My mother is almost unable to walk and having cognitive issues and my father has dementia and falls often. I have 3 children and a husband. We just bought our first house. My older brother who has been living with them for 2 years has decided he can't deal with them anymore and is moving out leaving them alone. He is 63, I am 45. They are unable to care for themselves, my father can no longer drive. I used to live 5 minutes away from them and now since my brother assured me he would take care of them, we have moved 3 hours away. My mother does not want to move here with me and my family, she does not want to let go of her independence and her home. When I think I have convinced her to she changes her mind over and over again.

There is no other way, my other brother died 5 years ago from cancer and has caused her severe depression and cognitive decline that is rapid. She can no longer prepare meals, or set up my dads pills in the pill box. I have no other relatives that can help me or are even alive. What's worse is they don't speak English very well, my mother is very hard of hearing, my father has heart problems and suffers from vertigo. They are very stubborn and determined to do things for themselves but can't. I know this will be a life changing event for my husband and I. They can't afford a senior living facility or any kind of care. My husband is very understanding and positive, I am deeply concerned and worried for them.

I know it is my responsibility to care for them but I also know it is going to be very difficult for all of us to adapt to this change. Can anyone give me some advice? I have started to prepare a room for them in my home, it is my younger daughters room she is moving into a room upstairs for now until we can afford to maybe extend our home and build an add on for them. They refuse to write a will or talk about what their last wishes are, I don't have any type of power of attorney or any guardianship or anything to help them due to their refusal. I love them to death and respect them. Any advice would help and would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I don't think you have the faintest idea of what you're taking on. Your brother at least knew what he was doing, having learned about your parents and their needs over time, and HE couldn't cope. What on earth makes you think you can move them against their wishes to your new home, and care for them and your children, with your parents fighting you every step of the way? The idea is insane.

WHEN is your brother moving out? Before he does so, he needs to contact his local elder services and hand your parents over to their supervision. Stay out of this, except perhaps to help your brother find out how your parents' situation can be managed safely and responsibly.

You love your parents and you respect their wishes, and I appreciate that. But that does not make it possible for you to handle an impossible situation; what's more, your parents have consistently refused to give you any authority to do it. So respect that choice of theirs too, and leave it to professionals who know what they're doing.
Helpful Answer (23)
Reply to Countrymouse

You know when you are watching a horror movie and the main character is about to do something dangerous and everyone in the theater yells No Don't DO It!....I have a feeling there are a bunch of people reading your post yelling the same thing at their computer screen.

What you are proposing is an epic disaster waiting to happen. You want to completely destroy the life you and your kids/husband have because your parents are too stubborn to realize they need help. All so they can have the illusion of independence! You need to realize your brother was right, this is more than a one person job.

Your kids need you know but once your parents move in you will never be able to devote one uninterrupted minute to them. Forget any intimacy with your husband. You will have no privacy whatsoever. You will not have a full night's sleep ever again. You will be constantly cleaning up after them, jumping every time they snap a finger and never meeting their high standards.

What you need to do is let them stay where they are and wait for a trip to the that point you tell the hospital staff that they cannot return home as it is UNSAFE...and no you can't take them in either. The hospital will help you place them.

You can't be responsible for your parents happiness. They refuse to even let you help them plan for their declining years...except for you giving up your life for them.

Please reconsider.
Helpful Answer (23)
Reply to lkdrymom

Many red flags here.

You need to have a needs assessment done on your parents to determine what help they need. Perhaps they are eligible for care? You will not know until you get a needs assessment done.

Do not make your daughter give up her room. That is not fair to her, period.

Who is going to provide 24/7 care for them? Yes, they will need 24/7 care, especially your Dad.

Has Mum had a cognitive assessment done? What is stopping her from preparing meals and Dad's medications?

Thank goodness you have an extended time line to sort through everything, but I worry that you have bitten off too much to chew and have blinders on to other care options.
Helpful Answer (20)
Reply to Tothill

No amount of prep is going to make this work. Unless your end goal is to sacrifice your life, your husband’s life, your children’s lives, and your marriage — then go for it. Because that is exactly what you will be doing.

Moving them out of their home, what to them is their safe place, and into your home will not be like it was on The Waltons TV show. Read on this forum the testimony of others as to the reality of what it will be like.

Listen to the WHY your brother can’t do it alone anymore. Work with him on a plan on how you can work together to help your parents. If your parents refuse to set up the legal way for your assistance, then neither you nor he have any more legal authority than me or the other posters on this forum.

Please please please, heed all the advice from others who have been where you are now.
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to kdcm1011

I know this thread is long but buried in it last night Mary responded
“Thank you, you are right and reading all these responses has made me change my mind.”

I hope she sticks to that.
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to rocketjcat

No will. No POA.

This is caregiving error #1: thinking love is enough & #2: taking on responsibility without authority.

I have had 4 Doctors now tell me NOT to EVER do this. (I had fallen into it but have since got myself out).

Tme for a good sit down honest talk with your parents now - BEFORE they get one step into your house. What are their expectations? Does that match what you can give? What outside help is available? What happens if you can't continue?

