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My parent's divorced decades ago. Dad remarried and Mum got a long term live in boyfriend, but did not marry him.


Dad is the one I have been worried about he had a massive stroke 2 years ago and although his recovery has been remarkable, his health is on the decline, his memory is slipping etc. I arranged for some home supports for him. My brother has POA and also has Dad live with him for much of the year, the rest of the time Dad is on his own. My Step-Mum in is NZ and neither of them are well enough to fly to the other.


I had dinner at Mum's last weekend. Her long term partner, a man I despise, is starting to slip. He is 83, he has slowed right down, his memory is shot and mum is concerned how much longer he can manage the stairs. The house is open plan with no main floor bedrooms.


The problem? If he goes into a facility and Mum loses his contribution to the household, she cannot afford to live in her house. She could look at getting a room mate, but I am not sure how much longer she is going to want to climb stairs too. Mum is 83 and in good health.


Mum is far too active for AL, most apartment buildings/Condos/stratas do not allow bigger, if any dogs. LeRoy, the dog, ensures mum gets out for a couple walks a day, plus he is good company. She needs a small garden to work in and a patio where she can visit with neighbours as they walk by.


I know this is not in the league of the incredible caregiving may of you are doing, but it caught me off guard. I had not given any thought to mum's partner's failing health and how it could impact Mum and her finances. I am a full time university student, who commutes 2 hours a day 5 days a week. I do not have time for this and school. School has to be the most important thing in my life as it represent a better future for me than my past allowed.

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Tothill, you really sound like you've got your head together on this!

Yes, having both POAs you would need to step up if/when something happens. I am so glad you recognize that you can perform your duties from a distance.
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Thank you for the comments. To clarify a few things.

Yes, we are all in BC Canada except my step-mum who is in New Zealand. I am not worried about sm, she has her kids nearby and lots of community supports. She and Dad never planned for what would happen when they could not travel between Canada and NZ any more. They took snow birding to the extreme and did not do winter for over 20 years.

Mum's partner is on his own as far as I am concerned, of his 4 kids only one talks to him. I do not think there is much 'love' between them. Mum has said for years that she cannot afford to live in her home without his contribution. I consider it to be a situation of her own creation as she could have booted him to the curb and got a roommate years ago. She is following in her mother's footsteps, Granny had a live in boyfriend for years that nobody liked and she could not afford to live entirely on her own.

I have fiscal and medical POA for Mum. So if anything happens to her, I have to step in. I am also co executor of her estate, but I know I will wind up doing all the work. My brother (other executor) does not return phone calls nor respond to email.

Mally we live on an island in about the warmest area of Canada, Mum has a huge network of friends. She would never move away from this community that has been her home for over 50 years.

Anything I do has to be done at a distance to protect myself from years of abuse. I am under no illusion that there could be reconciliation or a change in behaviour by either of my parents. I limit my contact with each of them to a couple times a year of face to face.

Thank you to all those who replied. I needed a little help propping up my backbone.
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mally1, I'm not sure what you mean by "if the partner's memory is shot, there soon won't be that as a reason to stay put." Are you thinking that a "shot memory" is a sign the end of life is near? That really isn't true. Sometimes dementia progresses quickly and sometimes it lingers and lingers and lingers.

Are you thinking that once a partner loses his memory you no longer love him? Definitely not true! Very few people in a loving relationship could just abandon that partner and start a new life elsewhere.

[Older man asked by his friends why he still has breakfast with his wife every day, when she doesn't know who he is, replied, "Because I know who she is."]

I see that your loved one does not have dementia. That probably makes a difference in your outlook.
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I'm confused about locations. You, your brother, your mother (with sweetie), and your dad all live in Canada -- is that correct? And Step mother lives in NZ -- as in New Zealand? Are she and your father legally separated? Divorced? And does that make any difference to the benefits he qualifies for in Canada?

In any case, Not Your Circus. Not Your Monkeys. According to your profile you are fairly estranged from both your parents, and not without reason. You might see this as an opportunity to reconcile and end on a more congenial family relationship. And it could happen that way, but from what I see posted here it is much more apt to end with a parent exploiting you and you resenting everything you have to do for them.

It would be great, and beyond duty, to help your mother find housing she can afford alone if her sweetie goes into a facility. Or to find them housing that would suit them both better if he can continue to live with her. BUT, as you have declared, finishing your degree and getting ahead in your own life has to come first. So helping them by finding a social worker and/or real estate agent who will work with them might be the best you can do.

And let's be real clear about this right from the start: Guilt has NO PLACE in the decision making process.

Not your circus. Not your monkeys.
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My daughter bought a handicapped outfitted condo a few years ago, and I can tell many of the residents have large dogs.. I know because I walk her chi and we "step carefully" many places,,,LOL There was a clause about how MANY pets you can have.. ie: one dog or two cats, or one of each.. etc. If the house is in Moms name, could she sell it and afford a nice condo? The boyfriend should be able to get his own assistance from Med, and his family. As they are not married this may be to her benefit in the long run.
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I am in pretty much the same situation. Hubby is bedridden and requires 24/7 Care. We also have a large dog. We can’t afford to live in our home much longer, but every real estate rental ad I read says “no pets”. I was advised on this site to have my doctor write a letter certifying that I need my dog for emotional support. I do. But she does not qualify as a support dog. Apparently, the letter would make it easier to get around the landlord.

Think about your responsibilities. If your brother has POA for Dad, finding suitable care for him should be 95% his responsibility. Does stepmom have a family at all? She should be their responsibility. Mom’s boyfriend should not be any concern of your’s. He’s his family’s responsibility. Take care of your mom. Find a realtor you can trust in Mom’s town and see if there are any properties meeting her requirements around. Have a heart to heart with her and explain your concerns to her with patience and love.
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This is going to sound a bit cruel, but this is your mom's problem to figure out.

Is she telling you that you need to provide the solution to her eventual lack of housing and resources?

Mom needs to start a conversation with her banker, the local council on Aging and this man's children, if any. Mom needs to use her own and public resorces, not rely on you for financial backing.
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Perhaps your mom's partner could go into AL, and she could sell her house and get a smaller house or a condo that would allow her dog. She could even move somewhere else, near the sea, or somewhere warmer, etc. If she's pretty active, it could be a new life for her; if the partner's memory is shot, there soon won't be that as a reason to stay put.
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