Fiance Wants Sick Mother to Move in with Us

Updated on December 15, 2013
M.S. asks from Yakima, WA
57 answers

I’m a in bit of a dilemma and would like outside advice.
In the next month or so, my fiancé and I will be moving to a new town. My fiancé is insisting that his sick mother move in with us. My fiancé is Hispanic, the youngest of four, and the only boy in the family. As a result, he has always had a tremendous bond with his mom. More than anyone else, he feels a duty to take care of her. It only intensified after my fiancé’s father died a few years ago.
From the beginning of our relationship (three years ago), my fiancé has wanted his mother to live with us. At the time, my mother-in-law was healthy and independent, so I agreed to it. How things have changed.
Two years ago, my mother-in-law began suffering from serious health problems. Since then, she’s been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, developed debilitating conditions in her shoulders and arms, suffered two broken hips, and has excruciating back pain.
She’s spent six months out of the last year in either a hospital or rehab facility. Currently she can only walk about 100 feet (with a walker), needs help using to the restroom, cannot lift anything above her shoulders, and constantly cries from aches and pains. Doctors also have diagnosed her with minor stages of dementia. She is currently is a rehab facility, making slight progress. Just when it appears she is finally getting better, another health setback occurs. It’s happened several times.
My fiancé’s sisters insist my mother-in-law needs 24 hour care. They want her to be placed in a permanent nursing facility. My man is absolutely against it. He insists putting her in a permanent care facility would be like “giving her a gun and some bullets”. Despite her constant illnesses, my fiancé insists his mom is still going to move in with us. He feels an obligation to keep her happy.
It’s giving me a ton of worry. First off, my fiancé is a flight attendant and travels constantly for work. This means I would often be the only person around to take care of my mother-in-law. There are no other family members in the area where we are moving. Additionally, I will be starting a new job. If an emergency happens, it I will be unable to leave work to rush to my mother-in-law’s side. Doing so could put my career in jeopardy.
Much of my concern is centered on the past. My mother-in-law has lived with two of my fiancé’s sisters. They are 20 years older than me, and had many family members near them, and yet even THEY were at a breaking point with my mother-in-law. Flash forward to next month, and my man and I will be taking care of my mother-in-law without any family members nearby, in a town we barely know.
I’ve tried voicing my concerns to my fiancé, but he gets defensive every time. He insists she is not as sick as everyone claims. He says his sisters exaggerate how bad his mom really is. He also accuses me of going back on my word, since I’m now having second thoughts about her living with us.
At once, I am worried how this move will affect my relationship, my career, and my overall health. I am 27-years-old and never thought I would be in this position so early in my life. I love my man with all my heart and feel a duty to honor his commitment to his mom… but the whole thing seems like a disaster waiting to happen.
Any advice? Please!

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answers from Dallas on

Don't agree to do it unless he agrees to quit his job and find something local where he is home everyday.

I always tell my husband that when I said my vows "in sickness and in health" I wasn't talking about his parents.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I sounds as though it is not safe for her to be left home all alone, ever! Some one professional, like a doctor, needs to explain this to him, and help him to understand her situation better. He's not abandoning her by putting her in full time care, he's keeping her safe and allowing her to be well cared for.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

I believe you take care of family. But I also believe it's important to honor each other's feelings and needs. He's loyal to his mother, but he's not being loyal to you. You will have other conflicts in life - will he honor you then? The only way I would agree would be with in home health care.

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answers from Miami on

I'm very sorry. Your fiance has a cultural bias that you will not be able to overcome. Either you will give your all to his mother or he will not want you for a wife. To be honest? I don't think you should marry him. To foist a very ill family member on you while he is gone all the time is beyond the pale, truly. There is nothing wrong with her having care in a facility. You can still honor her by visiting her in a place where trained people do this for a living. And you can live your own life, not get fired from your job, and not fight with your husband over his view of what you should be doing for a woman who isn't even your own mother.

Please, please reconsider marrying him.

20 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Stand your ground. His mother should absolutely NOT move in with you. And if he continues to push you, the person who would be responsible for taking care of his mother if she lived in your home because he's never around, consider not sharing a home with him at all. You're not married to him. If he wants his mother to live with him, he can do it without you living there.

ETA: Also, just something to consider, anything that happens to his mother in your care...will be, in his mind, your fault. That's not a responsibility you should have to take on.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

"From the beginning of our relationship (three years ago), my fiancé has wanted his mother to live with us."

