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advice on paying for a cleaner for DM

(13 Posts)
Woodenmouse Sun 28-Feb-16 10:57:04

I'll try and keep this short!
My DParents look after DMs Dad (my grandad). They had to have the house extended to make room for him to live with them. He is a lovely man but of the old school opinion that it's a woman's job to run the house, so after working ft DM has to come home and do everything for her dad (for example of she doesn't leave lunch in the fridge for him he won't eat in the day and he's diabetic). My DF shares the house work but DGrandad won't allow DF to do anything for him even cups of tea have to be made by DM as its a woman's job. DM says it's worse than having children and my parents feel they've lost their independence and they are constantly on edge in their own home. It's putting a strain on their marriage. DM has often commented that of she could afforda cleaner it would take a lot of stress off her but after paying for the extension they can barely afford normal bills/mortgage etc without paying for a cleaner.
Which brings me to my question. I was struggling to think of a meaningful present for DMs birthday and I had a thought that I could pay for a cleaner for her. We dont have a lot of money either so it would either be a one off deep clean or paying for someone to go in for just an hour a week to help DM keep on top of everything. I can't decide of this is a good present or not and also if it's practical or not. Part of me is worried DM would get used to having a cleaner and then it would end (I was thinking of offering to do it for a year) and she would be back where she was or feel like she had to start paying the cleaner.
Am I crazy to think this is a good idea?

Woodenmouse Sun 28-Feb-16 10:57:29

I hope that makes sense!!

fishybits Sun 28-Feb-16 11:09:21

Lovely idea.

You could arrange two hours every two weeks to get a deeper clean done rather than just a quick hour once a week iyswim.

Optimist1 Sun 28-Feb-16 11:40:08

It sounds like a lovely idea, Wooden, provided of course that you ensure it's a female cleaner - what with cleaning being Women's Work!

Seriously though, I know you didn't post to ask about whether your grandfather is BU but he really needs to be told that since your parents are both working ft they can split the chores (including making cups of tea etc) as they see fit. If your father offers him a cup of tea and he refuses then it should be made clear that your mother won't be doing it. Not sure whether you or one of your parents should do this, but someone should - his age is no excuse.

cozietoesie Sun 28-Feb-16 15:00:28


Did your grandad contribute nothing to the extension? What is his financial situation, broadly?

Woodenmouse Sun 28-Feb-16 15:14:37

cozie He did contribute to the extension and he pays "rent" to cover the cost of the increase in bills and food etc but it still leaves my parents a bit short every month.

mmmmmmmmmmcake Sun 28-Feb-16 15:21:08

Often the minimum a cleaner will do is 2 hours a week, not always of course.

cozietoesie Sun 28-Feb-16 15:35:03

I appreciate your position - my own maternal grandmother's sisters used to come in and 'do' for my grandfather when she was 'confined' because my grandfather would have done nothing (*nothing*!) inside the house even though she might have just had a baby. (Women's work.) The diabetes is a complication as well.

I just don't think that the cleaning is sustainable even though it's a wonderful idea of yours. I'll mull some.

cozietoesie Sun 28-Feb-16 15:39:08

PS - Sorry. I should have checked. Are either of your parents close to retirement?

Woodenmouse Sun 28-Feb-16 16:24:47

cozie no they are both early 50s so still have a while before retiring.
My aunt could come and help but she doesn't which makes things worse. My parents went away for a wedding at the weekend and asked my aunt to pop in to check he was eating etc (dm had to leave frozen meals to make sure he would eat something every day). Aunt didn't call in once. It was left to me to go and check in on him (with 2.5yr old ds and 39 weeks pregnant).

cozietoesie Sun 28-Feb-16 17:20:10

He'd have been OK with that, I guess. You being both a woman and a 'daughter of the house'. wink

My instinct tells me that he has to contribute more to help your DM's stress and also allow for payment of a regular (female, I'm afraid) cleaner/carer. (I'm not actually sure if this is the best board for this but I'll comment here anyway.)

He'll be saving a good deal on running costs by paying this notional 'rent' rather than living on his own. Has anyone actually found out what his income is compared to his outgoings? And does he have any entitlement to benefits? There seems little point in him putting any money by if your DM is going spare trying to cope and your parents' relationship is faltering because of it.

I'd maybe give your DM the present of a 'deep clean' - which is a great idea - but ongoing? I don't see how cleaning/care can be afforded without a change. I guess that your full of filial sentiments and doesn't wish to do anything at the moment but I reckon something has to give on this.

QuerkyJo Sun 28-Feb-16 18:13:20

Could I ask if your GF is entitled to/claiming attendance allowance. ,it is £55 a week and would help to pay for the cleaner. I think what you suggest is a lovely idea.

cozietoesie Sun 28-Feb-16 18:35:23

Is there anyone else to help besides your aunt? (Who didn't turn up.)

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