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My mother lives with my husband and I in our home. My husband and I are both unemployed. We are living off of our retirement funds. We rent out a room to a roommate who is paying 600.00 a month with rent increases every year. He provides his own food. Mom is paying 500.00 a month and she refuses to pay any more. We supply her food, cook her meals, we take her to and from her doctor appointments, I do all her laundry and put it away for her, She does not qualify for medicaid because she keeps giving money away to her grand daughter who doesn't even thank her for it and in my opinion is taking advantage of her grand mother. After utilities are taken out of the 500.00 mom pays, and the groceries and the gas for transportation her rent is around 2 to 3 hundred a month. My husband plans on going back to work but I need to stay home with my mom. How can I convince my mother that she needs to be helping out more. She clears over 1100.00 a month .

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When my mother first brought up the idea of moving in with us, we lived in a split foyer house. All steps, all the time. Even if we had a spare room, she would have been stuck in the lower level. So, we gave up our home with a $1,600 a month mortgage and purchased a home with a full in-law suite and a hefty $2,400 a month mortgage. Our heating and cooling bills almost doubled since our square footage doubled (and she has to keep her apartment at 90 degrees). Our food bills increased slightly.

Mom brings in plenty of money a month. She still insist on paying all of brother#1's housing costs and some of his living expenses (has not worked more than a month in all of his 53 years on this planet).

When we first agreed to bring her in, she was living almost independently. She has, within 18 months, declined to near helplessness (mostly laziness, some physical). Because of this, we have had to give up travel (we used to travel extensively). Running errands or going out to dinner becomes a tactical operation. I am woken up in the night because she can't get into or out of bed.

If she were not to pay rent, her money would go into savings and eventually her estate to be split evenly 4 ways between I daughter who sacrificed and three sons who don't even call or visit.

