since he has his CNA there).


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Old 06-03-2011, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We would save $850 in rent and another $100 or so in utilities. We can go out evenings or weekends if we plan ahead, but there is no room for spontaneity. He has family in town who visits frequently and also takes him home with them sometimes for holidays and whatnot, and there is another person who is available for overnights if you ask in advance, and a third person whose house he sometimes spends the day at but not overnight. So there are options. But no, we can't just up and go to the movies or something. It doesn't bother me because I prefer my kids to be home and in bed at a certain time but iit might cramp SO's style a bit.

 

Oh and we are able to break our lease.... but they need someone by the end of this month, which is why we are stressing over making the right decison fairly quickly. I also thought about the kids overhead. That is one of my big concerns. In summer not so much since we'll be outdoors, but in winter we would have to put down rugs or put their playroom on the 3rd floor where he can't hear them.

 

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I don't, personally, think it's worth the price of rent - but then, I have no idea how much it would be saving you guys every month. You'd have to be okay with not going anywhere as a family on weekends or evenings, so essentially you'll be working those hours - regardless of how much care the man needs every hour, yk? It would be like being on-call, but housebound. Plus, how much would heating run? And would you constantly feel stressed with two (soon-to-be three) little ones running around trying not to bother the man downstairs day and night?

I dunno; I can see why it is a hard decision - lots of appealing aspects - but to me, it doesn't seem like it would be worth it (could just be our lifestyle and kids' energy levels).

I guess it would also depend on when your current lease is up or what you'd have to pay to get out of it, and how long of a commitment you'd have to give this guy to try the arrangment out (and your DP job transfer).


 


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Old 06-03-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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I would be very cautious about this arrangement. My sister (no kids, single) ended up in a "rent free, 'help' the older lady arrangement, which ended up being abusive to her, and my sister is not assertive for her own needs, so the "landlady" ended up being very demanding that she run all her errands, help her, etc. and she had to drop classes to "meet the needs" of the landlady.  It took several months for her to insist on her rights and move out, and insist the lady got a health care aide.  Ironically and sadly, the lady died a few weeks after my sister moved out.

 

So that's the experience of a member of my family.  It sounds like a lot of good options!  But I would make sure that expectations are well outlined, and if it starts to be onerous, be willing to assess frequently, and move on if necessary.

 

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Old 06-03-2011, 08:06 PM
 
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if you like the gentleman and his family then i would say yes, even if in the end you don't save that much money it was still an experience. not to mention you have experience in care taking (the part i will admit i was having a hard time with) and i bet he might like having you and the kids around.


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Old 06-03-2011, 09:04 PM
 
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Assuming you get along okay with the man and his family, and having past experience caretaking - I would absolutely go for it.  

 

I think a lot of the changes would make your life more family oriented (which it sounds to me you want) and benefit other interests/needs (the canning, big wide nature around, etc).  If it's really possible to change jobs (for your SO) and accommodate your ds's needs.  I'd probably do it in your position.

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Old 06-03-2011, 09:27 PM
 
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I would be very cautious about this arrangement. My sister (no kids, single) ended up in a "rent free, 'help' the older lady arrangement, which ended up being abusive to her, and my sister is not assertive for her own needs, so the "landlady" ended up being very demanding that she run all her errands, help her, etc. and she had to drop classes to "meet the needs" of the landlady.  It took several months for her to insist on her rights and move out, and insist the lady got a health care aide.  Ironically and sadly, the lady died a few weeks after my sister moved out.

 

So that's the experience of a member of my family.  It sounds like a lot of good options!  But I would make sure that expectations are well outlined, and if it starts to be onerous, be willing to assess frequently, and move on if necessary.

 





This sounds very similar to the situation I am currently in. I agreed to work for this elderly couple in exchange for them selling us a piece of land, and for the sum total of my rent and bills in a house that is 1/4 mile from theirs. There is no end to what I have to do to appease the woman. She is really awful and it has turned me into a person that I dont like when Im at her house. This is going to make me sound like a monster, but she is so awful that sometimes when I see her sleeping in her chair, I know that I wouldnt really be upset if she wasnt just asleep. Things are coming to a head with my situation there, and its getting worse and worse to the point where I will have to leave before they pass away. There is no way I will be able to deal with the situation for more than 6 more months. They scream and yell all the time, they say things like "shame on you" and "bad,bad, girl" to my DD for being loud. She once grabbed DD's hand and was about to smack it for throwing food on the floor (she was 11 months old). It just gets worse and worse. I would highly suggest getting a contract stating EXACTLY what you are required to do, and exactly how many hours a week you are supposed to work. (Because this couple is so picky, it takes me THREE HOURS to get their groceries. That kind of stuff really adds up)

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Old 06-03-2011, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That sounds awful! Adaline's Mama, can you still stay there and pay rent if you quit working for them? You said 6 months, I don't think I'd be able to put up with it even that long!

