I asked my mom to move in with me and my family 2 1/2 years ago. Right from the beinginig it's been stressful. I have two daughter 7 and 9, and my husband. I promised my father before he died that I would take care of her. He had taken care of her to the point that she relied on him for everything. Now that she has been living with us i't been stressful for me and my family. She is a very negative person that feels she needs to criticize everyone and everything. She doesn't spend time with her friends. Only talks on the phone to complain about everything. When I make decisions about and for my kids she feels the need to "help". My family doesn't do family things because she feels she needs to come along.

She is pretty independent. She doen't have much health problems so there is no justification for me putting her in a home.

My mom and I have never been close, but I feel it is my duty to look after her. But because of the dynamic of our personality it's not working.

I am Chinese and my husband is Canadian, born and raised. We often have difference of opinions whe it come to her. I feel stuck trying to navigate between keeping everyone happy.

How do I bring up the topic that this living situation is not working out. I personally thing that if she moved into an independent retirement community she will have the choice to interact with her peers and not isolate herself.

Any comments and advice would be very greatly appreciated.

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Karen, regarding your Mom being negative... think of it this way, your Mom lost the love of her life and she misses him.   She is probably angry at him for leaving her so soon, and this wasn't how she pictured her future life with him.   I would be snapping at people, too.

Usually what happens when a Mom moves into with a daughter, the adult/child dynamics start up, thus the reason Mom interferes with the child raising. She feels she is the wise one and you are still her "child" instead of you being a grown adult.

If your Mom budget can permit it, I bet she would enjoy being in a 55+ community where she can make new friends and enjoy all the activities, usually there are tons of things to do.

If your Mom's budget cannot handle the cost, then she needs to embrace the community, maybe doing volunteer work.   By chance does Mom speak Mandarin?   Hospitals are always looking for interpreters.   Mom needs a schedule of doing things on her own outside of the house.
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You promised your father you would take care of her. Do it! And the best way to do that is to help her find a living arrangement with the minimal help she needs, with other people to interact with if she wishes, and activities to choose from.

You feel it is your duty to look after her. OK. You can look after her in a way that makes everyone semi-miserable most of the time, or you can look after her in a way that everyone at least has the opportunity to be happy most of the time. Why would you choose misery? Surely your father would want all of you to be happy.

First you have to get past the notion that the only way you can look after your mother is in your home. Perhaps that is a cultural notion. I'll bet that your Canadian husband can help you see other ways to look after a person.

Good luck!
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Your mother is too healthy and well and interested in life to be cooped up with just your little family - this is the version you tell her ;). She doesn't need personal care, just a comfortable place, with help available for things like changing lightbulbs when she needs it, and lots of things to do and people to talk to and ways to keep busy. She would be an asset to any retirement community, and a breath of fresh air to people of her own age looking to make friends.

Can you start getting some brochures together, and check out the most promising places?
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