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My parents Mom 89 - Dad 91 need to rent their condo in Florida because they have limited funds due to supporting their 60 year old son since he was 18. My husband and I pay for their mortgage so they have a place to live. I told my mom that I know you have to rent but I lose my independence when they live with us for 3 months. My Dad and Mom want to cook and Dad wants to run all of my errands. I told them I will go to the supermarket and cook, but they like to eat at 3:00 and I like to start running errands at 1:00 and would never be able to shop and cook by 3:00. She said well we will eat different food and Dad will cook. I said well that's silly having 2 people go to the market in the cold and having 2 different meals. So I end up cooking but 2 times 1 for them and 1 for my husband. I like to cook fresh for my husband.


We also don't want them to retire to their room at 7:00 at night because we enjoy movies and they don't, so we end up not watching movies for 3 months and watch the news with them. Mom said we'll go to our bedroom, until she says oh you don't want to be with me? I was being honest and said this is not a 2 week vacation, it's for 3 months. I just got over taking chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer and went to visit them in Florida because she wanted to see me, now I'm going again after 2 months and then again in December and then they're coming to our place. We travel with them too. She said to me I told everyone how much we enjoy each other spending time together. I told her that's not the issue. Stop making me feel guilty. I love spending time with my parents, it's just that I like to wake up quiet after my husband leaves for work and have some quiet time. 3 months is a long time with both parents and their dog and my dog in a 3 bedroom condo. We have no children so we are quite independant and set in our quiet life. Mom and Dad love their children but we are so used to being by ourselves that maybe I can't understand them. I told her I know you need the money but we support them in so many ways - like paying their mortgage and gifts, calling them often, traveling with them, seeing them and just being good kids to them. I feel bad for having the conversation about losing my independence. I guess I should just do like she said go out and do what I have to do. But I know she doesn't like when I get home late. Now it sounds like I don't want them here. I said tell the truth you wouldn't be here if it wasn't that my brother made you broke. Then she said of course, but you wouldn't want to spend that time with us? How do I deal with this?

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You probably haven't heard this, but there is a saying that guests are like fish - after three days, they start to stink.

And you and your parents and your husband probably don't exactly see it like this, but when your parents come and stay with you they are GUESTS in your home. Welcome, beloved guests; but guests all the same. Your house. Your rules. Your routines.

And that is even before we start wondering what the heck is going on when you and your husband are shouldering your parents' entire financial burden to supply what sounds like a pretty cushty lifestyle going on there?

I hope you will gather from this that if you're thinking you need some boundaries, you won't hear me arguing. It isn't about "loss of independence." Loss of independence? What are you, sixteen? It's about you and your husband being grown - nay, retired - adults and *entitled* to lead your lives. None of which stops you loving your parents, or taking good care of them.

I just know you're going to have pages and pages of comments to read any minute now - !
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AlvaDeer Aug 22, 2019
I couldn't have said it better, Countrymouse. So I won't even try!
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How do you deal with this? Like a grown adult who makes her own decisions. Why on earth do you feel obligated to pay your parents bills because they have enabled a freeloader son? That’s not your responsibility and neither is hosting them in your home for months at a time. Have them as guests for the time period you choose and no longer. You’re long removed from being a child, so don’t be treated as one
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Why on earth are you paying your parents' mortgage?

Please read this:

I found this very wise post on another (financial) website; I think it is good cautionary advice.

The OP wrote in that her mom, 58, had recently suffered a stroke, was refusing PT for balance issues and was probably not going to be able to return to work. The mom has no savings and still has a mortgage. She is resisting all offers of help from her adult child.

"...When in similiar circumstances, the toughest thing for us was to think about the problem dispassionately: to acknowledge that the limit of your responsibility is to connect your mom with services and to be supportive of your mom’s decisions —good or bad; to decide firmly that Under no circumstances should you consider doing anything that will negatively effect the finances or structure of your marital family unit.

There are natural consequences to your mom’s past and present actions/decisions. You can NOT want things for your mom any more than your mom does. If she chooses to ignore advice, pass on services, avoid decisions, etc then that is her decision as an adult and she alone will live with the consequences. It’s possible that by getting a social worker from Area Aging Agency involved that your mom may find her way to counseling that may start to chip away at the underlying mental issues."
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You say, “Mom, we need to talk. It turns out we cannot have you live with us (even temporarily). And we can no longer provide you with funding. We have some things that have come up that make it impossible. The details of those things aren’t important in this discussion and are private. So let’s focus on creating a plan that is sustainable for you and Dad.”

She will keep trying to get you to say why, you keep refusing nicely. “Nothing to do with you. You don’t have to worry about that. We love you, and will help you think through an alternate plan.”

Do not argue. Do not respond to the emotional manipulation (you don’t love us anymore?) If anything, you can say in a puzzled tone, “What an odd thing to say to me.” Look at her blankly. Then, change the subject back to planning. The main point is not to engage in the back and forth. And to avoid defending yourself. You have nothing to justify here.

People often just talk too much because they want their parents to agree with/validate them. Go in with the mindset that you won’t get that validation. And use fewer words, lol.

”Luckily, you have some options. You do have an asset in the condo, you may want to consider selling that. That with social security could pay rent at an apartment/AL/Independent Living place. Supporting brother has obviously been important to you and I respect that. Unfortunately, that choice has drawn down your assets. So you have limited your options somewhat. You may want to check with area aging office. I am here to help you navigate that some of you need it.”