 

I haven't met the gentleman yet, but I will soon, so I'm hoping he is as friendly and laid back as his current caregiver described. They say he really likes kids (his grand, or maybe great grand? kids are my kids' age). All of this information has been passed to me by the current caregiving couple. They are leaving because they themselves are older and can't handle the three story farmhouse on their knees and back (plus helping him stand and move around). I really, really hope it is what they say it is!


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Old 06-03-2011, 10:22 PM
 
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I can stay and pay rent, as we were actually renting from them before we made this arrangement. The reason I am waiting 6 months is because the agreement was for them to sell us the land across the street and extend our lease on our house (which is an old general store, so its also a business) for 20 years.That will go into effect jan 2012. The land that we are buying is currently being leased, which is why we have to wait to actuallly have it. Its currently in escrow, and it will be ours in January, upon which I plan to terminate employment as Im having a baby in late jan/ early feb anyway and I would need maternity leave, so they will have to find someone for that time period.

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Old 06-03-2011, 10:22 PM
 
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DH and I lived rent-free in exchange for caretaking for a few years and it was amazing. We lived in an apartment in the second floor of the barn, which used to have horses many years ago. One woman in her 70s lived alone in the mansion. There were 9 acres of manicured lawns and gardens and a pond. We took care of all the gardens and pond maintenance (there was a separate lawn service). We managed other staff--we'd need more help in the fall when it was time to rake leaves and in the spring when there was lots of mulching and work on the flower beds. We also ran errands for her and helped with some maintenance around the house (I'm pretty handy and can do electrical work). I took care of her hundreds of orchids. We became very close friends with her. We left there 7 years ago and we are still close. The amount of work, on top of my full-time teaching job and dh's graduate program, was sometimes overwhelming. But the opportunity to live in such an amazing place and to save three years of rent was worth every moment. Because of all the money we were able to save, when another great opportunity came up to buy our house, we were able to do it with WAY less debt than it could have been.

 

We had looked into a different caretaking situation before we took this one that was not so ideal. It was a further commute for both of us. The homeowners had cows, and it was the caretakers' responsibility to feed them 2x a day. The owners NEVER fed them--if we wanted to go away for a weekend, we'd have to find someone to feed the cows for us, because the owners wouldn't. They set a price for the rent and an hourly wage, so you punched a timeclock and the amount you worked was deducted from your rent. If you went over the hours needed to cover your rent, they'd pay you. It seemed really weird to us, and way too rigid.

 

I also worked as a live-in nanny for a while, which is a similar kind of situation, I guess. That was a really good experience, but it wasn't without its moments of tension.

 

These kind of situations can work wonderfully, but I think it can be tricky to find just the right situation. I hope it works out for you!

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Old 06-04-2011, 01:31 AM
 
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OP here are the reasons i WOULD do it :-

 

1. its an incredible opportunity. no matter what the hardships when an opportunity like this one - oh so rare happens, its time to take it. you've already moved multiple times. so moving once or twice is no big deal.

 

2. saving the money is not an issue. i mean yeah of course but in my books that is  not the priority at all.

 

3. chance of personal growth. and redefining your dreams. or should i say getting it more focused. chance of getting to know yourself better. you wont know if this situation suits you or not if you dont try it. 

 

the key here is - huge factor - transportation. do you have an absolutely reliable car? or access to one. if i remember ur past thread u do not have a reliable one. or instead of one reliable, two unreliable cars so if one breaks down u know u have the other one. 

 

btw after u factor in gas the saving might not be that phenomenal. 

 

things to consider - how much isolation can you personally deal with. 

 

i loooooooove taking care of the elderly. i would give this some serious thought. i see you are pregnant too (Congratulations). how will that affect work? the reason why i say this is coz usu its good to be there for a while. just coz u dont like it doesnt mean you just get up and take off. at that age the elderly need some consistency - not a string of caregivers. 

