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Anon
I just found this message board tonight so I have spent the last hour reading various posts.  I would like any advice on bringing my mom to live with my husband & me.  She is recovering from a fall in her home & is in a nursing home & her insurance runs out in a month from now.  She will require total care for a while yet (may never be able to live without help again) & I don't know if I'm being naive that I can take care of her or not.  She does have some insurance benefits for home care to help with her care.  I have sibling support & would feel so much better to have her in my home than dealing with 'issues' at the nursing home on a daily basis.
She is still sharp as a tack & would never complain about anything.  I have briefly talked to her about living with us but she doesn't want to intrude.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.

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ID
First off welcome

You, your family and your mom need to be in agreement as to what's best for her. When I say family, yes husband, children and your siblings. Are your siblings able to take her from time to time or for doctor's appointments if you can't?

Are there decent nusing homes in the area? One that you won't have to be in every few hours to know they are caring for her, I might sound harsh, but my mom wasn'f at a decent facility and I just fnished filing formal charges against them.
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Anon

Thanks for the quick reply.

I do have the support of my hubby & we are empty-nesters.  I know at least one of my siblings would take care of her anytime.  The others would for a few hours at a time.
Moving her would not be a good option now & it would be a lot farther away for us to see her.  The CNA's & nurses are wonderful, just overworked.
We do have respite care options in the area too.
I am wondering if others have gotten resentful over time & how to deal with that.  What other feelings may come about?  Some of the posts I have read worry me & I don't want to become bitter towards my mom.

Thanks.

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Mary E.
Welcome, Anon!

I think there was another Anon here a while back.  Every situation and personality is different.  What may not have worked for some, could work for you.  I think it's good to think of all the possibilities and options and try things out before making them permanent.  What seems to be a great idea in theory might not work in reality.

Well, first of all - no matter how disabled or helpless your mother might seem now (did she suffer a broken hip?) - she may totally surprise you after rehab - and not really need permanent care.  My mother was already using a walker and then fell one morning almost three years ago.  I felt that she'd never make it home again.  But she surprised everyone and after a hospital stay (while she was terribly depressed), a rehab stay, and then an extended short term stay at a nursing home, she made it home!  A local charitable agency installed a ramp for her, we outfitted her house with all the safety features - she had OT's and PT's coming to the house for a while.  She also gets meals on wheels and has an alarm call button necklace. 

So, don't give up - just see how she does before making any serious plans such as giving up her house or apartment.  Perhaps when she's ready to leave the facilities - you'd like to take her into your home on a trial basis.  You won't know what it will be like until you actually try it for a while, so make sure that you and your mother can UN-DO the arrangement if it doesn't work for either of you.

It will surely change the dynamics of your own life.  Where you now can go out any time you may want - you'd be leaving someone behind if your mother were living with you.  Where you now can take a vacation without having someone stay with your mom, you'd now have to plan everything ahead and impromptu moves would have to be always planned.  Your mother herself may feel lonely and bored if she doesn't have her own home to putter around in.  Your mother's company would be YOUR company and your company would always be visiting with your mother, too.  Your siblings sound like they would be willing to help, but sometimes they go on with their own lives and "help" when it's convenient, while you will have no options and will always have to be there 24/7/365 if your mother becomes more needy or more disabled.  There's sometimes a lot of guilt involved, because we begin to resent our situation and then frustration and stress that we're feeling guilty, because we know that we're doing our best and it isn't good enough. 

Your mother sounds like a very considerate and loving person. But sometimes, ill health and dependence and depression can make one who never wanted to intrude, very needy.  I don't want to discourage you - because it may work - but just be sure to have a backup plan.  And hope for the best, too.  Your mother may be like mine and still be able to live independently (with help) for years to come. 

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Mary E.
I just read your second post and wanted to answer you.  Unfortunately, I think I HAVE felt resentment - not directed at my mother, but at the situation my husband and I have found ourselves in.  My mother seemed old before her time and we began helping her and my father when he had strokes causing Dementia - 20 years ago.  We didn't mind in the early years, because we were young and energetic and full of love and dedication!  My siblings loved and love my parents, but we are the close ones (next door).  They have always come "when they could" and we are always on duty and feel guilty leaving my mother now that she is critically needful.

It's extra hard now - because my husband and I are tired of taking care of two houses and an acre of yard between both houses.  And we would have downsized by now and cut our expenses and work load, but we don't have the option because I wouldn't leave my mother behind, naturally.  We really don't own our own lives as we are turning 60 this year. 

I don't know if I'd call myself bitter, but I DO definitely think that if I hadn't been in this position for so many years I would have had a much better relationship with my mother.  I would have been able to spend quality time with her instead of quantity time.  I know that she would have been fine hiring helpers if I hadn't been right on the scene, but I was here so she felt she didn't need anyone other than me.  My sister, who lives about an hour away and comes when she can "work it out" and stays for a night or two has a wonderful relationship with my Mom.  They are best friends, you might say.  They don't have any of the daily skirmishes of safety or intrusion.  I think that I would have had a relationship like that if we had had just a little distance and space between us. 

But, Anon, bear in mind that different personalities react very differently with one another.  My mother has always believed that she is still the mother-in-charge and thinks nothing of intruding!!!  So, it could be different with your mother! 
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Redneck
anon. Welcome !!!  I am so happy you found these folks; and I believe you will find this is the best place to receive support, empathy and help from those who have been/ are where you are.  Nobody here is critical nor judgemental of how you feel nor of your unique challenges.  So make yourself right at home.  This is a sanctuary when you need to feel safe...a hang-out when you want to just visit...and even a lunatic-bin if you enjoy occasional or frequent levity.

May we learned a little more of your situation?  Is your mom's home close to yours?  Do your siblings live close-by?

I shall wait to tell you our family's 'story' until I learn if yours is similar...and if I might have helpful personal experience to share.

Just know you are welcome here, whatever your circumstances.
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Hi Anon and Welcome!

I think everyone who takes in an elderly parent starts out with the best of intentions.  Regardless of how well you get along, eventually things start getting to you.  Think of a good friend who has visited too long in your home.....even a best friend gets tiresome after a couple of weeks.

The level of care after someone has fallen can become a nightmare.  The personality quirks intensify and new ones develop.  Their needs become the central focus of their lives and it will become your full time job, both mentally and physically.  From what I have experienced, supportive siblings can disappear in to the wood work after a few rounds of help. 

Once landed in your home, you may be stuck for a long time.  Longer than you ever imagined.  Your life will not be your own, it now belongs to the needy parent. 

Eventually even the sounds of shuffling foot steps (if they are able to get around at all) can make you feel crazy and resentful.

Just my 2 cents.

Abbey


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Anne H
welcome Anon,
It's good you are taking the time to read over lots and lots of the previous posts. There is so much experience and wisdom on this board. True life situations of people living with elderly care.   Like others have said, every situation is different. What works for some people may not work for others and vice versa.  But at the same time, taking in an elderly person into your home presents a ton of challenges and just be aware that this challenges can increase and go on for years.  Of course, nothing has to be permanent and if you do take your mom into your home, she could always go into a nursing home if your situation changes or if care gets to be too difficult.  (although I think it might be harder to do - have your mom go into a nursing home after living in your house. Unless something major happened - such as another fall, illness, etc.,  I think it would be a very difficult thing to place her in a nursing home once she is happy in your home. (JMHO)
Do your research in depth before deciding to bring her home. Read every thing that you can read here and talk to all of your siblings.  I know people who have brought a loved one home - one (who is a RN) said she never expected it to be this difficult and never expected that it would be going on for so long --- they are now on year #3.  There's no time limit on this caregiving -  it could be a month, it could be a decade or longer.  Get actual commitments from your siblings - not just them saying that they will help.  You and your husband are going to need private time and you are going to want to be in your home without the caregiving responsibility-- as opposed to only being alone when you leave your home and have someone come in to stay with her.   Get commitments from siblings to take your mom once a month (and just be aware that as your mom's condition gets worse over the years, that this commitment will be harder and harder for them to do  and they may very well back out of it.)
Get commitments for doctors visits, dentists, testing, running to the pharmacy..................
It is way too easy for your siblings life to just continue on the same as ever while you and your husband's life is drastically changed.    Just research like you are doing here, and look at all the possibilities and all the options.
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susan

anon -- welcome.  Think carefully about the situation before bringing your mother to live with you.   When my mother came to stay with me ia year and a half ago it started out as a temporary arrangement that has become unofficially permanent. I was always close to my mother -- we had a wonderful relationship. I would never dream that she would not go home or that I would be so angry and resentful.  My whole life revolves around her now.  I can't go somewhere spontaneously, vacations are virtually non-existant, she wants to know where I am going, when I'll be home, what I need at the store.  I don't want to feel the way I do, but somehow the resentment always surfaces.  If someone had told me this is what would happen I would never have believed them.  My advice again is to think this through very carefully.  Good luck.  susan

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gracenotes
Anon,

I wanted to respond to your post because you stated that your mother did not want to intrude.  This sounds a lot about my mother.  I think, because she had to be a caregiver herself in the past (her mother/my grandmother lived with us for many years), she never demanded in any way that she live with me. 

My mother lives in a wonderful assisted living facility, and I have made peace that this is the best option.  Even though my mother is generally a pleasant person, she is prone to depression, and tends to see the negative a lot of situations.  This is wearing on me.  She is no longer sharp as a tack mentally, and, I, personally, would never feel comfortable being away from my home for a long period of time because she has a history of falls.  I would be mortified if I came home one day and she was on the floor from a fall.  Better to be in AL.

Regarding your intention to possibly have her move in with you and your husband, I think, for now, if she needs total care, that she should stay where she is.  After she gets better, I think you need to really assess whether you or your husband are going to feel resentful, and other issues such as how much space you have, can she be left alone, how much care she needs, if you and your husband are going to do it, how you feel about having outside caregivers in the home.  I just think you need to do some careful research. 

There are also other options besides nursing homes, including assisted living.  Some of these places are very nice too.  I think my mother likes her measure of independence and would continue to feel like a burden if she lived with me.  Also, in a facility, my mother has a built-in social network of people to have meals with, friends, and various staff to interact with.  If she lived with me, she would not have this, mainly because she does not like to go anywhere anymore and I would be her main social contact.  I do not think that would work well, and I am the only family member too.   

Well, this is just a slice of my situation.  I am not saying this is like yours more than a little, but I think many things need to be considered before making this decision. 
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E.Monica
Your mother is about to lose her independence. She needs to think this through as well. Does she want to rely on you for everything, turning the mother/daughter relationship upside down?

I'm looking after my 93 year old father. He's in his own home and I'm next door-but-one in mine. I go in every day 365 days a year for about 4 hours.

Looking at the situation from his point of view I think he resents me because although he needs me to help with everything, it's like I've taken over and he's completely lost control over his own life. He takes it out on me sometimes.

I'm often scared by the health issues that arise too, which makes me snap and act coldly.

We had a great relationship before I became his carer. If only there had been alternatives then, in hindsight I would have taken them. Now we are both trapped and resentment comes up regularly.

Sorry to be so negative. All the best to you.

English Monica
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Anon
Thanks to everyone for your responses.

Someone asked for a little more background...
My mom fell in her home & broke her back & the day after surgery had a stroke.  She would be fine except for her right leg from the stroke.  She has been in the nursing home receiving PT & OT.  She got her full body brace off last week & has to be in a smaller brace only on transfers.  The brace was awful & she seems to have new life now that that is off.  She is not very strong right now from having been mostly bed ridden for 2 1/2 months.

My brother does own her home & lives there but is gone 10 hours a day so if she can get home she would still need care during the day.

Since this has happened with my mom I have treasured the hours we have spent together.  I used to call her everyday (I still want to pick up the phone at 8 a.m. & talk to her) & stop in frequently - she lived 3 miles away.  I do go to the nursing home everyday now.
I would hate to see this relationship change if I bring her to my house.
Six of the nine of us kids live in the same town so I know I would have support from them & as in the case when we didn't want to leave her after the stroke I just told them they had to take a three hour shift at the hospital.

Thanks for the comment about making a definite plan as far as whose going to help us & when they will help.  That's a good idea. 
One of my brothers brought up the social aspect so that is something to consider too.  The closest AL is 25 miles away so that would be a little hard to get to everyday. 

Any other ideas or comments would help.

Thanks.


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Redneck
Anon. Hello, again.
 
I don't know if our 'story' can provide you any help at all...but here goes...
 
I have two sisters...one lives in another state, the other lives 25 miles from our mom's home of 60 years.  I live about 25 miles from mom's also. [This is rural so miles are a happy given.]  Our dad passed 14 yrs. ago and mom wanted to live in their home.  She's a homebody...her life is her family and her home...and until about 1 1/2 yrs. ago, she was able to live alone, with her kids/grandkids dropping-in, looking-in...and helping her gradually more as she needed it.
 
Eighteen months ago, almost overnight, her health deterioriated to the point she required 24/7 care.  Our family made the decision to care for her in HER home.  This is the only workable option for us.  She is happy here...we were raised here...it is HOME.  The nearest NH is 50 miles away...and is one "you' need to keep-an-eye-on. I know me, I would 'camp' there.
 
