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When I was younger my mother made me pay rent. I was paying 50$ a week 30+ years ago. And my first apartment was only 275$ a month. She is now 72 and lives with me and been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. And dementia. I helped her sell her condo. She paid off her car. She has no bills except for insurance. I've even been paying her phone bill because she doesn't have a debit or credit card. I buy all the groceries and only eat about 1/4 of them because I'm usually doing something and eat out most of the time. I pay all the utilities. I take her to all of her Dr appointments. I get no help from an older brother and younger sister. I work 12 hrs shifts that switch between days and nights every 2 weeks and still take her to appointments. I'm remodeling a bathroom for her and just for her. I didn't need to do anything to it before I'm just trying to make it more user friendly for her. She gets just under $3000 a month in retirement. And gives me nothing. She has been living with me for about a year and the only contribution she's maid is 50$ towards a Christmas dinner. Am I justified in feeling like she needs to pay me something? Before she became ill she would most likely have offered something for staying there. Its just that I'm getting into savings to fix up my home to more user friendly for her. None of the stuff I'm doing needed done. I even bought a hospital bed for her.

Allen: "Mother, we need to talk."

Mother: "ok."

Allen: "Mother, you know i love you, that's why I moved you here to live with me so I can look after you. And I've been paying all the expenses (list out all or some of the things you pay for her), but I can't afford to keep doing it. I need you to help me pay for your own expenses and a small amount of rent."

Mother: "But you're working and making money."

Allen: "Yes, I do. And since I am paying everything around here, I have little to nothing set aside for my own retirement. I need to make sure i have enough savings to live on when I stop working. So, I need your help. I need you to pay me a small amount of rent and your own expenses."

Mother: "But I'm your mother."

Allen: "Yes, And I am your son. You're making your son pay everything for you even though you have money. You're costing me my own retirement."

Mother: "But when I die, I'll leave you all the money I have."

Allen: "Mother, I'd rather you use your money on yourself now. Don't save it for me. It's your money, use it for your own care now. That's what it's for, not my inheritance."

Allen, I hope some of these lines can be useful to you or give you a starting point. Good luck.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 20, 2019
I love this answer!
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Of course you should charge her rent! Even if she hadn't charged you rent when you were young, you should charge her rent. As you know, she is an extra expense and you go above and beyond a furnished room.

The advantages of charging rent are many. 1) She does not sound particularly helpful, so I think it would be useful to have a method of eviction in case you can't take it anymore. Seriously. 2) depending on how much money she has, charges against her income could help her become eligible for Medicaid assistance since she can only spend on approved expenditures and can't gift 5 years previous. There are more you CPA can tell you.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 20, 2019
Excellent answer! Thanks, very helpful.
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Yes you need to be reimbursed for your expenses and some rent. We just had a house built with a mother in law suite because now we are her sole caretakers. We charged her for building a bedroom and bathroom with a walk in shower because that’s what she needed. There are 3 of us living together and we split the groceries in third for her to pay her share. I do all the cooking, cleaning and laundry. She literally does nothing because she is 90 years old with Dementia. So I do not feel guilty having her pay a portion of things. I figured it out, she pays my husband and I $40.00/day for everything. If we were to have someone come into take care of her for it would cost a lot more for just 8 hours and she needs nighttime care because she has fallen at bedtime. So don’t feel guilty and charge what you think is fair.
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You should look into a formal care contract with a certified elder attorney. If your mom should die tomorrow her estate wouid most likely be split between her three children. Not only are they not helping, they will also benefit from what you spend on mother because her estate will be greater.
What are your plans for when she needs caretaking while you are at work?
Does she have a will, DPOA, Living will ( health directive)?
If she is needy enough to be living with someone then all those documents need to be inplace. You can’t do these things retroactively and since she has dementia she will lose the ability to make competent decisions. The attorney will explain to her (and you) how to set her affairs up so that it’s fair to you and her and to where she can get Medicaid if and when the time comes that she should need it.
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I think some parents take advantage of children just like some children take advantage of parents.
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Stephanie4181 Apr 20, 2019
Well said
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I definitely think she should help out. It would be different if she were destitute with no money coming in but $3,000 a month with no bills would be like winning the lottery for me lol. With her mental problems she probably just hasn't thought to offer. Or she's giving it to your drug addict sibling (that seems to happen a lot I've been seeing)
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Yes. My mother insisted I take $700. I figure that 400$ is food and necessities. Another 100$ is utilities (she keeps the heat at 80). So that leaves 200$ a month leftover so I can pay for my mental health care because this is so not fun or enjoyable. :)
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Reply to Sarah821
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HELL, YES. Charge her 1000 dollars a Month, That is Fair and Square and Actually with the Food, Utilities and GOOD CARE....MORE THAN FAIR!!!
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She should contribute in some way. My mom pays for her personal care items from drugstore, poise pads, pull ups, etc. She pays her share of the cell phone bill. She pays for doctor appointments and meds. She doesn’t buy many clothes but she pays for clothing and shoes, purses, etc.

I have not asked for other expenses but I should!

When I had bars installed in my bathroom she paid for it.

Come up with a price that you feel is fair. Good luck to you.

Mom grew up in the depression, born in 1925. They had to be frugal so I think it’s hard for some elderly people to spend money.
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Beatty Apr 23, 2019
My Mum was always a bit frugal too (love that word). Lately found out she was insisting the pre-delivered meals (1 serve) were cut into half to save money. Dad admitted he was enjoying a whole dinner to himself when she was in respite care! Also told the respite nurse she uses her incontinencd panty liner for 3 days to make the packet go further.... ummm what??? and changing socks once a week to save washing powder.
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My mother lives with us. She has to have money pry-barred out of her every month even though she eats all her meals with us, uses a lot of utilities; including television 24/7, and has a private apartment/kitchenette away from the rest of us. It’s a pain having to hear that we are bankrupting her each month when she pays her rent and how will she now afford to pay her 9 credit cards and buy her junk food from Dollar General. We are standing firm as she is getting a bargain in care for what she pays. If she has no money for online shopping that’s too bad.
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