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My son's 5 yr relationship with his girlfriend recently ended and he moved in with his grandmother. He is bitter that he could not make both his grandmother and girlfriend happy. He blames me for not dealing with my mom more and is very resentful which I understand.
My mom is 81 however she is NOT an invalid. She drives to stores, dr appt, etc during the week. She has heart issues and has hearing loss issues but she can do things for herself and has mobility. (Uses a cane but no scooter)
I don't want to make her go to an assisted living community as she is able to care for herself currently. However, with my son living there with her and his bitterness is not a healthy environment for either.
I have told my son I would help him get a place of his own. (He has tried to get a place in the past but doesn't have credit due to not using charge cards, etc) He told me he would just stay at his grandmother's. I am at wits end feeling so bad and guilty. I want my son to have a HAPPY life and not have this burdon to take care of his grandmother.
Do I try to insist that he gets his own place (he promised his grandfather before he passed on that he would take care of his grandmother and home - he will inherit the home eventually) OR try to find a small condo for my mom so they both have their space?
I am dealing with this alone. My sister does not want to help or be bothered.
Any advise is appreciated.

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First of all I would like to address your statement " I want my son to have a happy life!" Oh course you do but understand that happiness is an inside job. We all have free will and get to make choices in life. If he is unhappy living with your mom then he should move. It is not a healthy relationship. I do not want an unhappy person caring for me when I am older.
I think your son needs to be kicked out of the nest so to speak so he can test his wings and learn to fly solo. When we have confidence in our own abilities and a strong sense of self work that is when we are truly able to give back.
Don't dangle the inheritance in front of him. Take that off the table. Like others have said in this post you have no idea how long your mother will live and what kind of care she may need down the road.
it is time for tough love. ;-)
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lsmiami said, ".. caregiving is too hard to do it for anything other than love." I couldn't agree more .. and I do this as a vocation (please note, I do NOT say "job") .. it's my passion. And, I choose it. And .. I couldn't do it, if I didn't love it.

If you don't have the love for it, or the person .. either find it, or move on. Otherwise, it's everyone's misery. I don't think anyone deserves misery. No one.
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Just curious but why did the grandfather ask the grandson instead of one of his children to watch over the grandmother in the first place?
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If someone offered me a Million dollars, in 10 years, if I lived under their roof under their rules, I would say no thanks.

Son is seeing this as a job. Maybe he needs to spend the next 10 years working on his career, and savings to buy his own home. He needs to ask himself what price he is placing on his youth. This is a job with deferred compensation and no future. Unless this is a $10Million dollar mansion, son needs career after grannies passes as well.

What if granny is a fighter and lives a long time and requires NH? What if she goes through her assets and the house ends in MEdicaid payback?

I think it is great if son drops in on granny, visits, does some chores and hits her up for some iced tea.

When you accept money from a controlling person they leverage their control. If granny can live on her own, great. When she needs help the family needs to help get her to the right place and by all means stay involved with her and in her life.

For me, caregiving is too hard to do it for anything other than love.
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if granny didnt want your sons girlfriend staying at / in her house then it dont sound like shes in much of a spirit of compromise. that fact changes my opinion almost entirely. she cant expect grandson to live with her and deny him his privacy and happiness. if the house is just too small to accomodate 2-4 people more living space could be built on. alas if your son cant deal with granny right now , things arent going to get better . my mom has late stage dementia and some days just bends your head. ya have to educate yourself online and otherwise to master the patience required.
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The only thing I would add to all the wise advice you have gotten is to remember that this is mostly your son's problem. He is in a situation where he is not happy. He needs to make some choices. He may need just a bit of therapy and an antidepressant - or a career coach? - to get him on a path he likes.

But he is actually free to do whatever he wants - to keep or lose the house, to stay or go, to be nice and learn how to deal with deaf grandmother, or to bow out.

Making these choices won't be easy because every choice one makes means losing some different opportunity. He is a grown man. As his mother, you don't need to protect him from this. IMO, you should be sympathetic, but ask him, "So what do you think you will decide to do?" Let him be unhappy, and be with him, but let him know he has to solve it, and let him know that you know he is wise and mature enough to do it.

I just hate it when my kid is unhappy and I can't fix it!
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We all want the best for our kids, it just about kills you when they make themselves unhappy...you have my prayers for him too.
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Thank you ALL for your responses. My son can't cope with my mom's hearing impairment nor my sister. They just want to "zone out". It is very hurtful to my mom. She knows it is frustrating for her and others. The need to show compassion but they don't have the tolerance.
I pray that my son can find happiness and work out his feeling of obligation to my mom and home and get a life of his own.
Again, I appreciate all your comments and suggestions!
Thank you so much!
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I'm going to be a little blunt, because someone needs to be. Sonny needs an attitude adjustment. He decided he wanted to do this. He gets to decide whether to do it resentfully or cheerfully or not at all. You get to decide, if he decides to do it resentfully, whether that is acceptable to you or not. If he wants to inherit the home, and this is the route to it, fine, but ts going to be a while. A long while. If he does not want it to be a chain around his ankle for that long while, then he needs to back out and do something else. Taking care of someone/someone's house when you don't like them, for years on end, would be soul-sapping, and do you want someone who is just waiting for grandma to die to be her main caregiver, really??