Have the talk because you love them - to help make proper sustainable plans for their future.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to Beatty
CaregiverL Dec 20, 2019
You cannot have a normal conversation with dementia patients. You cannot reason with them. They won’t remember what was said 5 minutes later. That’s why POA & Health proxies are needed.
"They are very stubborn and determined to do things for themselves but can't"

This sentence is exactly why this arrangement is doomed. I haven't even read the responses because I know they are all telling you this is a horrible idea.

Your parents are not going to move in with you and be kind and helpful -- they are going to be disruptive and difficult unless and until you do what they want -- the way they want. Bottom line, they are going to want their life back -- their life from 30 years ago when they were able to get around and do for themselves. Their frustration with the way their life is now . . . .WILL be taken out on you . . . . .AND YOUR CHILDREN. I promise you, they will be a toxic presence in your home.

Talk with your brother. He has been the one in the trenches doing this work for years. See what ideas he has. There has to be a living situation that will work -- assisted living, senior housing of some sort, Medicare, local charities, something! . . . . .keep brainstorming until you find the answer. But living in your home, is not the answer. Learn from all of us.

Their care was too much for your brother, who ONLY had them to take care of - not a family as well. This is critical information for you to understand.

Best of luck, this will be hard no matter what direction you go.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to calicokat

I left out all the words and all the fluff. The short answer is DON’T LET THEM MOVE IN WITH YOU!! I said it loud enough for the people in the back to hear. They could live well past 100.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to elaine1962

There are so many red flags here that this sounds like a really really bad idea. I’m going to throw out some thoughts. They don’t want to move, brother is moving out, so what are Their Plans? What do they want/expect/hope will happen? If your mom is almost unable to walk, what if by March she can’t? Don’t expect how they are now, will be how they are by March. Every day between now and then they will decline. That’s just how it is. So by then what if she’s in a wheelchair? Is your house set up for that? Will a wheelchair be able to navigate the halls and bathroom? I would buy a wheelchair (one that folds up so you can put it in the car) and try it. It will come e in handy eventually anyway. Who will help them with toileting and bathing? Are you trained? Will they have their own accessible bathroom? They will need to change doctors unless you want to drive 3 hours constantly. Is their insurance OK in your county or state? Will they still be in-network? How will that happen? You have no authority like POA. Will they sign Hippa agreements so you can talk to a doctor? Who will order and manage their meds?
Do they own their home? Will your brother remain there or will it be empty? Who will pay for its upkeep? Without POA you will not be able to sell it. You will have responsibility but no authority. This will make your life 10 times more complicated than it already will be and I would not go forward without having authority. Are you intimately involved in their finances? Do you know exactly their income, bills, savings, insurance, cash flow? Are you on their checking account? Will they agree to that? Have you talked about the money? Assuming they are on SS and/or pension will they be paying you rent? Or for caregiving? If they will be paying you, there needs to be a formal caregiver document written up, in case they need Medicaid later on. You’re taking on 2 more mouths to feed and 24/7 caregiving. How will you ever leave the house to shop or run the kids around with 2 fall prone seniors? Will you be able to bring in hourly sitters or aids to help you?
Your brother has burned out from 2 years of caregiving “In Their Own Home”. This is a monumental change to bring them to yours with their existing frailties. Dad has dementia. It doesn’t get better and consistent routine and surroundings plays a huge part in his ability to function. Does he wander? How will you guard against him trying to leave to get “home”?
I commend you and your husband for trying to help them, but this plan just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Depending on your plan for their current house, and your brothers plan, could you think about staying there a few days a week, with your brother taking the rest of the days? Could they sell the house and move together into a care facility? You say they have no money. Would they be eligible for long-term Medicaid? Have you talked to an elder care attorney? They don’t want to move, and if they won’t help in any way by talking to an attorney, giving you POA, sharing their plan, then you are fighting a losing battle.

Sorry this is so long winded and rambling. It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep since my dog is in the vet hospital and I’m so worried about him and trying to get tired enough to go to sleep.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to rocketjcat
XenaJada Dec 20, 2019

Dementia patients make a mess that you cannot imagine, especially if they go through a phase of pulling off their diaper (many do this). They also CAN get angry and violent, and wander off.
See 3 more replies
Please listen to the other posters, this will not work. It is NOT your responsibility to have them live in your home, caring for them does not mean this.

They are old and sick, they need to be placed in a home where that can get the 24/7 care they need. They can apply for Medicaid, sell their home and use the proceeds to fund their self pay until Medicaid steps in. There are options for their care, start investigating them, don't make assumptions, learn the facts and what can be done.

You have no idea what you are in for, banish this thought from your mind, think with your head not your heart, your heart is not designed to think logically.

Your brother has waved the red flag in your face, he cannot deal with them, pay attention to this important sign.

Your children and your husband are your priority, they will suffer if your parents move in with you, not to mention you will lose your life entirely, hefty price to pay when their are alternative options available.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to DollyMe

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter