I don't want my parents to live with us anymore.

14 answers | Last updated: Oct 29, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

In a nut shell, I moved my 77 year old parents in with me, my husband, my 2 1/2 year old and my now 9 month old last year. Historically my mother worked all of her life and my father worked very little, lied about working, took money from us here and there and was overall an unpleasant person. Now, she is involved in a "Life at Home" program, nursing home services in the home; he does nothing all day, has refused all community centers, coffee shops, etc. He wants to move out ASAP to regain his independence and she will (he wish) probably go with him. BTW - they are both doing better since they moved in with me, got some much needed care (surgeries,etc) and could possibly make on their own. They are making me miserable, tired, stressed out and not very pleasant for my own young family. I am 34 and am feeling much older these days. I have no relatives that assist us, it is just my husband and I. They have alienated everyone else. Should I fight their move? Is it time to end this or do I just keep trying to make it work for the sake of my mother?

Expert Answers

Mikol Davis, PhD has worked in community hospitals with geriatric patients suffering from dementia, depression, and other psychiatric problems. He has a doctorate in Psychology from the University of San Francisco and has been in private practice in Marin County, California. Davis co-founded AgingParents.com with his wife, Carolyn Rosenblatt.

Dear Caregiver, Yes PLEASE do give yourself permission to let your parents move back out on their own. It is important that you continue to be involved in their lives and that they are safe living independently. Use of a geriatric care manager to oversee how your parents are doing would be a great stress reliever. Your children and husband miss the mom you used to be.

Community Answers

Ladl77 answered...

How does someone get a "geriatric care manager"? Is this "helper" something that anyone has access to? I am an only child with a family, but without any other help, who is attempting to manage my mother's care.

Calalillie answered...

We live in a time when industry, ie money, has created answers to situations we should manage ourselves. We have nursery schools to nursing homes...we want babies and we want to live longer. And yet no one wants the responsibilities that come.

We have been groomed to look away from ourselves justifying and encouraging self interest, self indulgence and the me, me, me.

Life is not easy, pretty or a joy ride. One makes sacrifices. One cares...and people adjust. Only infantile, selfish behavior warrants the self indulgence of seeking others to remove our responsibilities.

Ultimately all society suffers from the actual costs that come from this commercial mind set. You work more to make more money to pay more people who are working more to....and on it goes.

There is no quality of life here. There are no llife lessons. There is no personal growth. It is greed, artificial and ultimately most unsatisfactory.

Care for one another, live with one another, do for one another and celebrate your humanity...bingo and glitter are no answers.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Calilillie, if I had to guess I would say you've never had to manage anyone's geriatric care all by yourself...walk a mile in someone's shoes that has and then give us another reply.

Psansbury answered...

I had a care manager for my Aunt as I was responsible for her care(I was her legal guardian)She lived in Pinehurst, NC. I live in Atlanta. I found an incredible service called Aging Outreach. They belong to the National Association of Geriatric Caregiving. the website is http://www.caremanager.org/

Bubbie answered...

Callalilli I am sad for you that you are not seeing the other side of it. I cared for my ailing husband who was only 48 and terminally ill. There were very few options for care for him because he was "too young". I was also working full-time and trying to complete my degree so I would be better able to care for our children. It was the most difficult time in my life. Rewarding in its way to be sure but also very difficult. I have never been so tired, so often, not even when my children were newborns. Please, as someone else suggested, walk a mile in her shoes before calling her selfish. I think she has every reasonable right to allow her parents to move out so she can focus on the family she has created. Stay involved, yes but they do not have to live with her for her to care for them. She deserves some time with her husband and children without having her parents under foot. I hope, someday, you get the opportunity to care for someone who is truly difficult to care for. THEN you will understand how Anonymous feels. If I had been able to get some respite in any form while I was caring for my husband, I would've been a much better caretaker.

Cccarter2005 answered...

Well,Calillie, I do home health, and have been with a lady who is 93 yrs old,she is blind and has Parkinsons, among other things. She has no family. So, I brought her into my home and have been caring for her for almost a year now.I have found it to be very rewarding. However, my suggestion for the young lady who is dealing with her parents is try to find a nice assisted living facility. They prepare your meals, laundry, do some cleaning, change the bed once a week. The only thing you may or may not have to do is help them with some grocery shopping ie...snack food, soda, etc.. and you could call to check on them. There are some very nice ones if you look that are not outragously high. They would not be 100% on thier own but that way you would have the clear mind of knowing they are OK! And you could move on with your life, as you should. It is not that you are letting them down, you will know they have assistance any time they need it and yet you are freed up! Hope you check into this, Carol

Calalillie answered...

Bubbie...I lived in a four generations household. I worked, continued my education, raised a child and saw her into a top ranked university. I cared for my dying grandmother to her last breath in my arms at age 101. I cared for my father's medical needs, dying needs and walked his dead body to the undertaker's vehicle. I assisted suctioning my dying mother's lungs, held her as she took her last breath. I assisted in the birth of both my grandchildren. I care for them now as their parents work.

My life was given gifts of grace, strength, beauty. Each trial I faced, I faced with generations of love, support and courage. My formal education and discipline were earned through work and struggle. My career was always secondary to life's needs.

