I do not want to be my mother's caregiver, am I being selfish?

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My mother has COPD and living independently at the moment. She wants to come live with me when she gets to a point where she can no longer live independently. She has sufficient income and assets to afford assisted living, but would rather live with me and leave those assets to her heirs, which I am one of. I do not wish to take care of her. I would rather she take her assets to use for her care. She will not consider any other options. I do not want to end up a nursemaid to her in my own home. I don't care about the inheritence either. She is a very emotional needy person and only wants to rely on me. Why should I take responsibility for her when she has so many other options? Am I being selfish for wanting to keep my life the way it is?

Answers 1 to 10 of 15
First of all I think you and she are smart not to wait till her health has gone down hill to the point she's in crisis and you're backed into a corner, to talk about her future. Better to start planning now for sure. I understand WHY she wants to save her money to pass it on to her kids. But the whole point of having money when you get old is for your care so you won't be a burden for your kids right? So the very thing that she's trying to be nice about is going to cause you AND her grief someday I believe. Have you checked into Adult Foster Care in your state? Here in Oregon it's becoming more and more popular, and it's much cheaper. Might be a better alternative to asst. living, who knows? If I were you, I'd start getting mom used to the idea of NOT coming to live with me, by visiting some asst living places and/or talking about the future in those terms. If she has any friends that are living assisted, go visit and get her used to it. Good luck.
That is a common thought process in the older generation - to leave money to the kids. Our generation thinks as you do - spend it on yourself & leave the rest (if there's anything left) to the kids once you're gone. Another issue might be that the definition of "nursing homes" has changed over the years - your Mom might be seeing it as a place where you go & bide your time until you die. That's not the case anymore - especially with assisted living complexes! What I suggest you do is tour a couple of them yourself and check them out. Ask all of the questions you know your mom will want to know answers to, and then set up a tour of one of your favorites with your mom. If my mother had the financial means to be in assisted living, that's the road I would take. Instead, she is living here with me and my husband - she requires almost around-the-clock care, and due to her multitude of dr. appointments and care requirements I can't work and we can't afford a full-time nurse for her. It is a HUGE financial burden for us - because I can't work, I am not contributing to my own social security account - and i'm not getting any younger myself. To answer your "real" question, no you are not being selfish - you are being realistic. I wish I had your option, or at the very least, siblings who were close enough to me (location-wise) to help me out.
((((debralee))) -No you are not being selfish. My mother has borderline personality disorder and it narcissistic, and at various points wanted to come to me and have me look after her. No way. Not something I could do. She has lots of financial resources. I never tried to reason with her, simply made it clear that staying with me was not an option. She does not have dementia, and figured out the other options and in in assisted living. I help her as I can, which is limited as she is in another city by her choice -e.g. moving and disposing of furniture etc. In my experience, discussing it with her was useless, I simply had to set the boundary that my home was not an option. I would suggest the same for you. Just tell her "No". She is not being reasonable, or considering your concerns, which is typical of a narcissistic person, but only pushing for what she wants. Will she get mad when you say NO -probably and she will try to use FOG -fear, obligation and guilt to manipulate you to doing what she wants. If you cave in to her demands, the life will be sucked out of you. Please do not get yourself in that posityi9n. Stand firm. She can be well looked after elsewhere.
purplesuchi - as Iunderstnd it in the US there is medicaid for people who cannot afford care. In my opinion, you should be working towards saving for your own retirement. rather than taking on this huge burden of care. I do hope that your health is not suffering from what you are doing. Round-the-clock care is too much for anyone. Please look into the resources availabie in your community/state, and give yourself some breaks, Others have gotten medicaid for their parent. facilities have professio9al care and they work shifts. It is too much for one person.
((((hugs))))) to both of you. Keep posting! Joan
Just say No.

Mother won't consider any other options? Well, living in your home is not an option. Make that perfectly clear.

If she wants your help finding other options to consider, fine, provide your help. If she is of sound mind and can do her own research, that's fine too. She can make any decision she wants -- you are not trying to control her. But you do have control over your own decisions, and you've decided you are not making your home available to her.

Just say no.
I agree with Jeanne. If YOU don't think or want to do it, then that isn't an option because it will only cause strife and pain. I would make it clear now that you don't feel capable of doing this and start the search WITH her, for a suitable place.
My MIL told my husband she wanted to live with us. We thought it was a bad idea, but we didn't want to say no. We should have. She is emotionally needy and very mean. Our peaceful home is now one where we all scatter as soon as we get home to minimize interactions with her. Interactions almost never go well. That is not right. We are now scouting out assisted living places in our area. We are going to do as suggested above. Find one we think could be acceptable and take her there. She also has the financial resources to go to ALF. I don't think she is nott out of a desire to leave a bigger inheritance. I think she likes being waited on. Ugh. Saying no now will be easier on you in the long run. Trust me on that.
My mother has COPD and has been told that she can't live alone anymore. They want her to choose hospice palliative care which allows her to come home but relies on a full time caregiver. All she has basically is me as I am her only daughter. She can't move in with me as I have had enough animals in my home to have dander for a million years, plus I have a wood stove. She lives in a tiny one bedroom apartment. But to be completely honest, I do not want to be her caregiver. I love her, but I don't like her. She always puts herself first and then tries to buy me off when I get mad. She's very demanding, she fakes attacks until I can't tell what is real and what isn't. Assisted living and nursing home care are alternatives but of course she wants to come home. Who wouldn't? I feel terrible but I don't want to give my life up for hers. I just don't know how to tell her.
Who are "they"? Do "they" expect you to be the fulltime caregiver? Does your mother?
Top Answer
rayne - not an easy situation. The original poster asked if she was being selfish not wanting to be her mothers caregiver.You are in a similar situation. No, you are not being selfish or terrible not wanting to be your mother's caregiver. It sounds like your home is completely unsuitable for your mother and, in any case, you do not have a good relationship with her. She sounds narcissistic. Taking her in would be disastrous for you.


1) your mother cannot live alone any more for medical reasons and

2) she cannot live with you.

Truthfully, it sounds to me like she needs professional care as in an ALF or NH. Has she been assessed as to which level of care she needs? If she can afford it, she can choose the place she best likes. Other than that, there is medicaid.

Before you feel guilty, realise that your responsibility as her daughter is to see that she gets the care she needs, but not necessarily to give that care yourself.

My mother is narcissistic and has a personality disorder. I let her know very early in my adult life that she could never move into my home. She didn't like it, but I did not budge. She would have ruined my life. As it was, she was always very hard on me anyway. She went into ALFs and then recently an NH.

Tell mother that you are not equipped to be a full time caregiver and in any case .your place is not suitable for her and you do not plan to move. Perhaps take her out for a meal so your conversation will be in public, which should modify her response. Expect her to be angry and manipulative with you, but don't give in to it. Remain calm and firm in your position. Offer to help her research and visit suitable facilities. Often ones with progressive levels of care are good. With COPD and being unable to live alone, her care needs will likely increase over the next few years.

Take care of you first!
CTTN55: "They" are the people at the rehab center. "They" expect me to be the main caregiver and to find someone to be there when I am not at work. My mother will expect me to be her caregiver.

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