The writing has been on the wall, clear as day, ever since you started dating. This is not an issue he's ever wavered on, so you could have predicted this day coming.

If you're not willing to allow her to live with you and help him with caregiver duties, but he absolutely refuses to consider anything else, then you cannot marry him. This may be the big deal breaker in your relationship.

Frankly, I think you and his sisters are in the right about this. She does sound like she needs to be in a 24-care facility.

He might be a wonderful man in general but it sounds like he may not be the right one for you. You need to make it clear to him that it isn't something you are willing to do, and that it will end the relationship if he insists. I'm just sorry that you didn't address this 1-2-3 years ago, it would have been less painful for both of you.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Every other lady has addressed, very well, the needs of your soon to be mil. It's just common sense that moving her in with you will not work, for your health or hers.

I'm going to try to lead you out of the FOG. He is using Fear, Obligation and Guilt to get you to be his mother's caretaker. Get that, USING you. It's not lovingly helping his mom, it's being used, like a piece of furniture. You don't care what a chair thinks, or feels, or the emotional trauma it goes through. It's doing a job for you. Normal people don't use people, the way they use things.

This is emotional manipulation. Get the book, Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward. You've understood that this is unmanageable. So he's uped the anty by putting even more pressure on you. There are many ways of taking care of his mom, without dumping everything on you and limiting her real care. All this does is make your fiancé FEEL better. It relieves the guilt he mistakenly feels. He manipulates you into doing the really heavy lifting. As the other ladies have said, this has nothing to do with his moms real care needs. It does not make her situation better, it just makes HIS situation better, while you end up doing 80 percent of a humongous job.

You have to put your foot down. If you are going to stay with a person who would treat you this way, you are going to have to resist this pressure and do what's right for you. You have the right to live your life at 27. If you give into this, the next few yrs are going to be a nightmare. That's until it breaks you and you end up leaving him, anyway.

Personally, I could not stay with someone who could treat me so callously in order to make him feel better.

You say, I'm sorry, this is not going to work for me.
He says, but you promised to take care of my mom, she Needs you!
You say, I understand now that her needs are beyond my abilities. It's not going to work for me.
He says, but she's better than Everybody says! You are just selfish!
You say, I'm sorry you feel that way, but I've made my decision.
He says, well, if that's the way you want it, I will just move with out you and take care of her myself!
You say, I hope you won't do that, but I've made my decision.

Don't waffle. It will just keep the interaction going and make him try harder.
Don't JADE, justify, argue, defend or explain. It will do no good.

No, is a complete answer.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Even with love, there has to be practicality and common sense. Your fiancé is probably in denial about the severity of his mother's condition and day to day needs.
If you are both working, no way is she going to be independent enough to stay alone all day if she has dementia with physical issues and pain that you describe. She is already unable to handle activities of daily living, without assistance.
A care facility or even an "assisted living" situation might be an option. It is extremely expensive to have in home care almost equivalent to residential care.

I had to do this for my Mom this past summer. She had been living with me for past 1 1/2 yr, and what a burden it is to deal with the memory loss and she was still able to be up and around. I was always worried about her being alone. She has gotten along very well at the home and I can bring her home on weekends and enjoy family outings. She is almost 100, can still do some minor sewing projects, work jigsaw puzzles, but can't remember five minutes.

I am an RN and familiar with all her needs, but I would not advise you to take on the responsibility of your fiancé's expectations. You will grow to resent the helplessness you will feel not to make her better and the restrictions it will put on your life and the added stress to your relationship. You have proof by what the other family members have already expressed about her needs and care.

Re-evaluate your living arrangement. Best wishes!

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

No way would I agree to this...period.

When you initially agreed to her moving in, she was pretty agile and self-sufficient. Her health situation changes this. She sounds like she needs way more care than you both would be able to provide. If she really is going into dementia, this will only get worse and she will get to the point that she will not be able to be left alone in the house.

Your fiancé apparently thinks that he is going to essentially saddle you with all of her care. You are right to be concerned about your career. If he wants her to move in, then he has to have a job in which he is home every night. He wants you to change everything about your life without making any adjustments on his.

If he is not willing to see reason on this, it might be time to walk away from this relationship. If you take this on, I promise that you will start to feel angry and resentful. It will doom your marriage.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

This is a very big concern!!

My cousin moved in with my aunt and uncle to help out as they aged. It just about killed her and her career.

