25 year old Married Man with Newborn taking Care of Grandfather.

by Thomas
(Virginia)

My grandfather lives on 200 acres on a farm in the country, which sounds nice, but is a great deal of work. After I got out of the marines, and before I was married I lived with my grandfather to help him with the place, but my wife and I bought a house in town and moved there when we were married two years ago.


Soon after, we both noticed an almost immediate decline in my grandfathers health, from him falling often, his not eating or drinking enough water and many other problems. He went to the hospital several times for different problems that he was having, but none of his children, or anyone else for that matter (save for my wife and myself) would admit there to being anything wrong other than just "old age".

After a year, and despite having just gotten married, both of us working long hours, and having a baby on the way we decided that we should rent out our house and take care of my grandfather, his house and the farm. We have now been here for almost an entire year, and have been through hell dealing financially, emotionally and physically with countless problems.

The house was almost unlivable, but none of the rest of the family offered much of anything financially to help us fix the place up. Combined with the bills from the birth of our child, we had to really scrape to make ends meet. He (my grandfather) is a very negative person and is never appreciative of our constant help, but instead idolizes his children and friends who did nothing to help him.

I am only 25 and my wife 23 and we feel the life is being driven out of us. We know that if we left, we would never recoup the thousands and thousands of dollars we have spent on the place, and that the rest of the family would leave him alone if we were not there.

I think that the worst part is people telling us that we need to cherish him when he takes everything we do for him for granted. I feel like we work constantly during the day and again as soon as we get home. Though I know him able, he hardly ever uses the bathroom without making horrible messes all over the toilet, and never attempts to clean up after himself. He is very nosy, and has no manners, and whispers loudly to himself, often about very dirty or inappropriate things. He won't even keep the stove running for us so we can come home to a warm house even though I am constantly stacking fuel conveniently for him (he has plenty of time and energy to snoop trough our things while we are at work and go on walks outside with only a walking stick).

The icing on the cake was last thanksgiving day when I came downstairs (he gets up at 5:30 every day for no real reason) and I asked him how he was feeling, to which he replied that he had nothing in life but anger, misery and strife. I was so angry upon hearing this that despite my months of cheery disposition toward him I became very angry, almost to a loss.

I could not believe I heard him say that to me after everything my wife and I do for him that his own children would not. I told him that he was an ingrate, and how it hurt me to hear him say those things, but he didn't care. The rest of the day he was glaring at me, and was generally more unpleasant than usual, and would not even clean up for Thanksgiving and smelled like horrible body odor during the meal.

He even cut me off as I was about to say a very nicely thought out blessing, and gave a depressing and cryptic one he though off the top of his head. Since then I have found difficulty in even pretending to be happy living with him.

This is a difficult place for anyone to be in, and I really feel for anyone else in this position. I just want people to know that men have to deal with these issues as well as women, and with their grandparents as well. Sadly, I have a feeling that I will be "chosen" to take care of my parents as well (out of me and my two siblings) as I am the only one capable of running the farms or being the one who is willing to do the right thing despite the stress and thanklessness of the task.

Anyone out there in my shoes, I feel for you. I think the biggest thing that I have gotten out of this is knowing I will never act so badly to good people when I am old and in need of care, and I hope that if I am ever in need of help there will be some kind young people that will be there for me. All I can say is, those kind young people are getting whatever fortune I acquire after I'm gone!

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by: Anonymous

Sorry for your situation but you should never have moved in with him without getting him to give you his Power Of Attorney and making you executor of his estate (or at least leaving his house to you) so that you could recover your expenses.

From everything I have read on this site it is always the same situation for everyone. I say never ever take care of any family member with having control - you will lose way more than you gain if you do. It's the hardest job on earth and it can cost you more than you could ever realize when all is said and done - so please protect yourself first.

If he does not want to give you Power Of Attorney or do a will making you executor - then cut your losses and leave. The longer you stay the more it will take from you. Believe me you are not being selfish, just protecting your family.

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