I have not 100% decided but she is driving me nuts and our relationship is suffering.

BUT how would you say, nicely, "Mom, you're driving me nuts and you need to leave"? I don't know if I could live with myself.

I just don't know. It would be a relief to be alone with hubby BUT not a necessity. He is so good about it. And good to her.

One issue is wanting to go away sometimes and not having anywhere for mom to go. My sister doesn't really want her there anymore for more than a night or two and doesn't want to tell mom that. So that is leaving me in a bind. She "could" stay home alone but hasn't done so for a decade or so. She's way more dependent than she should be and it's maddening.

And I have an issue with the money that would have to be spent if she were to agree to move out. She'd need assisted living as she can't quite navigate everything on her own. That's expensive and I'd hate to see all her money quickly used up on this and then what? She probably would not need a nursing home for a long time so what would happen when she runs out of money in a year or two?

Sorry for rambling. I'm just trying to figure out what I mean, how I feel, what I'm willing to deal with for fallout, etc. I'm sad and overwhelmed and frustrated.

My advice to anyone reading this - do NOT move your parents in with you.

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You don't know if you could live with yourself after asking your mother to leave, and you can't live like what's the answer? You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

So, you pick the lesser of the two evils which is, you tell mother she has to move out, but that you'll help her get settled in a new place and you won't be deserting her, etc. Like Alva said, it's "Me not you, mom' and all that jazz. Truth is, mom, I'm too old for this & my marriage is suffering. DH would never say a word, so I'm speaking for BOTH of us: we need our alone time now. Yep, blame it on the marriage needing rejuvenation. Hard to argue with, something like that! What is she going to say? Oh just go right ahead and have wild monkey sex with me in the next room? LOL

You made a mistake moving your mother in. But it's fixable now. A much much bigger mistake would be to CONTINUE having her live with you for the next decade or two.............that would be the REAL mistake. Cut your losses now, kindly, and move on.

Your mother's money is there to be spent on the best available care for her. She can go to an ALF at the lowest care level now, and then move up as her needs increase. Look around for a privately owned place (that's my recommendation) b/c corporate owned places love to PRICE GAUGE and raise rates monthly for incidental nonsense which they look for with a microscope.

When her $$$ runs out, you apply for Medicaid and she'll be placed accordingly. Stop thinking of this as a punishment and start thinking of it as adult day camp, b/c that's what it IS. My mother has been fed and entertained and cared for in AL and now MC since 2014. She would have been even MORE miserable than she normally is if she lived with me b/c there would be NO entertainment and nobody to canoodle with and complain to 24/7. No young girls to laugh and fool around with and help her shower and all that. They tell her their life stories and boyfriend/hubby troubles and she eats it up with a spoon. She's even had men invite her on cruises! Truthfully, it's not the horror show some around here make it out to be. We should all be so lucky as to afford AL when we get to be their age.

Do it and don't look back. You'll be glad you did and your mother will be FINE!
Good luck!
Helpful Answer (13)
againx100 Jan 2021
Thanks lea! One phrase really jumped out at me for it's truth and accuracy - I DID make a BIG mistake moving her in here in the first place.

Good intentioned but things have changed substantially in 5 years. Dad died 1 year after they moved in. Her condition has gone slowly downhill. Etc, etc. Things I never expected to happen, happened. Things that I was blind to, now I see with both eyes wide open. Some ugly truths that I am not happy with.

I know a very nice ALF in the area. She could definitely benefit from being around people in an ALF. Here, it's just me and hubby (who works 60 hours a week). I'm busy and out of the house a lot too. Blah, blah, blah.