 

its an opportunity of a lifetime. it does not matter if its a negative or positive experience. its an adventure. 

 

hope you like the guy. 

 

i've kinda done something similar. it was both a positive and a negative thing. the biggest thing it did was made me live one of my dreams to find out that i was done with that dream. i didnt want to do it anymore. i cant do with that much isolation. 


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Old 06-04-2011, 06:42 AM
 
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I would not just meet the gentleman - I would spend the day with him. You, SO and kids should head up there on a day when there is someone taking care of him and not only see exactly what it is he expects from them, but what his personality and routine truly are. I think that would give you the insight needed to make a well-informed decision. Good luck!

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Old 06-04-2011, 06:48 AM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't do it.  You're essentially taking on a full time job in exchange for rent.  Would you consider working otherwise?  I would rather be broke with my total freedom than have money and be tied down to a full time commitment that I wouldn't have normally.


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Old 06-04-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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Do you need to stay in his home from 4pm on until the aide comes back the next morning? Or until he falls asleep? Does he have a call button so that you can go home to spend time with family/put the kids to bed without spending all your time at his place?

 

The part that would hold me back would be taking care of the old guy; helping him around, changing diapers etc. Everything else would be a dream. But you seem to have experience (and training?) in that sort of thing so I guess that shouldn't hold you back. 

 

I agree with the PP who said to spend a whole day with him (or at least an afternoon/morning). Also, have a contract written up with details/boundaries/$$$/what is covered money or labour wise and what could/should be paid extra etc. 

 

If you're into the whole country lifestyle (I am) then this could open doors for you. But really, you'd want to be a homebody to make this work. If you're used to going out for a night on the town, running to the store every 5 mins etc then you'll feel very stuck. 


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Old 06-04-2011, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you need to stay in his home from 4pm on until the aide comes back the next morning? Or until he falls asleep? Does he have a call button so that you can go home to spend time with family/put the kids to bed without spending all your time at his place?

 

The part that would hold me back would be taking care of the old guy; helping him around, changing diapers etc. Everything else would be a dream. But you seem to have experience (and training?) in that sort of thing so I guess that shouldn't hold you back. 

 

I agree with the PP who said to spend a whole day with him (or at least an afternoon/morning). Also, have a contract written up with details/boundaries/$$$/what is covered money or labour wise and what could/should be paid extra etc. 

 

If you're into the whole country lifestyle (I am) then this could open doors for you. But really, you'd want to be a homebody to make this work. If you're used to going out for a night on the town, running to the store every 5 mins etc then you'll feel very stuck. 

It's all one big house. There is an internal staircase connecting the top two floors (which are closed off) with the first floor where he lives. They have baby monitors set up to keep an ear out for him in the house/yard. So I wouldn't need to sit in his house, just be around the property. Around 10 PM the current caregiver goes back downstairs to help him get ready for bed. But she doesn't stay down there unless he is sick or something unusual (once he was sick and got very confused and disoriented so she stayed with him through the night.)

 

I would never, ever take a job like this unless I was prepared to treat him 100% right. I think older people have it even worse than kids in our culture (in terms of not having choices/being afforded dignity and being helpless).We need to give more respect and have more patience. So I wouldn't do it unless I felt sure I could do it right.

 

 


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Old 06-04-2011, 11:32 AM
 
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I like the idea of your whole family spending the whole day with the gentleman.  It's one thing for him to be a loving grandfather to his grandkids, if he's seeing them for a few hours here and there.  But we all know it's a totally different feeling when you're living with a bunch of rambunctious kids 24/7! 

 

Last year, I worked with an elderly man for 6 months as his bookkeeper.  He ran a business out of his apartment and lived in the same apartment building as we did.  I brought DD to work with me; she was 15 months to 21 months when we were there.  The two of them definitely formed a bond, and it was clear to see that she enriched his life (he was homebound so didn't interact much with others, especially kids).  But it was obviously stressful to him to have her there, especially on her fussy days.  He wasn't patient with her and was from a generation that just has different expectations for kids.  He took it upon himself to verbally discipline her in ways that I wasn't comfortable with ("bad girl!") but I felt awkward telling him it wasn't cool.  It was just pretty complicated, so I think it would be a good idea to do a test run with the kids.  (That said, overall it was a wonderful experience for us--I got to learn bookkeeping and keep my baby with me at work, DD got an adoptive grandpa and the ability to nurse all day instead of being in daycare, and the man still emails me all the news articles he sees about breastfeeding!)


