I've been charging mom rent. If she goes into a nursing home and on Medicaid can they make me pay that money back?

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terrim, what kind of human being would charge their parents rent?

I can tell you what kind of human being my sister is. She took in our 92-year-old mother who has dementia. She charges the same rent as what Mom was paying for her subsidized housing. Everyone in our family thinks that is perfectly fine. What else is mother supposed to do with that money? Save it to give us each a small inheritance? Nonsense. And mother would not have moved in with her on a "charity" basis. She is proud of being able to pay her own way.

What kind of a human being is Sis? She was an awesome mother to 3 young boys and now to adult sons and daughters-in-law. (She is the one I would have wanted to raise my boys if I couldn't.) She is an active and caring grandmother. She is loving wife to an awesome husband. She is smart, and had a very responsible job before taking early retirement. She's been poor and she's been comfortable and she's been happy through it all. She is creative and practical. She is extremely generous. She is both kind and no-nonsense firm. She is the best cook in our family (which is saying a lot). She has never expected anyone to give her a free ride for anything. She has worked for what she has and she is cheerful about it. She and her husband continue to actively run a youth bowling league, years after her own children are grown. She would help nearly anyone with whatever she could, and she is no one's doormat.

In short, she is a caring, responsible family member and citizen. The world would be a better place with more people like Sis.
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Without knowing the particular situation, that answer sounds a little harsh. I don't know the answer to the original question, but the person asking the question could be out of a job, retired, or in some other circumstance, where a rent payment from Mom made their living situation feasible. And it could be that Mom wanted to pay rent to feel more independent.
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Terrim, I can't be judgmental about the relationships between others and their parents because my own mother has cost me my own financial future, my physical and mental health, and quite possibly my soul. I pray to God that I will NEVER do to my children what my mother has done to me. Who are YOU to judge what you don't know?
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People tend to fall on one side or the other of this particular question, but my own POV is that no one "owes" their parent(s) anything for having been carried, delivered, or raised. I did not ask to be born, and I was not born into some kind of long-term indentured servitude to "pay back" the people who made that decision without any input or agreement from me. The decision to create me was entirely my parents', and they did so knowing that they would be legally and morally required to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate me until I was an adult and capable of supporting myself.

Does this mean I am not grateful to my parents for loving me and looking out for me? Does it mean I do not thank my late mother each and every day for passing along to me her love of music, and for forcing me to study it when I was a kid (a thing that I hated at the time, but which has given me so much joy as an adult that it makes me tremble to think how easily I might have missed out on it)? Does the fact that I fervently believe no adult child "OWES" his or her parents anything in the way of "payback" for being born -- a viewpoint which my mother fervently shared, by the way -- mean that I did not do everything I could to help care for her when she was struggling with her terminal cancer, or that I am not doing everything I can now to help my father as he struggles with a progressive dementia?

Of course not. But I have not cared for my parents because I believe I owe them a moral debt for creating me, or for fulfilling the obligation they took on when they chose to do so. A contract – moral or legal -- cannot exist where one party cannot be consulted or agree to it.

Everyone can agree: When you have a baby, you are “giving” that person life. But some people don’t seem to think this through to the logical conclusion – which is that you are also condemning him or her to death (and more than likely, a painful one, because most deaths are). You are “giving” your baby the opportunity to discover all the good things life has to offer – friendship, love, beauty, truth, and awesome, wonderful moments of joy, happiness, and exhilaration. But you are also ensuring that he or she will experience all the bad things, too – fear, boredom, despair, betrayal, cruelty, grief, loneliness, depression, and pain. Making the choice to inflict life – ALL of it, both the good AND the bad – on another human being is an awesome responsibility ... and a completely one-sided one. If you elect to do it, you SHOULD feel a moral responsibility to make whatever sacrifices you have to in order to give that human being the best possible start that you can. Making these sacrifices for your child does not make you a saint – and it does not entitle you to mortgage any part of your child’s finances, freedom, or emotions at any point in his or her adult life.

For my part, I strive to treat my father with love, care, kindness and respect, not because he and my mother brought me into the world or took care of me when I was a child, but because he has always tried to treat me in the same way. I would do the same for any of my siblings or close friends.
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terrim, Just an FYI, your view of the world makes ME sick. You must be a miserable individual thinking your child OWES you because you went through the "agony" of childbirth and the horrible responsibility and cost of feeding and raising them. A life based on misplaced guilt and obligation is no life at all. Seriously, I want my child to feel joy and love. That's what will get you further in life. I want my child to WANT to come back to me when I am old, because he loves me and wants the best for me, not for some "I birthed you, now you owe me, crap."

That's just wrong in so many ways.
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I am so sad at some of the negative responses. I too have to charge my mom rent in order to stay home and take care of her. I left a 60k a year job to take care of my mom and without the rent money she pays I wouldn't be able to afford groceries. I could have hired someone to take care of her or put her in a nursing home but I preferred to be there for her during this time. Everyone has a different story but this site is meant to be supportive and to find out information regarding our different situations, not a site to bash others because you think they are doing the wrong thing.
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Please ignore the first response. My mother INSISTS on paying us rent (granted, it is half of what she was paying when she lived in her apartment, and it barely covers the gas in my car that I have to use to bring her to the doctors, pick up her meds, etc. etc. but it does help) - but she wouldn't take no for an answer. Now that she is in an SNF, she still insists on paying (because all of her things are in my house), but we have been setting it aside for "just in case" money. Once her stay in the SNF becomes permanent, that rent money will stop coming as they will take all but $35. of her social security check as her "copay". To answer your question, no, they won't make you "pay it back" - if she weren't living in your home she'd be paying rent elsewhere, correct?
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My mom lives with me and my family and she pays us rent...$300 a month to be exact. If my mom were living in a nursing home she would be paying at least $4,000 a month. I rearranged my home so she had a place to live. When she lived on her own she had monthly expenses from being a homeowner and understands that water and electricity and owning a home aren't free. Mom has a roof over her head and I don't feel guilty when she pays us rent. My mom has no debt and is financially stable...so in my case $300 is more than fair to pay on a monthly basis. I spoke with mom's attorney and he has it on file in his office. My accountant said the amount I charge mom is way below market value.

I help her with everything...meals, laundry, showering, washing hair, styling hair, going for lab work, doctors appointments, picking up her medications and making sure she takes them in the morning, lunchtime, and bedtime, and picking up her favorite foods and treats...not to mention checking on her when I am not home to make sure she is okay, etc. These are things I had to fit into my life when she moved in with me...I love her and don't mind being her caretaker...and I appreciate what she contributes to the family. She even tells me she wants to pay her own way.

Yes, she did carry me for nine months and raised me but she brought me into this world so that's what parents do for their children....just like I've done and continue to do for mine. This doesn't mean a parent shouldn't contribute if they can afford to do so. Just sayin...
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I love these altruistic people who would NEVER charge their parents rent and how we should then pay them back for having us. It's quite obvious they have not given up other income, in fact our very lives and own futures that could be to our own detriment in the future, thus making someone else HAVE to take care of us if there is such a person for us. We charge rent because we need the money to take care of our parents. In addition, many times the parents feel independent and have more self esteem because they are "paying their own way." In addition, by living with us, they get the personal individualized attention and care that otherwise they wouldn't get being the sole "patients."

That's why.
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Why wouldn't you have your Mom pay something? She'd be paying a lot more if she didn't' have you.
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