My local-sis and I take shifts of 4-5 days, typically.  But we are very flexible to what the other has going-on/needs or wants to do.  We do NOT play the kindergarten-games of keeping score or being "equal" in time with mom.  We make it work the best we can...so all of us can continue our lives and tend our responsibilities of  families, work, etc.  Our 'distant'-sis flies-in for 2 weeks, every other month...which gives us a block-of-time at our homes. 
 
This has worked just great for 18 months...and still is.  Our mom is now on Hospice, which is wonderful.
 
Yes, we get tired...sometimes frustrated or 'worse'.   But it, for us, is as EASY as it possibly could be.   And we are sooooo glad we chose to care for mom in HER home, instead of  taking her into OUR homes.  She would've felt a 'fifth-wheel'...lonely for her home and beloved things...and having her IN our busy, active, 'happening' homes would make her exhausted and unnerved.  Or if we changed 'our' home-lives to accommodate mom's needs...everyone would be miserable. 
 
All of our husbands are 100% supportive of  us and the 'way' we do this.  They, of course, 'miss' us being home...but we've made-up-our-minds to have fun with the situation.  Especially local-sis and BIL...and my hubby and I...almost feel as if we are "dating".   When our men can come for lunch now and then, it's really special. They can come down and hang-out with us... and, when we are home...they are sooo happy we are there.
 
Would we want to do "this" forever...?  NO !!  But it is our best arrangement for now.
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'daughter'
Hi Anon,

I guess I have a couple of questions too.

1. How old is your mom?

2. Given her dislike of wanting to 'intrude', how happy would she be, living at your home? Would she always feel like a burden to you, or like she was intruding all the time? If so, I don't think she would be happy.

I can tell my mom over and over "Mom, it's no big deal, I want to help." when I go to visit her, but over and over she will say "I'm sorry I'm such a burden!!" (I won't go into details, but yes, in many ways because of her stubborness, she IS a burden, we could change so many things that would make it easier on both her and I, but she views those changes as taking away her feeling of independence) --

keep in mind, my Mom still lives in her own house. But even if she were to move in with me, she would always feel in the way, a burden, etc. It would drive BOTH of us nuts. Who knows, maybe after time, she wouldn't feel that way anymore, after she got into the groove, but knowing my Mom,she likes to adopt the martyr personality, so I doubt it.

But I know how I would feel, and I would eventually come to resent having her in my home, having no freedom, no time to myself, having to tiptoe around if she is sleeping, she would have the TV blaring at 4000 decibels all the time (I rarely have the TV on, I have the classical music station playing a lot) -- and I don't want to jeopardize the so-so relationship I have with my Mom right now, so I know I would never move her into my home.

If your mom is on the "youngish" side -- mine is 74, so my Mom could live another 20 years or more!! -- then I would say it's too early to move her into your home.

Yes it's more convenient if she's there with you, definitely. No driving around like a crazy woman all the time. So there are definitely pros and cons to each side.

If you both go into the situation being upfront and honest with each other, and make a pact with each other that at ANY TIME, you can tell her, or she can tell you "this isn't working out" without hurting each other's feelings -- then maybe it would be fine. I think it's important to have that discussion with her, upfront. AND -- if down the road she gets dementia, be warned that any pacts, decisions, agreements that you made with her will go right out the window, because she will not remember them. It could get dicey at that point.

It could very well happen that it will be your HUSBAND who may get fed up with the situation first, long before you or Mom. So make sure he has a say in it too- now and anytime down the road, and again, no one should take it personally.

Everyone goes into this with the BEST OF INTENTIONS. Remember that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.

Hang in there,and welcome to the board. It's a nice place to come and talk.

'daughter'(beth)
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billie jo

anon, after giving more details it is a good possibility that it would work ok in your home. traveling that many miles to al is just as big a problem if not more so.  would suggest a serious sit down with all sibs and make sure they know what help you will need and expect. having in home care with the insurance will also be a big help. when you have the meeting with your sibs make sure you include the need to have a vacation covered a couple of times a year. and maybe they would be willing to each donate a little money a month for you to hire day care for extra time and her extra expenses, if money is at all an issue. ask for help with do appts., any times she needs to be taken out. that can be very exhausting. as long as you have a space in your house that is private, for each of you, to get away for you to just unwind, i think that is one of my biggest problems, no space of my own. it sounds like your intentions are god and you are trying to ask the questions before they surprise you. god bless you, whatever your decision. decisions can always be made at later tmef it doesn't work out. you will then know you all tried.

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