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Mom is 85 yrs old, retired at 80. Lived on her own until moving to Florida to live with brother & his husband in Dec 2014. Very independent, always wants to pay her way. Can be "bristly" at times but alert, oriented and engaged with other family members. Recent conversation with brother revealed intent to increase what they "charge" Mom to live with them since their cost of living has gone up. Brother's husband saw Mom's bank statement and told me that her SS payment was enough to justify charging Mom more. He feels that since he is with her on a daily basis, he deserves to be compensated as companion, chef, driver, etc.


Sister & I are upset as are our husbands that Mom is being "charged" anything. Mom has always been generous in "helping out" and we feel that should be enough. We are also concerned that Mom may need this money for future care.


Any other ways to think about this would be appreciated.

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I didn't have Mom contribute because she still had a home. So I used her SS for Taxes and utilities on the house. She had a small pension that I used for her personal needs. I kept receipts for everything I bought against the pension. That included food she liked but my husband i didn't.

I see no reason why Moms SS cannnot go toward helping with bills and room and board. I, myself, paid room and board when I lived home and was working fulltime. Actually, I babysat and had a Summer job while in HS. I paid for my extras with that money.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Even if the care she needs is minimal she would be paying for rent, food, housekeeping etc if she lived somewhere else. She has an income, so why would you expect her to live with family for free?
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Reply to cwillie
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I fully believe any sort of a room mate situation should involve a contribution to the household expenses.

When my son moved back home my electric bill went up by $30.00 per month, my food bill more than doubled, etc. My son has his own car, but before he did and used my car my fuel cost went up by a tank of gas a month or $80.00 per month.

Your Mother should be contributing to the household expenses. Food, electric, cable, gas for the car, or a mileage charge for trips to the doctor. Your brother in law should be compensated for his time too.
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Reply to Tothill
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Why do you and your sister think that your mother shouldn't pay for the services and room/board for your mother? If you think this isn't right, then please either you or your sister move your mother in with you.

I absolutely agree that there should be a caregiver contract and a contract for room/board. That way your mother will show a paper trail for expenses if she eventually needs to file for Medicaid.

Are you willing to entertain the possibility that your mother may someday need to be cared for in a facility?
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Reply to CTTN55
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Living is simply never free of charge. And since your mother moved into their home, your brother and BIL's bills - i.e. costs of living - will have gone up, as you'd expect.

The biggest favour you can do everyone involved is encourage them to figure out what share of routine bills your mother should meet.

BIL needs to talk to mother, too, about a family caregiver's contract. Most of these subjects, when it comes down to it, are far less of a problem if people would only talk about them.

What you must do is ditch the romantic attitude. Helping out intermittently may seem generous but it is just not enough, and for her own self-respect I'm sure your mother would want to pay her way. Besides, see below about Medicaid...😰
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Good answer Barb!
There is a formula for budgeting one's income. The formula I know was that rent and utilities, should not exceed 1/3rd of a person's income, ideally.
These days, it is often 50% due to inflation and housing expenses.


That was money for rent.

A caregiver contract could be more.

Not many people can afford to take in a person into their home and support them.

The "generosity" factor of your Mom giving willingly , Jas, is not the same as paying her own way, imo. It speaks of control issues. She chooses whom to give to and how much, and when, instead of paying rent. Rent is money that can be counted on, expected, and planned for. Generosity puts people indebted to her for her kindness when she feels like it. Does this make sense?
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Reply to Sendhelp
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There should be a formal agreement drawn up for room, board and care. Your brother and his husband deserve to be compensated for their time and loss of privacy. Mom deserves the dignity of paying her way.

If she needs Medicaid in the future, a caregiving/rent contract shows that the money was used for her care, not "gifted" which is what " helping out" looks like to the government.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Why don’t you or your sister move
mom in with you? I think it would change your perspective on this. Her money should be used for her care NOW and that’s what it’s being used for. It sounds like you are blissfully unaware of what your brother deals with being your mothers caretaker. So my only advice is to move your mom in with you and assume all responsibility. You will soon understand why he’s not “charging her”.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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