They needed to be in a facility. They had no sense of time and would wake her up all night to fix things or to scream at her for things she did or didn't she was living with the same thing as a newborn in the house. She was getting maybe four hours of sleep a night. She started having constant migraines. They (aunt and uncle) would fire the home heath aides that she would hire to come in a couple days a week as fast as she could find them. They would fall while she was at work, and she would race home to meet the ambulance. (None of the falls was serious but once down they couldn't get back up...and one time her father pulled a big piece of furniture over on himself and was pinned for hours). They would pull out medical lines they had in place for therapy (shunts, and i.v. lines) then she would have to take off work to go have them put back in.

And she had a lot of family around to "help" her but she was in the trenches 24/7.

This is a big big undertaking and unless you are going to have 24 hour a day aides there to help her...woah!!

Does he understand that if she can't get to the bathroom herself then she will have to use a diaper (that you or he will have to change) or you will have to help her onto a potty chair next to her bed (which you or he will have to empty)? I helped with my family member in her 80s who had broken her leg...and changing an adult diaper on someone in pain is really a two person job, even if it is only urine. Also, when they leak you have to change the whole bed...this happens a lot even with pads underneath them (and even changing the pads is hard work with someone in pain who you have to roll to get things under them).

Want me to get into bedsores? Those can come on quick and be very hard to heal and be very painful and nasty.

I think others have covered the amount of work it will take to ready your house for her to move in...that can be expensive because insurance des not cover all the things you need.

Good luck!! it is a lot to take on...sending you a huge hug!!

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Try to get a neutral party involved - get someone from Elder Services to go over her needs on a daily basis. Her physician can refer you to someone.

So your fiancé feels that his mother would be better off isolated in your home, away from a social setting and away from family, with no way of getting to any activities? She cannot walk more than 100 feet, she has the onset of dementia, but he thinks she should be alone all day and watch TV? He wants to put her in new surroundings, then leave on business trips for days or a week at a time? No one is with her during the day, so she's in charge of her own meals, medications, pain management, mobility, toilet/shower usage and entertainment?

Someone needs to evaluate his mother's needs but also your home. Is it handicapped accessible? Can she get her walker through the doorways and into the bathroom? Can she turn around in the bathroom and does she need a commode with arms on it so she can get on and off the toilet? What about grab bars for the tub/shower? Can she get out the door and down the steps to the outside? What if she falls? What if there is a fire? His sisters are already worn out so what is the plan for respite care for you and him as her caregivers? Does she have a medical alert pendant? Has he looked into those services and their costs? What about home health aides and non-medical companion/assistance aides? Who's going to get her meals, do her dishes, take her grocery shopping, do her cleaning (since she can't move)?

Depending on her situation, your husband could be accused of elder neglect if he leaves his ill-equipped mother alone all day.

You and your husband need to have a serious sit-down with his mother's case manager at the rehab facility. If she won't be living with her daughters, and she will be alone at her son's house, there is a team of professionals (nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehab doctor) who evaluate her needs. She should be doing OT, for example, on how to function in a kitchen with a walker and in her weakened condition - she needs to learn how to get things out of cabinets and refrigerators, into the sink or dishwasher, how to get her plate with her sandwich onto her walker and to the table, and so on. You need a shower chair, a commode, grab bars, etc. in the bathroom. Furniture needs to be moved and hazards relocated (tables, swivel chairs, doorstops, bathroom scales, throw rugs, etc.) so she can maneuver. A team needs to come into your home and review everything - with her, with your fiancé. A budget needs to be set based on what her insurance will cover and what will come out of her disability/social security income, and what will come out of yours.

Your fiancé needs to spend AT LEAST a week in the rehab facility, attending therapy sessions so he learns how to help his mother move about safely and without pain, learning how to adapt the kitchen, etc. If she can do it just fine and the sisters are exaggerating, great - that means she's not as sick as they think. But if he finds out she IS compromised, he's got to adjust. If he's just in denial because he wants his mommy to be as mobile as she was before she got sick, he needs to grow up.

So if telling him you're having second thoughts is making YOU the bad guy, you can either put your foot down (and risk your relationship now as opposed to after his mother moves in, when, as you fear, it will really deteriorate), or you can say, "Okay, let's get into that rehab facility for a team meeting and find out the best way to help her." Then you BOTH make the time, taking at least several days off work, and you have meetings, go to therapy sessions, learn the exercises she has to do, learn to give her a safe shower and how to physically support her, get a list of accommodations they recommend for your house, etc. And you can voice your concerns privately if you want to her case manager. They do NOT want your MIL to be unsafe, confused or unhappy. Your fiancé needs to learn that his mother will not live very long under dangerous conditions, and his denial of her situation will shorten her life.