H3ll yes, I am collecting $800 a month rent.
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It's very expensive to support a child let alone an adult! Adults often tend to eat more when full-grown, and if you're going to support an adult, I hope you have endless income, because supporting someone else is more expensive than supporting children. If she's not going to pay her fair share, you can give her the ultimatum since she has more than enough money to pay her fair share. Give her the ultimatum that she pays up or gets out and moves elsewhere. Only greed would prevent someone from paying their fair share in any living situation when they have more than enough money to do so. I don't know what she's saving all of her money for unless she's contemplating needing it for future care beyond living at home, but Medicaid helps those who need it, and it doesn't look like she needs Medicaid if she's sitting on all of her money each month. Therefore, if this is the case, she can take that rusty money and get her own place and start supporting herself by paying her own way. Anytime you take someone in, you may or may not notice an increase in expenses, but it's there whether you know it or not because you must buy extra groceries, use extra water and so forth. Remember, this is taking on an extra person in the household anytime you take someone in, so yes, it does cost extra to support another person. So many people are actually hurting financially, and to have someone who refuses to pay their fair share is downright greedy of that person. She's supposed to be paying her fair share, and if she was renting and did this to her landlord, she'd be evicted whether or not she had anywhere to go. When people run rentals, it's a business, and sadly hardly anything it's free because it takes money to get by in this world. It sounds like she really needs a very hard reminder lesson on reality. If she has dementia though, you'll definitely want to have a guardian take over her financial affairs which will make her pay her fair share, because the guardian will make sure those bills are paid. It sounds to me like someone needs to take over an override the situation to bring about a successful solution to the problem instead of enabling her and letting it slide. Yes, something seriously needs to be done and fast before extra expense takes down the household causing you to lose everything at some point. If you find yourself selling stuff just to get by, there is a problem. She has disposable income and she needs to use it or someone needs to gain guardianship and take over her money and get her fair share a page out of her own money. It's wrong when so many people are hurting financially these days and someone who you take in refuses to pay their fair share especially if you happen to be among those who are hurting financially. You're right to be concerned and even angry, I don't blame you and something should be done, I agree with you on that! Surely someone has the power to do something about this. If she puts her money into the bank, is anyone on the account with her? If so, the joint owner has the power to take money from that account. Find out how much she has saved up and make her pay for the guardianship process by taking the money out of her own money. Then when her next check hits the bank, it can go to a new account that the guardian has control of. That way, she'll have to pay her fair share of because the guardian now has control of her money
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I didn't notice that...does this mom had dementia? If that be the case, then it won't be long before she doesn't know how much of her check you're taking. You'll be in charge soon enough.
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The problem with above advice, as i see it, is that the dementia patient doest learn from exp6.. what she'll learn from being excluded id that someone is being "mean" wuth6dementia patients, there is no reasoning.
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From your description, it sounds to me like it's time for your mom to be moved to alternate living arrangements. I think what's really going on is she's probably thinking she shouldn't have to pay for stuff she's getting free, which is true to a reasonable point.
If you're struggling financially, you can't afford to take on another person and totally support them, especially when they have that much money and they won't share it. People get certain amounts in their benefits for a reason, to support their living costs. Federal benefits are there to support the necessities. What you may want to do is get her into her own apartment for starters. This will help remind her how much it costs to be able to have one's own home. This would be good for her educationally. Experience will teach her the real cost of today's living. I strongly agree with suggestions on putting back on cable and other areas. Just cut out all nonessentials as mentioned here so she'll see the pinch from being a tightwad. On top of all that, it might even help to make some tightwad statements and crack some tightwad jokes. That way, it may shame her into carrying her share of the household expenses. If she's going to be a tightwad then she's not going to enjoy any privileges. For instance, if you go on an outing, don't include her. If you're throwing a party, exclude her and don't allow her to participate in anything whatsoever. On pizza night, make her pay two or three dollars per slice if she wants any of it. The overall idea is that if you're doing anything fun or extra, don't include her at all. This will teach her how not to be a tightwad and it will definitely show her how life really is when you can't spare enough money for extras. If she wants to live like a tightwad and not share in household expenses, then she shouldn't participate in anything extra that the rest of the family is doing. There are consequences for greed, and those consequences should be in force and reflect the fact she's being a greedy tightwad. For the amount of money she's getting each month there is no need for her to say she doesn't have enough money to contribute to the household since there's more than enough money for her to do so. If she wants to be greedy, I'll let her be greedy with consequences to show for her choices. It costs far more than $100 per month to cover shelter, utilities, food, and other essentials
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I remember after I got out of college and was working full time, living at home [that was the norm in my era, live at home until you get married], my parents charged me rent. I also had a list of chores to do.
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Whatever mom pays you you'll have to claim toward income taxes. However, you might find that you can claim her as a dependent if you pay more then half toward her care, which you might prove that you do if you keep receipts, which will offset some of that tax.
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I think, in this case, mom only needs to keep enough of her SS to have some spending money and needs to turn the rest over to her daughter and son in law. It would all be taken if she were in a nursing home and she wouldn't be nearly as comfortable or be around those who love and look out for her on a daily basis. .....

You really got my dander up there TooYoungForThis...
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Hey, that posted before I was done.

I was saying...in this case, mom only has 1100/mo coming in...not enough to live alone on. So she's move in with daughter and sounds to be quite needy since she has to be taken too and from Dr. appts, have daughter do laundy, cook for her, etc. (thus daughter feels she needs to stay home with her). My dad is the same...he can do things for himself, but in trying to do so he makes a terrible mess, blows things up in the microwave, boils things over on the stove (and forgets to turn the stove off), and, more importantly, occasionally falls and can't get up without help and mixed up his medications morning noon and night. So my daughter in law stays home and watches after him like a mother hen, and in turn, he pays her to do so. I feel DrRock deserves the same. 500.00/mo IS NOT enough. She'd be paying a whole lot more if she were out on their own and the daughter and son in law would not have their lives turned upside down. It's not a matter of her not loving or caring about her mom. I'm guessing you aren't caring your mother is well able to do for herself and is in pretty good health, that you don't have a mom living with you who didn't save a thing toward their retirement in the 70 plus years she's been alive, and now expects to live totally off you?
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To Young for This - You give a long list of things done for the poster when she was a child. So are you saying that children are responsible for providing total care for their seniors when they didn't save enough money to live on their own once they need care? That's crazy! If that's the case, we don't need this forum. All who are caring for their aged parents just need to remember, when things get tough, all dear mom or dad did for them when they were children and suck it up.

I don't think anyone in here believes that... In this case mom only has 1
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Dustien, thank you for posting that letter by Maggie, excellent.

My Dad is like your Dad, he also frets about if he has enough money. When my Dad gets the rent bill for Independent Living he obsesses over it big time, until I remind him how much it was costing him when he lived at home and had around the clock caregivers. Then he settles down until the next bill comes. One way to stop that is for me to have the extra copies of bills and statements sent to Dad stopped, I wanted to keep him in the loop, but now it is time to end that practice.
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Medicaid wouldn't do anything toward paying rent, so that is irrelevant. Furthermore, if she has money and is receiving social security, she would lose the vast majority of that in a long term facility anyway. She can give her money to anyone she wants.

I actually think that paying $500 for one room is pretty acceptable. How much does she eat? How much laundry can she possibly have? Do you do her laundry together with your own laundry, or does she have too much that has to be done separately? If you do hers with yours, then you're not using more water or more electricity for the dryer. What utilities does she utilize that cost you more per month than if she didn't live there? I find it difficult to believe that your mother costs $200 to $300 per month between food, gas for transportation, laundry, utilities, etc. She'd have to be eating a heck of a lot of food, using a heck of a lot of electricity and be going to a lot of places for that much money.

When you were growing up, for how many years did your mother buy your food, make your meals, do your laundry, drive you around, pay for the electric you used, etc? Did you pay her for it? Did she charge you rent for the bedroom you slept in?

Is the grand daughter your kid or your sister/brother's kid? How old is she? Perhaps you could suggest that in exchange for the money she gets from grandma, she chip in to take care of her---drive her to appointments, cook her meals sometimes, etc.

I don't think it is your mother's fault that you are unemployed. And why do you have to stay home with your mother all day, every day? Is she bed bound? Is she unable to take care of herself? Making meals, grocery shopping, doing laundry are things that do not occupy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It is not your mother's responsibility to pay for your living expenses. You are luckier than most in that you have some retirement income to live off of. Most people don't.

I would not charge my mother rent to live with me. And she does live with me. She does not increase my living expenses at all---if she weren't here, my expenses would be the exact same. However, she gives me money without me asking for it anyway----she says that if she were living alone, she'd have to pay for stuff anyway, and therefore she gives me the money she'd be paying herself. We both buy food----I buy the majority of the food----, do our laundry together, etc. The only thing she wants is a cable box to watch TV---I would get rid of it if it were just me because I don't watch TV. But, that's the least I can do for her---my parents put me through college & I never took outing loans, my parents bought me a car when I was 16 years old, my parents took me on vacation twice a year (didn't leave me home like a lot of my friends' parents), lent me money on countless occasions, etc. And I am going to be petty and charge her for a bedroom? Nah.
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Oh yes, my dad is obsessed with money, although he has more then enough coming in through good planning and saving throughout his life to take care of him for the rest of it, but he's still obsessing.
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Depending on the parent's age, if they grew up during the Great Depression, many will hold onto their money with a vengeance. Money is a huge issue in their life.
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I don't believe that just because someone is older, they don't know what things cost. How is that possible, were they isolated from society from the time they turned say 55? The real issue is that they remember what things cost way back when and they are annoyed but they are not ignorant. I remember when the internet was $10/mo; now I pay $70 - I am annoyed but I know the number. I can remember when cigarettes were sold in a machine for .35 and now I think they are $5-8 pack and the price of a new car is what a small house used to cost. Is it maddening? Is it somewhat frightening if you income isn't increasing. Is it annoying when you hear the cost of your Rx? Yes, but the price is what it is and you know, you also know that you may have to shop around or give up a habit or services e.g. cable but you know!
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DrRockU2 - I had a similiar problem a couple of years ago. My dad had been living with my younger brother and sis in law and paying the minimum he could get away with, although he had the money to pay more. Brother and SIL were having lots of issues with their lives having been turned upside down. I really wanted to know how I could step in and fix things (for all of us...as I would have been the one to take over if he got kicked out and that probably would cost me either a dad or husband).

So what did I do...I did the same you did and turned to this forum. I got a lot of great advice (37 posts worth) but the best, and the one that worked with minimum of modification to fit their situation, was the letter I've put below. It was written by Forum Member "MaggieMarshall" The letter worked like a charm and now it's two +years later and dad is still living there. That's not to say it solved all issues, but it did solve the issue of money once and for all which helped a LOT!.

Here's the letter by Maggie. It will need more modifying to fit your and your Mom's case since it had been written to fit mine, but the idea is the same and it it shouldn't be hard to modify it for you uses.

Dear Dad,

The reason you should be paying your way, dad, is because everyone pays their way. In an assisted living facility, you might be paying $1500 a month or more--if you even QUALIFY for assisted living. If you need full-blown nursing home care, that figure could be $5,000 or much more.

If you live anywhere other than with _____ and _____, your needs will be secondary to the expediency of staff. Nowhere on EARTH would you get the loving attention that you get here with ______.

_____ and _____ have given up their privacy and peaceful life to give you the greatest gift of all. A circle of love that cares for you and keeps you safe. You're so loved here.

What were you doing at their age, Dad? Were you caring for an elderly parent, helping them keep their independence? Were you sleeping with one ear open so you could hear their footfalls in the middle of the night and get up to make sure they were safe? Were you helping someone to the bathroom five times a day? Fixing their medicines? Taking them to the doctor? [List a bunch of stuff here.]

We both know you weren't. _____ and _____ are giving you a precious gift. Honestly? Money can't even buy that gift. But giving them $1,500 a month [or whatever] shows them that you value everything they're doing for you. It pays them back in a small way for the sacrifices they're making every single day to care for you. It's the very least you can do.

You [and mom] saved all of your lives for a rainy day. It's pouring outside now, dad. Time to help the very people who are holding your umbrella.

It is my sincere wish that you agree to help out _____ and _____ by paying $$$$ a month toward your care. It's the right thing to do. [If you pay his bills for him, continue with this....] Starting August 1st, with your permission, I'm going to start showing them how much we appreciate all they do for you.

