I am 61 and have been the only caregiver for my 93 year old mother for the past 4 years who had a stroke and congestive heart failure. I have not held an outside job during this time. I am compensated $1100 a month. Mom lives in her own place and I have mine but we live close to each other. I was recently divorced and money issues have very tight for me. I’ve already used a lot of my retirement funds to help keep myself afloat as I cannot manage on $1100 a month. Mom does gift me a little extra money as needed only to pay necessities, not to use for luxuries. Mom’s money is getting low. She did not have much to begin with. Needless to say, caring for her has been a challenge and I’ve sacrificed a lot, but her needs and comfort come before mine. I will not put her into a nursing home unless there is no other choice. She hates hospital environments and wants to remain in her own home. Even if it came to hospice, I would still rather her be home.
I have one sibling who lives nearby, married and retired. Over the last two years, he’s talked about plans to move out of state by the end of this year. He’s had very little involvement with mom’s care, only to take her to coffee once a week and drop her off back home and maybe a doctor visit once in a while. At one point he even told me “mom” was my “real” problem, I guess meaning I bore the responsibility – it was not his.
Recently mom ended up in the hospital again for three days for the third time in 3 years. I had a bad case of the flu when that happened, so my brother took care of things until he brought her home. We decided that each of us would take turns staying at mom’s place two days at a time and alternate so she wouldn’t be alone.
So the first day she was back at home he told me he “sold his house” and would be “moving by the end of August” and that he thought it would be best to put mom in a home now so that I could get back to work full time to save myself financially. Then two days later he asked me what I thought about having mom go live with him and his wife. I asked why he would ask that when he just told me he sold his house and was moving by the end of August. He gave no answer. So I just told him to ask mom if she wanted to live with him. He now says she agreed to it. Mom gets $900 social security. She lives in a small older mobile home, owns it free and clear and pays a space rent of $620 month. Renting is not allowed – only owner occupied. So the space rent needs to be paid regardless of anyone living there - out of her SS, while it sits in limbo. Additionally, she has no prepaid or prearranged burial plans, so that will also be an undetermined future expense.
So now he tells me he wants to take her to his place later this week to live and has told me he will expect monetary compensation of at least $500 a month. I already have overhead expenses of my own right now of $3000+ a month without alimony, equity, a job, and very little savings left to make it much longer.
I am not thinking clearly and I’m not sure what to make of all this. When I ask him who will care for mom when he and his wife go out, he says “he’ll figure something out” yet he says “he’s thought everything through”. I am perturbed that he would ask for money at this point in time and also has no answer when asked about moving to another state or any other question I ask. His only concern seems to be moving mom all of a sudden which is quite unusual for him. He clearly knows my dire financial situation at this point in time but his seems to render himself as a victim. And I’m also wondering if he has my mother’s best interest in mind, or his. I’m hoping someone can pick up on what I wrote and give me a little clarity because I could sure use it!