Why do my 80-year old parents want to buy a new house? - AgingCare.com

Why do my 80-year old parents want to buy a new house?


Mom had a stroke last year and Daddy is blind. They can barely take care of what they have now! They should be down-sizing, but they want to buy a brand new house with a huge kitchen. They are not wealthy people, but they have a good middle-class income. Daddy recently bought Mama a new $40,000 car that she cannot drive. She is afraid of it with all of the newer technology. My mother has a pile of health issues and should not drive at all. She has been in a couple of accidents recently. They should be living in a retirement community, but they refuse to down-size. We (three of six children) cut their grass and do all of the upkeep on their home as it is. I help Mama clean, cook, and organize. They are fiercely independent and very stubborn. They think they can pay everyone off. They sit around and do nothing but think of ways to spend their money. If Mama goes out of town without Daddy for a night or two, someone has to come in and take care of Daddy. I understand it is their money and they can do what they want, but what happens when they need nursing care down the road? They have made no plans. Five of us moved in around the clock to take care of them after Mama's stroke. What are these people thinking?

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Honestly, I doubt my folks are having a good time. My father is a bitter old man. He lost his sight several years back and he is mad at everyone. So, he pretends that his life is normal and all is right with the world. And maybe he thinks that spending all his money is what people his age should do. I totally agree.... if you are wealthy and can afford long-term care down the road. And it is interesting that you should mention about reporting my mother to the DMV. Not gonna happen in this small town. She had her doctor send a statement to the DMV saying she was physically able and capable of driving. So, that lie is on the doctor.... and Mama got her license for another four years. Sometimes I feel as if I am watching a train wreck fixing to happen and I can do nothing to stop it.
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Maybe their plan is to have a heck of a good time as long as they can enjoy it, and let the chips fall where they may when they become disabled.

Your plan could be, "Enjoy yourselves, Mom and Dad, and we are always happy to visit you and have you over. But we are not subsidizing you financially." If they can afford a new car and a new house they can obviously afford a lawn service and professional movers and in-home care when Dad is alone. While they are sitting around thinking up ways to spend money, they can add those.

They have control over how they spend their money. All of you have control over how you spend your time.

One other point. If you seriously feel Mom should no longer drive, report her to the dmv. I don't know what happens in your state, but she may be required to take a test to retain her license. This is not about money -- it is about public safety.
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Thank you for your suggestion. We have had numerous meetings, and my parents have an answer for everything. They simply will not listen to us. We wait on pins and needles for something else to happen. Basically, my mother is the feeble one and my father orders her around. After my mother's stroke, he ordered the home health workers out of his house. I believed he feared they were picking up on his abusive behavior. So, Mama did not get the therapy or help she needed. My father is mentally very sharp, manipulative, and controlling. They listen to absolutely no one. I told them I will be out of town the day they decide to move to a new house. And I refuse to teach my mother how to drive the new car. They are on their own.
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How about a family meeting with your parents and siblings to discuss the "future" and current expectations? Perhaps there is a close family friend, attorney or minister that could be present to be like a mediator and keep discussions to just the facts. If your parents have home health care, most of those agencies have social workers that perform this service for family meetings.

Good luck!
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