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My very sweet father wants to move into senior housing but my controlling mother wants to stay in their house. My father's quality of life is very poor. They want to remain together. What should I do?

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I want to move to a condo--not a smaller place, since our current home is already pretty small--but something with less upkeep, of which I am responsible, 100%.

Dh is totally happy to stay here forever. We have a split entry and atotal of 50 stairs that I navigate on a daily basis. He walks in the door and goes to his room, and then the kitchen and that's it.

Single car garage which I don't get to park in--Stairs up and down everywhere I need to go. Since Dh doesn't GO downstairs, he doesn't see the problem.

I am having major foot surgery in July and will be on a 'scooter' thing for 6 weeks. He sees no problem in that, I can still cook and do for myself, as far as he's concerned.

Eventually, we will HAVE to size down, at least to somewhere with a lot fewer stairs. I want to do it while we have our strength and ability to do so, he wants to wait for the 'oopsy daisy' moment when one of us falls down the stairs.

The kids are pretty quiet, knowing better than to weigh in on this, although I know the girls (4 of them) really get it. Yesterday as I hauled 10 heavy bags of groceries up the stairs to put away, I felt like crying. He was home, but didn't help. Never does, actually.

Dh is opposed to EVERYTHING I want. He is going to look at some condos tomorrow just to see what's out there. We already HAVE a buyer for our house, so that isn't a problem. It's getting him to see outside the box that's hard. We've lived here for 42 years and he can't fathom living anywhere else.

I'M moving, whether DH comes with me or not is up to him.

I will NOT put my kids in the same position as my folks did to us--making us have to make a huge personal decision for them b/c they wouldn't. I do not want to make this their problem!

what's werid is that DH's mom is housebound in a house she cannot care for. Her 'move out' date was a full 20 years ago, but now, no, she'd never move. It was a hot topic for a bit, but we quickly realized she was not going to make a decision.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Jacque, would your mom be open to a trial period of 6 months?

This would give her time to give it an honest chance and to enjoy the benefits of additional help.

She would have time to make friends and maybe she would want to stay.

Compromise is the best way in difficult situations. Have dad present the "trial run".
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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This has all been hugely helpful. I have my head on straight now. Thank you.
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Reply to jacquelineh
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Sendhelp Jun 11, 2021
Thanks for updating everyone Jacquelineh!
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Is she against any move or is it that she doesn't agree with the place he has chosen? Would she be more amenable if she was given the control over the selection process?
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jacquelineh Jun 11, 2021
how do I make a reply that everyone who answered my question can see?
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If there is no danger to them the leave them to it. They are used to making decisions together and its their choice. It doesn't matter that you think your mother is controlling. If you father wants them to stay together its his choice and you should not interfere until there is some danger to one or other. If you do not have POAs sorted out for when needed then it sounds like now would be a good point to get them in place and put them on the shelf pending need.
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Reply to TaylorUK
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jacquelineh Jun 11, 2021
thank you My mother is in danger as she falls and will not wear a medic alert which notifies if she falls. She also has poor mobility.
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You do not have to be involved in this. You will regret it if you try to resolve their issues.

I know that you have your father’s best interests at heart but he is a grown man that is able to speak for himself. If he didn’t ask for you to assist him in some way to try to persuade your mom, then don’t take it upon yourself to do so. It will only backfire on you. Allow them to work it out.

If issues become more difficult for your father, he has the option to move out on his own without your mom. He sounds easy going and she sounds high strung.

So many couples seem to be mismatched. Maybe match making dating sites are onto something more than we realize, by conducting thorough interviews about similar interests and values in life.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Would they be amenable to home health aids to assist in what dad can no longer do or needs assistance with? See if that would be workable. But I agree, stay out of it until your opinion is asked.
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Reply to cweissp
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Do they have assistance at home?

Do you mean "assisted living" for seniors, or, "independent living?".
Would make a difference.

At their age, (93), independent senior zliving might not make much difference if your Dad needs assistance either medical or with ADL's (activities of daily living).

What is the condition of their home and upkeep? Can they afford help in, home improvements, handyman services, and gardening?

Buying and selling can be a huge financial planning mess if either needs a nursing home in the near future. They cannot just cash out their equity and not plan in great detail, (and cannot give it away without Medicaid having a say in their eligibilty for future care). If they stay, the home will be an exempt asset.

After what happened in facilities recently (referring to lockdown, no visitors),
(Including AL's), your Mom may be right to stay in her home. The pandemic is not over.

Can you help them in some ways to improve their home situation?
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Reply to Sendhelp
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Explain to Mom moving is beneficial to Dad. By going to an AL he will get the care he needs and it becomes less work for her. The AL will have socialization and activities. Tell her you will help her downsize. Help her pack. At 71 when I look around my house it becomes so overwhelming to think I will need to get rid of a lot of my stuff eventually.

I would also tell her not to expect you to be a full-time caregiver.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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They seem to want to have their cake and eat it too.

If mom and dad want different things and neither is incapacitated, they need to work this out themselves.

If dad wants to move to a senior facility, offer ONCE to help him do that; mom may follow. Or not.

Dad needs to decide that his quality of life is poor and want an improvement enough to stand up to mom.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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If mother has always had her way, it won’t change now.

She may be in some denial… that she doesn’t think they need a senior community. That’s for old and decrepit people and surely she is not like them!
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Reply to LoopyLoo
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jacquelineh Jun 11, 2021
thank you huge denial
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What you should 'do' is stay out of it; let your parents work their issues out between themselves! If & when they ask you for help, then offer it. Otherwise, live your life and let them live theirs. Remember: your father chose to marry a controlling woman and is choosing to stay married to her, much as my father did. Whenever I tried to intervene on behalf of my father, he'd stick up for my MOTHER and leave me feeling like the Bad Guy!

Hopefully they will arrive at a decision that's mutually beneficial. Or your father will do what my father did his whole life: defer to my mother's wishes.

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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NeedHelpWithMom Jun 10, 2021
Oh, so true! It usually doesn’t work out very well if we try to solve other people’s problems.

I detest being in the middle of other people’s issues. If someone tries to drag me in and force me to take a side, I resent it. I will walk away. My ex sis in law did that constantly! She wasn’t happy until she had an audience for the show that she put on for everyone! She disliked me, because I never fell for her bait.
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