I am going to have to put my big girl panties on and fine tune a way to have this difficult yet necessary convo.
After her money is gone, the system gives her such care as can be given with the help of federal and state government is the answer to money question. Pure and simple.
As to whether you choose to live like this, that is yours to answer. I would last until vaccinations if you are able.
As to how to tell her, try this:
"Mom, you know I love you. We are different people who have differences but this isn't a question of love. This is a question of limitations; I have just bumped up against my own. I am sorry I didn't know before you moved in, but I do know now. I cannot live with you. To be frank, sweet and perfect my hubby is, it isn't easy for me to live with anyone, and it is impossible for me to live with you. We would end with a broken relationship. The last thing we need. I will promise you I would not desert you, and will help you where and how I can, but I am so sorry to have to tell you I cannot live with you. This isn't your fault. It is my limitation. And I am sorry for it, but this is my one life, and it will not change. I think now I need to tell you that we will work on this together; I can wait a few months, but we must start now. A apologize Mom for all my failings. I am not a Saint. It's a bad job description, anyway, Sainthood. I love you. But this won't work for me".

Now you can shorten it or lengthen it. Make it clear it is not about her. It is about you. You simply are not up to it, and you WON'T be up to it, and you will accept the judgement of any and all, and will gladly take the blame. It isn't argument. It is fact. As to now grief or guilt? I would choose the former. You are not a felon. You are a human being with a right to live her own life, and with the sadness and grief that decision brings.
Other choice? Martyr yourself on the altar of this for a few decades. Some may praise you, but very few. They will say it was your choice. You did it because you CHOSE to do it. And what you accept to do you are exPECTED to do.
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againx100 Jan 2021
Thank you for taking the time for such a detailed, thoughtful response.

It gives me a sick feeling in my stomach to think about doing this. I'm not sure when I will be ready to do it, but it is going to have to happen. Every day there are more reasons to do it. But as with every decision, there are pros and cons.

But your way of dropping the bomb are VERY kind and could be taken in a way so as not to totally ruin what it left of our relationship.
My mom lived with us for 6 months when she decided to sell her house and forgot to plan for where to live afterwards. Long story short, she moved in with us and it was supposed to be "until she found a place of her own." Mom likes to live her life according to her own preferences (don't we all) which included eating chocolate chip cookies in bed (ANTS! ANTS! ANTS!), wandering the house until 4 am (I am a very light sleeper), and can't smell the odor of must, mold, or body odor. She had a problem with me cleaning her rooms and I had a problem with the odor (had to take allergy medication for the mold and mildew in packing boxes).

After 4 months, my husband and I came up with house rules for long term and short term "guests" (We live in Florida; so guests are frequent). After reading that she would need to bathe more, allow the rooms to be cleaned more, stay in her rooms after midnight... she decided she was ready to move. It took me 2 months of taking her to see places, but now she has her own villa (1 story on ground floor) in a small condo community. It isn't senior living, but she has plenty of retiree friends and can live independently (for now) with me visiting weekly.

If your mom needs help, enlist others to be "helpers": family members, friends, members of your faith community, and paid help for whatever mom can't do without help. I take mom shopping and to doctor appointments (her eyes are starting to be a problem), my husband fixes things in her home monthly, she can walk to church if she wants to, and she has friends in her condo community if she she needs help and I am not available *they all have my phone number in case of emergencies).
Helpful Answer (8)

I would start with researching what services are available for seniors in your area and what she would qualify for. Does she have any veterans benefits? Sometimes there are long wait lists for subsidized senior apartments if there are any in your area. You won’t know your options unless you start to do your research. If your sister doesn’t want to deal with the physical care of your mother, maybe she will help with calling around. I was surprised at how much time for private pay I could squeeze out of my mother’s resources once I started researching.

There is no easy way to ask a parent to move out. You don’t say what kind of help your mother needs. Does she need help with meals or bathing and dressing? Does she have memory issues? What would happen to your mother if you were not around or unable to provide her care? That’s how you need to plan. Like you are not an option. And it’s not uncommon for caregivers to be so stressed they end getting sick themselves.

A little editorial here: the people on this site that feel children should let their parents live with them and make long term sacrifices to their own health, happiness and finances, must have a very narrow view of family relationships. Families are complicated. Some are happy and loving, and some have long histories of abuse and unhappiness. And everything in-between. Raising children, who will for the most part become independent, is not like caring for a parent who will only continue to decline and need more and more care and become more and more dependent. Some families have worked together well to care for a parent. It’s wonderful to see when it happens. But most people on this forum are really struggling and have little to no support and are at their wits end.

