My Dad died suddenly last New Year's Eve. It was devestating for all of us, but my Mom obviously was affected the most. She and my father were married for 43 years and together for 48 and knew eachother for 53 years (she is now 63).

To make a longer story shorter, she is extremely depressed and, my family and I believe she just cannot be alone, nor does she want to be alone. She wants to live with me.

I am a 33 year old divorced, single Mom. So this presents many issues for me. I am willing to do what is best for my Mom. In fact, it would not be a bad situation for me and my son either if we all lived together. My Mom babysits daily as it is and I am having trouble affording my home on my single income. Moving in together would solve many of our problems.

However, I'm also looking at my own life and what is best for me in the long run, too.

While my brothers do help out with things, they have their own families and would not be willing to move my Mom in their homes. So all of this is on me. Although they are willing to help financially if they have to.

I guess I'm just not sure what the best thing to do is. If we lived together we would sell our current homes and look for something bigger with an in-law suite or something akin to that. We would definitely need our own space. My Mom is not incapable of being alone, but her loneliness and depression are eating away her mentally and physically at this point and this seems to be the only solution.

I'm not really sure what advice I'm seeking. This is just a major decision and I'm wondering if anyone else has been in my position (single parent, etc.).


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In almost all of these cases, the best opinions would come from people who have already done it themselves.

Otherwise, it's too easy to fall into the trap of mostly considering the good side of things. "Win-win" is a gross oversimplification, IMO.

Think of it like a chessmaster looking at a position and trying to evaluate all of the variations. Of course, in the variation where you behave fairly and honestly with nothing but good will - and so does your mother - then it is clearly win-win.

But what about the variations where things go sour? You said that you're dealing with worsening dementia. What happens if your mother - who will now be paying a share of the expenses - starts expecting "more for her money" than you can give? She would have the power to make your life miserable by threatening to leave or cutting back her contribution. If you are having trouble making expenses now, you'll be even worse off then.

Fortunately, most people will not have to face that kind of negative, destructive outcome. But you need to have a plan ready just in case.
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Thank you for the support. I know it is the best decision. It's just a really big, life altering one and there are always going to be doubts with something like this. However, I do feel it is the best decision for myself and my Mom.

We have started looking at homes, and surprisingly there is more out there with most of our specifications and within our price range, than I had expected.
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Cleo, I agree, sounds like a good solution. The in-law suite is a MUST! You must have your own space. Start looking now....what you want may not be an easy find.
The situation may change down the road but you can deal with that when it comes.
Put the home in your name for future accounting purposes. As your mother ages/declines you will need POA etc.. You may wish to consult a planner now BEFORE things go awry. It will give both you and your mother peace of mind and stability.
God's best to you & your loved ones.
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Hi Cleo--It sounds to me that you all moving in together would be a win win situation---financially, emotionally, and otherwise. Having an in-law-apartment makes it seem even better. If your Mom has a dementia and at high risk of Alzheimer's--eventually she may require much care down the road...and you and your son will have to be able to deal with the changes. Having said all this, and making sure you are aware of all possibilities...I personally would go for it-and move in together. I think it would solve many problems---Should things turn around at some point, then you can deal with it as it happens.
Best to you in your decision making~
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I should also mention my Mother is in the very early stages of dementia. She is at a very high risk of Alzheimer's. So that is also a major consideration.
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