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My father took his own life in March and we are all still reeling from this. My 80 year old mother was staying with me for a little while, but went to my brothers mostly I believe to give me a break so I could mentally deal with the trauma of losing my father, one of my very best friends. This being said, I'm in a better place emotionally and think she needs to be back here. Except....she is a little...needy and never quite understands that we need a little space like say for coffee in the morning. So, I had considered a new home close to ours with two master bedrooms, one upstairs and one down. Sounds kind of perfect but the mortgage would be about $700 more a month. Which we could swing but would be VERY tight. (I have two years left in school to be an NP, so hopefully won't be as tight then).


Anyway....


Am I thinking only with my emotions here or do I have a decent idea? Or...


Do I get a chair lift in our own home when she needs it, and understand that living with my elderly mom will be emotionally draining on me and my family, but it is the right thing to do. (She is extremely depressed and negative and obsessive about things...it will wear on me. It has before)


Thank you for any input!

You say that being independent will run your mother out of money in 7 to 10 years, and then what? Well, if she is still capable of living with you then, you still have that option, and you will have a better idea about what you are taking on. You will have had time to finish your course, and establish your marriage firmly, perhaps have a child. If you are still planning on the ‘large shared house’, you will have had time to save some money to replace your mother’s contribution. And you will also have time to check out Medicaid facilities close to where you are living then – remember that some people have found excellent places where even the staff do not know who is on Medicaid.

Don’t make what you do now reflect what you think may happen in 7 to 10 years, unless you have a lot of faith in your extra special crystal ball!
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I did. I moved into a larger home with my then partner to care for my elderly mother. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

To you, it doesn't even seem like a good idea *now*. I urge you to trust your instincts and keep looking for better options. Your mother's wishes do matter, her welfare is the priority, but that doesn't make a bad idea the right solution.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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So she's going to try and demand that she live with you or your brother? How much longer before he expects you to take her back?

NOW is the time to make her move to live independently. If you take her back even temporarily, it will turn out to be much more difficult to ever get her out.

It is NOT always the "right thing to do" for children to sacrifice their and their family lives for an elder who gets to call all the shots. You already have a sense of what it will be like. Please read the advice of posters who have done it -- nearly all of them end up regretting it.
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ebmick1973 Oct 17, 2018
Great advice and my cousin told me this also. I guess I'm a little worried about her finances. But she can make it work. I suppose when money runs out...what happens? She goes into a medicaid facility? Either a nice apartment close by, or an assisted living facility that is also nice will run her out of money in about 7-10 years. What happens then? A Medicaid facility? She is 80, and her kidneys aren't the best...who knows what the future holds.
Thank you for the good advice!
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My mom hated the idea of assisted living, but I was worn out after 7 years following my father's suicide, so I did extensive research to find the right place for her, a small home-like environment in my neighborhood. She surprises me by being very happy there. No negativity. No complaints. No wanting to go back home.
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ebmick1973 Oct 24, 2018
Thank you! How is your mom handling grief following her spouse's suicide? If you don't mine me asking?
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Mom is 80. Assisted living sounds like a great idea. But she does not want to. What about just calling it a senior independent building? There are facilities that provide a continuum of care that start and independent, go to assisted, then memory care or nursing home whatever is needed.

Do you think your mom would want you to give up so much of your life? Most would not. Maybe one of those facilities would let her participate in some of their activities/field trips? I would think so. Check into that. If she could make some friends that would help tremendously with the transition. What other senior groups are in your community? Senior centers? Be selective on what you try to get her to participate in, something that she has interest in and then get to know people with similar interests.
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Reply to gladimhere
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I understand the trauma of suicide, lost my dad when he was 41, I was 13.

Taking mom on will just lengthen the time of your mourning. Does she have her own home? Does she not want to be there? If that is the case, it is time to sell it. The home holds too many memories, both good and bad. Assisted living sounds like an excellent idea for her, whether close to you or to your brother.

Buying a bigger home may work for a period of time. But, I think it is a bad idea. What if she had a stroke tomorrow and you were trapped into care that you are not able to provide? You will soon be a NP and would you like those skills to be dedicated to your mother? Or would you prefer that you are able to help many in an eight hour a day job?

If you decide to do this, definitely mom should pay the increase in house payment through a lease and care agreement. Consult with an elder law attorney first, before you make any decisions and understand the consequences it will have on you.
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ebmick1973 Oct 16, 2018
Thank you for your answer! We sold the townhouse almost immediately, so took care of that. She does NOT want to live alone and despises the idea of living in assisted living with "old people" (yes...I realize that is ironic and funny sort of). She is a difficult bird to say the least.

I guess maybe I'm looking also for advice on how to be strong and tell my mom she has to have a place by herself. I KNOW she has been through hell. She desperately needs counseling. So many things need done.

I agree, the new house could be a very costly mistake, as most people have responded. It's just hard dealing with a stubborn mama who I don't want to be too cold to, as I know she's emotionally destroyed.

She does has some kidney failure and hypertension issues, so I don't think she'll be around 20+ years as someone mentioned.

Who knows. There are no easy answers but thank you SO much for your thoughtful response.
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If it was me, I'd say don't do it because of the care implications. If you decide to do it anyway, think carefully about the money. If her name is on the deeds, you are probably walking into Medicaid problems. As you are still studying for a new career or promotion, you might want to move for work. More expensive houses are harder to sell, and it's harder to find the right house in the new place. At 80, your mother may live another 20 years, and your life will be bound up with hers for all that time. Think through what might happen in the future, not just how you can manage while finances are so tight. You need some flexibility in your life. Best wishes.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I’m so sorry for your loss. I have very different circumstances, but if i had the ability to go back in time , I would. My husband, mom and I built “ the big house “ 25 years ago. I’d rather be in a row house if you know what that is. You will lose all of your privacy. In my case, she was great 25 years ago, Now she’s 80 with mild to moderate dementia and won’t sleep in her bedroom or get a bath. I never in my life saw this coming. She’s happy she says that all the time. I’m seeking therapy. Good luck. But I wouldn’t do it
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Reply to Erinm60
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Mom needs to work thru her grief. Does she have a home of her own? If so maybe time to return. Or sell the house and find a nice AL where she will have other people and things to do. Its been said on here that parents expect their children to be everything to them. With you going to school and keeping up a house the time for Mom won't be there. She is already needy and doesn't understand boundries. I think her moving in is not a good idea. And going into debt worse. If you do take the getting a bigger house route, Mom should pay the extra 700.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I'm sorry about the loss of your father. That kind of thing must be very difficult. Glad you're feeling better though.

It sounds like you have given the prospect of your mother moving back in with you a lot of thought. It's a big decision, because, if things go south, it's hard to make other arrangements, without fear of hurt feelings. What I find concerning is that you say that your mother is very negative, depressed and obsessive. I might figure out if that is all that is going on, before hand and if it can be addressed first. Having someone with those issues around children would be a concern for me.

There are so many stories around here about family members who try this with the best intentions and then later, they are very frustrated and overwhelmed. They regret their decision. I wouldn't count on her being able to allow you privacy. It's likely to continue to be a problem, if it's already like that.

I grew up in a multi-generational household and it worked out wonderfully. As a child, it brought so much love and joy to my life and gave me an awesome start in life, but, that is not always the case. It doesn't work out for some families so well.

If she's going to contribute to the mortgage and expenses, I'd have an attorney review and advise on how to make sure it's written up properly for documentation purposes.
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