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My mom is 83. She lives in the house me and my hubby own while we stay in a temporary mobile home right next door under a temporary health permit. She is disabled and must use a walker. She can't do much in the way of housework but she can still drive. She also has a gambling problem. She has and continues to blow thousands of dollars a year at the casino but then complains about not having the money to do other things (like have her cats groomed once a year for $160). I feel like I shouldn't be obligated to help her financially under these circumstances. Am I wrong?

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I understand the cat thing. My daughter had Maine Coons. Lots of hair.

My answer....NO you are not obligated to help her financially. To me seems like you have it pretty much under control. You get rent that pays her expenses. You seem happy to be living in a MH, and some of them are very nice. Those RVs are very nice.

I would not let her starve or do without basic necessities and I don't think you would either. As she gets more immobile she won't be able to get out anyway and I wouldn't be driving her to the Casinos. When her car dies, I wouldn't get her another. There r Senior buses.

You are going to see a lawyer concerning her future...I think you have it all together so please don't feel guilty.
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MamaLlama Feb 20, 2019
Thank you JoAnn. I appreciate your response. :-)
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Is your mom still mentally competent or is there the possibility of some cognitive impairment? I ask because it could be a gambling addiction problem, especially if it's been lifelong, or if it's something she started doing in the past few years, a sign that she is becoming cognitively impaired. Compulsive behavior can be common with dementia.

Either way, she may need you to help safeguard her finances. A budget is a good idea, as suggested. Think of it like sort of an intervention. Perhaps a certain amount of spending money per month proportionate to her expenses, and when she runs out, that's it until next month. It would probably be wise to look into her IRS situation too. Depending on her winnings, she could owe quite a bit if it's been a long-term thing. It wouldn't hurt to sit down with your mom with an attorney and an accountant to find out where things stand, and plan now for needing Medi-Cal.

And no, you should definitely not be paying for her expenses out of your own pocket. It will probably eventually come to her needing the Medi-Cal, but until then, her expenses for her needs and bills should come out of her funds (taking precedence over the gambling) until those run out and Medi-Cal is in place.
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MamaLlama Feb 18, 2019
Thanks for your feedback. She has been gambling for more than 20 years. It's not a new thing at all. She used to go to the casino 3 times a week, like clockwork. Now she goes when she feels well enough and has some money.

She's still pretty sharp mentally but I'm starting to notice little things that would indicate that the short term memory is starting to decline a little.

We're now looking for a local elder care attorney to discuss MediCal, her Trust and other issues.
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MamaLlama, you are not obligated to fill in financially for her when she is blowing all of her money at the casino.

Just curious, who grooms their cats? I have never heard of that.

You may have to tell her that if she really cared and wanted it done she should handle that 1st and go to the casino AFTER she has done what is needed.

My heart goes out to you, I was raised by a gambler and it is the only thing that matters to her this day. I had to tell her she better start saving money or she will be a ward of the state. She would not care if I ended homeless and in the gutter as long as she could gamble, she lives in Vegas and refuses to move. I feel like it has to get hard and really uncomfortable for her before she will maybe get a grip.

So, don't give her any financial assistance and don't feel bad in the least. You are doing nothing wrong and being truly kind and generous with all you and your husband are doing.

Hugs! It's a horrible situation to be involved in.
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MamaLlama Feb 17, 2019
AH! You totally understand :-). To answer your question, there is an animal grooming place in a nearby town. I've been taking her cats (now cat because one had to be put down recently) there once a year to have them shaved, bathed, toenails trimmed and ears/glands cleaned. The hair is quite long and thick and gets matted. I take them because she is unable to handle the carriers and the cost comes out of the rental money she gets (see my reply to cwille).

I think I will put that to her about becoming a ward of the state but I don't have much hope for it helping. My sister was once a drug addict and I learned then that addictions take priority over EVERYTHING. Thankfully she recovered from that. At 83 I don't think my mom will.

