This is hard for me to write about. My mother is 90 years old. After my father died 8 yrs. ago, my mothers health was ok but not great. I moved in with her about 6 yrs ago. My wife passed and children are grown up. I worked on a free lance basis but this past year she broke her hip by falling on her own (thankfully I was at home) and discovered that she had melanoma. I have a brother who is married with no kids and a sister who has 2 boys in their teens. I know this yr my mom will need 24/7 care. She is frail and every step she could go down. I asked for some financial help so I could pay my bills for the upcoming year and have been told that since I moved in with her that my expenses were lower (which is true) and that I should just get enough to cover my expenses and that's all. Not once has my brother visited us at home and only comes on Christmas every other year to my sisters house. My sister has been more diligent as she visited for two wks after the broken hip and we visit her during the holidays. They both live 2000 miles away, so I understand it's hard for them to come. The last 18 months I have turned down work because my mom is uncomfortable with strangers in the house. I thought I was doing the right thing by taking care of my mom on my own so they could live their lives. So they wouldn't stress. All extended family members have thanked me for me being there for mom. Apparently I was very wrong. My brother and sister both have told me that I'm lucky to have a place to live with no costs. I have given up my friends, business opportunities and have at best a quiet social life. They have made me feel guilty about asking for the money and what I once believed was a no brainer has now divided us. My mom has not been supportive of me at all. In fact she resents me because she can't do things that once was easy for her to do. Did I decide on the err of caution on turning down work? Yes I may have. But I did because I thought I was doing the right thing. I will say my brother in law has been more supportive on the financial issue because he was in the same situation as I, but he can only do so much. It's not like the family has no money and I'm not asking for the world, just enough to keep my head above water. I really thought that they would be more supportive. What has become a bad situation is now well... I'm not asking anything from the past care, just something for next year. Could I have done things differently? Maybe. I feel that the focus of my siblings is on the money and not what I have given up to help mom. I'm sad, I'm lonely and angry. I thought I was doing the right thing and it's blown up in my face. I know I'm right and that's what keeps me going. If any answers would appreciate. Thank you

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Is your Mother high or low on funds? Could she pay you? Does she buy the food and pay the utilities? Who does her bookeeping and write out the checks? Does she own her home outright? Look for funds from her even if it takes remortgaging. If she has no funds, Medicaid will pay you for taking care of your Mother if she qualifies. I take care of my Mother 24 x 7. I do not leave her side. It is costing me money. l pay caretakers for the hours I participate in choir practice, Church and recently for medical procedures. I am gifted a small amount and am looking into a contract for her care. Being with Mom is a high calling. To survive, I am attempting to make money in penny stocks buying and selling online. There are other ways to make money from home. Don't stay isolated. Make friends in something that will lift your spirits. Your Mother is fortunate to have you by her side. If you want out, I understand that Medicaid will pick up the tab at a senior facility if she is placed in a senior facility on self pay for a time. I stay with Mom in a senior facility because my brother and cousin would fight me if I would try to take her home. Don't give up. Find a solution. Unless your loved one has 24 x 7 private pay care at a senior facility if they are at risk of falling they will falleven at very nice facilities. There are many bad facilities out there too so if you do place her in a facility go there and talk to residents and their families.
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I'm a bit confused.
You wanted your clients to come in or a caretaker for mom to come in while you were at work? Which was it mom was objecting to?
Your brother thought you should get just enough to cover your expenses? Where were you to get this? Are you asking sibs to pay out of their personal funds or do they have control of moms funds? "not as if the family has no money"
I don't get a clear picture of who is paying for what?
Your family will have sticker shock when they assess what it's costing (them?) for you to provide care vs an outside paid care taker. Especially since they are getting you for expenses only. What expenses? Are they paying your health and auto insurance? What if you get sick? What's your backup for mom?
Aside from what mom needs, what do you want to do? What does mom want to do? What does she want you to do?
If she isn't being supportive it sounds like she wants you to leave?
I get that you were willing to remain with mom if you could afford to but since being told no, then what are your options?
I can understand that you are hurt. You thought you were taking care of mom and that the family would be grateful. Instead they have let you know, not so much. You've been living there for 6 years and now you are wanting money...seems to be more their attitude.
Providing help for someone for 24/7 is not a one person job. If mom were incapacitated, who has her POA for financial and health care? Since sister came when mom broke her hip, does the family see you as a caretaker?
What was the understanding when you moved in with your mom? Did you intend to stay?
I'm sorry if you are feeling unappreciated. Will you and mom be going to sisters for Christmas? 1800 miles is a long ways for a fragile 90 year old.
What if you get there and she couldn't come home? Is this the year your brother will be there also? You are in a vulnerable situation. Regardless of the answers to the questions, it's time for you to plan for your own life. It will be perhaps too easy to stay status quo. Many of us don't look up for years and then our elder is gone and we have to decide who we are and where we are going. So your story is a familiar one on this site. Come back and let us know how it is going for you and set your intentions for a prosperous and happy new year.
Helpful Answer (4)

