I Want to Move in With Mom as Her Caregiver
"I want to move in with my 80-year-old mother for financial reasons. The situation is that I have made some not-so-good choices. I am losing my business, spouse, and am facing foreclosure. Things are not going so well and, financially, I am going to be in debt for a while. I will need to look for a job, which will not be easy with my background. It would really help if I stayed with my mother for a while. She could use help around the house, and it would also help me. The biggest problem is my very successful brothers who may be against such an arrangement. How do I approach this situation?" - READER
Since you asked, I will get right into it. This situation is more about your dilemma, and less about your mother’s need. I will talk about how I suggest you manage the “caregiving” that you propose to do.
You seem to be suggesting a “quid pro quo” with your mother. You help her out, and she lets you crash at her place. Your primary concern is money and what your brothers think. Let’s face it--you need the support, and mom is who you are turning to for that help.
The only thing you mentioned that your mother needs is “help around the house.” By that, I take it you mean household projects and not day-to-day assistance. If that is true, you're not really committing yourself to actual work.
What is going to happen is that your mother is going to have an adult to care for, with more dishes, laundry, cleaning, and expense than she had before. Your mother is the one who is turning into the caregiver in this situation.
Now, I am not against your mother helping you out, if she has the means and stamina to do so. Sometimes bad things happen and we need support. It is also somewhat natural to turn to family. Do recognize that moms are notorious for helping a child in need and you fall into that category. What you need to be aware of is how much strain and work you are going to place on your mother.
She is already worried, as that is what mothers do. Your stress and struggle are going to be more present for her with you under her roof to care for than they are now.
Do expect your siblings to be concerned for your mother’s health. They have reason to be.
My recommendation is to do what you need to. Find work--any work--and quickly. Get back on your feet as fast as you can. Work two jobs, pay your debts, and find a place to live. Make staying at mom’s place extremely temporary if you can.
I wish you well on this journey. Take care, pick up after yourself, and work hard. It can be done.
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