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Old 06-04-2011, 03:37 PM
 
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If I weren't doing what I do now (doula/student midwife, need to be able to run off last minute), I would be all over that opportunity.


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Old 06-04-2011, 11:58 PM
 
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I say spend all day, every day, for a week. Maybe you could even spend the nights and just live there for the week to see how it goes.


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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Old 06-05-2011, 03:49 AM
 
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If it's me I'd never do it.  Of course I'm not much of a care giver anyway.  It's not like he's an old friend or family, taking care of a stranger would totally stress me out.  I'm also worried this old man might not be used to living with kids.  What if it turned out you guys don't get along and you need to move again?  Won't you be out of some money?

 

Of course I understand that most people are different from me and many love taking care of others.  I agree with trying to get to know that man better before making decisions. :)


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Old 06-05-2011, 05:38 AM
 
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I think it sounds like a pretty great opportunity.  My only initial concern was that you understood what it was like to care for an older person - I did a lot of caretaking for my own elderly grandparents and it can be tough.  But it sounds like you know what you're getting into there, so I'd meet the man, maybe spend the day with him, and assuming you feel that the personalities would work out and that you can meet his needs, I'd go for it.. 

 

One caveat - what would the plan be for when your next LO is born?  You may have to leave with little notice to go to the hospital, is there some kind of provision for that?  You may not be able to care for him for a couple of weeks after the birth - would your DP be able to cover for you?  In late pregnancy you may also struggle with all those stairs, can your DP take over some of the helping stuff during that time?   I don't think these things make it undoable, just something to consider/discuss.


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Old 06-05-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Well, it does seem like it could be a workable solution, and I would seriously consider it.  The setup, the country living, the opportunities, the money savings, the chance to develop a close inter-generational relationship for your children, the chance to model caring for someone else to your children -- all of that sounds really, really wonderful!  (And it sounds like there are reasonable options if you do want a day or evening off.)

 

The thing that gives me pause is the evening thing.  It sounds like the older gentleman is going to require a fair amount of care in the evenings (dinner, meds, getting ready for bed, etc.), in addition to someone being on-call for him in the evenings.  It wouldn't bother me, personally, to need to have someone around the house every evening, just in case, but the hands-on stuff that the gentleman needs in the evening would be harder, I think, especially with small children.  At least for me (three, soon to be four, young children), there is a lot that needs to happen in the evenings -- dinner, tidying the house, baths, brushing teeth, bedtime stories, diapers/potty trips, tucking kids into bed/rocking/nursing to sleep, laying out schoolwork for the next day, getting bags ready to go for the next day if we're going out, checking on the next day's to-do list, cleaning up the kitchen, etc.  It's also a time of day when my 2 and 6yo's are tired (but napping at all means later bedtimes), so they need more hands-on attention from us.  And sometime in there it's nice for me to have a little time without all of the children around and/or to spend with my husband.  My DH works a full day and does help with that stuff, but we're also about to add a newborn, which means even more for DH to do with the older children.  You're in a similar position; I'd be concerned that there just aren't enough hours in the evening in which to add one more person who needs a lot of hands-on care.  At the very least, it would probably put more on your DH after his own day at work, either helping with the children more while you attend to the gentleman (and you'd need to figure something out for your postpartum time -- even with an easy delivery, you need to take things easy for a few weeks), or attending to the gentleman himself.  I know it is hard on all of us when I take DD to dance class in the evenings, or have homeschool meetings in the evenings -- and that's only occasionally.  Day in and day out would be trickier, especially if your DH wasn't able to transfer and ended up with a larger commuting time (which would also reduce the amount you'd save).

 

Also, what sorts of things would be required for the on-all time?  If we're talking things like "come in five minutes," that would be very different from "come immediately."  You will need to prioritize your newborn, and while it's one thing to interrupt a feeding occasionally, you can't do that repeatedly.

 

I'm not voting for or against it, just pointing out some possible pitfalls that you'd really want to consider and discuss with your DH.


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Old 06-05-2011, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today I had a rough morning in terms of feeling "off". I'm just now really feeling like being up and doing stuff, although I did a load of laundry and fed the kids, that was about it. I was talking to SO about it, and about my concern that I won't always be on my A-game. I'm prone to depression and right now I'm not taking anything for it. Although I'm overall ok without it, some days a re a struggle. He understands and always pitches in to pick up my slack, but he isn't keen on changing a 95 year old man's diapers, so realistically that will always be my responsibility no matter how I'm feeling.

