My mother is 76 years old and has been living with me and my daughter for the past 12 years. Her health is deteriorating due to Type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure and arthritis. I'm a single mother of a 13 year old daughter and have been my mother's main care taker since she moved in with me. I have 3 siblings who will help only when called but do not visit nor call my mother on a regular basis. My thought is they fear she will ask them to do something for her. I work during the day and check in with her throughout the day, come home and make dinner for her, etc. Financially it's been difficult for me and my home is unfortunately about to be foreclosed on. I may be able to work out some type of payment arrangement to keep us all in the home but feel that this is going to cause a financial hardship for years to come. I need to sell my home and move my daughter and myself into an apartment and find an independent living solution for my mother. I have no idea how to discuss this with her. I feel incredibly guilty as if I'm sending her off when she needs me the most.

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If your relationship with your three siblings is, at the very least, good enough for them to help when you actively call on them, I think you can perhaps expect them to participate in discussing your mother's care going forward? And if you're certain sure that they're not going to want to step up and take care of her themselves, then they can hardly fail to back you up when it comes to presenting alternative options to your mother. Would it be possible to call a family lunch/conference with your mother's future as Item 1 on the agenda?

I understand how hard it must be to feel you're "ditching" her. But for one thing, you're not - you're making practical and realistic plans. And for another you really do have to get things under control for your daughter's sake.

Tell me: if you're dreading broaching this subject with your mother, would that also mean you haven't been totally frank with her about how difficult things are financially, and how much trouble you're in?
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Hazel, I was thinking the same thing as GardenArtist above regarding your Mom and her retirement funds.

But I was wondering what is the main issue here? Are you considering Independent Living because your Mom's health is decline and you wouldn't be able to give her full time & attention, or because you feel you can't afford to keep paying her way in your home? Or is it both?

Independent Living can be expensive depending on the area where you live. Example, I live in a large metro area so housing cost are higher, thus my Dad pays over $4k per month for his apartment in a very nice facility. You might be able to find a place that is less expensive in your area.

Or if your Mom is on a very tight budget, you might look for senior apartments where one's rent is based on one's income. But I don't know how much personal care would be available for your Mom. That is something you would need to look into.
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Hazel, have you met with any counselors to discuss your financial circumstances? Have you contacted the lender and tried to make alternate financial arrangements?

Some lenders are obnoxious and won't cooperate at all. It's worth a try though.

Take the lead in trying to work something out with your lender; it will reflect more positively on your willingness to address the situation.

If the house is foreclosed though, you might end up in a desperate situation of trying to sell the house before the foreclosure is completed, and end up compromising your own financial position through a less than ideal offer.

Let the lender know and see what you can work out. It actually might work with you if it knows you're going to try to sell the house.

I'm wondering though (not trying to be nosy) if your mother has the funds for IL; if she does, could she help you since you've been caring for her for years? Even a few hundred dollars a month could make the difference between keeping a mortgage in good standing vs. one that's in default.

And who or how will IL be paid for?
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Well, you certainly have done a great job for 12 years. You have to do what you have to do for yourself and your kids. Even though your siblings are not involved, I might still speak with them and see if they want to step up. Maybe they will or maybe they won't, but I might give them the option of her going to stay with one of them. At least it would be an option for her to consider.

I would explain things to your mother. She should be able to understand the situation. I might find a place that you are considering and arrange to have lunch there, so she can see what it's like. Sometimes, people have a distorted view of long term care facilities. They vary, but if the place can offer her things like meals, laundry, activities, transportation to doctors, etc. she might accept it more.

I know your mom has health issues, but I wonder if you might have her assessed to see exactly what type of care she needs. That would determine if she would do well in Independent Living or Assisted Living. Have you looked at them? And if they weren't too far from where you live, that might be great too, because you could visit often. I hope things work out well.
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