I love you dad. We ALL love you. I'm so happy for you that _____ is in your life at this time. You raised a wonderful son. And daughter, of course. ;)
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First thing is to look at what you really need. Don't look at what you could get from another renter, but what do you need to make it. I know it seems like she has a lot of money, but find out what she is really using the money for and why. Does she need the money to be secure, is she paying for a funeral plan, etc. She is an adult so explain your worries and needs. Talk to her as an adult. She might be giving her granddaughter money because it is a way for her to feel in control or helpful. Also remember that there will be a time when she is not there. How much of her remaining time do you want to lose (fighting over money should always be weighed with what you could lose). One thing that should be pointed out is that if she ever had to go into assisted living, and needs government assistance they are going to look at the money she has given away for at least 5 years back. Her granddaughter may be forced to pay back the money. Both her and your mom should be aware of that. Whatever you do keep in mind that you love your mom and she loves you.
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First thing I would do is stop the granddaughter from borrowing from her grandmother. Talk to her and explain the situation. Then I would make sure mother is capable of living along without assistance. If you are doing all the chores for her chances are very good that she is not a good candidate for independent living. Why not try taking her to few senior living facilities and let her see what they are like and what the costs for her would be. This should help her to understand just what the costs are every month for her living arrangements. Then move forward from there. It is never an easy choice with our aging parent(s), but must think of ourselves too. Do it all with a loving touch. God bless all your efforts.
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Opps,,, tablet of games....
Maybe show her the bills as they come in, so she can get a reality check?
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I also agree that many elders are clueless about current costs. My MIL, about 20 years ago could not believe that anyone paid over $1000 a month for a mortgage ( this was during the houseing boom when interest rates were double digits) My FIL talks about how they had a full time housekeeper/babysitter for $35 a week.. he is stunned that his home care is 25 an hour. And the price of AL just about did him in... Luckily for us my Mom gets today bills for the most part and chips in But I must aadmit she has no idea what we pay for 3 phones, a landline (for her) and the fee for her beloved table of casino games...LOL
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I went thru the same thing with my father who lived with me. When he first moved in with me, I was making a much larger salary but when the economy went down, I lost my job and had to take a smaller salary doing pretty much the same thing. I asked my dad to help out and he refused. He said he paid for groceries many times during the month and that should be enough. He also paid for the two of us to go out and eat a couple of times a week and he paid for the food the animals needed. On occasion, he would just hand me $100 and said to put it on the food bill or other bills. I let it go and tried to do the best I could. He was already in his mid 70's and I thought he should enjoy what few years he had left. He had COPD and I knew he would be lucky to reach his 80's. After he passed at age 80, I found his social security stub from his check and it was only $770 so he couldn't afford much more anyway. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself that your parent supported you while you were growing up, gave you money when you needed it, most parents paid for their kids schooling and first car, maybe even their first house but whatever they paid, they did it without handing you a bill showing what you owed back to them. Your mother won't be here much longer so suck it up and go back to work. There are jobs out there that may not be your forte, but it will pay the bills until you find "the right job for you". Sorry if this sounds abrupt, but millions of kids are or were in the same shape you are in and can't do anything about it either. The time to settle this was BEFORE she moved in. The two of you should have discussed it with your mother and let her know you will need XXX dollars or you will need to rent out the bedroom to someone else. You also need to have a talk with the grandchild who is taking money from her and tell her that get ready, because grandma is coming to live with her since she's getting all the extra money!
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I agree with the poster who said that the older generation really doesn't see the higher cost of living. My mother lives with my brother. (Last 17 years) She pays no rent, pays just 1/3 of the utilities and complains non-stop at how much that it. Well, she has her heat or A/C on continuously, runs 3 TV's all day everyday and uses my brother as her personal chauffeur. She gets mad the pharmacist over the cost of her meds--which are many and expensive. She has no clue whatsoever as to what a home costs these days, nor keeping a car running.
Yep, give her the option to move, it will be a huge shock to see what really living on her own costs.
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How about you tell her you are going back to work and that she will either have to do for herself, cook, laundry get to appointments, or she can hire someone to come in and do these things. Find out what that would cost. Now, she may choose to do for herself but that likely won't last or she will balk at hiring someone, you can then offer another option that if she paid a little more maybe you could forego the job otherwise it is the only option for you and your husband if you are to continue paying the household expenses and not risk losing your home and/or living off Ramen noodles. Another option which may be a good choice to try first, is to cut back on things e.g. groceries, cable and even utilities (colder or hotter house due to turning system down or off). It will inconvenience you too but perhaps if your mother sees that you are struggling and feels the hurt as well, she will cough up an extra $100/mo. If this doesn't work then you implement Plan B - I am getting a job, sorry.
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Assisted living definitely IF she is still cognizant--most of her check if not all of it will go to housing -- that way both of you can go back to work. You both may have to help with her expenses but that's still a lot cheaper than keeping her and you not working.
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May I ask how old you and your husband are???

If you are of retirement age and living off of retirement funds, that is one thing. But if you are too young to be retired, then maybe you should both be working.

As far as mom's rent goes, be glad she is paying anything at all. A lot of people don't even get that much help.
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Older people are used to things costing less. My mother bought a 4 bedroom ranch brick home for $13,000. $500 probably seems like a lot to your mother. I remember being upset when coffee went from 10 cents to 15 cents. If she puts the balance of her money into her savings (makes her feel safer) then you will acquire it one day. You could think of it as a forced savings plan. If the granddaughter is getting some of the money, then you could tell her to do things for your mother (laundry, etc) or even move in to care for her, so you can work outside the home.
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Suggest to her to move to senior housing. The subsidized rent with utilities is 30% of her income (1100x30%= $330) and she would get food stamps.
She might be happier. Talk it over.
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Here are answers to your similar question from the other day. https://www.agingcare.com/questions/600-too-much-charge-caring-for-mom-202076.htm
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