That's very nice that he did not get into credit card debt, but he could think of a couple things he wants or needs and buy them on a time payment plan to establish credit. It's not rocket science. His problems are not unsolvable, he just wants them to be so he has excuses for not growing up. It is not really OK for him to be resentful and reclusive; it may be OK to have a variety of emotions, not all of them positive, but to create a negative atmosphere is too high of a price for grandma to pay for housekeeper and chore services. Don't even try to tell me there are no females who would find his willingness to care for a grandmother's home endearing. Grandma's generation would typically see what he wants to do with a girlfriend as "shacking up" and would not see fit to tolerate that under her roof. Or, maybe she would be willing to negoatiate a private space for him within her home, and just not listen/not go in there; maybe for a "fiancee" or future fiancee who happens to need a place to be away from her family, she would be OK with that too. And if not, there are surely other places and times, or the possibility of getting paid for caretaking that would contribute to rent for his own place that could work out.

And finally - Why is he being allowed to hate on/avoid contact with grandma (sorry - same thing - she is not stupid and has to know he is avoiding her) because he can't cope with her hearing impairment? Do you even know how hurtful than can be to someone? It is not grandma's fault her hearing is poor. And it does not make her a horrible person or give him a right to avoid contact because he finds it disgusting or replusive. Hearing aids can help but they do not make hearing normal. There are plenty of guides to interacting with people with low hearing out there, he needs to read up and take to heart. Here is one that expalins both deafness and HOH: www.onestops.info/article.php?article_id=10 and an excerpt in case the URL does not post:

-To get the attention of a person with a hearing loss, call his/her name. If there is no response, you can lightly touch him/her on the arm or shoulder, or wave your hand.

-Always look directly at a person who has a hearing loss. Use eye to eye contact.

-Use facial expressions and body language to communicate the emotion of a message, such as displeasure or approval.

-Watch the individuals eyes to ensure understanding - do not depend on affirmative head nodding only.

-Do not exaggerate your speech

-Be sensitive to the needs of people who lip read by facing the light source and keeping hands, cigarettes, and food away from your mouth when speaking. [Some HOH people unconsciouly lip read a little to help interpret what they hear]

-If you are asked to repeat yourself several times, try rephrasing your sentence.

-When providing information that involves a number or an address, consider alternative ways to provide it; writing, faxing, or e-mailing are great ways to ensure accuracy and decrease frustration.

-Have pencil and paper available and use them if necessary; if you are experiencing extreme difficulty communicating orally, ask if you can write.

-Never say, Oh, forget it, it is not important.

Sad in Ohio, your maternal guilt, which I TOTALLY share with you re my own kids, is misplaced. You cannot make your sons decisions for him, you can only outline what is and is not acceptable. Grandma is not, objectively a burden or cause of unhappiness here.
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Ok this is not going to be pretty or PC but imho Sonny is not responsible for making anyone happy but himself. He feels trapped and looks up every morning and see's a future that every day gets more limited and more filled with drudge and seems unending. How old is Sonny.....27, 30? then he is so not doing what his classmates are doing by now. He is mad at himself for not making the better choices (like managing his credit or being whatever the ex wanted her boyfriend to be); mad that the grannie that he grew up loving is not the person he is stuck with; and I bet that although he has always been close to you that he is mainly mad at you for not being more deliberate in your parenting role over the years. I bet the ex told him that he needed to grow a pair and since he was unable to do that...well she was going to find someone who did....really it's the rare young woman who wants to live in a house that is not of her choice much less be saddled with a deaf old lady she has no connection with. And rightfully so.

I'd suggest that you tell him over & over that the "promise" he made to grandpa to take care of grannie and the house, he does not have to do. When he made that promise, well it was done without the knowledge of what was involved.

Have a heart to heart with him to see if he really wants to continue the situation. If he just doesn't, then you have to start to do whatever for your mom and if you can't then you need to either move in with her and do for her OR find a facility for her to move into and sell the house to pay for it. Now If he does want to be gran's caretaker and if he is not being paid to take care of her, he needs to get paid. You will have to see an attorney to do this (a personal care contract) so that there is no Medicaid issues later on. This in & of itself should help as it places a value on his time. Grannie gets SS so there is $ to do this.

