Should I let my mother-in-law live with us at my adult foster care home?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

It took me a long time to get up the nerve to ask this question, I run an Adult Foster Care Home in Michigan. To make a very long story short...I'm licensed for two residents...My MIL is 77 yrs old living in an Assisted Living. She hates it there to say the least! She's been there 5mo. the place is actually really nice and caring. My SIL and BIL want nothing to do with her, as I said long story, she wasn't the greatest mother. She wants to come live with us so bad, she calls 3 times a week crying. She's very unhappy. She wants to Live in my Adult Foster Care as a resident, which means she would be living with my husband [her son], myself and a resident whom as lived w/ us for 2yrs. I do have a bed available and she knows that it's available. I don't know what to do? I would have to get paid cause this is my income...I don't want to be in the middle of family quarrels,or I don't even know if my license permits family? Also she has a dog she won't part with! which we have no animals.there is a awful lot to consider,my husband and her are mutual. they talk only when they need to....He is leaving this decision to me....can anyone please give me some ideas to help me figure this out ...I'm so confused!

Expert Answers

Kay Paggi, GCM, LPC, CGC, MA, is in private practice as a geriatric care manager and is on the advisory board for the Emeritus Program at Richland College. She has worked with seniors for nearly 20 years as a licensed professional counselor, certified gerontological counselor, and certified geriatric care manager.

Moving a parent into your home is usually not a good solution, especially not if she already has a placement. If she is unhappy there, she will probably be unhappy in your home, also. You cannot make other people happy. You can make them comfortable sometimes; you can meet their medical needs and keep them safe, but happiness is up to the person.

It is only fair that if she brings a dog, then every other future resident can also bring their dog. While I sympathize with her desire to have a furry companion, this could cause problems for you a long time in the future.

There are probably good reasons why your BIL and SIL do not have a good relationship with her, and those reasons will lead to tensions in your home. That will not be good for your business, either.

My opinion is that it is better to keep your business and your personal life separate. Visit with her in her AL but be firm that she cannot come to your place of business.