A single female is always the one who moves in to care for Mom, they all say "You live there for free'.

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That's me. here is my story, DO I? Does anyone else feel like it is unfair for family members to use the excuse " Because you live there for free" every time there is a discussion about living with and caring for your elderly mother or when something needs to be repaired at her home? There are other issues involved because it's not just family members , SHE says this all the time as well.

I was the only single female child in the family 13 years ago when my mother bought a 3 bedroom home close to all 3 of her children. It was actually directly behind my duplex and I could go through the fence and be in her backyard. I knew then that I would eventually need to move in with my mother and at first it would be beneficial to me as well as her but I knew at the time that at some point she would need for me to be there ,that was 8 years ago.
Once I did, the family, as well as my mom started to answer any requests for help by stating "you should do it because you live there for free" anytime anything needed getting done like unstopping the sink, fixing plumbing that required a plumber ,paying all of the electric bill and mowing the yard or paying half the cost of someone else to do it. The first words out of everyone's mouth is ........ "Because you live there for free" when I asked my older sister to have her husband come mow he did it once. My older sister's husband actually wanted to be paid and resented any requests for help.
My older sister has never taken my mother anywhere, EVER. She lives less than 3 miles away and calls twice a month, once a month to say " Hi mom , just wanted to check in" followed by the second call 2 days later "can I come over and see you, (cue the tears)... I need help"
Now my older sister is a widow and comes to my mom's house once a month to cry and beg for money for her medicine ( oxycodone addiction) or for her rent. She calls it borrowing but never pays it back. Mom admits she NEVER wants to have my older sister living here..... EVER !!!

I have one younger sister that is wonderful, she and my mom both love casinos and she takes mom all the time. My sis and my mom can afford that 2 or 3 times a week, I cannot.
Other than that my mom does not leave her recliner. I cook and grocery shop, run errands and do VERY light cleaning . In the last 8 years things have really changed and I knew they would. She is now 83 and has very little stamina. She has advanced Crohn's, emphysema, is deaf in one ear and has a heart valve problem. I do the equivalent of a "live in companion" for free. The bottom dollar value of a live-in companion who gets room and board ( does not pay any utilities or any cost of food) plus a salary for being a caregiver is........ wait for it ..... $2000 per month, at the bare minimum. I pay my mom about 250.00 per month so I can live her ( for free) and take care of her. My mother likes to consider herself independant and so to re-inforce this belief she refuses to buy anything that could make her quality of life better and easier for me to care for her, such as hearing aids, a mobility scooter or even a rolling walker. She can well afford thing things but I think she doesn't want to admit she is getting old (she's 83)
I pay ALL of my own expenses, all of my own food and a portion of her expenses that she would have to pay even if I were not here. My mother is firmly in the opinion that she is saving me "tons of money" by letting me live with her and would feel that way even if she were bed-ridden and paralyzed because what I contribute has no value.
I know this sounds like we have a toxic relationship but I do love her,she just cannot say those 3 words unless we make her say it, and I am trying to care for her and even though it is easy for others ( older sis and my mom both say this) to say " If you don't like it then move" they know I cant and they know I wont. Someone has to be here. My father had a heart attack many years ago, I was living in California, my 2 sisters lived in the same town as he did. He had been dead 4 days before anyone noticed that the newspapers were piling up on his drive and called police to check him out.
So thats my story all of it is true and I want to know ..... Do I really live here for free and am I really just using my mom for a free place to stay? That's kind of how my mom feels about it although she wont outright say it.
As far as her estate what ever is left after she is gone will be divided 3 ways so she wont be playing favorites. A senior living village is out of the question because it would eat up all of her estate so the solution is : Just have me live here for free and that makes it all even steven. My younger sis takes her to the casino, my older sis collects several hundred dollars a month that is never repaid and I ..... "Live here for free !!! "


