Hi. I live overseas. My mother is 81 and in terrific shape. An ex-nurse. She sold her condo and moved in with my ex-step father who just turned 89 to be his carer. My mother can live in the house for 5 years after he dies. And then what? She says she wants to travel and is not concerned about the future and has mentioned suicide by cocktail (ex-nurse).

Meanwhile I left my alcoholic partner of 10 years last year and bought a little condo near my mom. My mom’s family is also a couple hours away and I have an old friend an hour away who also has her own life. I’m sure I could make new friends. But I cannot take the step to move. My life has been here for the past 10 years. I have a love-hate relationship with my mom. She is manipulative and is also one of the reasons my relationship went south. My mother says she does NOT want me to take care of her. Honestly she does not need it — except she cares for her ex 24 / 7 and does get some help.

I need to put down roots SOMEWHERE (been living in temp apts) and love being able to walk, take pub transportation, and the accessible healthcare in Europe. If I moved I would have to drive everywhere, though there are beautiful places to walk (Cape Cod). Plus if I move back I would need to quit my job (I have 10 years left) and look for a new one. I do hate my present job and am looking for another while employed.

I am torn, do I need to move back to be closer to my mom who doesn’t need help yet (except to get away from her ex once in a while) or stay and rebuild my life here? Or stay another year long enough to buy a place here that I can come back to should I chose.

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Live your life for yourself.
Move only if YOU want to. It sure does not sound like mom needs your help or even wants or expects it.
Quit your job only if YOU want to. And I would not quit one you have until you have another. (and 10 years remaining is not a lot of time when you figure holidays, personal days, weekends and are almost retired!)
What is with the Condo near your mom? Do you have it rented or is it vacant? Renting it (if allowed by HOA) would give you another bit of income (particularly if it is on the Cape!)
If mom needs to get away and your apartment is vacant maybe mom can stay there and use that as a "respite" spot. (if it is rented she can stay for a few days between rental)
If your relationship with mom is as tenuous as you indicate I do not think moving for her or to be with her is going to help you or her. I might feel differently if your mom was in need of care or at end of life but that does not seem to be the case.
Helpful Answer (2)

Mom’s 81, at that age (and older) things can go south really fast healthwise. The ex dies, she’s living in his house for five years, who’s taking care of the house while she travels? Or develops a debilitating disease? I’m not saying you need to move to be near her. She must be a free spirited sort who thinks she’s made joyful plans for the future with no clue that chances are it won’t be possible to live out her life the way she plans. Nurse or not, where does she get the ingredients for her life ending cocktail when she’s housebound due to illness? Who finds her? Or is she on one of her fabulous trips when you get the call? Also the caregiving of the ex may be more than she can handle. Seems like she may have no idea that taking care of an 89 year old man is a killer job no matter how you slice it.
Helpful Answer (0)

Some folks have the (mistaken) belief that they must care for their parents in their old age.

Do you have kids you expect to care for you?

The way our society is set up, adults are expected to earn, contribute to taxes in their countries and rely upon their savings and social programs to provide care for their old age.

Adult children are not a retirement plan.
Helpful Answer (1)

She has stated in no uncertain terms that she *does not* want your help.

If she's like this now, just imagine trying to help someone who is resistant AND you don't have the legal authority to make decisions on their behalf. If you're not her DPoA and she's resistant you have no power anyway, no matter where you live.

Live where you want and how you want. Take her at her word. If she ever comes back to you asking for help, you can find resources for her and arrrange for aids (if she has the money) or transition her into a care community w/Medicaid but don't feel obligated to provide hands-on help or move in with her. She is obviously suffering from the problem of romanticizing her retirement years where she is somehow immune to age-related cognitive, memory and health decline. You won't be able to change her mind until reality does it for her. You should move onward and upward.
Helpful Answer (2)

I don't understand why you would even think about moving back to be close to her. Stay where you are and get past your breakup.
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