Is it bad that I do not want my 86 year old mother to live with me? She's dependent and I would feel suffocated and have to include her in everything I do!

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I would feel guilty going out to dinner or movie alone with my husband or having lunch w/ a girlfriend and not including her. She would feel "left out" and get depressed. I would like her to go to an assisted living nearby where I could visit her often. I have a sister and brother who can't take mom for various reasons. When I put myself in mom's place, I am reminded that I will be there sometime and my kids may not want me either. (even though I am more resourceful than mom, who has no hobbies and doesn't read.)

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Selling the home and using up the money is irreversible. Do the math with her. She could outlive her money and then, what? Medicaid and a nursing home. But Medicaid exempts a home as an asset as long as she lives in it; she could conceivably get home-based services to stay there. The reverse mortgage means she has money to live on as long as she lives, though then the house is sold to cover that. Maybe she needs to sell and buy into a life-care community, though you have to be careful with that as well. Get to an estate planner and get the alternatives, pros and cons all out in the open.
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I should have added that my mother is a homebody, doesn't have outside activities, and doesn't really want that to change. Despite that, has been fairly flexible to my requests, actually.
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I agree that if you can't find a way to deal with this that one of you will end up resenting the other. Can you get her to understand that having some time apart helps make the time together easier? That you need time with your husband, time alone, she should have time alone, etc...? If you can get that across to her, that everyone needs to be separated a little bit in order to get along for the long-term and that being together EVERY SINGLE MINUTE might end up being a bad thing, maybe you can get her to do some activity that she would be interested in doing without you.

My mother, husband and I had a frank talk about this when Mom moved-in. We stated that we were all used to living our own lives, now we're thrown together, and that it's going to be hard to be together so much and that we probably need to force time apart to make it work. Our thought was that, otherwise, we'd end up getting on each other's nerves and we were all worried about what would happen if we couldn't manage to all live under one roof.

If you can't see having this talk between all of you or are certain the outcome would not end up with a constructive outcome, then I think you're going to be miserable with her there, quite honestly. And, if you're miserable, I think she'll realize you're miserable and will also be miserable knowing that she's causing such misery.
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janet - just say "No" to your mother. I have more than once. And that it would not be OK for her to live with you. You are your husband have worked hard and deserve to enjoy your retirement. It is hardly fair to either of you to be expected to become caregivers at this stage of your life. Tell her "No" it does not work for you and your husband, and offer to help her look for other options. When her money runs out there is always Medicaid. Meanwhile a senor apartment would probably be sensible as long as she can live independently. Take care and look after you!
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You would want your kids to risk their marriages and disrupt their entire lives for your convenience? I hope not. You should have mom live close by, and visit her when hubby is working. Save your marriage and your sanity.
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Nanlinjoe, would you rather end up resenting her because you gave into the guilt and let her come live with you? Do you value your privacy and time with your husband? Do you feel your mother's needs are more important than yours? Are you prepared to eventually become a 24/7 caregiver if she comes to live with you and starts to decline? Is appeasing your guilt going to make you happy when your whole life will be altered with your mother living with you?
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I have the same problem approaching with my mother. She's 77 years old and very active. The retirement money is gone and now she has her home free and clear and social security which is not enough to take care of the property. As such her lifestyle has changed significately I have been trying to no avail to get her to take out a reverse mortgage and everything will be the way it was before she lost her money, still have her home and live indepently. Even if she downsized to a asmaller home and took out a reverse she would be in great shape. Hoever she wants to sell everything and live with me 6 months and my brother 6 months and when the money is gone its gone and we have nothing to take care of her in the future let alone the loss of our privacy from her living with us. I am 58 and my son is 23 just graduated from college. when he gets into a job he will be leaving and my husband will be retiring and we plan on closing the house up and traveling europe and doing what we want. Even though I don't really want her to live with us and I keep trying to get her to get a reverse mortgage ( she ignores the idea ) I tell her its okay if she lives with us...How in the world do you tell your mother, NO we think its a bad idea and would put restrictions on us with you living here? I am so stressed out over this situation.
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I'm always amazed how 'with it' my mom is at 97 and with Alzheimers. When it comes to direct changes in our lives, I include her in the conversation and decision making. The nurse that comes and checks on her weekly (thru medicaire) makes sure that she understands the information and see if she agrees with our decision.
For instance, diapers. She just now started needing them as her knees are giving out on her. My mother is very proud and this was devastating news that she has to be reminded of. Hopefully her knees will heal with some rest. BUT, your feelings very gently delivered with your sister and her understanding perhaps even with her decision would leave you no worse off than you are now. But your mother may surprize you. I had to put my mother in a home for a year and she is the most unsocial woman in the world. It turned out to be the best thing for her. I pray that these examples will help you in your family's decision making. The writer above has it right. It is a very personal decision but it should include the whole family including your mother. God Bless!
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I have been on both sides, and I can tell you this much: your mental health and your marriage must be discussed and prayed over before you make this decision. I have my mother-in-law living with us. It is restricting to say the least. We have disagreements frequently. However, when my sister decided that our mother should go to senior housing and mother gave up, my sister has felt terrible about it. I however am thinking, what am I doing? It is a very personal decision. A decision not to be made without much thought by both you and your spouse...God Bless You Both.
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