Give them a "hard stop" date and keep to it.

Find yourself some modest new digs and get on with your life. You've made your contribution.

Tell your siblings that the best way for this to be managed is for them to hire a geriatric care manager (they'll be so pleased to see how much THAT costs!) who can find the most cost effective solution for mom's care.
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The family as a whole needs to Add Up.

You can leave out mother's resentment of her care costing money. What she really resents is being older and frailer and needing the care, and that's fair enough - who wouldn't feel cheesed off about it?

But facts is facts, and she can't live alone, she needs 24/7 care, and someone has to pay for it - starting with her.

At the moment you are subsidising her through lost earnings, and then on top of that they all have the brass neck to make you feel bad about even mentioning it. So I couldn't agree more: cost out your mother's alternative care options and let them decide which estimate they're happiest with. You may privately smile to yourself, because boy! are they in for a shock.
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Dear Anyanswers,

I'm very sorry to hear how you feel and the conflict with your siblings over money. I know you started out with good intentions. We all start out that way but things tend to change over time.

Given your mom's age it might be better for her to cared for in a nursing home. Like the others have said, you do have to think about your own life and own financial well being.

I've been in your shoes and I know it hurts. But the others are correct in saying that its also a time for action. Since your mom and siblings aren't able to support you, it is best to consider talking to a social worker, elder law attorney or even a therapist to explore all your options.
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This is one of those cases where having a bit more information could be very useful. For example, how old are you? Are you retired or near retiring age? Do you have a 401k and/or social security that you can start collecting soon?

Just want to get a better idea of your overall financial situation to understand what you really count on. I’m saying this because I honestly believe that when one makes a decision to quit everything to take care of a loved one, one should do it counting on nobody else but oneself. Is it fair? No, but it is the most realistic way to think about it and to prepare for it. After all, it’s a very personal decision, which the caregiver owns.

Now, try to move on from feeling guilty, or ashamed, or sad about it. It’s time for action and I think the steps to follow are very simple; you simply cannot survive without income if you don’t have any retirement funds. So you need to work, I don’t know what you do for living but it sounds like you can do it from home, right? and if the only problem is not to receive people in your mom’s house you need to work on options. One, could be to arrange meetings at a nearby coffee shop, and hire help for the time you’ll be out. You and your siblings should pay for that help.

The other aspect I am not sure about is if your mom is mentally healthy? You mention that she resents you and doesn’t support you..doesn’t support you about the decision you made of quitting your job to take care of her? Is she aware of your proposal to your siblings to cooperate financially with you and doesn’t approve of it?

If she’s mentally sound you need to talk about her care options and her financial resources, plus what she’d actually prefer. If she’s not happy with the current arrangement maybe she’d prefer having external at home care or to stay at an outside care facility. It all depends on resources and her preference. You should also start looking for information, so you can help her in making her decision.

You know you meant well, you should already have peace of mind because you feel in your heart you were trying to do the right thing, but you now know that plans have to change.

I sense you’re a little depressed, one more reason why I think working will do you good! Also use the hired help to make your “quiet social life” not that quiet..after all a healthy caregiver physically and mentally is a great thing for the recipient of care!