Thanks for your response and hugs back to you!
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Op, you will make it through this. We all made promises, when everyone was healthy. Do not think yourself a failure if something has to change. All of us, all, want you to be ok.
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MamaLlama Feb 17, 2019
Thank you so much. :-)
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Op, it is not without a compassionate heart that we offer the responses we do. We are trying to head off a most certain disaster for you.

In the most polite way I may proffer. Pull your head out.

I want one of those roombas. Not in the budget though.
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You have received lots of great advice and thank you for clarifying the situation too.

No you are not obligated to help your mother out financially. Nor are you obligated to help her with the housework, grocery shopping, meal preparation laundry etc. (you have not said who is doing it).

It maybe worth your time to go over Mum's finances and do up a budget for her. Even knowing she will not be able to stick with it. If you are in the US and she may need Medicaid in the future, I doubt spending thousands at the casino will pass the 5 year look back.

It is your home and it is reasonable that you insist that she maintain a level of cleanliness in it. If she is incapable or unwilling to do housework, then she needs to budget to have a cleaner come in and pay that before heading off the the casino.

It is very difficult to do housework when a walker is needed for balance. My Dad uses a cane and cannot push a broom. It is physically impossible for him. The same applies to washing dishes (hard to do one handed), so he sort of rinses them. And all other housework needs a degree of balance and generally two hands.
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cwillie Feb 17, 2019
My grandmother sat on a stool to do dishes. And I hear rave revues about the roomba vacuums. Just sayin'
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If you are aware that she's an addict, why do you enable her?

Thats why I asked if your question was a joke. I dont understand why you would ask if you should feel guilty, which would imply that that you were doing something wrong.
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MamaLlama Feb 17, 2019
Please see my reply to Tothill.
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What happens when she spends all of the money and you get no money? Are you on any accounts? Are her utilities on ACH Where if expense doesn't clear she will continue to get overdraft charges?

The shoe is going to drop here in a giganto way. And you are going to be stuck with a giant mess.

The responses you getting are from the heart. Many have been in similar circumstances and are trying to warn you.
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MamaLlama Feb 17, 2019
Please see my reply to cwille.
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Is it that you bought your mother's home and have allowed her to continue to live there, or is this a totally new property?
I'm glad you are content to live as you are but the whole arrangement still seems to me to leave your mother with the better side of this bargain. Bottom line is you absolutely are not obligated to pay her debts. The trouble is what happens if you don't - will she continue to overspend? And if she's pressed for funds might she renege on her rent and utilities?

(you seem upset at the shocked responses you've had but take a moment and realize that your question as it is written sounds absolutely outrageous to many of us)
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MamaLlama Feb 17, 2019
When we bought the property she moved with us and we rented out her home. That rent comes directly to me and her rent, utilities, groceries, Rx's, etc. are taken out of it so I'm not concerned about her reneging. I never offer to pay for anything, I just get tired of hearing "I can't afford that." I know it's BS. Fortunately, if she runs short on funds she just can't go to the casino until she has more. Thanks for your feedback.
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Your situation is only going to get worse. Time to make changes now.

I concur that if she can maneuver driving, she can do some other things in the home.
I would imagine the casino requires some navigating and dexterity that seems to magically appear.

You are being taken advantage of.

Now, where to start to change it.
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You should absolutely feel guilty - for having so little self respect and for treating your husband so poorly. You are being used my dear. How is it YOU get the granny suite and mom gets the house? And you can't tell me that someone who can get themselves out of the house and into the car and off to the casino can't do basic housework.. Has your mother always been the prima donna?
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MamaLlama Feb 17, 2019
When we bought the property we were living in an RV. We did not want to live under the same roof so we stayed in the RV on the property. Later we traded it in for the mobile home for more room. Mom pays us rent and pays for her utilities. We are quite comfortable in the MH and at least have some privacy. By the way, this whole set-up was my husband's idea.
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This is a joke, right?

You are providing your gambling addicted mother with a home. She can drive but can't do housework? Who says?

She's an addict. And a user.
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MamaLlama Feb 17, 2019
No, it's not a joke at all. Please see my response to cwille. My question wasn't about housework, it was about money and I'm quite aware that she's an addict.
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