I'm a recently discharged vet, and I have successfully transitioned to a career in the civilian sector. I have landed my dream job and am moving to Maryland in a few weeks to start. I'm also planning on proposing to my girlfriend of 4 years. We're starting a life together and my father's partner passed away last month. He was dependent on her social security along with his to make ends meet. Now that she is gone, he is alone and unable to continue paying the bills where he is for much longer.

He always made sure my brothers and I were provided for growing up, but he never made any provisions for himself or his retirement. He is 68. He has had several heart attacks and has COPD, but is doing well with medciation, diet and exercise.

He is closest with me, and so his solution to his problems seems to be moving in with us. Just the idea is putting ENORMOUS strain on my relationship with my soon-to-be fiancee as it seems like this will not be a temporary solution, but a permanent one. He's talked about giving us money toward a down payment on a house (where he plans on living) and I can't shake the feeling that if I do this, I'm headed down a path that will lead to nothing but problems, both with my relationship and my finances. Because my new job requires me to travel a lot, my girlfriend would be the one spending the most time with him, and that is not a role she is comfortable with. To be honest, he can be pretty abrasive sometimes, and that is not a role I would willingly put her in.

In spite of this awareness, I still am having a hard time saying no to him and the idea of him living with us. I feel obligated to help him out, and just the thought of saying no to him makes me feel like an ungrateful jerk (especially when I think about everything he's done for me throughout my life). I have worked very hard to get where I am, and I am finally found someone to share my life with. I feel like I am one false move away from putting everything in jeopardy.
What are my options? If anyone's in a similar circumstance or has already been down this road before is reading, please comment. I'm in dire need of information at this point.

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You are right to feel obligated to help him out, both out of affection and duty. But you have no obligation to put your own future in jeopardy.

It sounds like he does not need a caregiver. He may need some monitoring and gentle suggestions to keep him on the med/diet/exercise path.

Having recently lost his partner, he may feel lonely and in need of companionship.

But it sounds like the primary need right now is financial. Solve that first. If you and your brothers can help him make ends meet without financial hardship yourself, then that is an option open to you. If that isn't feasible or doesn't completely solve the problem, then help him discover ways to get help. Subsidized housing for seniors comes to mind. Often there is a waiting list for that, but the sooner you get on a waiting list, the sooner your name rises to the top! Look into what other affordable housing may be open to him. Help him examine his expenses and see if there are ways he could shave a little here and there. Find out what benefits he might be eligible for. Low-cost or no-cost meals on wheels? Food stamps?

You can provide a little guidance and gentle reminders no matter where he is living. You can help some with the loneliness by visiting or calling and having over for meal now and then.

There is a lot you can do to help him out. Do it like a loving son. But DO NOT MOVE HIM IN WITH YOU!!! That way lies disaster! He is 68. Do you really want him living with you for your next 20 or 30 years? All your instincts about this are on target.
Helpful Answer (12)

NO NO NO! It is wonderful that you care for your Dad but your first responsibility is to yourself and your future. If he can't afford his bills now, how is he going to help with down payment on a house. Check with senior services in his area and make arrangements for all assistance he is eligible for now. If he is a vet, check into their Aid & Assistance Program. You can see that your Dad is safe and cared for without destroying the life you are trying to build.

Read all similar posts on this board about parents moving in. Please do so before your fiancé makes the wise decision to bail out!

Thank you for your service to our country! Best wishes!
Helpful Answer (9)

I lived with my husband before marriage. At the same time his mother moved in with us. I had visited with her probably 3 times. She was a lovely hostess. She was falling & needed company. House purchsed in mother & son's names. Turns out her negative attributes became more obvious as we lived together. She began to dislike me. I started on Blood Pressure meds & heard myself say at the doctor's office that I didn't really care about a heart-attack or a stroke. I needed help! Her abuse damaged my relationship with her son. We are no longer all living together. The relationship between mother & son is severed. After we escaped at a great financial cost, we married. Tomorrow is our 1st anniversary. My advice? DO NOT DO IT!
Helpful Answer (7)

First, I think you are a careing son, you wouldn't have asked this question if you weren't.Also DO NOT move him in with you.If you travel a lot, your soon to be wife knows she will be the primary caregiver and that isn't right. Check into AL for him,.Talk to other family members, make a plan. Your father could live another 20 yrs.and those will not be healthy years, they will be years of MD appointments, feeding, bathing, possible dementia.Really check into AL, also Medicare/Medicaid,talk to a lawyer that specializes in elder law. But please do not move him in with you.He may be able to go to the bathroom by himself right now but that won't always be the case. Do you really want your soon to be wife to be the one that has to clean your dad's behind when you are out working? Don't mean to be so blunt but that is what things can come to. An initial act of love can turn into a nightmare, many don't think their elderly parent will live very long and that is a big mistake.As the years go on he won't be able to even bath himself, it takes a lot of physical work to take care of someone that is no longer able to take care of themselves.Come up with a plan that does not include him moving in with you. AL can be an answer,start talking with your other family members now and come up with a plan, good luck.
Helpful Answer (6)

I'd think twice about doing the addition for the house or duplex option. I've had friends who did that, thinking it would give the parent independence and them, privacy. It worked out just as though the parent were living with them. Mom moved in with my sister and I (6 months each) because she was lonely. It was a real mistake for her to give up her independence too soon, and we were burned out by the time the real health issues were in force. It was quite tough on our spouses, too.
Helpful Answer (5)

"Just the idea is putting ENORMOUS strain on my relationship with my soon-to-be fiancee as it seems like this will not be a temporary solution, but a permanent one. "

Then don't do it. This is no way to start a marriage. Imagine trying to care for your father when there are babies and young kids in the house. It's just not feasible.

Sit down with him and thoroughly review his financial situation and options. Where would $$$ for a contribution to a down payment come from? If he has that, it could just as easily go towards his living expenses.
Helpful Answer (4)

Ok. You've read all the posts so far. Take them to heart. If I were your girlfriend, I would be very concerned about this possible scenario. There are many options for dad without him moving in with any of his kids. Assist him in finding out what's out there. Also, I thought it odd that he can't hardly afford to live on his own, but he wants to help with a down payment.
Helpful Answer (3)

Jay, if your Dad has enough money to give you toward a down payment on a house, he surely has enough money to pay his own bills. Plus at 68 years old, he is still young enough to work part-time somewhere, doing something he really likes. This would keep him busy and give him a reason for getting up in the morning, plus meet new people.

Personally, I wouldn't have my parents put any money down on my house as they can use that as a bribe for so many different reasons. You will start hearing "if it wasn't for me helping you, you wouldn't have this house", yada, yada, yada.
Helpful Answer (3)

You already know the answer. Unless you want to make yourself and your fiancee miserable, you don't want your "abrasive" dad living with you. You may be stuck with him for another twenty years, by which time your marriage will be over, and any children you might have will have grown up with a grouchy grandpa criticizing their every move.
Do not give in to guilt that you "owe" him for his having provided for you as a child. Tell him to use his money toward his own place, and kick in what you can if he needs help paying the bills. Go visit him, take him out to places he likes for some father-son time, but don't, DON'T let him live with you.
Helpful Answer (3)

As someone mentioned, maybe you can find a duplex, side-by-side, where you could rent it out someday when he's gone, but where he pays you some rent to help with your mortgage. Even with that, you'll have to set some ground rules. You need your privacy and, even if he's lonely, he needs to find a way to have his own life, to at least some extent. When the rest of the family visits, you have to be clear whether or not they also stop by to see you. I don't mean to make them unwelcome, just maybe to stress that you need a little extra privacy being newly married and such, because having family members dropping in all the time could also be a strain.
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