AC2011 Asked October 2010

My aging mother needs to move. Should she pick me or an independent living situation?


My widowed 68 yr old mother lives out of state. She deeded her property over to another child because it's too much responsibility. Both kids live out of state and have very active lives. Mom doesn't drive and her mobility is slowly declining - 80 lbs overweight, bad knees, hurting back and systematic diseases. I am the oldest, and single. Prepared physically to take her in with me ( I have a large multifamily house, but she doesn't want to live with me because my boyfriend and kids live with me, so she doesn't want to live with us unless we're married. The other child is unmarried and much younger than I, so she doesn't want to bother the baby child. My suggestion to to move her into an affordable apartment situation in town where we live. She can use her disability and other income to pay her bills, and I suggested my sibling rent out the old family house and use part those proceeds to assist mother with her current bills if she moves closer to us. My mother, however, thinks that won't work and she doesn't want to use her income to pay for her own living. She doesn't want to continue to live out of state away from her children but she doesn't want to live with us,and she doesn't want to pay rent. Why am I writing? I don't know, just had to get it off my chest. I want her to live independently so she can be around people her age who are still thriving and living independently, and we will have times to rearrange our lives. Personally, I am single, just turned 40 and I am a very active person - dancing, career, traveling, etc. I am concerned that if she does move in with me, she wiill stay in the house all the time (like she does now) and not do anything but complain about how much I am gone from home. But it's getting emotionally hard to keep leaving her at home alone, while I drive back to my own life. I want to find a balance between everything but I am not sure where to start. I feel like if I choose my mother, then I have to let everything else go (the boyfriend, his kids, my freedom) and I feel that if I choose everything else, then I will neglect my mother. Help. I need your comments, anything. Just talk to me.

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ladyluck22 Aug 2015
It sounds like your Mom might really benefit from an assisted living situation of some kind...She could live near you and you could visit, and that way you don't have to feel like you're giving up your whole life. (And since she seems to have a judgmental streak about your living situation, maybe it's best that she just live elsewhere). But you could maximize her choices by visiting several places. Hopefully she'd agree to this arrangment. I've been visiting my Dad daily in skilled nursing (they're a bit short staffed on 1 shift) but even starting to feel burned out after 6 months of this situation via public transit and no additional financial resources....I'd say minimize your own chances for burn-out and you'll be there for both yourself and her much longer than you otherwise would.
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assallee Nov 2010
I am on the other side of the coin. I am 68 (70 nxt month) my daughter & I own a home together. Son in law passed away, 18 yr old gd. My daughter has moved on & I am glad but now we need to get out of the house since we can't maintain it. I want to move to an ind. iiving facility and maybe even keep working. My daughter & I took a long time to get around to discussing this for fear we would hurt the other's feelings. I am tired of dog sitting (seems I do it a lot), don't want to retire and keep house & cook. So, I am looking to move on with my life also. Good luck with your situtation. Frankly, I think your mom is being selfish. Maybe I can relate to my daughter because I was widowed at 33.?
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MiaMadre Oct 2010
Find some brochures for your mother for ADULT communities or Assisted Living communities that are NEAR you, but allow you and her to have your own lives. I am not being mean,but it sounds like your mother 'wants her cake and eat it too'. She can't have it both ways.

If she doesn't want to use HER money to live on her own, and doesn't want to live with you because you are not married..... WELL..... your house... your rules.

You don't have to be 'bullied' into being married, but it sounds like that is what she is trying to do.

So find some ADULT communities or assisted living communities she can visit and SHE can decide where she wants to live! Or let her start looking on her own.

Don't try to solve her problems for her, but offer what you are willing to give, and see how she responds.
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You only get one mother. If your boyfriend loves you he will not leave you and should understand your situation. Your mother does not want to be a burden on you. You yourself said you will have to give up some things you love to do. When we love our parents we must be able to give up some material things. A caring and compassionate woman is hard to find now days. Your boyfriend should realize this and do the right thing.Having your mother home might be the best thing for your kids. We have many things to learn from our mothers. If it does not work out at least you tried.
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NancyH Oct 2010
Ac2011, I get the reason why your mother won't live with you unless you're married. That would be like condoning your living arrangements if she did. Having said that though, she can't have it both ways. She can't refuse to spend her own money by supporting herself in an apartment or whatever, plus tell you she won't live with any of her children. That is not logical. It's either fish or cut bait I'm afraid. If you're trying to help her, but she refuses to do anything except complain, then stop feeling guilty. She'll have to figure it out on her own. There are retirement places with very active seniors and lots of activities for those that want them. She has options should she decide to take advantage of them. 68 years old is too young to just shrivel up and die, I don't care what her ailments are. She's only 10years older than me, and the thought of having to live with my son and his wife because I was too lazy or cheap to live independently is nonsense. You can tell her that for me too.
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