Our elderly relative has an abusive housekeeper. What are her options?

A short while ago I came face to face with a housekeeper who was screaming at our aunt, who is 87 years old. The abuse went on for at least 10 minutes before I found a way to calm her down and leave the room. I was forewarned about these abusive tantrums from the caregiver who looked after the aunt for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, but she had been sworn to secrecy by the aunt. The caregiver shared them with me and I was left to figure out how to break the silence. Fortunately or unfortunately I ran directly into the situation myself.

The aunt was very distressed after this mental abuse event and I chose to get her out of the house to consider her options. Before I did that, I created a picture of her options which I will now share with you. It looked like this : “What is our best alternative for an elderly relative in the same house with an abusive housekeeper, considering that the relative lives alone, housekeeper could become physical, housekeeper has been there for 10 years, and elderly relative has exacerbated the situation?” These were not the only considerations, but the most important ones. The 10 year residency of the housekeeper was crucial, notwithstanding it was rent free, because the housekeeper would feel she had the law on her side to remain.

I quickly created two Yin and Yang “bookends” to frame the most unlikely options. These can be found in our Latest Example and were as follows: “Just turn a blind eye to it,” at one end, with, “Throw housekeeper out as soon as possible” at the other. It was pretty clear why these would be problematic, but they helped me come up with the five most realistic options.

I then came up with the aunt’s most likely options with which I was to sit down and discuss with her in a nearby shopping mall. After some discussion, I let her sleep on them (emotional distancing) with a view to revisiting them the following day. The one she seemed to be particularly oriented toward was: “Move to a smaller place and inform housekeeper of an end to relationship” …option E.

Since this would require some thinking through, I agreed to think about the aunt’s sub-options (Peel the onion) and then talk these through with her before we would proceed any further.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Peel the onion with: Our elderly relative has an abusive housekeeper. What are her options?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)


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