If the perfect option for your mom fell in your lap tomorrow, you might move her out. But there will be no perfect options and you will second guess yourself. My SIL has been struggling with making a decision to place her husband with early and severe dementia in a facility. She first visited an elder care attorney for planning. What cinched it for her was her husband had to go to the hospital for a few days. During that time she got sleep, felt calm, had some time to herself, got to go to Starbucks and had time for her teenage daughter. She was like a caged bird experiencing freedom for the first time! She loves her husband and feels like caring for him is a blessing, but her own health is falling apart, her daughter has “lost” both parents, and her mental health is suffering. She will be placing him soon.

Good luck and I’m sorry you are struggling with this issue.
Helpful Answer (8)
nature73 Jan 2021
A wonderful, gentle perspective on the decision to place parents. Not all families are like the Waltons.
Is there an an adult day care center or senior activity center (with a bus service if needed) run by your county or a church that she could go to during the daytime. It would help her develop a social circle, enjoy activities, make her less emotionally dependent on you. It will provide needed physical and emotional space gor all of you.
Otherwise find a new interest or hobby for her. Try an art class, glass art, knitting etc at a local community center, bingo,

Call a counselor at your local agency on Aging for suggestions on programs & activities and perhaps a family counselor for some guidance and therapy.

It sounds like moving her is a financially expensive short term solution that will create additional problems later on when her money is gone
Beat wishes
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Midkid58 Jan 2021
To my knowldege, no Sr Centers are open ANYWHERE in the US. It could be months and months before they are usable again, so while this would be a daily bandaid--it doesn't address enough of the issues.

My poor mom probably won't live liong enough to see her beloved Sr Center open again---she misses her BINGO friends tremendously!

And just a thought--she has a home she can rent/sell for income. That should be used for her care. You need to not 'hope' for an inheritance. Yes, NH care can ne super expensive, but can you put a price tag on your personal serenity and mental state?

Good Luck with this. DH is going to have 'the talk' with his mother sometime this year. Probably the next time she has an epic fall and he and SIL can convince her she isn't safe living at home alone.
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Mmn. Just been reading your profile. You haven't decided on quite a lot of things, eh.

If you're quick about it, you might yet restore your nothing-like-old mother to the quality of life and adult autonomy she ought to be experiencing as a comparatively fit 75 year old.

Try a project along these lines, see what you think:

You and DH pick somewhere you want to go for a week or two.
Book it.
Source a community or facility that offers respite care/trial stays.
Explain to your mother that while you and DH are away having a nice time, you have arranged for her to be beautifully looked after and kept company.
If you pick your place carefully, you should find she's in no hurry to come back to you.

She's 75 and still driving. In a pig's eye does she need an ALF! - what she needs is stimulation and encouragement to be more self-sufficient. Rather than dreading this and the guilt you might associate with it, look on this next phase as an opportunity for your mother to rediscover herself.
Helpful Answer (6)

Ultimately, you have to find the 'happy' medium where you feel okay (or most okay) about the decision you make. Consider:
1. Quality of life you have now and quality of life you want.
2. How you will process feelings, i.e., guilty weighing in how you hold yourself and the life you NEED NOW and want as things progress in the future.
3. In the interim, and during Covid, perhaps get MORE - lots more - caregiver time so you are freed up for quality time for yourself/with your husband.
4. Realize how stress and the emotional and psychological draining on your health will continue to deplete you.
5. A person who is dependent will become more dependent. It will not be easy for your mother if you move her elsewhere --- although your sister made her decision not to take this on - you can do the same although not easy.
6. Realize that whatever decision you make has equal responsibility on your sister, who doesn't want to carry any weight/responsibility. It is not all on you.
7. You aren't rambling. You are trying to figure out how you can manage your own life, activated emotions and feelings that adversely affect your health and well-being.
8. Most here will give you responses based on their experience (which is what most of this website is all about). However, It is an individual decision (as someone said recently here) and regardless of what others did or do, you need to feel good about YOU FIRST, then you can be available to provide the care and attention to your mom, wherever she is.
9. Setting yourself up for CONTINUAL resentment won't serve either of you (nor your husband). It will affect your health and quality of life.
10. FOR AS LONG AS MOM IS LIVING WITH YOU: With the $ you safe with her staying w/you, get yourself regular health / stress reliever care. While [not advised now, i.e., massage], a therapist, exercise equipment/ dance DVDS [dance alone or WITH YOUR husband], I used to jog to The Villege People), yoga DVDS, flowers weekly, (more) organic, healthy foods, restaurant delivered or pick-up meals.
11. As another said here, enlist or mention MD recommendations. Often MDs (or anyone outside of the immediate family) hold more weight in opinions / recommendations. Try to ... balance 'all' input (husband, you, your sister, MD) so the decision won't feel (to your mom) that it is all YOU.

