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About 2 years ago; my elderly mother informed me that she needed to move in with me because things were not working out living with my sister. I allowed her to move into the spare room after my grown daughter moved out and I knew she'd depend on me to get her to doctor appointments, take her to the store, etc.


Little by little, she started wanting me to start taking more and more responsibility for things I'm not willing to be responsible for. I don't want to be handling her business matters. I don't want any of her assets when she passes either; and honestly, she doesn't have a lot to pass on. My dad put all their money into precious metals; which is just the worst idea I've ever heard. She can't spend it like a liquid asset; it has to be cashed in with the same company he bought it from. (If anyone is considering falling for that scam, just say no.) Her helplessness extends to the point where she will ask me to wake her up in the morning and that tiny little abdication of responsibility is indicative of the problem I have with her.


I don't want her financial business to fall to me. I had my life arranged in a way I could cope with and I'm doing everything I can to avoid what she keeps wanting to plop into my lap. Even her emotional needs are too much for me to attend to. I avoid everything I can, and resent everything I can't avoid. I am 59 years old, divorced and my youngest kid had JUST left home when this all started. This was supposed to me my time. I'd made room in my life for that. I'd downsize; I'd simplified; I'd KonMari'd; I'd cancelled cable; and, I never installed a landline. I'd planned on traveling overseas; going on fly-fishing road trips, camping. I planned on many trips to visit my new grandchild. I planned on eating cereal for dinner when I felt like it. I'd JUST GOTTEN SOBER.


This situation has ruined my life; and the only way it could be worse, is if I had to be responsible for managing her business too.

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Leslie, you’re no good as a caregiver. And please know that’s said without judgement or scorn. What’s being asked of you is a hard job that only gets harder. It was hard for me and I never did it in my home, exponentially harder there. That you’re feeling this level of resentment and frustration is a sign that this isn’t what you should be doing, it’s no good for either your mother or you. Time to level with her and find a new place and plan. It doesn’t mean you don’t care, but recognize a bad idea for you both and seek a better one. I wish you well
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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I vote that you ease your mom out. You are not obligated to provide care for her. She "assumed" you into caregiving, whether or not you invited her into your home. She is a full grown woman who had her entire life to plan for her retirement years and exit. I would tell her that you thought the arrangement was temporary and that you were looking forward to your freedom when your daughter left the nest and living fully, freely and soberly. Did your mom care give for her parents? If not, you can diplomatically point this out to her. Reassure her you love her and will help her get resettled (and I suggest you pick a hard deadline or it may drag on or she may drag her feet). Work on not feeling guilty over this -- and think about that she may come to like a different situation just as much or more. She will choose to adjust (or not) and you will be able to live your life they you had hoped to.
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Reply to Geaton777
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Frances73 Jan 4, 2021
One point, she may have had no control over planning for her old age. Many women of this generation left all the financial decisions to their husbands. My mother had no idea how much money Dad made. He gave her an allowance for household expenses. She was shocked after he died to find out they had no money saved.
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If you have just gotten sober, the last thing you need is to take on the care of another person.  All of your efforts need to be on yourself and your own issues, whatever they may be. 

This wasn't a friend asking to crash on your couch for a week.  This is an elderly parent who needs companionship, assistance and care.  Did you ask your sister what the issues were and why your mom was moving out?  That might have given you a clue as to why you should have said no.  That is water under the bridge now.    You and your sister are going to have to work together with your mom and come up with a plan for her to move into assisted living or something comparable.  Just tell your mom that you have some extended traveling to do and you will not be home and you don't think it's safe to leave her there alone.  You are going to have to par-lay your trips until you get mom settled somewhere and even once you do get her settled, you and your sister are going to have to manage her finances and care. 

I don't know of anyone who doesn't have some responsibility to someone or something.  A spouse, a job, a child, a parent, a girlfriend, a dog, etc...  the key is to make good choices in relation to those things.  She is your mom.  You don't want her living with you, but that doesn't mean you can't help her get settled elsewhere.
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IamAmy Jan 4, 2021
Good answer!
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Your responsibility to your mother is to do what's best for her within *her* means and within *your* limits. If you want your sobriety to last, start her applications for aide i.e. Medicare benefits, Medicaid, etc., find senior housing where she can age in place, and get her moved. She needs to be around people her own age as do you.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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I applaud you for your honesty and self awareness. And congrats on your sobriety. I’m sorry you are under this unwanted stress. My mother was placed in assisted living (by me) and I manage her finances. Believe me I want a guardian to take over most days. Just keeping up with her finances (they were a mess) and worrying about possibly applying for Medicaid in the future and finding her a Medicaid bed is very stressful. My mother has dementia and cannot manage any decisions and I’m an only child. She argues and fights with me and accuses me of stealing - ugh. So I get it! I would never have accepted being POA. I didn’t know what I was getting into. You can refuse being POA.

