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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I am one of three sisters . Our mother is 93-years-old and has Alzheimer's . For the past 4 years , my 44-year-old son has been her full time care giver . He shops , cook,, does her laundry , make 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 care -giving services , and she decided he was worth # 250 a month . Because my son takes care of his grandmother , he cannot work full time else where . 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 see 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 will 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 often to spend a couple of nights there .
I know my son is saving Mom a lot of money because no one in the 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 resaent them ?
In The Middle
Dear Middle ,
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 him .
Dear Maxy ,
One of my biggest pet peeves is when friends or family members know they are stopping by to see you , and on there way they stop to get something to eat . They do not mention this or bring anything for you . They come by and eat in front of you . I think this is rude and ill-mannered , even if they offer to share . What do you say ?
Second , if you're a vegetarian and you're inviting non- vegetarians to a party , is it worng to serve only vegetablarian food .
Dear Geoff,
Perhaps your open-door policy has no boundaries attached , there fore , your family members and friends don't think before they act . It's OK for you to speak up . You don't have to get angry . Just say , "Next time you come over , if you plan on bringing food , please call me to ask if I want something ." Really . You may need to teach them how to behave .
Regarding hosting , you can keep your party vegetarian , but you may want to add heartier dishes that taste like meat .
Ther are plenty of vegetarian recipes for hearty entrees that meat-lovers often love .
You really can tend to everyone if that is your intent .
Dear Maxy ,
I sold a friend two holiday gifts that I had made , and ne asked to pay me back the next day because he didn't have cash with him at the time . It's summer now , and I still haven't gotten my money .
I have called and emailed but mostly he ducks me . Once I was able to get him on the phone and he apologized , promising that the money would be forthcoming .
But it hasn't been .
What can I do ? I made those gifts by hand so that I could earn extra money . I am so angry .
Dear Duped ,
The most important thing for you to know for the future is not to give people credit when they are making purchases from you ... regardless of your relationship .
As far as this man goes , send him a formal invoice with a 10 percent late fee . You may not get paid , but you will have followed up professionally .

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