My life has been enriched by the grace, strength, and courage given to me by those I have loved and cared for. Never have short nights and long days, the work, the sacrifice..never has any of that measured greater than the gifts I gave and received.

I do understand, and have traveled these miles and more. No words herein have been written in ignorance, lack of experience, or malice.

Bubbie answered...

I appreciate what you've done in your life calallili but I also know that trying to care for children and someone who is in dire need of care 24/7 is extremely difficult and can ruin a young familie's chance for success. I do not think Anonymous lives in a four generation household with the kind of support you talk about. Yet, I, too understand what you mean when you say you were the one who was blessed with grace, beauty and strength in dealing with your challenges. I received the same things and looking back on the experience I had caring for my husband, I recognize the gifts I was given. But I also remember the frustration, fear, hurt, resentment, feelings of isolation so I have a great deal of compassion for Anonymous and her situation. I think she should be able to let her parents live independently while keeping a close watch on them in order to allow her own family to thrive.

Calalillie answered...

Carol..You are to be commended, as is Bubbie for what she has done.

And the woman who is 'suffering' because of her parents' plight, needs to hear all of these comments.

Each of us have experienced an enlightening to our lives for our efforts. Each of us will remember the life lessons...and hopefully take that over the hardships seen and endured.

Each of us, and everyone who has been a caregiver needs to see their worth and the value they have given to mankind.

There will always be those without family, and hopefully they will find love and care at the end of their life journey. And for those who have family...family share paths, choices remain, today we justify too much and do too little.

I wish you well and join your service to this woman. , as I wish the woman with difficult parents well.

A fellow caregiver answered...

To the little lady who wants to move her parents out. LISTEN to Dr. Davis, it may just save you broken body, mind & spirit. Been there, done that & @ 71 already can't care for myself. Life isn't always fair but life's lessons are more easily learned than enabling someone else to be soley dependent upon one little body. Calillie is full of herself, not everyone marches to the same drummer. Loveing your parents has nothing to do with depriving your own family & breaking you body down before your time. Your parents wouldn't want this if their thinking is rational. They raised a loving, careing daughter after all, run with it while you can.

Goodluck my darling, kiss & hold tightly those little ones & set up a romantic,candlight dinner ASAP for that amazing husband, who like mine, supports you in all your difficult decisions. Don't misunderstand me, I wouldn't trade a second of the love & caregiving I gave my wonderful son for 26 yrs. or my mother, all my life, & many many more family members & now my husband. Aaaah, the lose of my son of 38! So hold the little ones close & cheerish ea. second. Above all, remember, you're only one little body with one life to live & trust me, your parents want you to do just that! We cannot give more of ourselves than we have to give. In retrospect, my love would always be the same, but choices would be different. Perhaps not all better but just maybe, I could enjoy my old age without too much pain had I better cared for myself. Good luck & may grant you the strength to make wise choices.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Wow! Thanks to everyone who cared enough to answer these questions that keep me up at night. Thank you Dr Davis, your expert advice means a lot to me. I will look into the Case Manager, that's an awesome idea. Calalillie, you sound like someone who has had a lot struggles and look back on them with a pride in the brave ways you handled them, and you should. I'm sorry to say I gave you the wrong impression about my situation. Frankly, I do not work. I put myself through College at night in my twenties while working full time during the day. The only thing I wanted was to be home with my children and I am home with them. Which is why I thought I could care for my parents too. A bigger party, right? I did not count on digging pills out of my two year old's mouth, because parents refuse to keep meds locked up. Living with people who are always cold, an trying to turn up my heat while I am trying to save for College for my kids, and I did not count on my husband being laid off as of late. Calillie, I hope I can look back with as much pride in my deeds as you do now. My parents bags are packed and because their income is well below the poverty line, I will be looking into social programs that can help us, of that I am not ashamed.

Jorie13 answered...

I am one of the parents needing caregiving. Very mild dementia so far but can't live alone. Even at this stage, I can see and have checked into assisted living as I feel that I will prefer to be around people my own age and abilities later. There would be more social contact since all my family work and have other things to do. I love my family and they love and care for me but we do not have much in common in interests, entertainment, food choices, time schedules, etc. I much prefer the idea of a home where I can be alone or just go visit in a shared social area whenever I want. I don't feel Calilie is considering your immediate family's needs. If your parents wanted strongly to stay then there might be some question but since your father doesn't and your mother's place is with him unless he is abusive {by her standards}, their leaving as they are actually dangerous to your children is to me a no-brainer. If the circumstances change, you can always reevalute. You still can see them and stay as involved as you all choose. Good luck and will pray for you.

Amour answered...

Do not feel guilty. I just send my 87 yr old mother back home because she is impossible!! She will not listen to any suggestions, recommendations,advice etc. from her family, friends and her MDs. She was told that she shouln't live alone and she instist on doing so. When she went home I went as far as setting up aide 's appts. and she refused her because "SHE WAS FAT" and "I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO LOOK AT THAT". How much more shallow can you get??? She needs help but it's her way or hit the highway!!! I have tried everything thing with her and there is not even a slight sign of improvement or cooperationon her part. I told her that I was out of ideas and that now it's up to her to choose the direction in which her life will go. You cannot help someone if they won't help themselves.May God watch and protect her because I'm letting go and letting Him take over.