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Living with Elderly Parents: Do You Regret the Decision?

358 Comments

I had made such a promise. In fact, my father and I went to an attorney and had all the legal paperwork drawn up in 2014, when he was still cogent. I had to move back home and in with him two years ago (2016) and have lost 3 jobs as an RN as a result. (he continually woke me repeatedly in the day and afternoon when I needed to sleep). 6 months ago, we started with word salad and vastly increasing confusion. (he has no short term memory.) I find myself getting angry and yelling at him over stupid things. Then of course, feel really bad.

I feel very guilty that I will have to put him in a facility very soon (like within a month) and have decided to take him for inpatient geropsych evaluation at a local hospital.) But that does not make it any easier.

Hallraspberry1, since you feel that it is the worst decision not to mention all the rest, remember YOU are entitled to a life and sounds like you would not want to alienate your children and miss out on their company, moving out makes a lot of sense. And especially because your mother is "young" at 70 and could live another 10, 20 + years... you need to ask yourself, is this really how you want to spend a good portion of your life?! An assisted living for her would be a. better choice, but if she will not go and will not allow home services NOW , then moving out looks like your best and only option to keep your health and sanity. Good luck to you!!!

I have lived with my 70 year old mother for 2 years. This has been the worst decision of my life. My mother has become increasingly demanding and child like. (She does not have dementia.) She sleeps 20 hours a day. Refuses to eat unless someone makes her a plate and literally brings it to her. She is very capable of making herself a meal. She BEGS not to be left alone. We all work. She refuses to pay someone to come sit with her when she will be alone claiming she can’t afford it. She can. She is mean spirited and aggressive. I’m at a loss. Ready to move out but I have to deal with her guilt trips. My children can no longer stand to be with her because of her attitude. She lies constantly about everything. Lord, I’m tired! Any advise is appreciated.

Do not regret caring for my parents then or now . The caregiving to my dad was short 3 months lung cancer and i went to his home . Mom sold her house in Ms. move to Alabama , bought a house here ,my husband & I live with her 11 years before she pass away . I have memories that make me happy & sad but, no regrets . Feel bless & at peace to have had the honor give back to them for ALL the sacrifices they gave to me .

Lizzie, I am happy that your time with your folks worked, but I will not miss my mother at all. It has been all about her for 93 years. I will miss that she will never understand the the things I would like to talk to her about and share with her, but I've reconciled and have come to terms with that. I will be relieved when my mother passes away. Then I can begin my life.

cmagnum

Thats easier said than done. Too long to post here but if I had an out I would have taken it months ago.

Burnedout2017

It sounds like your husband is clueless as to what you are going through. Why tell him it is either his dad or you for you are fed up with things as they are?

I regret it everyday! From the minute I wake up until the second I fall asleep!
(This is the 2nd time, the first time BOTH my MIL AND my FIL lived with us, in my living room until after 3 months of BOTH of them I had had enough and found them an apt and moved them out!)
Now here again my MIL died and hes back.
Our house is small and with my father in law (hubbys dad) living with us and me being a girl, I have no privacy. I cant wash clothes in barely there outfit. I cant take off the clothes Im wearing to throw in the washer. Before work I have to get dressed to go to the laundry room to get my clothes to get RE dressed for work.
We have been having a heck of a time with making food. We like a variety, he will ONLY eats and wants mexican food. This arguement came about last night after him living here for 8 months. I made a big pot of Italian food, this man insisted on pouring Siracha ALL over his food! He told ME it was good that night, the next day I went to heat up his leftovers and he told hubby he didnt want it because “it tastes funny” ughm yah! He told my husband it was “old” even tho I made it the night before. (If he doesnt like something thats his way of getting out of eating it, he says it tastes old”) Hes OLD! Hes 86!
He struggles everyday with the microwave but has a fit when I try to help him because he doesnt want any help! He barks at me “I can do it!” He wants HIS OLD microwave back. Its way smaller and has a dial. So I would have 2 microwaves taking up counter space! NO! He says “I want the microwave in my room” WHAT THE? So he can take food and cook it in his room! NO!
Every time I make something thats not mexican food he says is “weird” and he gives me dirty looks.
My husband dotes over him and lavishes him with ALL the stuff he wants and think he needs (like 4 boxes of different cookies on my table, 3 bags of different chips, just in case he wants something different) I like my table clean with a vase of flowers on it, but with all the cookies and chips theres barely any room for the plates to eat! My refrigerator is so full of drinks for his dad that I can barely put a drink for me in there.
I hear him shuffle out of his room and I feel sick. He talks about everything he watches on the news. Especially who died, whos dying, how they died, why they died and whos going to die!! Then he tells me all the stuff on tv about stories that he gets mixed up because he cant hear and refuses to wear a hearing aid because “ there was an article in the AARP book that said hearing aids can cause cancer” $,.?&@‘&),;!! to you AARP!! Grrrrrr (He believes EVERYTHING he reads or is on tv!! Now he wont even go take a walk because 1 day our ozone was bad so there was a warning to not go outside. So now he wont walk anymore. (I have given up trying to explain it)
I don't watch tv at ALL! I like movies and music the news is too depressing.
I cringe when I hear him in the kitchen. I wont get out of bed because if I do he will ask me to do everything FOR HIM! “Get me this, get me that”
Sorry if Im venting but at 50 something years old Im starting to struggle with high blood pressure (which I never had before he moved in) I dont sleep, I barely eat. I never thought my life would be this way. Me and hubby were alone for over 10 years before FIL moved in.
Do I regret it? You bet your sweet bippy I DO!! Every second of every day!!