 

In that respect, I think treating it like my job, just like I do the jobs I have now (serving, and babysitting), that I go to work even if I don't feel like it, because the bills have to get paid, will help. Whereas with the care of the kids I have no problem telling him "you go do it, I'm not up to it."

 

We plan to have a home birth but I haven't visited the property yet, so if it's not conducive to a home birth then I would need to make alternate plans for a hospital/birth center birth. I know this probably makes me sound bad, but I wasn't planning on pre-announcing the home birth, just presenting it after the fact as an "oops, we didn't make it to the hospital" thing. That was my plan for where we currently live, too, since I know for a fact the nieghbors/ maintenance are not home birth friendly. I'm not typically loud, and my labors seem to go fast once I hit transition, plus there is a 3rd floor where I could potentially labor in peace without disturbing anyone below. But maybe I'm not being realistic?

 

I was back to my normal life the day after I delivered both kids, so I hope for an equally easy time this time. With dd I was in the garden, grocery shopping, and cleaning the bathroom 2 days pp. As long as there is no heavy lifting I should be OK. And SO would certainly help in that circumstance.

 

You all are raising a lot of good points. I appreciate the many and varied responses! Please keep them coming as it helps me to think this through thoroughly before we go out there on Tuesday.


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Old 06-05-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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Honestly I don't think it's a good idea.... at first it sounds amazing, the "job description" doesn't sound all that heavy.... but the things that come to mind are.... if you and your son have a therapist you are happy with, it is a risk to leave him/her. Adding another person to the list of your caretaking responsibilities would probably end up being harder than it seems at first, and would take away from the time and energy you have for your little ones (plus with a newborn in December, it would be a looot of work).  What if there is an emergency with one of your kids and you have to leave the gentleman by himself against your agreement?  With your SO commuting so much to work and back, you will be spending a lot of time by yourself being completely responsible for the needs of three kids after Dec, a horse, a cow, an older gentleman, 3 stories worth of housecleaning and a huge yard to cut.

 

I have been in a sort of similar situation before, and personally, I had a lot of resentment build up because, at the end of the day, my life wasn't my own to serve my family to the best of my ability. I was tied to someone else as well, and I just wasn't capable of managing that.

 

However, it may be the right thing for you. Whatever you decide I wish you the best!

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Old 06-05-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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It looks like it could be a wonderful opportunity for the right family.  And what a joy you could bring to this gentleman by having people around to interact with.  However, for us and my family, this would not be a good opportunity for us.  We like to do things without having to plan, and I know this sounds terrible, but I do not particularly like caring for the elderly.  It definitely takes the right kind of person, and I know that I am not that kind of person.  My mom and dad owned their own medical supply business for quite a few years growing up and when they sold that, my mom went into managing nursing homes and assisted living facilities, so it's not from lack of experience or knowledge.  If anything, it's the exact opposite.

 

But it sounds like you do have good knowledge on how much work it would require.  I tdoes sound like in a lot of ways it would become nearly a full time job, particularly if the needs of the gentleman change.  I think you need to have everything in writing.  How much work you are willing to do, what kinds of work you are and are not willing to do, what needs and health issues you aren't willing to take on should his health take a turn for the worse, etc.  Horses and cows take quite a bit of work, probably more than at least I would think though there is a definite advantage in having access to riding the horse.  I think you also need an 'escape' route.  If the situation just isn't working, are you easily able to get out of the situation?  If yes, then I think it's worth a shot.

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Old 06-05-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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I would do it in a heart beat! I was a nurse aide for a long time before becoming a SAHM though. He WILL debilitate which you need to consider. Eventually his care wil be harder and harder and you will be changing his diaper every 2hrs. I would still do it though.


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Old 06-05-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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I would say no. 

 

Realistically, now matter how quickly you recovered from your previous births, are you really going to be able to provide night time care to an elderly man with physical disabilities, care for three kids and take care of the property/animals? All within days (max weeks, if your OH gets paternity leave) of the birth?

 

Live out job with set hours and maternity leave - I'd say take it. But being on call for this man is going to be incredibly difficult and to be honest, he deserves someone he can count on 100%.

 

 

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