After 17 years of "being there" do I have the right to move on with my life and live closer to my daughter and her family?

Follow
Share

Mom is 92. She lived with me for about 10 years, (also my Dad before passing away) moved into her own senior apartment about 7 years ago, and is able to take care of herself. Functions very well for someone her age. Osteoporosis and arthritis and glaucoma are her physical problems, but she still does her own housework, laundry and cooking. I live the closest to her and am the only daughter. I retired 2 years ago and am 68. I have two brothers, one younger and one older. I lived 30 minutes away and closer brother lives 50 minutes away. Right now, I am staying with my Mom because she fell and broke her arm. She is doing so well, I am able to move out. She fell right in the midst of me selling my house, actually 8 days before the closing. I live alone and did most of the moving myself with the help of my son and his wife for the larger pieces of furniture. I have all my things in storage for now. I don't have a place to go at this time. She called me when she fell and I ran down to help her. She was in the emergency room overnight and the next day I brought her home with me to take care of her. I brought her to her doctor on Monday and then stayed at her apartment to take care of her, going home during the day to get my moving done and coming back to her place to sleep (on the love seat - ouch!) and take care of her thru the night. My brother and his wife came down during the day for 3 days so I could go back to finish my house. I had the closing on a Friday. I also had taken an offer from my previous job to cover for someone for 12 weeks maternity leave before the sale of my house and my Moms injury. I was to start the next Monday, but part time. I was going to bow out of the job offer since I had my hands full with my Mom, but she insisted I take the offer. I also have two little dogs that I am able to bring to work with me. The job started the next Monday. Our previous relationship has been, I've called my Mom every night to check on her, take her out once or twice a week for groceries and fun shopping trips, out to lunch. All of these things, her fall and me selling my place and so much physical work left me exhausted and damaging my back and shoulder, but I've managed to deal with it and I am feeling better. At this time, my Mom has healed enough and she doesn't need me living here anymore. I don't want to get her into trouble by being here longer than she needs me, so now I need to find a place to live. My dream has been to move to another state where my daughter and her family live. I would have my own place and have researched the places and narrowed them down to two I really like. My question is, can I move without feeling so guilty? I would expect my older brother and his wife to be able to take her shopping once a week or every two weeks. I have a nephew and his family who live about 20 minutes from her to maybe be the emergency contact. She knows this is my dream and even said I should do this, but I feel so guilty! I am thinking of talking to my older brother and his wife who live the closest if they would support my decision. I am running out of money and if I don't make the move now when I do have a little extra to get myself settled, then I will never do it. I can't see any future for me here and am so stressed and close to tears all the time feeling so depressed. My brothers are each very well off financially and I'm struggling. I have never talked about this to them, but need to explain the situation to see if I am being selfish. Everyone here at her apartment complex thinks I'm such a wonderful daughter and she loves hearing that...but I don't know how she would react to me moving and leaving her. I would be moving halfway across the country, so I would not be able to afford to come back for visits. I would have to have faith that the other members of my family would take over and be here for her. Any input would be so helpful in my struggle to deal with getting my life back in order.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
6

Answers

Show:
Cabmaggie you've been given some good advice here. You might want to list all of the pros and cons before you make any decisions and you need to be sure you are honest with yourself. Like Carla said you need to know how you would feel when (not if) something bad happens. You say you will not be able to come back if it does, so think carefully and honestly about that - how will you really feel?
To your basic question about is it ok for you to move ...absolutely! You deserve your own life especially after all the years you've spent being a caregiver. How does your daughter and her family feel about you coming to live near them and are you expecting her to take care of you, if needed for an extended time or do you have a plan like LTC insurance to help you? This can all be managed, just be honest with yourself and then do what is best. Hugs to you, Linda
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The question in my mind is how you will feel if there is an emergency and you aren't able to be there for your mother because you're too far away and you can't afford to fly back. She's at an age where repeated emergencies become more likely. Even assuming your brothers will be there for you, how will that sit with you when it actually happens?

I'm in a somewhat similar situation, although my mother is only 83 and I've only been her caregiver for 4 years. I would really like to move back up north, hopefully to a place with better job prospects or where my fixed retirement income would go further than it does here. But I'm only considering the east coast and it would be my intention to come back for emergencies, even though I know my sisters will be there for my mother. I don't want to put myself too far out of reach of my mother at her age. That's my decision, not necessarily yours. You've done way more than your share and have a perfect right to move on with your life. Just make sure you've considered all the issues.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Talk with your brothers and explain the facts of the situation without sounding like you are being winy.

I am sorry to read that at 68 you are about to run out of money. Did you spend your money on your mother's care? I'm sorry if you did for that really should have come from her assets with a written contract between the two of you. Nothing you can do about that now though.

It sounds like you really need to move, get your own house and probably get a part time job to help ends meet.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well if your mom and dad lived with you for 10 years, I'd say you've done your time in terms of caring for your parents. Your nearest brother (and his wife - so TWO people) can step up and take his turn, since it's doubtful mom will live another 10 years.

You could also consider the option of moving mom near you, into a senior care facility. I moved both of my folks 200 miles away from their home base (might as well have been across the country). Dad died after nine years and Mom lives in independent living less than 2 miles from me. She's 95 and still able to live on her own (with a LOT of help from me).

I understand the guilt, I would feel it too, but your mom has lived her life and now it's time for you to live yours. Move and enjoy your new life!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Your mom is 92. Right now she functions well with help from you for many years.

Isn't it time for mom to get situated in a living environment that provides more help for her BEFORE she needs it? Such as an independent or assisted living place, where she won't have to do grocery shopping or housework?

Her glaucoma is only going to get worse. She's going to fall again. In your shoes, I would call up my brother's and tell them that I'm set to move on x date and that they need to figure out which assisted living facility near them they are going to move mom to.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.