(He has 5 kids and we are the only ones who he wants to be with, no one else even offers! But they are loaded with advice!)

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Yes, I regret it. Totally. My mom is narcissistic and always has been. She is 92 and in very good health. She does get unsteady when she turns around too fast or the like, and her vision isn't the best. She came here to visit not quite a year ago from her house/home a few hours away. I thought it was best for her to live here where she has company and I can take her for dr., vision, dental appts. as needed. She has mentioned a couple of times going back to her house to stay and I firmly said that if she wants to do so that that is fine, but she will have to have someone (an aide) to come in and help. Mom has the finances to do so. I even mentioned another option, that she could sell her home and I mine, and we could get another with a better layout with more privacy for her and me both, and then she could have a lot of her belongings with her (because her home and things are "everything" to her)....but of course she didn't want to do that. I lost my husband 20 years ago and have worked in a traveling job on and off over the years since until 4 years ago when I wanted to settle down again and get my own house and have my things from storage back with me. So my things mean something to me, but not like my mother. I am of the mind that if I get to a point where I cannot afford it or health wise need to downsize, I would be fine with a few books, and "some" things. But I have always been of the mind after all that traveling and learning to do without, that I would think Mom would be happier with family for company and to get out and do things some of the time. But no, Mom's things are way more important to her. I might mention here that I am the only one left, brother and father died years ago. I have 3 adult children, one of whom lives with me and we get along so well, and the other 2 not so far away and we get to visit now and then. Mom however is fine to go out to eat, or maybe shopping, but she wants to go nowhere else. In her hometown, she has no one, no social support, and no friends. Her life was about me when I was a child and was there every single second of my life with no breathing room. When I married and moved away, it was all about my dad, until he passed away. As mom aged, she became less able to go on her own (she has a car and license) but did not go to her dr. appts., and needed help with that and grocery shopping. She talks incessantly about herself and her needs, and I told her that if she lives with me I can get her to her different appointments, because luckily my full-time work out of home schedule allows it.
To this day, she does not want to let go of her house and thinks I will end up moving in there to take care of her. And yes it was mentioned in the past by her, she thought I could get a job in her town and live there and cook meals everyday and I would be happy (with no life, but her). I said you don't want me Mom, you want a husband. SO, I definitely in my head "put my foot down" and knew that I would never move in there. But with different comments along the way that is so typical of the narcissist, she truly hoped I would fail and have to live with her. And I am thinking to myself, I never ever will do that even if I have to be homeless. The idea that Mom is ok for me to give things up in my life because of her wants is NOT ok anymore. I had a job overseas that I really loved and gave it up because I thought I needed to "take care of her and be there for her". I have even once mentioned this to her, but her idea is oh that wasn't important, you shouldn't have been there anyway.

When she first came here, she made it very clear to me that she wouldn't stay here if my daughter's boyfriend was here. So I made it clear to her that he and my daughter are currently living together with me and that was that. I said he is the nicest kind of guy you could want around, give the shirt off his back to someone kind of guy. It has been one struggle after another with her, and the most recent was my coming home after going out one night with one of my daughters for dinner and drinks and enjoying the night and coming straight into my room and closed and locked doors and wanted to continue the night out feeling by not talking to her and instead using earplugs and watching movies on my computer. Well, guess who started knocking loudly on my door to see if I was home and was alright (my car was in the driveway... why wouldn't I. be all alright?). But I didn't answer. It was like I wanted to be left alone. Well, next comes banging on my door, followed by calling my phone and leaving voicemail and then walking outside to my sliding glass door, with curtains, trying to peer in and pounding on that door, and then going back to the other door and pounding. My daughter came home about that time and told her I was fine and wanted privacy. Well ever since then, she has sneered, and episodes of running to her room and slamming the door, and just last night, came hanging over the side of my recliner in the living room, asking if I wanted another French fry, I said no, and she tried to insist I take it, and when I said "No, I said I didn't want it", got mad and went to her room and slammed the door.

Yes, I regret taking her in, and this is not over yet. If this acting out continues on, I will take her back to her home and let her live on her own. But, I told her I will not be coming to visit. I do not want to go through her things with her and listen to a story for each and every item that I have heard a thousand times. She is 92, I am 63. It is time for me to have a life, and if she cannot stop living in the past every second, then I am sorry for her, really truly sorry. But now that I have lived with her and understand how sinister narcissism is, I do not choose to live my life with her attempting to manipulate and control me as in the past.

Oh and yes, I would like to date again, but as with my daughter's boyfriend here, Mom made it clear she would not stay with anyone else in the house. She is not interested in my happiness. She thinks she is my everything... omg!
Good.... goodbye, Mom. I have loved you my entire life, but I do not like you in the least and I would never have chosen to be friends with you. So the next time you choose to act out, you will be out.... out back to your own house 3 hours away with hired help. No, I will not miss my mother when she dies. Not at all.... how could I ????? She has never left me alone one minute of my life. When my mother passes away, I will be able to stop my anxiety medication and enjoy the rest of my life.