My husband and I took my mother in after a stroke and broken hip. She owned nothing and was living on her Social Security after my father passed away 6 months earlier. At first, we used her money to pay her bills and for medical expenses, but leftover money was hers. It wasn't much, maybe $400 or so. Then,after 3 months or so after her debt was cleared up, due to my inability to work full time, we started charging for "rent" which was about half of her income, plus a phone line and storage for her "stuff" which we had no room for in our home. She takes care of nothing for herself except getting dressed and keeping her bedroom in order, and using the bathroom. She is ambulatory with a walker. She needs someone around full time, but I can scoot out to the store now and again. I keep a video on and audio monitors throughout the house. I work for my own construction company but spend more time on my mother, so I have not been pulling a paycheck for about a year now. I help with the business as much as possible because it is a family business.
It has been difficult with my mother and my workload around the house is seriously increased because she is sloppy and dismisses the need for being careful or considerate. This means spills, broken dishes, lost items, etc.
I had been keeping track of a lot of expenses and was trying to just put her on a monthly allowance of $300 which would be for things she might want to get, whatever it might be. I want to keep the rest for her final expenses and to compensate us for the loss of privacy and upkeep, eating out, extra food, etc. I tire of writing this stuff down and trying to be honest about it, but the reality is that it would be much more expensive to go to assisted living for her (which she could not afford) and a nursing home would give her $100 and take the rest. I fee like her care is better with us, but I think that she thinks that we are "stealing" her money. I have 4 brothers and sisters, of which 1 keeps in touch but I get no help whatsoever with anything other than from my husband and adult children.
I guess I wonder what others do with parents who move in with just social security. I still cover everything she needs, winter coats, glasses, co-pays etc. She wants for nothing. I just dont want to have to make a listing of everything which adds one more thing that I have to do over and above the stuff I already do. I have her Power of Attorney, but not sure if I should have something else in writing too.
I am putting this under "Caregiver Burnout" because that is kind of what it is. Not only does does my mother take most of my personal time, dismisses my directives for careful behavior, does nothing to help herself or others, but I feel guilting taking the money that really should be going to her caretakers, my husband and I.