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Kittysue, just curious if back when your Mom was younger did she or her husband pay the bills? You'd be surprised how many people don't realize that there are mortgage payments, water bills, electric bills, etc. if a spouse did all the bill paying.

Even in today's world, my sig other asked his married daughter how much was she and her husband were paying in electric, gas, and water for their home, he wanted to compare with his own cost? She looked at him with a blank look on her face [guess they didn't teach home ownership in college].
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I agree with cwillie.. There is no reason why she isn't paying her way..

Does she pay any house bills? She should at least be paying a couple utility bills plus her food...

Make an appt with elder law atty. And get things agreeably worked out..
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If she won't cooperate with you (assuming there is no dementia) then I would play hard ball... tell her you can't afford it any more and take the heater away. She b$%ches and moans, you just reiterate that it is just not in the budget, how about a warm blanket. It is enough that you have given her a home, you shouldn't have to pay her extra expenses as well.
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Is there some reason her room is cold, or is it just her? What about using an electric blanket/mattress pad on her bed instead of the heater?
As for getting her to pay, just straight out tell her what it is costing, show her the difference in the bills if she doesn't believe you. And you might want to take the opportunity to go to an elder law attorney to explore getting a proper contract in place for rent and caregiving.
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My father in law did the same thing and we took his pension check
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I'm not sure how old your are, but most states have a program that helps with electric bill and also on insulation and getting more efficient heat systems. Check with social services dept. Here's a link that list these programs. I hope the link is allowed. If it is removed look on line and use terms Georgia, financial assistance electric bill.

And, if you still need more help with the bill, why not ask her to chip in a little more to cover for the heater during the winter months?
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How warm is her bedroom without the heater?

My mother's doctor told us that having my mother is a very warm room was very bad for both her heart condition and stroke; that if she wanted to be warn, she should wear sweaters. I would consult with mom's doctor; use a thermometer in the room and take away the space heater.

What's interesting to me is that now that my mom is in a NH and she has no way to control the thermostat, she is perfectly content to be in "normal" room temperature (about 70 F) and wear a sweater. Whereas in IL, where she had her own thermostat, it was always around 85 degrees in her apartment and she STILL wore a sweater. I do believe that the ability of elders to feel temperature declines as we age. At this point, you may need to protect her from becoming overheated and dehydrated.
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