I know you love him and want to honor his mother, but if he is delusional about the realities of life, you need to think about how well he will take care of you or any children you might have, and how involved he's really going to be. If he thinks moving his mother into your house and then leaving on business is going to be a good idea, he's not really caring for you or her.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You guys need to get as much information as possible on what care options are available. My mother cares for my Dad with advanced Parkinson's. He now needs supervision 24/7 and it is intense. She has people that come to her house on a daily basis. Some of these people come to bathe him and assess him, others come for respite care for Mom so she can get out of the house. You both need lots of information before making ANY final decision. She can stay at home, but it will take a significant commitment out of EVERYONE in the household. If you don't do this right, everyone will suffer. Talk to the doctor about options. The rehab facility likely has a social worker that can help you as well. PLEASE do lots of research. You need to arm yourself and him with information and make a rational, well thought decision that is in everyone's best interest. Sometimes emotions get the better of us and this is a hard situation.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

This is an extremely difficult situation. However, there is no way I would allow his mother to move in with you, unless a nurse was going to be coming in every day to assist you.

You don't mention how far away this new home is, or how often he currently sees his mother. It appears that he would need to spend some time with her and care for her before making such a large commitment.

You're not married. I'm sorry but this is a deal breaker. I would not marry someone who would put me in this position.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Do not move in with him. "Honey, I love you with all of my heart and I love your mom too, but I am not able to handle the arrangement you want, so I can't move in with you two."


Don't back down. You are correct, you WILL be left with the impossible responsibility, and he is totally delusional about how difficult this would be for ANYONE much less himself as he travels and his 27 year old girlfriend left at home. Walk away! Aside from the drastic nature of this situation, sounds like his mom will always come first to him, and that never works out for a happy relationship. My ex favored his mom in all disputes. I pointed out to him once, "So, your mom's husband puts her first (true-her husband NEVER went against her the way my ex did to me) and her sons all put her first. But no one puts me first."

It's horrible. Get a man who is not so attached to his mom. Listen to Doris Day, she IS correct.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

I would not move or marry with this man.

You can't control him - you can only control you.

And sorry, any "promises" made before marriage are not written in stone. Even if you were married you could not have anticipated that her health would deteriorate to this point this quickly. Not to mention - what is best for HER? Will she get the level of care she will absolutely need to avoid bed sores, infection, etc.? She is probably going to need round-the-clock, 24/7 care. If all of your fiance's siblings all lived in one place, and could share the responsibility it would be one thing -but how can he do it alone, even with your help? Is he going to be willing to change his mom's diapers? Because that is what it is going to come down to.

This sounds like it is way past simply providing housekeeping support and companionship. Yes, that would be nice if you guys could do it. But she has greater medical needs.

My husband's mom, whom I love dearly, has late stage Parkinson's. She tried to live with my SIL and it was a disaster. I wanted to bring her here but my husband wisely realized it was beyond our capabilities. She is in the highest level care facility now, and I realize that my husband was right. She needs round-the-clock support. The doctors come to her (my extremely busy husband was having to drive her to the doctor almost every week). The nurses change her frequently. They also manage her meds much better than was happening at home (scary). It's not the ideal situation but then again there is NO ideal situation.

My SIL was very against a nursing home (it is cultural - they are Italian) but even she realizes that nobody could handle her care.

It's terrible - tragic and heart-breaking. But you have to deal in reality.

I would tell fiance that I cannot commit to that level of care. And if he wants to think badly of me for that reason then OK. I would rather live with our relationship ending than the stress of a situation which is way beyond my ability to handle - not to mention not in the best interest of his mom.

Good luck.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Just being practical... If you are both at work and she needs assistance in the bathroom, who is going to help her? Who will prepare her meals when you are both at work?

You are smart to recognize that her care will fall on you when your fiancé is not around. Taking care for someone in your MIL condition is a full time job and it will only get worse as her dementia progresses.

Your fiancé is greatly underestimating the care she requires and is not being realistic. Why would his sister's not be honest about her needs? It only makes sense that they would know more about her care than your fiancé since they actually cared for her.

Perhaps you should let her move in with him and you can get your own place until after you are married. Sorry to say, but I would have really second thoughts about marrying this man.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

If he wants the very best care for his mother, he would find a facility that is equipped to take care of her.

What if in his care, something terrible happened to her? He would be devastated. 24 hr care means 24 hours. There is no way the 2 of you could make that work. Especially if you both have jobs.

Find a place that is not only a well rated facility, but consider its location. He can always wake up early to go and visit her every morning on his way to work and then every day on his way home.

We are dealing with this right now with my grandmother. All of the Aunts but 1 knew the doctor meant it when he said grandmother could no longer be left alone any longer. She cannot go to the bathroom, bath, get in and out of bed, get dressed, stand without assistance. But the youngest aunt said no, she would take care of her mom, she refused to even discuss it. This Aunt works 2 jobs and has 3 children that also work full time. It has only been 2 weeks and they are scrambling to keep up with this care. If something happens to my grandmother in their care, the entire family is going to be upset.

I feel sorry for her kids.

Empathize and sympathize with him, but let him know that he can go and see or be with her as much as he wants. And then you keep your promise about this.

He sounds like a very loving son, but he needs to think about what is best for her, not himself.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I echo the advice to have a doctor and social worker talk to your fiance, you and your sisters. Having her move to a new setting, particularly with early-stage dementia, could be downright dangerous for his mother. It would be one thing if he were trying to keep her in her own home, or if one of you were at home 24/7 to offer care, but neither of those scenarios is true.

He needs to hear from a neutral 3rd party what the options are, and what the benefits and risks are of each option. These are hard conversations to have and tough decisions to make, but the rehab that she's in and her doctor's office should have social workers available who can go over her case with everyone so that you all agree on doing what's best *for her,* not what's best in fantasy land.

There are facilities with step-up care that might meet this woman's needs. They have assisted living settings (which are basically small apartments) for those who can live with some measure of independence but offer meals if the person chooses to go to the dining room, lots of activities and socializing, help with light housekeeping, and have staff to check on the safety, health and well-being of the residents. A "step up" facility would also have a rehab and/or nursing home on site, where patients can transfer temporarily (or permanently if needed) when they need more care, such as recovering from an illness, surgery, injury or hospitalization.

Honestly, because your fiance's mother needs help toileting, she cannot carry out the tasks of everyday living and a rehab will not release her to a home without 24-hour care or to assisted living until she can do that on her own.

I've seen my dad and his siblings, and my FIL and his siblings, go through denial with their mothers about how sick they were and that they weren't getting better and needed more care. It's a harsh reality to face, but someone needs to get through to your fiance that bringing her home without adequate care would be cruel and would be serving *his* wants and needs and not hers.

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answers from McAllen on

This detail might not matter to you, but there really is a difference--legally and, in some hearts and minds, spiritually--between a spouse and...not. Fiance does not equal husband. If you were to refer to her as your mother-in-law in a court of law--should it ever come to that--they would correct you and show you just where the line is drawn. If you were to decide to scale down your job, you would have little legal recourse should you break up. Also, he's expecting you to love his mother and care for her as he would, since he takes for granted that you are the woman in his life and that is your job. He hasn't established you as his other half, though. You haven't actually been hired for the job; you're on a long-term trial run, and he's getting all the benefit of your dedication without so much as health coverage for you. (Me and my crazy analogies.) It's nice to be treated like a wife when that's what you want, but it's not lining up yet. You're getting way ahead of yourselves. As a non-wife, you are not in the position to receive legal benefit for your sacrifice.

He meant what he said early on when he asked if she could live with you guys, and you let the stars in your eyes answer for you. Now, he's holding you to it. That should have been an actual discussion, weighing pros and cons and other options, with some clauses. Now that you are faced with it, it's gonna be a battle of wills, and I don't see you winning this. It's a turn-on to find a man who loves his mother. We don't always look at what that really means down the road, though.

Right at the time that I had been married 11 months, my family member was diagnosed with a terminal illness. It was so important to me to be able to take care of her, but moving her in was not a decision that I could make unilaterally. I hoped with everything that my husband would be okay with this need of mine. He was more than okay with it, but there was a part of me that had decided that even if he said no, I would do it, anyway. That would not have been good for us, but I was blinded by the fact that someone who meant so very much to me needed ME. She needed to be cared for by someone who would do it as thoroughly and lovingly as I would, and I didn't necessarily trust anybody else to do that. I felt desperate to do it, because I was convinced that I could keep her from dying. But this was my husband's home, too, and he needed it to be all the things that made it home for him.

Within the year, she was gone, and it was a long...road. It was like having a baby in the other room. I was up and down during the night, away from home for weeks at a time, stressed out from the fear of not doing the exact right thing for her health and fighting to maintain my own personal space while tending to all that went into being newly married to a man with an ex and children and faced with starting all over with someone else. That still stands out as the single worst year of my life. I'm so thankful that I got to do that, though. I'm so thankful that my husband saw that desperate need in me and allowed me the space to cramp our apartment and divide my newlywed attention to be her 24-hour care-giver and the maternal nurturer that was part of her making peace with being at the end of her physical life.

I tell you this story not to change your mind, but just to give you some insight to his perspective. It's not just a fantasy for him. He is desperate to alter the outcome of what is leading to the end of his mother's life. You're not wrong for not wanting it, but you won't win if you fight him.

Forgive me if I am over-reaching here. The fact that you are referring to him as fiance and to her as MIL leads me to believe that you two aren't actually engaged with a wedding date in sight. Having an actual wedding in sight would typically lend to the term "future mother-in-law" because you would be acutely aware of the distinction. I'm not a wife who looks down on girlfriends or on alternative arrangements. If this is the commitment that you've made, Use of the terms "fiance" and "MIL" kinda sound like you want the commitment that marriage offers and you haven't come to terms with the fact that you don't actually have that. (People who are content with their set of circumstances tend not to apply these terms to their lives.) If you two just kinda slid into this arrangement, however, living day to day without having to have the very real and sometimes difficult conversatons about what your lives will look like together and committing to see each other through certain unforeseen circumstances--yes, I'm talking about actually saying the words aloud and cycling them through your digestive system--then he likely does not see you as someone whose opinions or feelings trump those of his mother. In other words, you do not come first, and this situation might be a deal-breaker on either side.

Oh, and the fact that he won't even be there to do it himself--and you don't say that he speaks in terms of what you will have to do or getting a nurse or changing his job, he just kinda assumes that you'll handle it--means that he hasn't considered and you guys have not discussed how this will affect you individually. Sit down with him and discuss the logistics of making this happen, and go point by point with what would be needed. Then, you can decide how those needs can best be met. Everybody who wants to take in a relative doesn't always consider everything that goes into that undertaking. They just want to do what they think they should. Help him to work out the details before deciding what you will and won't do. This is what marital commitment looks like. Welcome.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I strongly urge you to listen to the people that have directly cared for family members to see if it is something you can do. Either way it is a very hard decision.

My father has moderate dementia with other medical problems. He wears adult diapers and sometimes needs help with them. He has loose stool and has accidents in the bathroom, sometimes daily. He has tried to drive many times even though he had his license taken away. He has attempted to climb a ladder to fix things (he cannot walk alone due to balance problems) and has been rushed to hospital for falling. He gets very agitated and has threatened violence. He gets very verbally abusive calling me b#tch when he doesn't get his way. He hides things, threatens things and yells. This is his 24/7 care. Sometimes the 'real' person is there and there are a few good times. But it gets less and less.

In home care Monday-Friday for 24 hours runs about $3000. Money runs out fast.Then you have to think about weekends. My fathers was so mean to them, none stayed. Then the idea of people in your house when you aren't there.....

Your situation may be different, but this is a fraction of what it is like. You really need to do your research and understand what his mother needs. So does he.

Good luck!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia!

I'm sorry - as much as I support taking care of family. In this instance? I don't see how this is do-able. Neither one of you are prepared nor equipped to be able to care for his mother.

Your fiance is very honorable. However, it sounds like he has blinders on. You need to go to the doctor's TOGETHER and have a list of questions and find out just how prepared and equipped you are to handle taking care of her.

1. Does she need medications that require needles?
2. Will she need a special bed?
3. Will she need specialized nurse visits?
4. Will the doctor recommend hospice? If so - how many visits per week?
5. Does her doctor recommend she be moved?
6. Will she need around the clock care?
7. How sick is she really?
8. How long do you expect her to live?

I can tell you from personal experience, caring for a loved one is HARD WORK. My parents took in my father's mother - 20 years ago - no one expected her to live past 10 years...she's now 96 years old and my mother died before she did....just this September. And my dad, sister and brother all cared for her when we got the devastating news that she had a VERY aggressive pancreatic cancer with transfer to liver and kidneys...she was given 3 days to 6 weeks to live. My mom lived 6 days. And NEVER ONCE was she EVER alone in those 6 days. EVER. And we were wiped out. It was six days. I don't regret it. I consider it a privilege to have been able to care for my mother until her dying day.

My grandmother? URGH! She's 96 years old. She is on oxygen 24 hours a day. So there is her oxygen tubing wherever she is in the parents had to buy a home (okay they didn't have to - they chose to) that had a bedroom and full bathroom on the main level so she wouldn't have to go up stairs....

Before my mom died? When they went out? They had to take her with them - everywhere...getting her wheelchair out of the back of the car, getting her oxygen tank out of the back of the car? It's hurting my dad. LITERALLY HURTING HIM...he's 78 years old. This is NOT an easy thing to do. Really. It's not. Care-givers MUST HAVE BREAKS TOO.

You're not even married yet and this is a HUGE hurdle. Your fiance is expecting you to care for his mother. But he's NOT understanding everything that is going on or involved in her care.

Will he be able to help her to the bathroom and wipe her private parts when you aren't around? I know my brother had a very hard time watching and helping with that part of her care. My brother was great at lifting...and helping turn her. There is sooo much that goes into the care of someone who is aging and ill.....much more than I believe your fiance is aware of.

He needs to sit down with you and the doctor and get a REAL opinion on what is going on and what she needs. If he refuses to listen to you and your concerns? As much as you love him? He might not respect you enough to listen to your opinion and value you as well.

Hope this helps!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

She needs help to use the restroom but both of you will be working. I can't see how this is going to work at all. He is not facing the reality of the situation, he just wants to take care of his mom without having a plan to meet her needs. Now he is trying to make you feel bad for changing your mind after her needs have changed. Or he says his sisters are exaggerating. He is the one who is not dealing with the situation but wants to blame others. He will be traveling but will expect you to take care of her which is practically impossible even if you did not work. I agree that this is a disaster waiting to happen and I feel badly for both you and his mom.

I'm not sure what would wake him up to the actual situation, perhaps he needs to talk with her doctors and social worker in devising a care plan. They should spell out what type of care she needs and that she can't be left on her own. I'm not even sure they will release her to his (your) care.

He sounds like a spoiled little boy and maybe not good husband material.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Don't move in with him! If his mom has cirrhosis of the liver she is in the end stages of her life. That could be 6 months or 5 years. There is NO way you should take this on. Wait until his mom passes away to get married and move in together.

My mom passed away 6 months ago after 3 years of battling cancer. She also had multiple health problems (in older people there are usually a number of health problems that compound to make their general health status bad). My mom is NOT a complainer, she had always been very independent, but the last 3 years were really rough and there's no way I could have taken care of her by myself. We used my mom's money to have a live in aid for about 8 months - but mom outlived her money & the doctor's expectations and she spent the last 18 months of her life in a nursing home.

My mom did not want to go to a nursing home - but she understood I couldn't care for her myself. We searched all of the nursing homes in the area for the best one ( has a tool that compares nursing homes based on state inspection results) and found the best in the area. It was within a 15 minute drive of 4 out of 5 of her kids. She ended up making a number of good friends, and although she didn't like the food, she probably had a richer end of life becuase she was in a nursing home than if she had been at home, by herself for many hours. She took art classes and won a NY state award for senior art, she had her art displayed in a gallery opening, she attended Bible studies every week, she had a group of ladies she dined with for lunch & dinner, there was a hair salon so she got her hair done almost every week, she made many good friends with whom she prayed together and she and her friends enjoyed the patio and bird-feeding whenever the weather was good. Her last 2 months were tough - but the nursing staff was there to attend to her needs and we didn't have to worry. They would call us if there was an emergecy. She had family around her all the time. Between friends and family she usually had 3-6 visits a week and at the end she had people with her almost round the clock.
My mom still wished she could have been home - but she made the most of it. On the other hand, my MIL is in a nursing home, for 4+ years now and she complains every day and cries constantly. But she would have been doing that if she was at her own home or at ours. I suspect your finance's mom will be more like my MIL than my mom.

As the youngest child and only son your fiance feels a responsibility and ache in his heart to care for his mom. I get that. But since he travels and is away much of the time this is not a situation for you to be in the middle of. Sounds like he's in denial about her real health situation and the extent of care she needs. If he brought her to your shared home it would be a disaster for your relationship and his mom would not end up being cared for properly.

