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In one month, I'm moving my mom into our home. We have a small house, 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. We have to rearrange half our house, move our office so that Mom can have the most convenient room closest to the bathroom.


We're both fairly young and we're childless in our mid to late 30's. Due to my parent's poor retirement planning and lack of savings, we can't keep Mom in assisted living anymore. Being the only child with a stable home, I volunteered to take her in. My brothers are over 300 miles away. One helps financially, but I'm estranged from the other. So, no one is nearby for immediate relief if needed. I'm anxious and scared to be responsible for her health, but who else will? She's not social so Adult Day Care is out.


Mom has Type 1 Diabetes, a swollen foot that needs constant exercise and massaging, her kidneys are stable, but could fail. It seems to be OK with proper diet. She suffers from incontinence, but is strong enough to perform her own transfers and wheel herself around. She makes a mess occasionally, and that needs to be mopped up right away when it happens. She's not suffering from dementia, but can be quite stubborn in her ways and LOVES to YELL when she wants your attention. Seriously, it drives me bonkers. I ask her to "ask nicely", but she doesn't get it.


I've seen to her care briefly in spurts. Managing her medication and food and light cleaning. And in the past she's had care-takers handle major chores, bathing and such. Now she'll be under my care 24/7 and I know it's going to be different.


My husband and I work full-time in our day jobs and when we come home, we're working on our small business as illustrators. We don't intend on losing the ground we've covered in our dream job. Also, it will be hard to have a loss of privacy. I'm worried how this will affect us intimately and personally. How do we find time for ourselves while still being attentive caregivers?


So, from those out there, did you eventually hire help? At max, I can probably only afford 9 hours a week of home-care help. Do you think that's enough to cover for someone who can clean,dust, change bedding and handle her bathing?


Any experts out there on IHSS?

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"She's not social so Adult Day Care is out."

Um, excuse me lidoeen, but your mother is no longer in a position to call all the shots.

My husband (dementia) did not want to go to day care. Here is what I told him: "I am working very hard to do everything I can to keep you at home. You need to do your part, too. I need to be able to know you are safe while I go to my own appointments, check in at work, shop, and just have time to myself." He grumbled about not needing a babysitter but he did go. And he liked a lot of it!

You are rearranging not only your house but your lives to give Mom this opportunity to stay in a family home setting. She absolutely must be willing to make some sacrifices also. If you let her call all the shots from the very beginning I predict some very rocky roads ahead!

If IHSS or any program she qualifies for covers Adult Day Health programs that may be a very good option.
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If your mother has too much income and/or assets to qualify for a Medicaid program, she should be using it toward her care -- for example pay for a cleaning service and/or a health aide.

If your mother does not have even that much to contribute toward her care, then she should qualify for Medicaid. I believe (not sure) that IHSS is a Medicaid program in California.

Please, for your mother's sake, use her money for her care, or apply for medical financial assistance for her. Keep growing that independent business!
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A small 3-bedroom house with just one bathroom? (What happens when there's a blowout when there is no other bathroom???)
I don't see how you both can possibly work fulltime jobs plus the illustration business.
I foresee bigtime problems in your marriage. I can't imagine a spouse putting up with this situation.
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I strongly urge you and your spouse to seek any other alternative rather than moving in with you. Don't dilute yourselves into thinking she will be able to live with There with only minor supervision. It changes the entire dynamic of your relationship and you will probably find out your mother needs more help then you are able to provide. This does not mean you do not love her. But you need to find the best place they can give her the level of care she needs and can afford. I moved my mother in to my home five years ago. She will be eighty in september. I love her very much but it has impacted the dynamic in the home. Please go in with open eyes of what your life will really be like.
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All I can say is God help you. I had no idea what I was getting into when I took on 24/7 caregiving.
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Is you decision final? Have you looked at other options? Sounds like you mom needs 24/7 care and that you are a very busy person.

Call a geriatric care manager - they will help you with everything - how to accommodate your home, hiring help or looking at other options. Please look at all your options before making your decisions.

I took care of my mother with Alzheimer's for 2 years (actually longer than that) but 2 years in my home. This will affect your marriage, your career and your health. Mom will become the central point for everything, she will become a part of every conversation. My mom would refuse to go to daycare, so I didn't go to work. We would have plans to go out and would have to cancel because she was agitated and refused home health care, the area were she lived smelled like urine, she ruined my carpet, we had plumbing issues because she would dispose of food into sink...(etc. etc.)

What is you mom's personality like? Is she sweet or demanding? You said "she loves to yell when she wants attention". That doesn't sound good. I agree with Jeanniegibbs, don't let mom call the shots here; the arrangements have to be on you and your husbands terms.
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listen to jeannegibbs - she's 100% correct.
if Mom has money - use it to her care.
if Mom has no money - get the wheels started for Medicaid assistance - do it now!

while it is commendable to offer to take in Mom with all her problems, they're going to get a LOT worse over time and it will put a bind on your marriage. it's marital suicide. you'll never be right no matter what you do.

"financial assistance" is NOT the same as physical assistance. you are only one person - children or no, this most likely will cost you your marriage and probably your sanity as well.

please, rethink your options.
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My advice is though you love her, avoid taking her into your home and providing care. My mother has lived with us for over 25 years. We cannot go out to eat as she does not want to go. My wife works and so gets away from the house during the day, but if I try to go or do anything mom panics because I am not at her beck and call. Mom gets afraid if she cannot see me in the morning and comes to check to "see if I am okay". My wife and I cannot go out for over 2 hours without her calling to verify we are okay. Mom suffers from dementia and gets afraid even though she sleeps over 20 hours a day. She wakes in a panic and if she does not see or hear us (me), then we go through an inquisition until her fears subside.

My advice, avoid taking her into your home. Get federal assistance to put her into an assisted living facility and go visit as you have time. Do not let her set or control your schedule and activities.
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I recommend you make other arrangements. We thought we were doing the right and honorable thing when we brought my father-in-law into our home almost 3 years ago. His dementia has progressed, as we knew it would, but our ability to cope with him and care for him has diminished. Now we are trying to get him placed into a secure facility so that we can have our home and our lives back before it completely ruins our marriage. Sounds harsh, but I do not recommend having elderly/infirm/demented parents living with their offspring. Just don't do it!
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Please rethink what you are about to do. Do you want to spend the next 10 years having someone yell every time they want your attention? How long do you think your husband will put up with that? Your small business....forget about that now, you will have no time for that or anything you may want to do.

My grandmother moved in with us briefly when I was in college. She wanted to be treated as an honored guest yet at the same time she wanted to rule the roost as if it was her home and we were just staff. It was awful. My brother in law took care of of MIL for many years. In the end it was all about her 24/7. She would get angry if he did anything that did not include her. You would be amazed at the life he had after she died.

Why can't she stay in assisted living and go on medicaid? I agree with the poster that said that if she must move in with you she needs to know that she no longer calls the shots...any of them.
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