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How did you come to the decision to leave your spouse and your family and move in with a needy parent?


I can’t come to the decision to take the leap. So my sister and I jump around and try to create supportive plans to check on my mom frequently, using medical alert, frequent phone calls, and cameras are next on my list. None of these things provide 100% security.


Long ago my mother made it clear that she didn’t want to live with us, she wanted to live alone. But at 95, she is needing so much help and support.


But leaving family and moving in full-time just doesn’t compute into my head.


I just want to know how some of you made the decision and how it worked out with your families and spouses.

My father had a firm rule of his own making, that no adult child could live with him and he would not live with any of us. He said he’d seen it ruin too many relationships. I remain thankful for his wisdom. You don’t have to read here on AC forum long to know the moving in has been a huge mistake for so many. It alters most all relationships for the worse. I hope you explore other alternatives
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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rosadelima Jan 27, 2021
Thanks so much.
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I don’t understand why you would even consider forfeiting your marriage for your mother? Why you might think that her wants trump everything else in life?do you feel obligated to put her before not just your husband & children/grandchildren but also yourself? If you move in, her health care and her needs (and wants) become your entire life. Your life will consist of you running in circles to ensure her needs and wants are met. If she can no longer live alone, it’s her decision not to move in with her children. But she’s going to have to either hire caregivers or move to assisted living. Her life decisions don’t obligate you or your sister to give up your lives & move
in with her. And I agree with alva and Joann—if she is not cooperative, you will have to wait for an emergency to happen & use it as your avenue to move her to assisted living or long term care.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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You don’t want to leave your husband. You want to care for your mom. You feel stuck in the middle.

If you moved into mom’s home, how long will it be before you resent being at your mom’s house?

How long will it take before your husband resents your decision to move into your mother’s home? Would he go with you?

Would you want someone caring for you knowing that they are resentful?

I couldn’t ask my children to care for me. I don’t want to burden them. I would rather others care for me.

If your heart isn’t in it, you can’t do it. It’s hard enough for people who want to care for their parents full time.

My mom lived with us because she wasn’t able to live alone.

Mom absolutely hated being a burden on us, but was fearful of living in a facility too.

It’s hard on them and hard on us, tough all around.

Would I do it again? Mom lost her home in Hurricane Katrina. She did not have money to last in assisted living and I could not have even looked at nursing homes in the midst of the aftermath of a major catastrophic storm!

So she would have at least have had to be with me temporarily. I would not be a full time caregiver for as long as I did (15 years) if I could do it over.

Daughter1930’s father was a wise man! In our case it absolutely changed the dynamics of our relationship.

I am not telling you what to do. That is your decision. You asked for our stories and I shared mine with you.

I wish you all the best and truly hope you find what is best for you.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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rosadelima Jan 27, 2021
Thank you so much for your caring advice. I really appreciate it.
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Do not leave your home. Your first priority is your husband and children. You're right - leaving them does NOT compute. Don't do it.

Your mom is going to need more help than you and your sister can give her remotely. Sounds like she needs some assistance. Could hire a part-time caregiver to do a few things for/with her. When that is not enough, she will at some point need more in home care or will need to go to a nursing home. Of course she wants to live alone and stay in her home. No one wants to live in a nursing home. Yuck. BUT at some point it often becomes a NECESSITY, whether anyone like the idea or not. Safety is the priority.

My mom has lived with me for 5 years and it's put a HUGE strain on our relationship. If I could go back in time, I NEVER would have done it and will NEVER do it to my children.
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rosadelima Jan 27, 2021
Thanks for your honest and helpful advice. I really appreciate it.
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Talking from experience moving my mother in with the family. My dying father’s request was to take care of my mother. So that’s what I did. Until I couldn’t any longer.  It all unraveled when I gave birth to a special needs child, got laid off and also fired from work, and mom eventually devolved to dementia. I am at my lowest now, in self esteem, alternatives and just general direction in life. I have no more life since things went downhill.  I have been a full-time caregiver for more than 15 years now, although my mother has lived with us for longer. I have not been able to connect properly with my children nor my husband…more like they have “dropped” me because I chose to carry this extra burden. It doesn’t help that I already had unresolved issues I’ve suffered through. So if you are going to do what you plan to do, please consider that you might not feel the same way down the line.  Situations will change, how you feel will change. It’s not worth it to give up your immediate family unless you are truly willing to experience that “loss.”   Solutions will have to be created, work it through with your family. Make sure to speak up for yourself, and what you are willing to give. Don't allow yourself to get run over, like I did, take care of yourself as well.
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KathleenQ Feb 1, 2021
You break my heart. Such suffering is almost beyond anyone’s capacity to bear. I understand you trying to keep your promise to your father but your wedding vows say you will take care of your husband. Emotionally and legally you are responsible for your child as is his/her father. So in order of your responsibilities 1) a dependent child 2) a spouse. Your parents were supposed to care for you until adulthood and even though you may want to pay it back, you cannot destroy your life to do so. Your father’s love for your mother did not give him the right to ask you to take his place in caring for her. You sound terribly depressed and I wish you would speak with a counselor. I advise you to find a placement for your mother too, but you don’t say where she is now. You really need a professional to talk with and to plan a new life for yourself. Please.
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My husband and I moved into my mother-in-law's house about a year ago. Since then, it has been a slippery slope for all of us. At first, it wasn't so bad. We were optimistic, energetic, and willing to go above and beyond. Now, I can tell you, I am miserable. It has been very difficult emotionally, physically, and financially. Worst of all, my marriage has suffered greatly. My life feels chaotic and very much off track. I am losing myself little by little. When it's at the point where an elder needs an in-home caregiver, their condition is already pretty darn bad, but note: it only worsens from there.
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Mom needs to make the decision to go to an AL if she can afford it. Its now what she needs not what she wants. She needs to see how her needs are effecting you and your sister. I understand wanting to stay in her home but it no longer is possible. She needs 24/7 care and you should not have to give up your family to do it.

Like Alva says you may have to wait until something happens. She winds up in the Hospital, the rehab. Then u have her evaluated. If 24/7 care is recommended then the choice is made for her, an AL or LTC.
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AT1234 Feb 1, 2021
That’s what her drs told me, don’t wait until a “catastrophic event” makes the decision for you(her). Unfortunately, it was also a fall and broken hip, but she survived and is in AL now.
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Do not even consider it. If you move forward there will be no turning back and only end up creating more havoc. I get wanting to care for parents but we made it to the point it was actually doing more harm than good.
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AT1234 Feb 1, 2021
Exactly
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My sister-in-law let her mom live alone--as per her wishes--she fell, broke her hip and was on the ground for days before anybody knew. She too was in her 90's with no Alzheimer's. After long hospitalization, where she caught a superbug, she died. By the way she had home cameras...but fell out of sight of them.

One single fall is often the "game changer". Also, living by herself, she is easy pickings for any home invader. Someone wanting meth money will not hesitate to injure or kill an elderly person for a few bucks. That is the world we are living in.
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spoonielife Feb 1, 2021
Sad to have to agree. Happens all the time here in Phoenix. .. But then, Phoenix, well...
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This isn’t the answer your looking for, but for me.... I refuse to commit. If there’s anything I’ve learned here, one foot in it , your in it for the duration and it escalates. My MIL will need full time care and I have worked for almost 50 years to retire. BIL wants to save money for inheritance. Not at my expense.
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BurntCaregiver Feb 2, 2021
babsjvd, you are absolutely right. That is well said about the BIL wanting to save money for inheritance but that it will not be at your expense. More often than not in elder family caregiving situations the person who offers to help out a bit becomes the primary and sole caregiver. When they refuse or speak up the 'well you said you'd help out' gets thrown up in their face and they end up just sucking it up and doing it all. Everyone should listen to what you've said because it's some good advice.
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