When my dad died my parents had no life insurance. Mom currently cant afford anything but low income housing which where I live is not nice at all. She would HATE it. But she outright told us she doesn’t want to work more than the 2 days she is working at a nonprofit making minimum wage. She says she’s lonely even living with us but doesn’t do much to change that. Goes to church but comes straight home. Meets with a widows group once or twice a month and takes a walk or sees a movie with a friend a few times a month. She does pay us “rent” but it’s more to help with living expenses. I do everything around the house as I’m currently a homemaker. I think it’s because of this that she doesn’t help cook ever and rarely puts her dishes even in the dishwasher. Only very occasionally helps with dishes but does keep her bathroom wiped down. But never cleans the shower or does any deep cleaning. I feel like she has a princess complex and sees me as her maid. It’s very difficult but I don’t know a solution as her finances aren’t there for her to afford housing let alone assisted living ever. I’ve been feeling stuck so we finally asked her to start looking for something else even if she had to get another job. She is very healthy and takes walks daily, takes vitamins and is capable of being independent still. Needless to say she completely flipped out and is basically acting like we are the most horrible people on the planet. She raged at me that I have broken her heart into a billion pieces. I keep wondering if I’m just being selfish for not just biting the bullet and letting her stay. We do also have a 15 year old daughter and 19 year old son still at home.

My parents lived from paycheck to paycheck their whole married life. Dad went on SSD at 52. But one thing Dad did do, was have a life insurance policy. Hecalso had a small one from his employer.

I am 74 and I no longer do any "deep cleaning". I maintain. It takes me all afternoon to clean my bathroom from top to bottom. I have arthritis in my lower back so I clean it in increments resting my back in between. When a woman goes thru menopause, their energy level decreases.

Your Mom should be cleaning her room and bath. I clean my tub and walls. She should be doing her own laundry that means her sheets and towels. She should be leaving the table, rinsing off her plate (if this is still needed) and putting it in the dishwasher. Any messes she makes she cleans up. And no reason she can't cook dinner. Maybe give her 2 days a week she is in charge of dinner.

Not sure if Mom will find much job wise at 71. Tell her if she can, get more days where she is working. Maybe she can work in a gift shop. Even at the government minimum wage of 7.25 at 40hrs a week she will get $290 a wk. I know a couple still working f/t at 75. My GFs DH will be 75 and he is working f/t. A woman I know just retired at 90 and does not know what to do with herself.

Go to Social Services in ur County and see if Mom qualifies for Supplimental income (SSI)? Would she qualify for foodstamps? Medicaid for health insurance? Help with her housing. We have HUD apts where I live. They take 30% of your income for rent. I think everyone pays the same amt for electric. Heat is provided. Mom would only need to pay cable and WiFi. Cable u can get around with just using an antenna.

Tell Mom its not working. Your not her slave nor are you her entertainment. She's lonely, then its up to her to do something about it not you or your family.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29

First of all, she would be getting your father's social security which is likely more than hers was from working. Considering they were able to raise a family on their income, she's not destitude.

She's also 71 years old. This means she can move to mixed income senior housing (65 years of age and up). These kinds of places are exclusively for seniors. They do not accept younger people which is usually why low-income housing is so bad.

Here's another possible option. Being a roommate with someone. You know like a 'Golden Girls' kind of set up. What about the ladies in her widows' group? Would any of them want to rent her a room in one of their homes? Or get a place with her and share expenses?

You have to not let her guilt-tripping and manipulation wear you down.
The whole "You've shattered my heart" is total bullsh*t and she knows it. Make sure she knows that you do too.

You don't want her living with you anymore. So she goes and that's the end of it. Get her on some waiting lists for senior housing.

I can understand why at 71 she doesn't want to get another job. No one should have to be working out of necessity at that age. It's ridiculous. I'm in the office on a Sunday because it will be a big HELL TO THE NO on me working when I'm that old.

Start looking at options with her, but make sure you don't get talking into letting her stay if you don't want that.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

I'm going to be 71 in a few months. I am very active, great shape, can touch my hands flat to the floor without bending my knees. My same age husband is still lifting heavy weights. My 91 year old mother is in excellent shape. So I can very well imagine that your mother will do just find on her own. She needs to find someone her age and move in as housemate, they'll most likely have a blast.
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Reply to KaciNC

The answer to "You've shattered my heart" is "I am sorry, but that changes nothing".
She's 71.
I am 81.
I wonder what you will write to us here on the Forum about her in another decade?
Because, guess what, I am still hale and hearty and I am walking, gardening, getting all over town, fostering dogs, reading, listening to podcasts, flying off to visit my daughter, and etc.
Look forward. She's now 81 and she's STILL THERE.

My point?
If you feel this way NOW, how will you feel in another decade?
Fast forward ANOTHER few years, and wonder how you will feel when she is NOT getting around and you not only have to do it all but you have to take care of her incontinence, her confusion, her fury, her wandering, her falls, her constant MD appointments?

You are not your mother's keeper.
I often say that the best place for family is 1,000 miles away. That sounds a bit sad given how much I love and miss my daughter several states away, BUT I am not on the phone to her telling her to come help with flea bombing the house, am I? She's too far away. Lucky her.

A PARENT is responsible for children he/she brings into the world until they reach majority. Then the contract breaks as the child flies from the nest. The child doesn't take care of the parent, unless by choice.
You didn't CAUSE your mom's problems.
You can't fix them.
So guilt is out of the question. What you are feeling is FEAR that mama will yell at you when you read her the facts of your life.

It's difficult to live with others. Would she be as angry if you said "You are responsible for your own room and bath; you live in my home; I expect them to be clean"? How about if you say "You eat at our table. That means you shop for and cook three days a week."?

What I am telling you is that you have a right to live on your own.
You should already know that.
Will it make her happy? Nope. But life is FULL of unhappy times, and at her age she should know that. She can be as unhappy as she likes. That doesn't change anything.

By the way, you should, if you allow her to stay, have a care contract that involves "shared living expenses". That isn't taxable, but rental, if you charge it, is. So if she stays time to go to an elder law attorney and get things straight. And time to tell her she needs to stay on her feet because you are not qualified to, nor do you intend to, do eldercare.

Currently your home is your mom's home. Whether she pays or not she gets her mail there and is a resident. You would have to legally evict her if she chooses not to pay or not to leave.

So this is up to you. This is your choice for your OWN LIFE. You make it and you are responsible for it and that's that. As I said, life's full of unhappy choices. This is just one. But let her stay and you have at LEAST two more DECADES (possibly three: read the memoir MotherLode by Gretchen Staebler; her mom lived to close to 103) caring for her, and they won't likely be pretty OR happy. Not for either one of you.

I've been kind of brutal here and I apologize to you for that. I am trying to shake you hard enough for you to get it: If you were my friend and we were out walking together it's exactly what I would do. I would put my hands on your shoulders and give a good shake. So you understand the options here and what they mean for your entire life.

PS Your Mom's real active. That's GREAT. Working AND with hobbies and activities. She may THRIVE with a roommate. Sure, they will bicker just as you are now. But she may thrive.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AlvaDeer

I know it’s hard when they try to guilt you. But just think, your healthy mom could easily live another 25 years. The older and needier she gets, the harder it’s going to be to move her out.
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Reply to LilyLavalle
MeDolly Apr 7, 2024
Yes, my mother is 99! This could be a very long haul!
No, you're not being selfish. She's being selfish. And clueless. Do you think she's maybe depressed? Or is worried about how she'll be able to support herself on her own? In order to facilitate launching her, reassure her that you'll help figure it out, but have a reasonable deadline for her. I think it's obvious she's never really had much of a "plan" for her aging journey...except your Father and you.
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Reply to Geaton777

Get her out now, before she never leaves. Why should she?

She has it made at your house, while infringing on your family life and not pulling her own weight, cleaning or financially. Princess Complex is putting it mildly.
She can easily rent a room in someone else's nice house, and clean up her own mess, grocery shop, cook and do her own dishes.
She gets half of husband's Social Security, and works 2 days. She can apply for lots of Senior discounts. She can look on ""

YOU ARE NOT BEING SELFISH. Don't fall for the guilt trip either. What makes her think she was going to live there forever? You have 2 teenagers to raise. Next she'll go downhill and you'll be a caregiver. Hopefully she learned to get life insurance by now.
Best of luck to you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Dawn88
BurntCaregiver Apr 8, 2024

She will get all of her husband's social security if it's more than hers and they were married over ten years.

So she can move into senior housing. She's using her daughter because she doesn't want to be alone and wants to be waited on.
Tckgjp, you mentioned your Mom doesn't do any deep cleaning. Believe me, once you become a senior citizen, those days of doing deep cleaning are gone. One no longer has the flexibility nor energy.

I am in my 70's, I use to do yard work on the weekends for 8 hours a day. Now I am lucky I can do 15 minutes. My problem is if I squat down to pull weeds, I have a heck of a time trying to stand back up. Hubby has the same problem, he's also in his 70's. Yet, both of us have/had part-time jobs. Sitting at desk there is none of that physical strength that one uses to clean.

Would your Mom consider rooming with another woman who is around her age? Maybe between the 2 of them, they could afford a nicer apartment. Just a thought.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to freqflyer

Maybe Mom could find a roommate(s) like the Golden Girls to share an apartment . You don’t have to allow her to continue living with you . Tell her it’s not working out and she needs to make other living arrangements. It’s obvious she has decided that you are her retirement plan . Nip this NOW , get her out of your house while she is still healthy
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to waytomisery

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