Is it okay to place a parent
in a nursing home?
I am a married 40-year-old man and blessed with three children. My older brother is 42 and is in the United Kingdom with his family. We both contribute towards the upkeep of our father (68) on a monthly basis.
When our mother passed away, our father married a very young wife, who is 37 years old. We maintain their four-bedroomed house and buy groceries for them. However, I have observed that my father is being ill-treated. This woman is around just for the perks. They do not have any children with my dad but they have so many visitors from this woman’s side. My father is retired and he looks frail because of his failing health. We are worried about him. Similarly, he complains about what happens in his home.
My brother and I have talked about this and ended up agreeing to put our father in an uptown old people’s home. The problem is the idea has divided the family. Some of my father’s siblings think this is our way of dumping him, while his two sisters are okay with the move. Please help us, we are now confused. We have so far engaged a gardener and a maid to help out. My stepmother is hardly at home although she is not gainfully employed. Baba said she now has no time for him and he is considering divorce. They are customarily married.
First and foremost, let me start by thanking you so much for taking care of your father. The adage “chirere chigokurerawo” is exactly what you are doing. I am so sorry about the passing of your mother. What is going on in your family is a Catch-22.
Your father is at the centre stage and every decision has to be in his best interest. Is his divorce consideration coming from the heart or he is just frustrated about his young wife?
Divorce is definitive. I suggest his siblings or professional counsellors sit down with him and his spouse to discuss it first. A rushed decision is not good for him considering his age. If he stands with the decision after counselling, then let it be. I personally do not see anything wrong with taking baba to a home if he is willing to go.
You also need to hear from your stepmother why she is behaving that way. At 68, dad still knows what he wants so why decide for him? Let him speak his mind. It is good to have visitors here and there, but mainini should control them because they both are unemployed. They depend on assistance from you guys. She needs to be considerate. If the home issue is a problem, maybe consider putting them in a smaller place like a two-bedroomed apartment and sell the big house. Instead of having two workers, they will also have one. I would be happy to hear from you again.
I am being pestered by my landlord
Amai, I am your big fan and I follow you on several platforms. Over the years I have enjoyed and learnt a lot from this column. I am a young, single woman aged 25 and gainfully employed. I stay and work in the same town as my parents, but I decided to move out so that I become my own woman. I am a lodger and I occupy a two-roomed cottage. I am quite comfortable and have managed to buy a few basic items, including a small car. My problem now is the landlord’s wife.
She nags me to the bone. She is always asking for provisions from me like cooking oil, sugar, soap, the list is endless. She is not even ashamed to the extent that after turning her down, she asks when she can return to beg again.
They are always asking for favours like lifts or at times even having me to run their errands using my car.
The economy is harsh on everyone and they are eating into my budget unnecessarily. I told my parents about this and they said I should come back home.
Amai, how do I go about this? Going back home is not an option for me. I do not want to go back and be like a minor again. I do not mind giving the landlord things once in a while but the demands are just too much. Please help.
Thank you big fan for writing in. Well done for working hard to be your own woman. I agree rushing back home is not really a solution. You cannot run back home every time things get hard.
Your landlord is not ashamed of what she is doing so you have to knock some sense into her head, but in a diplomatic way, or consider looking for alternative accommodation.
I suspect that you do not have a lease.
If you had one in place, then by law you would not be duty-bound to do or agree to anything outside of it. If you do not have proper documentation, you will be taken advantage of. I think at this juncture try and set a meeting with them and tell them things are not easy for you too.
When you budget, you do it for one person and having to give away groceries is such an inconvenience. Say it in a friendly tone because it makes a difference. Running a car is not cheap; it comes with a lot of expenses, ask them to bear with you.
When they have emergencies or are desperate, they can always call on you. Try this and see how it goes. Look for a plan B in case this does not go down well with them. I would be happy to hear from you again. I wish you all the best.
My wife is messy
I am a married 33-year-old man. I have written to you to seek help. My wife is very messy and always leaves the house and kids in a mess. She enjoys hanging around the neighbourhood asina kugeza. This upsets me because I want my wife to be clean and presentable.
When I tell her this, she advises me to dump her because that is who she is and she simply cannot be bothered. I love her, that is why I married her but her current state annoys and pains me. Please help.
Yours is not a complex problem, it just needs to be handled diligently. You need to get the kids on your side as well. Depending on how old they are, you can instruct them to carry out certain chores around the house and pitch in when it comes to doing their laundry and ironing their clothes.
You, too, should make an effort to see that there is order in your home. The trick is to make your wife emulate what the rest of her family does. Do you visit significant places like church and other family gatherings with your wife?
The more you do that the more she will be compelled to look presentable. It is unfortunate we are in the middle of a health pandemic, but that would surely help tweak her behaviour.
You may also try to talk to her tete to tell her to up her game. There is nothing wrong with being hygienic and presentable at all times.
Cleanliness is next to godliness. I trust it shall be well.
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