Your mom needs a better plan other than languishing in your extra bedroom. That’s a conversation you need to have ASAP even though I’m sure you would like to avoid it! This situation won’t likely resolve on its own and your sobriety and mental well-being are at stake.

You sound intelligent and resourceful and strong! Gather your support system and do some research on senior resources and housing in your area. It will be hard work in the short run to insure your peace of mind and sanity in the long run.
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Reply to Mepowers
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So the short answer is you have no responsibility to your parent. They are responsible for planning and funding their retirement, not you.

How do you get her out of your life? You may need to talk to an eldercare attorney about evicting her and arranging to have her placed in a facility.
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Reply to Tothill
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I wish everyone would read some stories like this before they take any action toward "caring" for a parent, especially allowing them to move in. This always entails much more than is usually expected and it always gets worse with time.

Parents are responsible for their own retirement and old age. I just turned 70. I do share some of the care for my 96 year old mother with my sisters, but none of us will ever let her move into our homes. When Mom can no longer make it work at her own home, she will need to go into residential care.

My own plans include living at home as long as I can care for it and myself (with hired assistance, perhaps). When it gets to be more than I want to deal with I will either move into an apartment/condo with weekly cleaning service or I will move into a retirement home. All I want my sons and grandson to do for me is to visit with me once in a while, and share their personal triumphs with me.

If I make a mess of my finances (in good shape at this point), I will simply make do with a Medicaid bed if that is all my future finances allow. I try to make solid decisions and I am reasonably frugal so my spreadsheets show that I would be good until well into my 90's. If not, it is my fault, not that of my sons or grandson. I feel that ALL responsible adults owe it to their children to make plans for themselves so that their children can enjoy those final years, not find them a trial and a torture.

I am glad to see that you have provided for your own life. Good for you! Stick to your own plans and let your mother make her own plans for her life. She is responsible for herself, just as you are responsible for your life. Try to be kind, but be very firm. Her presence in your home is not a blessing in your life. Tell her to move on.
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Reply to LittleOrchid
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Your responsibility to your parents is love and respect to the extent it was given you when they raised you. IMHO.
Unfortunately you let your mother move in with you.
That is going to make it ever so much more difficult to remedy this all.
First of all explain to your mother that you are very sorry, but your limitations don't allow you to care for her in your home, nor is it working out for YOU to live with her. That she will have now to go into care. Then hire a fiduciary to handle your Mom's finances, to arrange all of her bills so that they are automatically withdrawn or are sent to him or to her. This is often about 90.00 an hour and once arranged takes only several hours a month at most to do the work. This is something Mom will pay for, just as she would if she did not have a daughter.
Tell your Mom exactly what you are willing to do and what you are not. Tell her she will need care so she can access transit to appointments and so on.
Be honest. Tell her you will not abandon her, but that sadly you are unwilling to take on her care in the home. That you will assist her when Covid is over or she is vaccinated or care places are vaccinated to find a good placement choice given what assets she has now that Dad squandered their funds on a bad scheme.
There is no reason to sacrifice your own life on the next several decades of misery, nor your sobriety.
I wish you good luck. This is again something without a good answer. Not everything can be fixed. There is no easy answer to the fact our elders now live on to the age of 100, leaving us 80 years old and bereft of everything we should have enjoyed in some of the last carefree years of our lives. Some choose to sacrifice their lives on this altar. I would not be capable of that. Only you can decide if you wish to do that or not.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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"About 2 years ago; my elderly mother informed me that she needed to move in with me because things were not working out living with my sister."

That's all I needed to read to predict the rest of what was coming. You have the kind of mother that assumed her adult children would be the elder care plan, ALL of it. You have my sympathy, because my mother did the same.

I'm curious, what business is she conducting at age 89? Does she have decent financial resources? Leslie what you need is a plan to get her out of your home. Your profile said she is incontinent. Does that mean she can't do her own personal hygiene? I'm just wondering if she would qualify for ALF, or need more?

Either way, you have every right to live your life! Your mom lived hers. In a senior care home she will be around her peers, and get socialization.

Let us know what you are thinking, because it doesn't have to be this way, there are other options.
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Reply to ExhaustedPiper
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I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess as to why your mom's living situation with your sister didn't work out. Your mom probably pulled a lot more on your sister. I'm sure she caught it ten times worse than you do because she's a daughter, and daughters catch it far worse from mom then any of our brothers do. Get together with your sister and find a senior living community for your mother, or better still an assisted living that also has a nursing home area for if she should need skilled care. Don't have her living with you because you don't want her there or the responsibility of her. I do not say this as an insult to you at all. You have a right to live your own life at your age. You state that you don't have to manage her business and financial affairs and that is good. Please have a meeting with your sister and talk it over with her. Then let your mother know that you plan on travelling often and many other things that you've planned to do and will not be able to look after her in day-to-day life.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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