You have to get out of there! You are being used! The only way this will stop is if you get the h*ll out of there. This is a very unhealthy situation for you.If there is anyway to get out ,do it.This whole situation is dysfunctional.Only you can stop it.I realize money may be a problem but start saving every nickel and dime you can. You could doing what you doing now for someone else and get paid,basically you are a nursing assistant.Put in an application at a NH.Also there are programs that the Red Cross or like organizions have that you can become a certified nursing assistant. I mean if you are going to be working like one you should get paid like one.Please get out of there.
OK. Here goes. If mom were paying for a private duty caregiver by the hour, 24 hours X $20.00 is $480 a day. X 30 days is $14,400 a month. Let's just say, she would pay a nursing home rate of $6,000 a month. Your rent would be less than $1,000 a month. So, by rights, she owes you about $5,000. a month. There is no "living here for free" to it. Believe me, you have earned the rent and 10 times it every month. Also, in a nursing home, there are 3 shifts doing the work every 24 hours. Every 24 hours, you are doing the work and responsibility of 3 people. Buck up and tell them to back off. Or move and turn the care over to the family members who have the most to say.
Alot of this is surfacing because I know she could protect the assets for the family by changing her will to a living trust. At least that way if she has to have long term care that I cannot provide I wouldn't be out on the street. As she has it set up all of the property and the house I live in is in her name and will be until she dies.
My son does estate planning for people who have millions and she refuses to even let him give her advice on how to better protect the estate or even see her last will. Basically she thinks as long as the money lasts until she dies in her home, while peacefully in her sleep one night, she doesn't care if there is nothing left or if the state gets it all. If something worse like a stroke happens then her view is .... I d*mn sure better take care of her at home and not send her to a nursing home or I won't get zilch.
You are not free, you are some sort of indentured servant with no contract. She needs an ALF and probably did 8 years ago. Get her there or you will die before she does.
correction..... I won't get my 1/3 of zilch ;)
She not bed ridden or anything she can manage to get around most small casinos (that's the only thing she enjoys) but if it's a big one she wants a wheelchair and someone to push it for her. I keep begging her to get a scooter or a rollator, but she says it's too expensive. I would even dress it up like a harley so she wont be embarrassed, but nope, just like the hearing aids , it's cheaper to have everyone repeat themselves and wear earplugs when she watches TV.
So save yourself and leave. Let your mom and your siblings figure it out without you. You're letting them use and abuse you and as long as you put up with it, it will continue. None of them are going to change (why should they?) as long as you stay there and just make noises about what they should do. They're not going to listen to you. So change the dynamic and leave.
For a year or so, I was in a very similar situation. I was living with my Mom, but not for free. I was paying half the expenses, and I also co-owned the home (I provided the down-payment from my savings). My siblings said the exact same thing as yours are saying, minus the "for free" part. They said "it's easier for you to do it because you're there" or "those tasks/expenses are part of owning the home so you should be the one to help." Your siblings have an added weapon but I don't think it would matter in the least. You're there, so why should anyone else help out with anything?

I'll tell you what I did. I bought myself a shabby little trailer in a college town about 90 minutes away. (It was all I could afford without totally decimating my savings). I said I wanted to take classes at the university, which was also true. I started staying at my own place more and more, fixing it up, making it cozy. It's not nearly as nice as the home I own with Mom but I don't care - it's mine and I'm totally free there. I stopped paying half of Mom's expenses - I share a few expenses like the yard work and the house cleaner (although I really shouldn't even do that). My siblings still don't help (except for one) but I can get away and I don't have to hear the excuses. If they want to refuse to help, they have to refuse Mom, not me.

I had the same reservations that you have (someone has to be there, etc.) My mom is also 83. I just needed to get out for my own sanity. I stay a few days a week with Mom now. I'm trying to scale down to one visit a week, during which I'll take her shopping and to the library, take out her garbage, pick up her mail, change her bedding, clean up her kitchen, and do any other odd tasks that need to be done. I swear I'm not living there again. If she can't live alone my siblings will have to be equal partners in deciding what to do with her.
Do yourself and mom a favor. Set a date, say 6 weeks from now) inform dibs and mom. Leave. Get your life back on track. Find a job, a place to live and visit once every couple of months. You've done your share.

Who is going to take care of you when you're 83? You need those SS credits and long term care insurance.

The stress, bitterness and resentment that is evident in your post is going to kill you. If your siblings and mother can't see the indentured servant part of this deal, no amount of explaining is going to make a difference.
I shared this thread with a sibling and she said that I was not telling the entire story. So here is what she feels is important for anyone to know before judging my situation. I know that because I don't go to a job for 8 hours a day and am here accessable to my mom so I can cook meals and see if she needs anything that it is also to her advantage but the family feels that I dont work since I do my business from my home. My "not a real job" takes about 25 hours a week and pays all my bills. I own a small Etsy shop. I make custom bed crowns and bed canopies mostly for girls and sometimes for adults. We have a 2 car garage and I use my half of the garage for supplies for my business. We have a garden shed that was not being used and I turned it into a shop to paint and add embellishments to the bed crowns. In the summer it's 100 degrees and in the winter I use a small portable heater for warmth. We have a kitchen table that we never have had a meal on and sometimes I use it to pack my shipments. My sibling feels that if I would have told you all this before explaining my situation you would all see that I am getting a really good deal in exchange for taking care of mom.

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