Stepdad has dementia and my mom keeps throwing hints on them living with us. I'll be divorced. I have a wonderful man and we have always been everyone's caretakers since we were married at 18...from his siblings, to my siblings, to their children, his parents (he was a late in life baby)...til this day we haven't stepped back to enjoy our my mom keeps hinting on moving in with stepdad who has dementia and their adopted 15 year old son. I help every chance I get to lessen her load, the problem is I can't move them in because she doesn't want to do it anymore, that's alot to put on my husband who has done so much already, but hearing her complain about him everyday is heartbreaking...guidance please

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You are afraid of hurting other people, but wind up hurting YOURSELF in the process of agreeing to do things you don't want to do! That's the bottom line. Many years ago when my mother heard the cost of assisted living, she said, "Oh, for that ridiculous cost, dad and I will just move in with YOU and pay you some rent." Right then & there I said NO, that just doesn't work for me mother. Period. End of of discussion. When the time came, I had them both placed in Assisted Living in 2014 after dad fell and broke his hip. He passed away in 2015 and mother is still in Assisted Living, but now in the Memory Care wing. Her money will run out in about 18 months and I'll have to apply for Medicaid to get her into Skilled Nursing if she's still alive (she'll be 93 in Jan).

Having elders living in my home just does not work for me, in any way, shape or form. I lived the horror story of having my grandmother living with us when I was a kid. It not only ruined MY childhood, but my mother's sanity, my parent's marriage, and life in general for all involved (not to mention my poor grandmother's quality of life). Taking someone in out of guilt or obligation never turns out well.

Help your folks figure out how to maintain their OWN lives without ruining yours. That's the best gift you can give EVERYONE.

Best of luck
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to lealonnie1

My son and daughter in law (no children at home) built a huge four bedroom house so if her parents had to move in due to illness they could. I had a talk with my son about moving in with them and paying them the rent I was dishing out on my apartment already. My rent was going to go way up and I knew I was going to have to move. My daughter in law works horrible hours and the two of them have little time alone. Like maybe four hours a day. The last thing I want is to come between my son and my daughter in law. She and I aren't that close but only because we really don't get a lot of time together when I visit. (they are in Wisconsin, I'm in Ohio). I had planned on just living in the basement which is set up like a den and bedroom with bath) and giving them space. I finally asked my son right out if it was going to cause problems. A real hart to heart. He was honest with me that it wasn't a great idea and I accepted that. No hurt feelings on my part but kind of scary knowing it wasn't an option. Meanwhile I was trying to move into a senior apartment building in Akron but it was hard getting an apartment the same time my lease was up on the old apartment. I suggested I just put my stuff into storage and "visit" with them until an apartment opened up. Then I would take my stuff out of storage and then move back to Akron. My son offered to pay up to thee months of rent on the new apartment if it became available before the lease was up. Worked out great. I got the apartment with them just paying two months rent. I don't think my daughter in law was happy about it but when he pointed out all they do for her parents she backed off. I had another talk with my son about the fact I DID NOT want them fighting because of me. The point I'm trying to make, you have to be open and honest about the situation. I refuse to have hurt feelings and enjoy my independence. I still get to visit once or twice a year up to three weeks each time. And instead of having a hissy fit I end up on good terms with my daughter in law and her parents (who live right down the street from them). Honest and open communication.... every time.
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Reply to whaleyf
CTTN55 Nov 21, 2019
"My son and daughter in law (no children at home) built a huge four bedroom house so if her parents had to move in due to illness they could."

That must have been hurtful -- so your son's in-laws get to move in at some point with them, but not you?
Next time she "hints" quip back something like "Oh, mom, you're such a kidder." If she isn't kidding, she should come right out and ask you. Dropping hints doesn't work. It's stressing you out. And it's certainly not a strategy to dealing with life's hardships.

Stop listening to her complaints. When she starts complaining, ask her "Mom, what do you want to do about it?" There's a whole philosophy about complaining that says complaining only makes things WORSE because it prevents positive actions from being taken.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

The next hint ask her straight forward “what’s your plan?”. She had to have one at some point to adopt. Don’t offer to help her say it out loud, hear it.

Followup with let’s talk through some options(your home isn’t one of them).
Go from the point of making it real in her own mind first.

My mom likes to make me search for solutions without verbalizing her ownership/ situation. I run in to fix then She says she never ASKED me to. Your mom sounds a little like that. Start with her.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AT1234

At some point, honey, you two are going to need to learn how to say "no, I cant do that". It's hard. Especially when you've been groomed never to disappoint.

I was lucky that I grew up with a mom who usually said yes and then resented what she had volunteered to do ( or been guilted into). She finally started saying "no" when she saw that it was destroying our childhoods and my dads happiness. So, I'm grateful that I learned that I would survive a parent's disappointment, anger, rage.

Next time she hints, get the conversation out in the open. Don't beat around the bush. Say, "no mom, we cant do that". And mean it.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

One of our wisest women has an expression. It goes like this: "I am so sorry, but that's just not an option." As long as it is HINTing, ignore it to save yourself the snapback of "I never SAID we want to live with you!" When it is said flat out, use the above. And then say "Let's explore other options. I would advise against having them come to live with you. You owe your time and energy to your own primary family. And you can help them all you are able, but the live in is just not an option. Not all things can be fixed. There are limitations to what anyone can do. You understand you would be wrong to do this. Listen to your own wise guidance.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Zdarov Nov 21, 2019
I had the same thought - remember to not over-offer answers and excuses until she poses a direct question. Can you help her think through help she’ll need in her own home to cope with the teenager and her hubby.
Great info thank mom is almost 70 and stepdad 76... I'd be on here for years if I went into
Everything u said I have thought on multiple occasions....
Inlaws were in my home but taken care of by husband and his siblings
I was twenty three and pregnant....
Mom has her own health issues....
Mom doesn't talk bad about husband she adores him...As everyone does...had to go back and read....she complains about stepdad...
Its a mess but u guys have opened my eyes to adulting and I'll just have to speak my truth to her....
Thank u
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to anonymous981831
Zdarov Nov 21, 2019
velita, I’m of the contingent that suggests you get set up with a nice counselor, coach or support group to help you through this period, too. I love this page and have been on it for many years but for a particular hurdle that can really help. Best wishes!
I am figuring Mom must be close to 80. How was she allowed to adopt? And who is suppose to care for him when they can't? Did u care for husbands parents in ur home? If not, then that will help. Mom can't use that against u.

Next time she says it, just say, "sorry Mom its not going to happen". I will help when I can. If you need more help, you may have to hire someone to clean and help with SD. Having parents move in is one thing but bringing a 15 yr old? I would also tell her that you no longer will put up with her putting ur DH down. The next time she does, you will go home and she will get no help. BOUNDRIES, set them now. You are entitled to do what u want when u want. There r horror stories about people moving a parent/s in. Just imagine if she puts your husband down in his own house. Add to that a person suffering from Dementia, that u never know what they will do and a 15 yr old being raised by people old enough to be great grand parents. Don't doo it.

Actually, the 15 yr old should be taught to do things for himself if he isn't doing it already. Make and strip his bed. Keep room fairly tidy. Wash his own clothes and bedding. If he has a bath to himself, he can clean it himself. He can help with meal cleanup.

If they have money Mom can use it to hire an aide to help with SD. Cleaning lady once a month to do the deep cleaning. Swiffer products are great for a quick dusting. Their dry mop does great on vinyl, hard, and Laminated flooring. If they fit the criteria, they maybe able to get help from Office of Aging or Medicaid for SD care.

SD will get worse. He may need LTC eventually. In that instance, Mom would be the Community Spouse. Assets will be split with her staying in the home and she will have a car. She will be able to pay bills.

" i can't move them in because she doesn't want to do it anymore..." From that sentence I am getting that your relationship with Mom has never been great. So, you definately don't want to move them in. I have always said, two adult women cannot live in the same house especially when one of them owns it. I would never had wanted my MIL living with me. She would have tried to get her way. My house, my way.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29

If your parents are that age, I am guessing you are in your late 40 or early 50s or so.. and the 15 yo son is an issue for me. I had enough trouble with DD at her teenage years.. I have no urge to start that over at my age! ( although she is a delite now) A fil with dementia and a 15 yo would bring me to my knees. And you and hubs have been CG since your 20s?? It is time for you and hubs to have some time!
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to pamzimmrrt
jjmummert Nov 21, 2019
Agree! It's time for compassionate boundaries in this emotionally difficult situation.
You already know it won't work. Tell mom that but assure her you will help her find assisted living.

Why do people go into a situation - not wanting to go in & knowing it will be a train wreck? Don't be one of the people seeing the headlights coming but didn't step off the track.

You deserve to do what works for you. (lather, rinse, repeat as many times as you need)
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Kimber166
pamzimmrrt Nov 20, 2019
I am a bit concerned about the 15 YO if the parents go to AL,, this adds a whole new wrinkle
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