At 81 grannie is still young and be here another decade plus. What if say Sonny finds true love in 2 years and picks up and moves away with the new girlfriend. Too bad for you & grannie. What about finding a small apartment in a senior oriented apt complex, that grannie can move into. Sonny can still go to take care of her daily things (& is being paid to do so). If this seems to work out, then after 6 months, I'd have grannie transfer the property to him with the clear understanding that there needs to be a 5 year committment to doing for grannie so that the transfer is outside of the 5 year Medicaid lookback. Than means when she is 86. If you do this, the house needs to get appraised BEFORE he does any work on it, so that the valid appraisal is a low as possible (just in case there is any blowback from Medicaid years from now). You need to have it look as down-market as possible. Good luck to Sonny.
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Honestly I am not sure what he wants. He has become reclusive. He spends time working in the garden, cutting grass, stays out in the garage to avoid being in the house in the evenings with my mom.
He did have his girlfriend spend weekends at the house but my mom did not want her staying there full-time at that time. So he feels he can't have a life or privacy to have a relationship within the home. He even told my mom that he was open to adding on the the house to make room. Due to my mom's lack of hearing, she made no response or didn't want it to happen. (Again she never wanted me to have anyone. She says she wants my son to be happy, but when he was gone at the apartment he had for a couple yrs with girlfriend, she would complain he wasn't there. He would be at apt plus stop every night to check on my mom...thus the "I can't make both happy")
I can assume that he is feeling grief over his relationship breaking up and resentful that he should stay with my mom. If he would move out he feels like he would have to deal with his home PLUS take care of my mom's. I told him that I would have the lawn mowed, do laundry, etc and for him to move on.
I don't know what else to do to help this situation with him. Give it time and hope for the best?
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I agree with Captain that it wouldn't hurt your son to learn some of the difficulties of maintaining a home. I'm also sure, that with the bitterness he feels from grandmother's influence, that the actual caregiving will end up suffering. Family dynamics are really .. forgive the pun .. hairy. My family is utterly dysfunctional, and -for my own sake- I've chosen to close off certain relationships. I refuse to be in the same room with my father's wife (I refuse to think of her as my step mother .. she's a user and manipulator), I share time with my sister, but nothing that has any real value and my two brothers can kiss my hinney. At 60, and having tried to 'smooth the waters' for 30-odd years, I've given up. I don't need the stress and I don't want anything in my life where the value in the relationship is one-sided. Pfft. I stopped caring. The pain was NOT worth the effort.

If your mother has always been controlling, you and your son have two choices, as I see it: First - decide if it's worth living with, or second: grow some hairy ones and stand up to her. Set boundaries. Your mother isn't getting younger, and unless she's going into AL or eventually a NH, it sounds like you want to keep it in the family. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you both know what you're getting into.

If there's enough money to hire a groundskeeper/handyman, and help set your son up in another living situation, it may solve the issue for now. What about 5 years from now, when your mother is likely going to require more in-home assistance.

Hmm ... another thought: maybe your mother thinks that keeping your son in her home is your way of spying on her. Maybe she's feeling resentful of the intrusion. Maybe she's TRYING to get him to move out. Have you actually talked to her?

It sounds to me like everyone's using you as a sounding board, but no one's actually communicating. How about a sitdown chat with everyone. Seriously heart-to-heart about end of life stuff. Despite what we want .. it's coming. And it's honestly easier to talk about it NOW, than in 10 years when your mother can't remember stuff, has held onto her own bitterness, your son is overwhelmed with the caregiving and you're stuck in the middle, wringing your hands.

Read the other caregiver stories here. I don't think I'm downplaying the probable future.

I hope you let us know how it progresses. Blessings on you and yours.
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More questions, sorry. What is it exactly that he would like you to do that you are not doing that he deeply resents? Trying to get a feel for this...
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Is living with your Mom a stipulation of inheriting the property?There are many fish in the sea and he can have a relationship
without living with someone...When he finds the right girl I'm sure things will work out and they can then marry move into there own place and your Mom will continue to look after herself as she seems capable of doing...
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My son does alot at the home. He maintains the yard work which is immaculate, does the laundry, takes out garbage, gets mail, etc.
He loves the home and does want to take care of it.
The problem is the house does need some updating and is somewhat small. He would like to have a relationship, get married, have child(ren) and feels the living arrangement he now is in is not allowing it.
My mom is VERY hard of hearing and it is totally frustrating to him that she does not hear things or misinterpets things. My mom was never open to me having relationships in the past or controlled who I would end up with. So having another person (girlfriend/spouse) in the house with my son would be even more stressful.
He is so bitter/unhappy in this arrangement. Is it worth staying to have a house inherited? (Yes, the will does state this currently)
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I am curious, what is he actually doing to take care of her? I know what the house would require, lawn maintenance, repair, painting, etc. You mentioned he couldn't make his grandmother and his girlfriend happy - what is his grandmother requiring of him that got in the way of his relationship with his girlfriend? Why is he bitter?
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Let him know that if she moves into Al there probably won't be any inheritance for him..She will need it for rent at AL...Plus I hope she has seen an Atty and has it in her will or trust that he will inherit the home....
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if your son is in line to inherit a home and property that the elders worked their lifetimes to obtain , i think he should learn some caregiving techniques and provide some good elder care to earn this inheritance. i understand the elders can drive ya nuts but not that much is even being asked of him yet.
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