Does Your Mother Live With You? Long Post.....

Lounge By Cakerer Updated 1 Nov 2008 , 1:35pm by michellenj

Cakerer Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 12:46am
post #1 of 19

Well, I should first say I love my mother dearly. She is one of the strongest people I know. She ran a daycare for 30+ years, helped me (so far) raise my little one...as well as my brother's 2....and the children of many friends. She's even kept the babies of her former babies. Unfortunately, my mother was recently diagnosed w/bipolar disorder. It wasn't under control so we decided it was time to close the business. A week later she decided she didn't want to be w/my dad anymore (of 39 yrs!) She's 70 & he is 75. She is living w/my husband & me now & my dad is still at the house (now for sale).

I'm pulled between them both. I'm running to my dad's to make sure his meds are prepared, laundry done, house clean (for viewing) and that he's eating...making sure mom gets to the dr, gets her meds, working insane hrs and taking care of my family.

Has anyone been in this situation and can offer some words of comfort? When the house sells then we plan on adding an apartment to the garage for her but then I have to find somewhere for my dad to live...and still keep up with everything else.

Any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

18 replies
mbelgard Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:04am
post #2 of 19

I'm going to sound mean but if your parents can't take care of themselves and you don't have the time to care for them and your children you might want to look into assisted living and other options for them.

You mentioned another sibling, if he lives close enough maybe he could help you care for them if assisted living isn't an option.

If the living arrangements you make are close enough you'd be able to see them several times a week and it would be much easier for them to socialize with people in their age groups.

Even if they don't want to go somewhere they might find they really like it once they're in. My great grandma really fought about going to the nursing home but she finally got bad enough at 98 that they had to. Once she was settled she LOVED it, it's in the town she's lived in for years so she knows alot of people there. Now they have an assisted living connected to her nursing home so there are even more people there to visit with that she knows.

Cakerer Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:13am
post #3 of 19

We aren't ready for them to go into assisted living right now...well, I say that but we haven't discussed it as a family.

My brother works in a different state every other week and is in the middle of a divorce himself. The good part is that he just bought a 4 BR house so my dad could stay there even if it were temporary. My dad depends on me for almost everything.

I guess I think of assisted living differently. My dad was in a nursing home for rehab after a recent illness and I vowed NOT to do that to him until ABSOLUTELY necessary. My dad's mind is great but he is not physically well. For my mom, it's the opposite. They supported each other so well for so long, I guess I'm just still trying to accept all of this. Are there any assisted living areas that allow you to maintain some freedom? Like driving? There are 2 in our city but you cannot come and go as you like.

TexasSugar Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:38am
post #4 of 19

My grandfather lived in assisted living and then moved in at my parents house twoards the end of his life. I want to say the assisted living place he stayed at did allow some driving for those that were able too, but I can't remember for sure. They did take them different places.

One thing I think is great about assisted living, if you can find a decent place, is that they can sociallize with other people and there for aren't sitting alone all day. Most will have a nurse that will deal with the medicine for you and they feed them, but also some do have small kitchenettes in their rooms.

I can say after having lived with two grandparents, that it is not easy for anyone involved. It adds alot more stress to your family. Not just you, but your husband and your child. It is really hard when a parent or grandparent because like a child again.

I would seriously check out all of your options and you may have to put aside what you want to do what is best for them in the end.

mbelgard Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:55am
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar


I can say after having lived with two grandparents, that it is not easy for anyone involved. It adds alot more stress to your family. Not just you, but your husband and your child. It is really hard when a parent or grandparent because like a child again.

I would seriously check out all of your options and you may have to put aside what you want to do what is best for them in the end.




My high school years were spent cooking meals and doing chores for my grandma who lived right by us and I can agree that it isn't just the adults who are affected, I come from a family of seven and even with the work spread out it wasn't easy. It was my dad's mom and my mother finally put her foot down when my father had to wake up kids on school nights to help my grandma use the bathroom.

Make sure that you look into what's best for the whole family and not just your parents or yourself.

michellenj Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:56am
post #6 of 19

If you look around, you can find some nice places for older folks. I worked at a place that was basically an apartment building for old people, with maid service, they could take the dining plan or not, and lots of activities that they could partake in, if they wanted to. They were completely independent, but there was a dr/nurse on site during normal hours, a beauty shop, a gift shop, library, and cards room. May of the people there still drove. If someone got sick, or their health declined, they could move them across the street to the nursing home the apt. building was affiliated with. It was a wonderful option for older people that were pretty much okay, just getting old, and taking care of a big house wasn't for them. And let me tell you, the men in that place were a hot item!

indydebi Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 4:41am
post #7 of 19

Not sure if it's called the same thing everywhere, but we have an Area 9 on Aging agency .... it's a gov't agency that goes into folks' homes to help them.....it's the extra help they need but not quite assisted living. We used this when my sister (who had cancer and double kidney shut-down, AND she was mentally retarded) needed help with her medications 'n such.

TheDomesticDiva Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:08pm
post #8 of 19

Have you guys tried getting your mom's bi-polar medications straightened out?? Maybe if you did that, she and your dad would be able to work it out. 40 years is a long time. And also if you told her that she couldn't just come pile up on you she'd change her mind. Bipolar disorder makes people do strange things sometimes.

Good luck deciding what you want to do.

mallorymaid Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:56pm
post #9 of 19

My mom is currently living with me and my family, long story short she is an alcoholic who has started the long journey of recovery, and because of the unmanagability , the physical degeneration and insanity the disease of addiction brought to her life she was not able to return to the house she was living in and found herself homeless. I have 3 siblings and when all things were considered coming to live with me and mine was the best possible solution. Like you I am pulled in many directions at once, I work full time, go to school part time, look after my family and home, and now running my mom to appointments and meetings etc.. It can be tiring and overwhelming so it is really important to tap into available services, friends and family to help take the pressure off. In my area there are numerous services available for seniors, so I try to use any that are available and relevant to our/her needs. Do you have any health services that your dad would qualify for to have someone come into the home a couple of hours per day/week, like a Personal Support Worker, VON nurse etc.. My mom has a couple of friends that she maintained contact with throughout her drinking so we call on them occasionally to take her to appointments/meetings, we call on her siblings to help out when they can. My two brothers travel frequently with their jobs and live a few hours away from us and my sister is in the middle of a separation, even though they have a lot going on in their lives it doesn't exempt them from helping out I let them know from the start that I expect them to step in and help out by coming down on the occasional weekend to visit with mom and take her out on errands or what ever else she needs/wants doing or by having her to their houses to spend some time. The fact is that having her in my home has an impact on all of us and like you I love my mother very much but at times we still need time away from each other. I guess the advice that I am trying to offer in a round about way is that although we love our parents and want to do what we need to to help them the demands we place upon ourselves can become overwhelming when we try to do it all by ourself and ultimately we need to recognize our needs and limitations as well. It's okay to say I can't do this all myself, so look for... ask for... and accept help/support that is available to you. If we don't look after our needs ultimately we won't be good to anybody.

itsmylife Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 8:09pm
post #10 of 19

Right near where I live there is an area/town that was built just for seniors. The have a whole range of residence options.

There are houses/apartments for those who are totally independent and need no assistance.

Then they have apartment buildings that offer minimal assistance (food, transportation, medicine, etc) - but residents are free to come and go as they wish, and can basically sign up or enroll for the the different assistance options as necessary.

There are facilities that have more structured amenities - basically they have staff who keep the residents on some sort of schedule and have organized social events for the residents, etc

Then there are the nursing facilities for those who are bedridden or very ill and basically need some sort of care 24/7.

It's a great little town for the seniors and everything they need is right there. There is a hospital, loads of medical offices, golf, grocery, etc. There are lots of social events and clubs so there is always something going on.

Maybe there is another facility that is not too far away from you that would fit your needs - I guess the only down side to that is cost. Or look into what someone else suggested and have something like a home health nurse or assistant who comes into your home to help out with your mom.

Cakerer Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 10:43pm
post #11 of 19

Thank you to all of you who have offered suggestions. We went over today to clean really well because the house will be shown this week. My brother was busy with his own house (argh) but I have let him know we have to talk about this very soon as I cannot continue this way. On another note...I remember all too well how I felt when my grandmother moved in with us....I also remember when my teacher called my mother because my grades had fallen....we were not sleeping well due to the constant commotion. We were older than my son is now but I have noticed a change in his attitude since I'm always on the go.

This next week will be spent doing research..... a lot of research.

cakesbycathy Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 12:08am
post #12 of 19

What about having Meals on Wheels delivered to your dad?

imagine76 Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:21am
post #13 of 19

assisted living is not the same as a nursing home. my great aunt lived in one just 2 blocks from me. it was just like a little apartment. you could keep to yourself but most of the people just left their doors open so they could all visit. there was a really nice dining room where all their meals were served -they were also welcome to leave or have dinner in their rooms if they wanted. there were knitting groups, they did craft fairs (i got the gaudiest sparkly knitted angel ever and i put it up every christmas because my favorite aunt made it! thumbs_up.gif ). she actually CHOSE to live there. she was certainly not alone but also had her privacy and someone to check up on her and her meds. perfect situation for her!

good luck with your decision!

playingwithsugar Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 3:54am
post #14 of 19

Oh, how I wish my father understood about assisted living and nursing homes!

I was 15 when my mother died. My father's mother was already living with us at the time. She suffered a major stroke after my mom's funeral, and guess who ended up taking care of her, the house, going to school, and trying to keep a part-time job? Me! Of course, the boys (the precious boys - GRRR!) didn't have to do anything. I wasn't allowed to go away to college, because who would take care of the house, etc?

Enough of the would'a, could'a, should'a.

Now, about you. Two hens cannot live in the same house, no matter what you think you can do for your mother. Especially if she is diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

She needs more help than you can give her. And you really shouldn't have to. I know you love her, and would kill for her, but you are risking the sanity of your entire family. If she is bipolar, there is a good chance that she will strike out against you or one of your family members. And then, what will you do with her?

If it were me, I would get her into a facility where she could be monitored and properly medicated, 24/7, and then build the room onto the house for my dad.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Pookie59 Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 8:40pm
post #15 of 19

I'm not in your shoes yet, but my husband mentioned something awhile back about taking his dad in at some point (currently the man is healthy and independent), and I said "heck no". There are a gazillion assisted living centers in our area, and both my husband and I work full time, so who would take care of him? We don't have the space for him anyway.

My FIL has his own little quirks and ways of doing things, and he's bossy and controlling. I have no doubt that living with him would doom my marriage. If and when he is no longer able to live alone, I honestly believe we'd all be happier if he moved to an assisted living center where he could socialize with his peers and still maintain some form of privacy and independence. And yes, I feel the same way about the prospect of taking care of my aging parents.

mbelgard Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 9:20pm
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie59

I'm not in your shoes yet, but my husband mentioned something awhile back about taking his dad in at some point (currently the man is healthy and independent), and I said "heck no". There are a gazillion assisted living centers in our area, and both my husband and I work full time, so who would take care of him? We don't have the space for him anyway.

My FIL has his own little quirks and ways of doing things, and he's bossy and controlling. I have no doubt that living with him would doom my marriage. If and when he is no longer able to live alone, I honestly believe we'd all be happier if he moved to an assisted living center where he could socialize with his peers and still maintain some form of privacy and independence. And yes, I feel the same way about the prospect of taking care of my aging parents.





I've made a couple comments to my husband about this, our parents are years away from problems but issues on both sides with grandparents have brought it up. My parents live out of state and what happens with them will probably be up to my siblings that live by them, I'm sure I'll get some say but whatever others decide won't have much impact on me. My in-laws live just a couple miles away from us and my husband is their only living child. There is going to be no way to care for them by ourselves when the time comes.

My husband agrees with me because one of his cousins ended up dropping out of high school to help care for his grandpa. He still lives right by his mother and grandma, who can't be left alone.

playingwithsugar Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 2:28am
post #17 of 19

Most states offer subsidized housing for the elderly through a federal funding program. You must income-qualify, but by using the skills of the right financial advisor, this is possible.

Check with your county's senior citizen or aging office to see if it is available in your area.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Cakerer Posted 1 Nov 2008 , 2:09am
post #18 of 19

ok...just a quick update on this....my moms meds have leveled and she is continuing to see her therapist. She has gone back 'home' for now. She hasn't mentioned anything about coming back to my house (yet) so I'm hoping thing will continue to go well for she and my dad. My dad is constantly ailing so it does make me feel better to know that someone is there with him.

Thank you to everyone who offered suggestion about assisted living. I did find one in a nearby town that allows you to continue driving. Unfortunately, it's very expensive but I'm still looking around.

Thanks again

michellenj Posted 1 Nov 2008 , 1:35pm
post #19 of 19

I'm glad to hear that things are getting better for you.

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