My 80 yo mom has lived with me and my daughter for 18 years. She’s healthy, but doesn’t do anything physically or socially, and because of this she is declining quickly. I have tried COUNTLESS times to find her activities to do, but she refuses everything!! She used to help with caring for my daughter when she was young and doing yard work and cooking once in awhile, but other than that she has never helped financially with the house. Now that my daughter is in college, I want to sell the house. I’m tired of the maintenance and with rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, things aren’t as easy for me anymore. I am also nearing retirement myself and don’t want to be tied down to a house. I originally offered to get us each an apartment in a nearby adult community. I was going to pay for everything. Well it has turned into a nightmare!! My mom says she refuses to move and she’d rather live on the street than in an apartment I pay for. She claims she doesn’t want to be a charity case, but I don’t understand because I’ve always paid for everything anyway. My mom does not have the financial means to live on her own. My sister, who won’t help financially or won’t let my mom stay with her, has completely disowned me because of “how I made my mom feel”. When I first approached my mom with the idea, her initial suggestion was to have my daughter quit college and come home and go to community college!! (because she thought I wanted to sell for financial reasons - not the case but that’s what she still believes). She has been very angry and bitter (actually long before this she has been very unhappy) and now has resorted to trying to spin things to make me look bad to my daughter and make herself and my sister look like they’ve financially assisted me (all stories are exaggerated - and beside, as family, we’ve all helped each other at one point or another - isn’t that what families do?) My mom doesn’t see that I was trying to make life easier for both of us; she says I’m “kicking her to the curb”. I’ve apologized countless times for any misunderstandings, but she won’t accept my apology. I remain the family villain. I am at the point now where I feel like pulling my offer off the table to pay for her apartment and make her and my sister figure out the next chapter of her life.
Please help!! Any outside advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
Then I had to move them into Assisted Living b/c of dad, and I did, and they were both fine there too........then dad died, which she said would 'never happen'.......she insisted they'd 'die together', but the odds were against that, obviously. So there she was alone, again, insisting she could NOT live alone, etc.
Here it is 5 years later. Mother is STILL living alone and doing JUST FINE! She's been moved from the ALF into the Memory Care annex and all is well. She will be 93 this month.
You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. You just can't play the guilt card on yourself or come up with 1000 excuses why it Won't Work or how Mother Deserves To Live With You Forever Because How Can She POSSIBLY Survive Alone In Her Own Place? I'm here to tell you she CAN and she WILL, IF you have the courage to ALLOW her to.
We are all stronger than we THINK we are. We all have the inner resources to thrive and to function in different environments. We may think we can't, due to being coddled for too long by too many. But by God, give the woman a chance and she can have a beautiful life of her own. And so can YOU!
Best of luck!
A lot of this has been your own choices and decisions so you will need to accept that, then move on to making good new and healtier decisions for yourself. None of it will be easy. So sorry for your pain.
Now at 80 your Mom no longer has the same energy she had when she was in her early 60's, thus I can understand why yard work is no longer on her chore list.
As for not helping financially, was your Mom's husband one who paid all the bills? If yes, then she was unfamiliar with electric, water, gas bills, mortgage, telephone, homeowner's insurance, yada, yada, yada. If only you could turn back time. This isn't new, my sig other's daughter, when she got married had no knowledge such things existed as she had always lived at home until she did get married.
Mom sounds like she's not comfortable living on her own. Did she ever live by herself? And as we age, there is always that fear that we would become ill and not be able to notify anyone.
Oh, the next time Mom says she rather live on the street, ask her "what color tent would you like?".
My mom stirred up so much crap with my siblings. They turned on me. I told mom and my brother that I was done. I had enough after doing ALL of the caregiving for decades, including 15 years in my home. Mom moved in with my brother.
Let me give you a few words to repeat to yourself, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
If that doesn’t work, go to therapy. Hopefully you will find a therapist as good as mine who gave me the wise advice to take my power back and never give it away again.
Find an apartment for seniors that are based on income. They are out there. My brother lived in one. My elderly cousin lives in one. They are senior apartments and cater to the elderly. They have religious services, bingo, shuttles to doctors, grocery and the pharmacy. What else do they need?
You deserve your life back. Don’t you agree?
I have a daughter in college too. She is your priority. Not your mom.
I am sorry. I don’t mean to come off as harsh. It’s just that I have been in your shoes so I feel your pain. I don’t want you to go through any more suffering.
Please tell her, don’t ask her, just say, ‘Mom, this no longer works! You will be moving out as soon as I find other living arrangements for you!’
Sadly, my relationship with my mom and siblings are non existent. It’s not how I want things to be but I have no other choice other than to accept it. At least I have my life back.
Please do whatever is right for you at this stage in your life. You have done more than your share.
So far for me, my mother can still function on her own. I don't live near, but I certainly provide mental support for my sister and financial whenever she has to drive 1.5 hours to her house to get her out of her bad decision messes she creates. We both agree on everything and nothing is not done without the other in compliance.
Sell the house, let her sort herself out. You do you, let her do her.
This way she is not alone and that is probably what she fears.
Explain that this is the only solution because you "are" selling your house. Your selling because you no longer want to deal with the upkeep. Your health is such that its becoming a burden.