I'm going to try to sort of bullet-point this to keep it as objective as possible.

-Mom lived in an apartment with some aid until two years ago when she fell for the fifth time.
-When she was recovering in a rehab facility (which most here will probably know also means nursing home.), the decision had to be made about whether or not she could remain independent. The senior adult apartments where she was urged me to consider other arrangements for her. She had become extremely depressed, angry, emotionally very unstable.
-My mother's income is below the poverty level.
-Because of the laws in her state, FL, she qualified to remain in the facility where she was sent to recover from hospitalization.

There are three siblings:
-Oldest brother, 65, chronic alcoholic, and drug addiction. A very sweet and decent person, my hero growing up, but virtually homeless and likely to die soon. He lives 115 miles from mom, calls about five or six times a year. Hasn't visited her in over five years.
-Middle sister, 59, recovering alcoholic, serial dater, just secured the only apartment she's ever had on her own. Has had the same job now for a couple of years, and it actually seems promising, but has moved six times in the past two years. She's trying, I know she is, and I'm actually sort of optimistic, but optimistic that she'll survive. Not much more than that. She lives 95 miles from my mother, visits her about once every three or four months, calls about once every three to six weeks.
-Me. Youngest brother, 48, I always considered myself to be the irresponsible one. I'm an actor. (Yeah, I know. Can't be helped.) Mildly successful. Which means I still don't make much money, but it looks like I'm going to now. I have a steady but low income which is increasing, my wife, 38, works and makes a good salary. We don't know if we are supposed to have kids, but we're not using birth control anymore. We want to leave that up to God. I have a son form my first marriage in Florida which I have every two weeks for several days, so I travel to FL from Th to Mon to spend time with him, and have for ten years. During that time, I also see my mom. (We used to stay with her when she had her apt, but now we go for icecream, sometimes fishing, little short trips out, and dinner. The woman loves BBQ and IHOP.) Every two weeks.. Early on Friday and late on Sunday. My son is graduating from high school in two weeks, and heading to college. He'll be in the same town, but I won't need to be there every two weeks. We talk constantly on the phone, including video chat.

Final bullet point, and the reason for the following question:

-My mom is safe, extremely well taken care of in the nicest facility in Orlando (minus the uber-expensive luxury one, which no one could afford. It's like a country club.) but it's boring. Like, they have activities and it's kind of pretty, but after day in and day out of the same thing, it's really not a fun place, I don't think. She uses the term "It's so BLANK, here. Like, there's just nothing anywhere but nothing." I remember when I was stationed on a base with no car, once. I can sort of see it. So- Care; excellent. She's never been healthier. Excitement: zero.

So here's the question:

Should I move my mother into our house with my wife and I? My wife works 50+ hours a week and so do I, but we think she would qualify for some programs with the state of CA. In-home care through MediCare MediCal, etc., and of course we would pitch in. She could live in a little side room which is actually pretty private, but would give us access to each other. We have a cat which she'd love, and a little common area which several families here share, which is fenced. She could sit outside and get some sun every day if she wanted.

I am positively terrified at the prospect.

But I am simultaneously convinced that it might be the right thing to do.

And if God wants you to do something, he works it out, you know?

Ok, the last bit.

My sister wants to move her closer to her. This assumes she can find a facility mom can afford which will take her, that way mom can move nearer to her. She also wants power of attorney. She hasn't said anything to this effect, but I have to consider that my sister may be believing that if she can work out a way for my mom to move in with her, she'll sort of benefit financially. Maybe afford a little better place. Which actually may be true, and may even be a legitimate thing. I mean, if my sister IS stable and WOULD benefit from having mom there, and mom would be around family every day, why not? I do have some concerns that the realities of caring for mom every day would close in on her. She has anger issues. (Like, sometimes she screams at mom. But honestly, my mom does seem to like to pick on her for some reason. But yeah, my sister loses it.) But again, I think she's improving. I have commited to both my sister and my brother that if she come here, I'll fly them out here whenever they want to come.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
There is an option you haven't mentioned: Stay at the lovely care center, and add some things to spice it up. Yeah, who wants to live in BLAND every day, all year? And there are only so many useless craft items one person can create. What would Mother find more exciting? What if she had someone to take her to a dinner theater or concert or casino once a month? Someone to come in and play cards with her every week? What if she joined a choir, or played spoons in a kitchen band? Joined a book club? Volunteered to teach childen to knit at a neighborhood house or summer camp? What if she could look forward to visiting you twice a year? What might make Mom's life more eventful right where she is?

Oldest brother is not an option for caring for her, but could he be encouraged to visit her more often, if it were made financially feasible for him?

Sister does not sound like a good bet unless you are absolutely certain of her stability. From your profile it sounds like your mother is mentally ill. It might be beneficial to your sister financially but given the history of hostility between them it is doubtful it would be beneficial to either of their mental health status. Taking care of someone who is mentally ill is VERY challenging, time-demanding, and often exasperating. It is not to be undertaken lightly. Your mother is quite young. This could go on for another quarter of century. Living closer to, but not actually with, Sister might be good for Mother. Is there an excellent care center in that area? Again, given that Sister has moved 6 times in 2 years, what is to say if Mother moves Sister will stay near her? As for POA -- is Sister a good manager of her own affairs? Keeps up with her payments, makes wise decisions? Could Sister be encouraged to provide some stimulation for Mother, right where Mother is? Could she take Mother on some kind of an outing once or twice a month, with you footing the bill with using some of the money you are willing to spend on airfare on this kind of entertainment instead?

You seem like the best bet, BUT, think this through very carefully before committing to the next 20 to 30 years to providing care for a mentally ill person in your own home. You and your wife may be retired from your careers before you are retired as caregivers. How about having mother fly out for a two or three week visit soon, and again in the fall? Kind of do a test run.

From the way you describe your mother, I wonder if some of the boredom problem is a result of her lack of initiative. (It is VERY hard to take action on your own behalf when you are depressed.) Where ever she lives, she is probably going to need someone else to provide the stimulation. My first thought is to try to provide it right where she is.

Good luck to you, and please keep usinformed as to how this is working out.
Helpful Answer (2)

Thank you!

Yes, I've considered that; keeping things as they are but trying to introduce some consistent outside stimulation. That's a strong consideration.

I should update my profile. Apparently I've been a member here a long time. She is now 81. And yes, she has some pretty profound mental issues. It's actually hard for me to remember that , sometimes. After getting off of the dozen-plus medications she was on before she entered this place, she leveled off significantly, emotionally. I think the ignorance of physicians to their elderly patients' medications before prescribing new drugs, a practice which directly increases their income, is criminal. I consider it the taking of a life. It's just so saddening.

I have the added consideration however, that it may be the right thing to do, still. We're under no illusions that it would be a major change for us, but, and I realize this may sound a little silly to some, but we think the Lord may be asking us to trust Him, and take this on. Please do know that we're exceptionally pragmatic people, yet the fact remains that we're convinced that if we're being asked to trust God on something, though it's a little uncertain to us, we're safest by trusting him, and there is always, always a benefit which exceeds by far, the concerns on the outset.

Of course, I realize no one can address that part for us. I'm just saying that's where we are at the moment. But I do thank you very much for your appraisal. Very wise information.
Helpful Answer (0)

Leave mom where she is, but have her evaluated by a gerontologist. It sounds like she most likely has some dementia issues. Any changes will increase her confusion. My 88 yr old dad lives with us & it is a 24/7 job and it becomes your life. Are you ready to give up the life you have now? Is it possible for you to visit more often than every 2 weeks? That would make a huge difference in her life. I can tell you are a loving & concerned son. You can become more involved in her life without her moving in. Good luck to you!
Helpful Answer (2)

UhOh: My advise would to scratch your sister as an option. She is making progress and doing better. Taking on the care of your mom could cause her more stress than she can handle and undermine her progress. Give her a couple more years to get her feet on the ground. Maybe you could fly her out to visit your mom if she ends up moving in with you.

I think Jeanne gave you the best advise about spicing up the NH activities. You could hire someone to do things with her.

The only downside I can see to you and your wife taking your mom on is that you both work long hours. Maybe a trial run, like Jeanne said.

Good luck, Cattails
Helpful Answer (0)

From the voice of a little experience here, I too would "scratch" the sister things. That being said, is it possible to move mom to a facility closer to you that is just as nice? I know being on Medicaid that can be an issue as well. If this is such a nice, good place, I would be hard pressed to encourage you to have her move in. You sincerely HAVE to look into all that entails and see if you, your spouse and your marriage can that. It's a daunting thing to be honest and I think it is different then most of us thought at the time we were trying to do our best for our parents.
Do you think that maybe the nursing home can set up skype for you on a computer once a week? That was you can still see her and she can see you. I agree that maybe you could hire someone 2x a week or so to take mom out to lunch or something. Of course it would have to be someone who knows her mental status but I bet she would like it and...she would still have the skype visits with you until you can come see her. Just a thought. If, you do a trial visit, I would make absolutely sure that she only thinks it's like a vacation to your house. Otherwise, if you decide it won't work, she may be quite upset. I wish you the best. Barb
Helpful Answer (1)

I think Bhenson has the best idea-I would not take her into your home unless you do not need more than an hr. of sleep to be at your best and don't want you wife to be an ex-are you crazy-if you do take a two month trail run-a vacation-do not put this on your sister-are you willing to give up your life as you know it-not convinced start reading Grossed out need to vent my mother is using my toothbrush to comb her hair started 2 yrs -actually more than 2 yrs ago by Bobbie-when you are up to date with the posts 20 thousands or so tell us how you feel-if God is leading you to do this and you can afford 24/7 aides go for it-not
Helpful Answer (1)

Leave your mom where she is. The way the economy is you might be put on a waiting list to get the help you think you might get inCaliforinia. My mother is on three in Florida. You are blessed that she is in a good one in Orlando. This task is not an easy one and the stress that comes with it for me is overwhelming and my situation may not be like others here but emotionallly I am exhausted. God may work it out like you say but it may not be the way you expected it. You have your job but things may change and you never know. I am just being realistic. You should visit her when you can. Is there not a church that she can visit locally where they may have some activities that they can take her to
Helpful Answer (1)

Each of you work 50 plus hours a week; your 81 year old mother has profound mental health issues; she is bored where she is being cared for very well and you think God is calling you to run basically a nursing home in your home by bringing her home? Why what are the emotions underneath these ideas?

Also, it sounds like you are terrified of bringing her home. Listen to your guts.

Furthermore, the nursing home is not likely going to discharge of your mother unless they know things, not think things are going to be safe there for her. It is very likely that she is going to be bored at home like she is in the nursing home.

My mother is cared for well in a nursing home where she is bored, but most of her boredom it due to her own lack of initiative to be involved in the activities there. Her dementia is advanced and she is totally dependent since not working with PT to regain the ability to walk after breaking her hip which is just like what took place with her mother. She can't come home to us for both my wife and I are on full disability and don't have the funds to run a nursing home in our house. She can't go home to my step-dad who is in a wheel chair and his helper for they can't run a nursing home in their house either although they think that they can. If they had their way mom would be home and I'm almost sure dead by now. I'm glad that my mother gave me both durable and medical POA.

I assume that you have medical and durable POA for your mother. Have you spoken with a mental health professional who can give you an objective view of what it is like to take care of an elderly person with serious mental health issues in your home?

While I do believe God leads us to do things, I think there is a world of difference between faith and presumption. I think there is much more ground to think about and emotions to be honest with before just jumping into this. It sounds like God is already providing for her excellent care as well as for you and your wife to have a stable yet modest economic situation. What ever you chose to do is your choice and I prayerfully hope for the best for you, your wife, your marriage, your own economic well being and for your mother's care.
Helpful Answer (3)

I think my biggest concern has to do with the hours you work. My second biggest concern is that your mom may be just as unhappy living with you as she is in the nursing home.

I'm in Washington state and while Medicaid will provide in home care, it is limited to 5 hours per day, Monday thru Friday. That leaves you with another 25 hours to cover. In Wa, the going rate for an agency care giver is $20. to $23.00 per hour. So, for 25 hours per week, you are looking at an additional $500.00 per week of care giver expense.

Another thing to remember about agency caregivers is that they come and they go. They usually on make about $10.00 per hour of what the agency charges, so they can be very transient. You will have days when the caregiver has left and you have to start all over with a new one. How will you even get acquainted with the caregivers if you are working all the time. How will you know that are doing right by your mom? There may be senior day care centers that your mom can go to certain days of the week, however, you don't really know if she will enjoy them and want to continue.

I think you have a lot of homework to do. Talk to your local Area on Aging and find out what your options for help truly are. Don't go into this expecting that God will make it ok. God gave you a good mind and he expects you to use it and do your homework. I'm not meaning to be sarcastic in any way, just urging you to get all the facts before you take the plunge.

In the event you want to have your mom closer to you, I think Bhenson gave you some excellent advise. Have your mom transferred to a good nursing home near you. You will have to qualify for Medicaid in California no matter if your mom lives with your or in a CA nursing home, so it's no extra work either way.

If you want to review nursing homes in your area, go to At the top of the page is a pull down menu called Resourse Locator. Click on that and then go to Nursing Homes Compare. You can put in your zip code and give a mile radius to search. Medicare rates these nursing homes annually on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest. You will get facts on the staffing ratio and can read about complaints and much more. Do your homework and have a fall back plan.

It might be better to make the initial move to a NH in your area and then start spending more time with your mom. You can bring her home on weekends to visit and stay with you. This will give her a change of pace and it will also give you a better understanding if you want to take on her care full time.

I've taken care of my parents for close to 7 years now. My mom has passed and my dad suffered a major stroke last July. His care is 24/7 now and my husband and I are very tired. My dad is not a needy or difficult person, but he needs to be monitored around the clock. We have a caregiver that comes in MWF for 3 hours. It's a help, but it does not give us a life. We are sleep deprived and isolated. I can't take a shower unless there is back-up. Same with my hubby.

Right now, you mom is the best she is going to be. Her health will deteriorate because she is not getting younger. The demands will become more intense and I can assure you, it won't be easy. In fact, it will be extremely difficult.

Again, I am very troubled by the hours you work. I don't think you will be able to manage your mom's care or the in-home care she receives with the work schedule you and your wife are obligated too. So much of successful care taking is understanding the day to day actions of an elderly parent. There are doctor appointments that you have to sit in on and times that consistency is paramount to understanding a slight change that is a signal to a medical issue. And that does not include keeping them reasonably happy and reassured.

At the end of a 12 hour day, you and your wife want to come home have dinner and put your feet up. If your mom lives with you, I can assure you that won't happen. You will come home, she will be unhappy and you will be expected to compensate her for the bad day she has had.

I don't mean to be so negative, but I have lived this and it's not a Hallmark situation. It is trying and exhausting. At this point in time, I am finally considering putting my father in a nursing home. It's very difficult to do this as I love him very much, but we are tired and in our 60"s we are entitle to a life too.

I'm blabbing on here, but I just want to say one more thing. When I was 45, we had my husband's mom with us for a while. We were working and had to leave work all the time to come by and check on her. It got to the point that we moved the coffee maker into the garage and got up at 5am so we could just have a cup of coffee before the demands started. MIL was 80 at the time. She couldn't hear, but she could sure smell the coffee brewing and knew we were up. It's amazing what you do to just have a moment's peace.

Your heart is in the right place, but only experience can give you the true picture. I wish you the best. Happiness to you, your wife and your mom. Cattails.
Helpful Answer (4)

Those who mentioned running a nursing home in your home brought back memories of the first year my husband had dementia. As I removed throw rugs and installed grab bars and "hubby-proofed" my kitchen and rearranged furniture, I thought, "In order to keep Hubby out of a nursing home, I'm now living in one myself!" I cried over it. It was one of the many losses his disease has brought into my life.

There are so many aspects to having someone with mental impairment and physical problems living with you that it is impossible to fully anticipate them. Bringing Mom in for an extended vacation, part of which you continue working and bring in home-care may give you a taste of what it would be like fulltime. (Bringing her there for a week when one or both of you takes vacation from work won't give you a true picture.)

I hope that all of our cautions don't sound like trying to talk you out of what you think God is calling you to do. You are practical people and we just want to try to give you a fuller picture of the practical aspects of this decision.

Clearly, you want to do something that will improve your mother's quality of life. I wish you every success at that, whatever path you take to acheive it.
Helpful Answer (2)

Jeanne: You are a blessing to so many on this site. I want to say "My heart goes out to you", but you are not one to respond to those comments. You are so focused on the issues at hand and your guidance to all others is perfection. It touched my heart to know you cried over having to hubby proof your home. It's not that I didn't expect you would, it's just that you share only what will help others and I so often wonder how you manage. You are loved by so many and also by me. My best wishes are with you as are so many others on this site. Love, Cattails.
Helpful Answer (1)

Okay. Until I fell out of,love with it, I was a full time actor, making an actual living at it, for twelve years. So I know the "drop everything for a call back" and be somewhere for a 5:00 am call life that actors are required to live. You have unpredictable hours, even if you've scored a series. You can't take time off to take Mom to the doctor or entertain her. Unless your wife has the flexibility to handle all the emergencies, and they will happen, you don't have the life that will allow this job and that level of responsibility. I recall pushing a sick kid toward my husband because I couldn't afford to get sick in political season (when I was doing multiple spots a day) or about to open a show.
Whether you're doing V/Os from a booth at home or doing on camera work, or live shows, you need rest you won't get, and emotional space to prepare. With a child, those things get easier...the kid learns to sleep. With an elder, they get worse. With an elder with dementia, even harder. And someone who wants someone else to take responsibility for her entertainment because she is bored is going to be bored in your home, too, is you continue to lead the work lives you do now.
It sounds easy to take in an elderly parent...a little extra work, right? And all the love that flows in all directions can make up for it. But that doesn't account for the extreme unpredictability of a declining person's health, or bodily functions and Cognitive impairments they can't manage.
Lots of know elder care. I promise you I know life as an actor. Hard as it into care for my Dad, there is no freaking way I could have done it when I was acting. The three kids we had at home were a piece of cake compared to having an elderly person in my home, even with a caregiver here 12 hours a day.
Boredom isn't terminal. Find ways to help her socialize. If you must move her to your state, make sure she doesn't lose her benefits in the move. But man oh man! I can't caution you enough to find a solution that doesn't involve your mom moving in with any of you.
Helpful Answer (4)

Be honest with your self, is this about you feeling like you are leaving her by going to CA...i can teel you from experience that I am dealing with a similar decision. I am a care giver for my brother withTBI and ALz... he is in an assisted living facility here in florida where we have been residing for two years after I had a serious case of caregiver burn out... We are moving back to Jersey as I have been away from my husband and family all this time. I fly back and forth for special occasions and financilaly can no longer do that and I need to be in the same house with my husband... anyway, my brother is currantly in a wonderful facility and doing very well, I am thinking of moving him back in with me in Jersey... I facts show that him being in an assisted living facility has been the best decision for both of us... I am the one constantly dealing with the guilt and I would love to have my brother back as his old self but know that will never happen... the constant care and routine of the assisted living facility is what he needs and thrives on... reading this blog has reassured me that when i go back to Jersey I need to look for an assisted living facility for him.. Recently I had him for three full days, ie going out and doing the movie thing, and lunch, and shopping, and walks.. and I can tell you that i love being with him, emotionally i get upset when I drop him off at the assisted living facility and realize as i get older it is getting even harder for me...
Helpful Answer (2)

UhOh, what does your wife think and how does she feel about the idea of your mother coming to live with you two? How long have you and your wife been married? What kind of relationship does your mother and your wife have already? This decision is going to impact both of you. So, it is important that both of you are on the same page.

Also, who has the durable and the medical POA over your mother?

One last random question, how much debt do you and your wife have?
Helpful Answer (2)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter