What options are there to care for a parent we'd prefer not in our home?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 30, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What other options are out there to care for a parent (truthfully a mother-in-law) who doesn't have a penny to her name and already brings a difficult personality to the table? Let alone the money and space constraints in our home, I'm not sure we'd actually survive the difficulties she presents on a daily basis if we moved her in, yet we can't very well put her on the street.

Expert Answers

Dan Tobin, M.D. is the CEO of Care Support of America, a national service providing telephonic and local nurse counsel to adult children caring for aging parents. Dr. Tobin is the author of books and articles focused on the practical and positive aspects of family caregiving.

Firstly, you deserve credit for being honest about a dilemma many of us share; choosing care options for a parent where we feel obligated to provide shelter but anticipate it won't work in the long run. If you can continue to being helpful but straightforward I expect your family feels relief already even if unspoken. Many cities have public housing that is designed for older people. Often they are in favorable sections of town and there are a number of them to choose from. Further, although waiting lists can be long there is regular turnover in residence and one's priority on the list can be influenced by need, such as low-income. By exploring the availability of public housing in your surrounding communities you are sending two honest messages, I want to help but moving in is not necessarily the best option.