My parents live in the basement of my home, which I converted into an apartment for them about a year ago. They lost all their retirement and were barely making ends meet financially. So they pay me a relatively small monthly sum, basically to pay for the RV that I bought them (that sits in the yard because they can't afford to take it anywhere).

My Mom is very able-bodied and they are relatively self sufficient--for now. However my dad is a life-long alcoholic whose drinking continues to affect the rest of the family, even though we live upstairs.

I am looking for resources that might help me navigate this situation with love and understanding. There seem to be a plethora of resources for adults whose children return to live with them. But very little for families whose elderly parents move in with their adult children. I'm wondering if there are things like templates for agreements or commitments that we all make with each other to ensure all family members' needs are met.

I am very familiar with addiction and the Al-Anon & AA approach. And I have followed that path for the many years I lived away from my parents. But now my dad's disease is wreaking havoc in the house (I share the upstairs with my partner & our two teenagers). And I'm wondering if it makes sense to give him some ultimatums, like you would with an adult child.

I realize this is a touchy subject. And, of course, I love my father. But we need to be able to communicate about things. His health is only going to get worse over time and right now I am the only option they have for housing and care.

Thanks for listening and for any advice or resources you might care to share.


Portland, OR

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Whose name is the RV in? If yours, sell it. If Dads/Moms, have them sell it or turn the title over to you to sell it. You have some of your money back so what they give will help more. If both worked they get SS and Medicare. If their income is such, they may be able to get Medicaid for their supplimental. Check out senior housing in your area. If Hud subsidized they pay 1/3 of their income for rent. Heat is included so electric is the only thing they pay. Cable can be very basic. Wifi maybe able to get cheap if on any assistance like a Hud voucher or medicaid, Nephew pays $35 for cable and WiFi. There are resources out their it just takes research. I would start with your office of aging. They may supply a bus Mom/Dad can use for Dr. visits and shopping.

Dad is probably angry that he got himself where he has. But, that doesn't mean he takes it out on you. You and Partner need to be on the same page. Its your children, your home. Keep this in mind IT'S YOUR HOME!. You are allowing them to live there. Your Dad owes u and yours some respect. He is where he is because of his decisions. He should be grateful.

It may help to talk to an AA councelor to ask the best way to approach Dad. I really don't think contracts will work with an alcoholic. But you need a sit down explaining that for him living there to work he has to make concessions. You "all" need to feel comfortable with the arrangement. That his drinking is effecting you, ur partner and the two teenagers. If he can't change his attitude, then he and Mom will need to find a place they can afford and take advantage of the resources out there like foodstamps. You will help them accomplish this. As soon as he gets agitated, walk away and say u will discuss it later when he calms down. If he feels there will be no discussion, then tell him he will need to leave because you will not tolerate his actions any longer.

I feel for your Mom. I guess you know that Dad can get Dementia from his drinking. He probably needs an evaluation. If he ever becomes violent, call 911. When the police come, tell them he is a threat and can not come back to ur home. Ask then that he be put under evaluation.

Keep us updated.
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Of course you need to set boundaries and enforce them.

It is unfortunate that they were careless with their retirement, alcoholics live only for today and the next drink.

You are first and foremost responsible for your children. If his behavior is adversely affecting their lives, yea, get sober or get out. Rehab or senior housing, your choice dad, but those are the only 2 choices on the table. Give him 1 week to make his decision and then enforce yours.

Find a place that accepts seniors based on income. You live where there are food pantries and transportation programs, you are only able to do what you can without endangering your children.

He will probably blow a gasket, so be prepared. Have a plan, here are the rehabilitation programs, here are the seniors complexes, transportation applications, list of food pantry, application for food stamps, etc.

Time to stop making your family pay the consequences for their choices. My dads dad was a brutal alcoholic for 40 years, when he woke up in jail because someone finally said enough and called the police, he got sober and stayed that way for the next 30 years.

Tough love is needed.
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