Good luck and cheer up! :)
Helpful Answer (3)

Show your mom and sibs the numbers for what it will cost to hire outside help vs caregiving contract for you. If that doesn't do it, move on with your life because... I fear you will grow to resent being taken advantage of even more than you do now.

Explain to mom and sibs that your mom's reality is that she needs to pay for care. It's her choice who to pay, but she will be paying someone. You're cheaper but you're not free. It's a tough situation and I greatly sympathize because I've been in it myself, and I wish I had gotten a caregiving contract in place. Now I get to start all over financially because of not making sure I was fairly compensated for my time and effort. It's a common mistake for family caregivers to make.
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I had no idea what caregiving involved until I did it, full time for 10 years, while supporting us by working from home. I don't think you really can understand unless you've seen it up close and personal.

So let's leave off speculation as to whether your siblings are clueless or jerks or both. It is what it is and you are very unlikely to change it.

Mother isn't supportive? Yikes! You are right that she probably resents that she needs help and takes it out on you. It is helpful that you recognize this, but it still hurts, doesn't it?

Here is the bottom line, as I see it: Mother either pays you, pays for full-time in-home care, or pays to live in a care facility. I assume you would give her a family discount compared to hiring outsiders. See an Elder Law attorney to draw up a caregiver contract and explain about taxes on your side and your mother's side as an employer. You don't need to consult your siblings. This is between you and your mother. They don't need to give their opinion. Tell them when you have a signed contract or a care center picked out.

If Mother really can't afford to pay you or the other options, then help her apply for Medicaid.

You have made a tremendous sacrifice. Now Mother really has to start paying her own way, one way or another.

Send you on a guilt trip? Don't accept the ticket. The only thing you are guilty of is not looking after your own interests sooner. Start now.
Helpful Answer (12)

I can understand your siblings point of view. You have lived for 'free' with Mum for 6 years. Now you are asking them to support you financially. If my brother came and told me I had to contribute to my Dad's care (Dad lives part time with them, not the other way around) I would say no way.

If your mother has money, you can, with a lawyer so everything is above board, set up a caregivers contract and she can pay you.

Otherwise you are capable of earning an income and moving out. Then your siblings will have to step up to the plate as far as Mum is concerned.

I am not disregarding the care you give Mum, nor the 'value' associated with it, but I think it is disingenuous to expect your siblings to support you financially. Go back to work outside of the house and ask your siblings to help pay for caregivers for Mum, but only if Mum does not have her own funds to pay for her care.

Why would you have your clients coming to your mother's house? I can understand Mum not being comfortable with that, I would not like to have strangers in my home. Why not meet them outside of the home. There are a great many work sharing spaces around.
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Oh my, the shortfall between expectations and reality. To begin, my observation is that the out of state siblings have ZERO idea of what is going on. (And too be fair, how would they?)
You don't mention your age, but giving up your income and therefore your financial security is a BAD move from a financial point. Does your Mom have financial resources to live in assisted living or have live in care (regardless of her preference, DOES she have the resources???
Forget asking your sibs to chip in. Either Mom pays or goes on Medicaid. AND you go back to work. Find your own place once you have stabilized your finances and be the local over see-er of Mom's care.
OH, what to do when Mom refuses outside help? "Mom you need and deserve more attention. I'm going to find the best help I can get you.
Personal story, I LOVED my Mom and we had a GREAT relationship. I was her POA and health care proxy. When I moved her into assisted living, my sibs asked how long could she afford that. I said for a while. After 14 months, my sister said that if Mom ran out of money, we could all chip in (It was over $7000/month and they didn't take medicaid) I almost had a heart attack, that would have been close to $2000/month for each of us. I believe that is a HUGE financial commitment and (unless it was for a VERY short period) I don't think I would have committed to that.
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Report is time to fish or cut bait.

Tell them that without a caregvers contract you will be moving Out Jan 1st. You have given up too much of your life and INCOME to be treated as a they need to think about how REALLY expensive live in care is... $20 per hour plus extra for second shift...and even more for 3rd shift.

Let them eat those costs!

Even nursing homes cost $250-$350 per day!    

Yeah, they need to stew in those numbers
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