Keep the conversation focused on the word “you”. The onus here is on them. When you start using “I”, you know you need to take a deep breath and refocus, because that means you are taking responsibility for something that isn’t, and never was, yours.

”It will be a good opportunity to get your papers in place as well...” etc

If they try to say you already promised... “it is unfortunate, Mom, but as you always taught us, life isn’t fair/is hard/whatever she taught you. We have to step up and accept our situation, and you and Dad have to do the same. We know you would NEVER want to be a burden or cause harm to our family, and we love you for that. That is how we knew we could be very honest with you.” :D

You will likely get anger/tears/combo/biting remarks. You HAVE to set them to the side and ignore them. They will get over this. And you will ALL be better off for it. You cannot make them happy. Plenty of people fall on hard times and make the best of it. You aren’t dropping them on a deserted island. You will help them help themselves find a proper home. It just can’t be yours.

This can be done. I promise. But be ready for it to be very hard and to get worse before it gets better with the guilt stuff. If you can be strong (you and DH get on the same side and help each other), you CAN do this.

NO ONE, not even your parents, is entitled to your home. Remember, this is only an issue because of the emotion and guilt. In any other situation, would you let ANYONE take over your home, get in your business and upend your life for 3 months? Of course not. There is faulty thinking happening here, clouded by emotion (not the good kind, lol.) Keep logic at the front of your thinking rather than emotion. It will help you stay the course.

And CountryMouse is so right on the houseguests and fish saying. It is always a good rule of thumb;)

Best wishes to you.
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I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the "supporting the 60 year old son since 18" . . WT????! (I appologize for my candor) And that makes you and your husband OBLIGATED to take up the slack for your parents supporting, enabling, caring . .whatever they are doing . .for the son?? That was THEIR bed they made. Why do you have to sleep in it? I'm assuming since, your paying THEIR mortgage, you have your names on the deed as well? Or at least in a trust that names you successor trustee, or a will where you are the beneficiary of all their assets??

Oh wait, I bet the son gets it all.

Im sorry, but I'm just calling it how I see it from what you wrote. I hope I'm wrong for you and your husbands sake. And I understand your talking about 3 months - however, I see 3 months turning into the rest of your parents lives. Then what happens to YOUR way of life?


I always like Countrymouse and BarbBroolyns approach. They seem to help keep myself in check with my mom.
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I guess that I do not understand why you allow your parents to control your life, and reward them for supporting a 60 year old freeloader.

Stop, take control of your life, let them pay their own mortgage, your doing this only allows them to continue to enable their son.

This guilt you have is self imposed because you do not have any boundaries with them, they are running all over you, over and over again.

I would suggest that you read Codependent No More by Melody Beattie, it may help you to break this cycle.
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Oh and at their ages, you may not get them out once they come this time. A fall, illness, decline can set them back, and it is very difficult to get anyone out once they are in if they don’t want to go. (Ask most people on this board:) Moves get harder every time at that age. At some point, they are going to dig in.

Also, looks like you have time to help them get a plan in place for them. That is a benefit to you. Tell them NOW. If you feel intimidated by a face to face, and need to do it over the phone, do so. It will suck, but you and your DH will feel SO much better. Don’t ruin the next months of your life procrastination on telling them.

Then, the big blow up is done, and you can focus on planning when you visit. They will still be difficult, but you will be strong and stay focused on what to do moving forward instead of justifying why.
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Right. This is Maximus's reply on another thread from 2015:

"By accident I heard my Mom and Dad on a tape message that they didn't realize was still on that they were going to sell their home and move in with us and weren't going to tell us they sold their home. I confronted them about this and my Mom became very hurt and said I thought you said we should sell our home. A few years ago I did say that but now they have a dog and we have a dog that is scared of their dog. They do have a bedroom in our condo, but we are only permitted to have 2 dogs. My Mom doesn't think there will be an issue even though we can be sued. We always travel to Europe together, have always done things with them and love eachother so much, so they thought that living together would be so much fun. We have done that in the past years ago and also recently they spend 4 months out of the year with us. It was a shock to hear that they would move in permanately. We love being with them and they are in their late 80's and my Dad has cancer. Besides wanting to be with us they cannot enjoy life because they are financially bad-off. They supported my brother all his life and have no money. We are paying their mortgage. They said they would pay us back when they sell their home and want to enjoy life with us. I told them I was shocked and said how could you live permanately in that bedroom because they stay in it all day when they visit and don't use the living room and then I said I feel sorry for my dog and he has fears of their dog. Well, my Mom couldn't believe what I said and said to me I thought you always wanted to be with us and would wanted us to sell and live with both of you. I said yes, a few years ago that was true, but now they have a dog too. Now my Mom and Dad are hurt and said we will all go on but she will never feel the same about me. My Dad will be coming here for a serious operation and he said he will be leaving as soon as he can. I feel awful, but we always have spent time with them because we have no kids. No because they think they don't have much time, they need to spend every minute with us. I would like that too, but why can't they just visit for a length of time. They still are strong at heart and have all of their faculties. I feel so guilty and I will be taking their dog when they pass, but hopefully they will live a long life with her. Right now she is a puppy and my nine year dog can't handle her and is scared all the time. I feel for him and I feel for them too. What should I do?"

Maximus, I hope you're able to use the site and see the replies to your question?

So, what you didn't mention is that this situation has been going on for YEARS. I hope that at least the dogs are getting on with each other by now? :) And that your father's remission continues, or that he's been given the all-clear.

If we were to go back to square one: what kind of living arrangement do you think would work really well for you and your husband, and for your parents?
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