I know my Mom would absolutely consume me if I did this and jeopardized my own hard earned stability for my "retirement" years. She won't move here and to make matters worse I have custody of 2 grandchildren who have lived with me for 9 yrs. I don't have room for her in my home either but I have offered to find her good living conditions within minutes of my home. In fact I could have bought the place next door a couple of years ago at a really good price and she would have been just steps away. There is no "solution' that fits her selfish refusal to move closer to me. Do I sound bitter? Yes I am because I also feel guilty as hell. I rarely have more than 1 day off in a row and when I do I go to her place to take care of the few things I can. I am in contact with her drs. and the people that give what little help I have talked her into getting with her
housework and errands. She can't drive anymore, is on oxegen 24/7 and has mobility issues. She has no one to take her to drs. appts. since my brother was killed 6 months ago and she refuses to use the local transport to get to appts. All I hear is "if you moved up here" blah blah blah blah. There is my problem...I am still just under 4 yrs for retirement eligibility and had planned every thing out so that my house would be paid for by the time I retire. So the quandrey heart tells me one thing and my head tells me something else. I have no husband and am still raising 2 teens. How do I choose? All thoughts on this are certainly welcomed.

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Don't do it! My mother, a first class narcissist, refused to move close to me with all sorts of excuses such as "I like it here, I have so many friends, you must buy a house here, there's plenty of work here you just haven't looked" and so on for years.. A virtual hermit who had alienated what few friends she ever had and finally unable to cope alone I eventually quit my job, sold my home and moved to care for her. I spent the next four years stuck in her cold gloomy basement, a servant and punching bag 24/7, catching heck if I dared go anywhere and at the constant mercy of her nastiness. I plotted my escape, even considered suicide in my darkest hours.

With Parkinsons, dementia and a history of stroke, by the last time she ended up in hospital it was clear that she needed round the clock care. She went into a nursing home a year ago and spent months screaming at the staff and at me on the phone until I threatened to change my number and didn't speak to her for a while. In the past few months she has broken a hip, had another stroke, can't sit up or stand by herself, her speech is slurred and her dementia has increased significantly.

I visit once a week, make sure she has all she needs, and call occasionally. She has been the mother from hell my whole life and I learned to avoid her from a small child. I did what I did purely out of duty. I bought a wee house on 2 acres in the country which I'm fixing up and rebuilding my life.

Again, don't do it! You will not only lose your own life but the lives of your grandchildren as well.
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Every single word Jeanne said.
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If you can not afford to hire a caregiver for her. Your best bet is to move her closer to you. I am a caregiver in Houston and I have several patients who's family is out of town. If this is not a option. Move her!
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How do you make such a tough decision? You do your best to weigh the pros and cons, and the probably outcome of each option. You will not come up with a perfect choice; your goal is the least awful choice.

Your mother's life is valuable. Her wishes are worth consideration. She is your mother, even if she has not always been a good one. You have a natural predisposition to want to please her, and to avoid guilt.

Your life is valuable. Your wishes are as important as hers. You deserve a chance to be happy as much as she does. The lives of your two grandchildren are valuable. They deserve a chance at happy lives and growing in a nurturing, loving environment.

You cannot concurrently provide what your mother wants, what you want, and what is best for the two young lives entrusted to you. So you need to choose.

I vote for doing what is best for your grandkids and for you. Hands-down, no doubt in my mind. Mother has had her chance at a good life. She has alienated people who could help her have more quality in her life. She has behaved in ways that make you dread living with her. Actions have consequences. That she has to face the consequences of her actions is Not Your Fault. You did not do this to her.

Disrupting your journey toward a self-sufficient retirement, disruption two young lives, and being at the beck and call of a selfish person does NOT sound like a reasonable choice.

So, how do you deal with the guilt this least-awful choice leaves you with? Well, I could tell you it is irrational (it is) and that you shouldn't feel guilty (you shouldn't) but the fact is, most adult children would feel guilty in your situation. It just comes with the territory. If you can drop the guilt entirely, great! But in most cases we have to push the guilt way to the background and take the actions we've decided on in spite of the guilt.

Continue to do what you can from a distance. You may never be able to force her to move (unless you get guardianship, which may not be a good idea). That is Not Your Fault. Continue to push the guilt to the background and continue to do the greatest good for yourself and your two young charges.
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I think you should stay where you are. The only reason to move where she is would be that you felt her needs were more important than yours, your children's, and your grandchildren's. You won't be able to make her move to you, but if she doesn't there are always other options for help. You have too much to lose by moving to her, and you would probably regret doing so for a very long time.

I hope you can talk her into moving close to you. She might not like it, but it isn't fair for her to expect you (her daughter!) to do all the sacrificing. To me it seems unnatural for parents to expect their offspring to sacrifice their lives for them. I don't think most parents want that -- they are just afraid of change.
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meohmy, thanks for the quick response. I have had an Area on Aging Council agent at my mom's house and they have tried to set up help for her. She doesn't like the people that they send because they can't scrub floors on their hands and knees the way she used to do it. Or they can't get on step stools to reach higher places that she wants dusted or what ever pops into her head at the time. I've tried to tell her "But Mom what they do is FREE"!! Difficult? Ya think?

And you're right, if she would move closer to me I could do more for her and be able to visit with her way more often than I can now. I have a support system I could call on around me that just isn't available at her home. She has virtually no family left in the state she lives in and what little she does have she has alienated in some way or other over the years. And now she wonders why no one wants to help her. She is probably one of the most difficult people you would ever want to come in contact with. I know that most of it (not all) is the Alz. but she has never been an easy person to deal with even when she was well. So I take most of the things she says to me with a grain of salt. She has hurt me to the quick at times by calling HER GREAT GRANDDAUGHTERS "Those g--damn kids" She blames them for my inability to move in with her. I just continue to do what I can from a distance and when it gets to that point I will probably have to "force" her here. Until then I do have feelings of guilt. I want to care more for her...I just can't!!
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I agree wholeheartedly that you need to stick to your guns. Peruse this site and you will see evidence of many people who have uprooted their lives and made irreversible damage to their own retirement security only to have the parent not be happy anyway. You are offering a good and kind option in having her come to you.

Best of luck.
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I think you better stand your ground. Tell your Mother that if she moves closer to you you can help out, but it is not fair to give up what you have worked so hard for
And you have your children's future to think about. If she refuses then it was not your choice but hers. It sounds like there is services in her area but she refuses to use them. You have a perfect reason for staying where you are. Do not quit your job. Contact the agency on aging in her area and let them know the situation with your mother. They should be able to offer some help. Sometimes we have to make decisions based on what makes sense and not with our hearts. Hang in there and I don't think you will regret sticking to your plan.
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