1. Be very clear with your own decision before you talk to her. Otherwise, she may try to manipulate you and/or you'll allow yourself to cave.
2. Assure her you'll visit / communicate regularly (enough) so she feels safe even though she may not due to change and her dependent life style / emotional needs.
3. Enlist your husband so you can talk from "we feel . . . " vs "I feel."
4. Figure out the positives for her, from her point of view. Tell her the benefits of moving.
5. As might be possible, talk to your sister and include some of her decision making in your discussion. This shouldn't be all on you. Gena
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I feel your pain. I truly do! I was in your shoes. I cared for my mom for 15 long years.

It wasn’t bad when mom first moved in. I wanted her with us. She needed us after losing her home in a major Hurricane.

I just wish that I would have had the foresight to know that it would have been best as a temporary measure until we found placement in a facility.

As time goes on things become more awkward to arrange.

The truth is that none of us realize how hard it will become, right?

Then we face the hard truth, that the relationship does decline with our parents when we are stressed out!

Plus our marriages take a hit while caregiving.

As you say, it certainly does drive us crazy!

It won’t get any easier. It will only become harder.

So what is the next step? Mom can move into an assisted living facility. Start looking now.

Don’t be concerned about the cost. It is money well spent for the correct intended purpose.

How old is your mom? What is her overall health?

So sorry that you are struggling more and more.

I know that it’s hard to deal with. I do understand how you feel.

I had a variety of feelings before my mom moved out of my home.

You are not wrong to want your life back with your husband. I wanted that too.

My husband was extremely understanding but he wanted time alone with me just as much as I wanted time alone with him.

It takes awhile to sort out our feelings. After you have stepped away, it will become clearer for you and you will feel like the weight of the world is lifted off your shoulders.

All the best. Take care.
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Perhaps you could try a different approach. Instead of explaining the reasons why she should move out of your house, you could share with her the benefits of assisted living. She would have her own apartment, new friends, lots of activities and events. It is like living in your own home-only with assistance immediately available. There are options on the fees. She could share a room with someone to cut costs or opt for a studio apartment.

Assisted living facilities often provide respite care. The family member is allowed to stay for a few days or nights (some have minimum stay requirements). This would give you a much needed break and you could do it as often as you need to. It's like staying in a hotel-only there are caregivers there to provide any care she might need. They will manage her medications as well while she is there. Who knows? She might enjoy the respite so much that she will decide she wants to live there permanently!
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I have the opposite. I moved in with both parents (I’m a widow...had taken early retirement so I could take an opportunity that arose for me to be a principal of a school overseas...a dream of mine). My sister insisted I come home that I was more needed here. 1.5 years ago I did. I found my parents did NOT need 24/7 care nor did they like having me in the house 24/7. I took a part time teaching position to keep out of their way...but then the pandemic hit! I decided I would move out for the sanity of all of us. I’ll be 10 min away and able to continue to provide the level of care I have been doing. Best wishes in your decision-making. It is so hard!
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jacobsonbob Jan 2021
Sorry you had to cut your "dream" short when it became apparent it wasn't crucial.
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