My mother’s been under a lot of stress this year caregiving for my father while he was on hospice. He was very jealous towards my mother because she was still able to go do things & he couldn’t even stand to look out the window. When I was little he was mentally & physically abusive towards my mother & I but my relationship with him improved greatly over the years, I think he felt guilty about how he was when I was a kid but he never came right out & apologized. My mother held a lot of hate in her heart towards him for past events. At the end she was always annoyed/angry with him & he basically treated her like his waitress. I stayed there Mon - Fri to help w/ dad & my mother helped w/ my baby/toddler when I had to work but I was there 24/7 towards the end. I still worked but I’d go there after & help through the night. In the beginning my mother refused to change him so I did but when she’d attempt to help she would comment about how much he pooped & how gross it was which just made things worse. Her comments would trigger my dad & he’d end up calling her a b**** which would put her into a rage even though she was telling him to f*** off all day. She admitted she was still mad at him for the past but you can’t wait until someone’s on their death bed to get revenge for how they wronged you 30 years ago. It was a weird dynamic & I was constantly telling her to leave him alone & stop being rude. Now that he’s gone she’s expressed feeling guilty about how angry she was getting w/ him. She blames her behavior on sleep deprivation because he would scream for her every few hours but she was always in bed “resting” until he needed something. Our CNA even talked to me about it - “why is she so upset & exhausted all the time when she’s always in bed?” Truthfully she was caregiving but he slept a lot & it wasn’t as hard as she was making it out to be. I know - I was there.

My husband, 2 year old son, 14 year old stepdaughter, & I are supposed to move in w/ my mother to help care for her & the house. She’s not in great health. Example - she fell & cracked the back of her head open & I had to take her to the ER to get it stapled. She’s somewhat independent but not safe to be alone 24/7.

Okay so that was the backstory.

I pay $4000 a month in rent. I’d rather use that money to help w/ moms mortgage & hopefully put a portion into savings so this plan actually benefits both of us. Medi-Cal is also going to pay me to be her caregiver & that money will also help pay for her household bills. For years the plan has always been moving in w/ her after my father died. My family is always there more than our own home; we basically already live there. Now we’d make it official & give up our rental house. My mom agreed to let me pay for some much needed renovations on the house so we can all live there comfortably. The issue is since my dad passed she’s rude all the time, mean comments towards my stepdaughter, saying things about my parenting, & now she’s saying that she doesn't want us to move in yet but whenever I go home she’s crying & doesn’t want to be alone. She admits that she really just wants me & my son to move in to have us all to herself but we can’t move without our family. Her attitude’s making my husband have major concerns about living there. Especially since he does so much to help her. Could this be the start of Alzheimer’s, which her mother had? Grandma got pretty rude when the Alzheimer’s first came on. Or maybe it’s grief? The plan was always to move in to take care of her & the house since she’s no longer capable. This is also the promise I made to my dad. My families nickname for her is Cruella DeVille - how are we going to live with Cruella? Is anger & rudeness a normal stage of grief? Or no, because she was rude to my dad before he died & now it’s just focused on us instead? How much time should we give her to grieve before attempting to move in? What should I do? I want to move in & but she can’t be mean to my family.

Find Care & Housing
Naw, this level of anger and rudeness if not a normal stage of grief. This is targeted and it's vicious.

I get how tempting the monetary benefits are to move in but look at these replies. We can all see the danger signs up ahead. It's going to be horrific very quickly if you get your family under that roof.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Sha1911

You said: "It was a weird dynamic". What you describe (her anger, rudeness, mean towards your step daughter) is a sign of Alzheimer's, and also addiction.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Sendhelp

Even though you have been helping out your mom. right now you have your own place to go home to.

It will be completely different if you live with your mother 24/7. It will get old very fast.

Not only that, you have your family to consider. All of you will be miserable.

Do you have to stay in San Francisco? Could you live elsewhere to reduce your costs of living?

Have you researched facilities for your mother to live?

Wishing you and your family all the best.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Sorry your mom is being so mean to you! Calling you a biotch, especially in front of the kiddos, is NOT OK. Could be grief or dementia or both. You can try to set boundaries and if they don't work, it's probably dementia. If she calls you names, etc. tell her that you're getting off the phone/leaving because that is not OK for her to do that. Then go, and come back with a happy face the next time you'd normally call/visit. And again warn her that you'll be leaving if she is rotten to you again.

I'd think real hard about moving in with her. I think the answer is a hard no.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to againx100

Do not move in with Cruella . Your husband is already having major concerns . He’s right .

Your mother will always view the house as her house and not be considerate to you , your husband or your family .

Your Dad should never have made you promise to care for Mom .
Just tell Mom it’s not going to work out all living together .

If she can’t live alone she will need to be placed . Do you have POA? Seriously sell the house put Mom into care .

Your marriage , your children and your sanity are worth a lot more . Just read other threads about living with abusive elderly parents , you’ll gladly sell her house . It’s not worth it .
Don’t have your kids live in this toxic situation .
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to waytomisery

Do you REALLY want to live with your Mother?

Or is secure housing your aim?

Would renting where you are for another year really be so bad?

Call it keeping your kids *stable*.
Call it *thinking time*.

'Don't move within 12 months of a death'. This old saying is for good reasons. To allow proper time for grief. Allow time for well thought out plans to be made. Resist knee-jerk urges to 'swoop in' & 'rescue'.

"She admits that she really just wants me & my son to move in to have us all to herself but we can’t move without our family".
🚩 HUGE red flags there.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Beatty

This has trouble written all over it. If you move in with mom, you're subjecting your whole family to a nightmare. What good is it to live in a $2M house if no one wants to go home and be around your mean, angry, horrible mother?

She could sell her house and move into professional 24/7 care somewhere. (If you take on her care at this point, you will wish you'd never been born. Truth.) You get and keep a job. When mom dies, you inherit what's left.

We can choose where we live. You could move to another city or another state. You don't have to continue as you are. You only have to adjust your thinking and create a new reality. It can be done.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Fawnby

Your profile says Mom has Dementia. You don't say how old she is? I would not move in with her. Her symptoms could also be stress and depression related. It would not hurt to get her a good physical. If Dementia is suspected, get her to a Neurologist.

If Medicaid is paying for you to caregive then Mom has no money. All the renovations you do will not profit you in the end because if Mom passes, Medicaid will try and recover what they paid out for Moms care. The house will need to be sold to pay the lien Medicaid places on the home.

I think the best thing would be to sell her house which will pay off the Mortgage. Take the proceeds and pay for someone to come in and care for Mom while u work. (u cannot use her money to buy a new house unless she is on the deed. That, you do not want to do because of Medicaid) Maybe find a house with a MIL suite or a Master bedroom. Make the Master Moms place. Put a TV recliner or loveseat in it. My MILs master was on one side of the house with kitchen, dining and living room in the middle and the other bedrooms and bath on the other side. Great for privacy.

By being your home you can set Boundries. If she is nasty, you can tell her that is not OK. If it continues you can place her. Seems she needs you more now than you do her. And she needs to know that. You live in her house, its by her rules and already ur DH is not sure about this move.

If you go the way I suggested, use her money for her. I doubt if she can pay you rent but you will just have to see what she brings in and what her bills are. You should not have any out of pocket. You may want to pay for an Elder Lawyer to help you make the right decison.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29
Dawn442 Apr 21, 2024
My mom actually has a good amount of money in the bank but Medi-Cal changed their qualifications this year. I’d like to take over the mortgage though so she’s not having to use her saving and paying that can just stay in the bank & investments. Medi-Cal only base your ability to qualify on your monthly income now - effective 1.1.2024. They no longer look at your assets. I work in healthcare and part of my job is getting patients screened for Medi-Cal. So we don’t need to worry about Medi-Cal coming after her for anything plus everything’s been transferred into my name already so if something happens it’s already set up for me to step in & take over. My parents had a lawyer figure all that out years ago. Honestly her house is worth about $3million which is also why I’d rather just fix it up and stay there. It’s the same house I was raised in so I’m attached to it and I’m definitely not going to sell it. We live in the Bay Area so in order for us to buy a home we’d have to spend about $2million to get something that was decent but unfortunately even $2million doesn’t get you that much in San Francisco. I don’t even think for $2million we would be able to buy a house big enough for the kids to have their own rooms. That’s how ridiculous the prices are here. We have the highest cost of living in the nation which totally sucks.
See 1 more reply
What's going on with your mother is that she is still the same mean nasty b**ch that she's always been and will always be. Period.
Why in the world would you want to put yourself and your family through months/years of hell by moving in with her?
One cannot continue to blame their bad attitudes and behaviors on someone else. They must at some point man up(or woman up)and accept that they in fact are the issue.
And yes, your mother is the issue here. Please DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES move in with her.
If she can no longer live by herself then it's time she move into an assisted living facility, where she will receive any help she requires and will be around other folks her own age. And you can go visit her if you choose to.
It's not fair to your family to put them through hell because you want to save money by not having to pay $4000 in rent. Instead why don't you try finding a place a little less expensive and not only save some money but your family as well?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to funkygrandma59
Dawn442 Apr 21, 2024
I wish we could find something cheaper. $4k is considered really cheap for a house in San Francisco. The cost of living here is nuts. If we moved we’d end up paying closer to $5k and if we moved closer to my mother it would be more like $6k a month. Plus we have 2 service dogs and even though places aren’t supposed to discriminate against you for service animals lots of places won’t accept you as a tenant if you have large dogs. Prices here are outrageous but we have really good jobs that pay well. The Bay Area is just a struggle to afford to stay in and I guess that’s just how it’s always going to be 🤷🏼‍♀️ But the cost of living here definitely plays into our decision on what to do with mom. I’d love to just buy a big house with an in law unit and put her in the in law but a house like that would be millions.
See 1 more reply
Moving in with your mother sounds like a huge mistake. On paper, it makes great financial sense. In reality, it's likely to be an emotional nightmare. She sounds like she has dementia, is very nasty and mean, and doesn't want your family in HER home. How does this arrangement benefit THEM? It doesn't.

Promising dad you'd look after mom does NOT mean moving in with her. It means you check in with her, get her to the doc for a work up, etc. Don't fall into the "I made a promise" trap where you feel obligated to become a slave. I promised dad I'd look after mom, too, which I did during her entire 7 years in AL and then Memory Care Assisted Living.

Put your children and husband first, not your mother. And put finances last. Mom can live another 10 or 20 years where you're stuck there, listening to her ugly rants. Save yourself and your family. Multi generational living in peace and harmony is mostly a myth.

Good luck.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to lealonnie1
Dawn442 Apr 21, 2024
I think I needed to hear that. My mom keeps telling me that she doesn’t think she’s going to live long. She says that she can feel it deep down, that death is coming. She’s had cancer twice so I think it’s just her constant worry that it’s going to come back again. But I’ve been wondering if that might be part of the dementia. She’s also forgetting entire conversations we’ve had but she claims her doctor said that grief can make you forgetful and that it’s only been a month. I’ve been trying to give her lots of grace right now but she’s making it pretty hard.
What's going on with Mom?
Same old, same old, I think.
Your mother has lived all her life with the endless pointless squabbling, Dawn.
It is very unlikely for her to change now.
This has formed paths in her mind that are so well trod she cannot get off them.
If you choose to move in with her, then this is the way it will be until she passes.
If you can come to peace with that, then that is your and your hubby's choice.
What I worry about her is the dynamic for any kids in the household, because this sort of thing has a tendency to play forward generationally.

Your Mom is perfectly comfortable, in all likelihood, with her pattern forged through a long life.
Now the question is for you whether YOU are comfortable with it. And your hubby. And your children.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Dawn442 Apr 21, 2024
The weird part is that before my dad passed she wasn’t this bad at all. She was even kind of fun. She wasn’t angry or rude towards us like this. She had her moments but nothing like this. My train of thought is now that my dad is gone she has to tunnel all that anger she has built up towards someone & unfortunately that’s us. According to her a lot of her anger stems from her unhappiness with my dad about how he treated her & how her life turned out. She was never able to be her own person or make any decisions because everything always had to be done his way & she always had to do what he wanted. Which is pretty accurate. But now she just defers everything to me for most decisions because she says she never had to make any decisions, my dad always did it for her, so she doesn’t know what to do when things come up. I had to make all the decisions regarding my dad’s care while he was on hospice or in the ICU. I talked to my dad about all of this before he passed & he said that she’s twisted the situation up in her mind. According to him he constantly wanted her to help with the decision making & take things off his plate but she just refused to ever make a clear decision on anything so he’d end up having to do it. Otherwise nothing would ever get done. So I can see both sides I guess.

Only a few months ago she was much more loving & fun. She was difficult & still would say rude things here & there but nothing like this. She says that her psych doctor told her that this is just a normal part of grieving but none of my friends went through this w/ their parents. She actually calls me a b*** all the time now. I had to tell her she can’t say that because the baby is going to repeat it. She said she didn’t even notice she was doing it. The ironic thing is that’s exactly what she would get infuriated about my dad saying to her. So now she’s saying it to me.
See 1 more reply
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter