I am an only child. My husband and I are the only help my mother has for a 3-story house WITH a yard. She wants to "die in this house, just like my father" but at age 89 1/2 it is getting to be too much for ALL of us. She's lived in this house for 50+ years. How do I approach this delicate subject with her. She is very demanding and this we should just 'jump' when there is a problem with the house. HELP!

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Unless and/or until she feels that she wants to go to a facility, focus on substituting your help for hired help, as FF suggests. Interview lawn services and get estimates, then tell her that you can't do it any more but have made arrangements for the lawn to be taken care of.

I've learned not to raise the issue of a paid substitution for free family help until I have something lined up. That interim time of worrying about who will take care of something can cause anxiety and make someone more resistant.

To "sweeten the pot", I sometimes try to find a service that really connects with my father. After contacting a number of lawn services, I finally found one owned by a fellow whose wife was in the Army. Bingo!!! There's an opportunity for some small chit chat after the lawn is mowed.
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Yes, if she can afford help with the house, yard, maintenance etc. she should be spending it on these things instead of expecting you and hubby to do it. Learn how to say no. Do she pay her bills or do you? If you have POA use her money to take the load off you guys.

Another thought: at 89 years old there is going to be a health crisis, maybe with rehab, who knows. This is when lots of elders are moved into care. You guys, Frequent Flyer, myself and many , many others share this situation with stubborn parents who are circling the drain but refuse to move. The next "Crisis" with either of my folks I am determined to get one, or both into care, no matter how much crying and yelling goes on. I'm on my last nerve with this nonsense. It's going to end one way or the other.
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I hope you don;t think I am asking a rude question.. but does Mom have the money for help? Maybe a lawn service and house cleaner would take some of the pressure off? My parents lived 100 miles away, and I am an only also. I noticed the property was looking bad during a visit, and ALZ dad could no longer keep things up, so I hired a lawn service for the 3 acres at a reasonable price.we were able to keep this going for a while until Mom ended up in the hospital.
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Gilli, I have a similar situation with my own parents. They, too, live in a large home with many sets of stairs, plus a large yard. They refuse to move to an elder friendly environment.....

Of course they won't move, sig other and I had been doing everything for them... thus enabling them to continue to live in that house. Why should they move :P

First thing you do, make a list of all the chores you and hubby do around the house for your Mother. Now cross off half the items on that list. Now cross off a couple more.

When Mother asks for hubby to come clean the gutters tell her "sorry, hubby can no longer do that, you will need to hire someone". When Mother ask for you to do a chore in the house, say the same thing "sorry, I can no longer do that". Remember, you and hubby are trying to maintain two houses, and as we ourselves age, that gets harder and harder to do.

Many times I had to play the "age card" with my parents. Dad wanted me to climb up into the attic and bring down some boxes. I told Dad "I can't do that at my age, remember I will be 70 years old soon". Dad seemed surprised. I believe our parent still think we are 35 and can do everything.

So, set some boundaries. Once Mother realizes that she can't maintain the house on her own.... or maybe she can when she hires people... then she will take a different mind set.
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