If you go ahead and make this move and his mom moves in I guarantee it will seriously damage and perhaps destroy your relationship. No matter what, your care of his mother will never be enough, and you'll both resent eachother. If he insists then I would bow out if I were you. Tell him you fully understand his emotions towards his mom and that you won't stop him from making this move but that you won't be participating. Tell him your relationship is more important and you just can't take this on.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

You need a physician to explain to your fiance that it is impossible and not in your MIL's best interest for her to live anywhere other than a nursing care facility; it sounds as though she needs constant care and treatment-how would you manage to work, can she be left for 8-10 hours a day? What would you do if she fell, can you lift her? Are you able and authorized to provide any kind of medical treatment?

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

The bottom line is:
Because his Mom has serious health problems, she NEEDS professional care taking. And that is from, a live in facility, or at home WITH having a Professional Health Aide. IN the home. And that costs money.

His Mom, NEEDS TO HAVE PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL, assistance. NOT YOU. And ESPECIALLY since, your Fiance is HARDLY home, due to his Flight Attendant job.
It is NOT FAIR TO YOU, to have to, do all the care taking for HIS Mom.... and she REQUIRES PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CARE.
And your Fiance, is in DENIAL.

IF.... something happens to his Mom, YOU will be responsible for it. Why? Because, you will be home with her. NOT him... because he is never home, caring for his Mom himself. It is YOU, that will be doing that.

AND because she is so sick, she will need... TO CONSTANTLY GO TO DOCTORS appointments, and take medications, and be fed and cared for, cleaned up, assisted with the bathroom and bathing etc.
Does your Fiance... KNOW THAT?
AND your MIL is not, mobile nor physically capable, of doing things herself.
YOU will be doing, ALL of that. For her.
Not him. Because, he is hardly home.

You are NOT married to him.
YOU are not responsible for this.
HE is.
Don't get yourself into a hole.
You are not even direct family.
And any medical decisions or emergencies, CANNOT be decided by you... even if YOU will be the sole person caring for her, MOST of the time.
Does your Fiance know that?

My Dad... was very ill before he died. And could not care for himself. Nor could my Mom care for him by herself. HENCE, we ALL (me and my Husband) helped care for him. EVERY EVERY EVERY, day. AND taking him to his many Doctor's appointments. Feeding him. Helping him walk etc., making sure he takes his medications, making sure that we cook his meals according to his MEDICAL requirements etc., running errands for him EVERYDAY. It takes... ALL DAY and night, to care for a medically ill, person. And it takes, MANY people to do so, in the family. Not only 1... person. We could not leave my Dad, alone. Someone was always there with him. THUS... we all had to, adjust our work schedules or take OFF from work, to do care taking for my Dad. And he was in a facility for a time too at one point. It still took us, everyday, going to see him etc. and checking on him.
It is VERY VERY, arduous... and take all of one's time. Day and night.
I know. I lived it.

Your Fiance, is very irresponsible... to even think, that his Mom can live with you in her condition... and have YOU, care for her. Because, he will NOT be home. He will be traveling all the time for his job.
AND, what about medical costs? And extra food costs and everything else... that his Mom's condition will affect you with????
It is time and money.

I know, I cared for my medically ill Dad, before he died. We did so, for about three years, before he died.
It is NOT easy.
AND Care Takers, get VERY stressed. It is very stressful. It is a DAILY 24/7, thing, to do caretaking.

Your Fiance is not being rational about this and is being very selfish. Actually.
Because, he does not know, anything... about caring for his Mom nor what she needs, daily, medically.... and the impact upon him or you or your lives.
Your MIL is very... ill.
Thus, she NEEDS to have, appropriate medical care. And your Fiance NEEDS to provide her, with PROPER medical care and assistance.
Not you just at home with her.
AND HE NEEDS TO DECIDE this, with his sisters. That is their, Mom.

I would not marry him. Over this. And, your Fiance has wanted his Mom to live with you... since the BEGINNING of your relationship.
Red flag.
I mean, he probably wants that because he will make you... take care of her. Because he knows, he cannot do it.

As a Girlfriend... you cannot be legally responsible for her, nor make any medical decisions about her, etc.
And if anything happens to her, under your care in your home... if she falls down gets hurt, or chokes, or has a stroke of anything of a medical nature.... then what????
You, cannot make decisions for her. HE has to do that.
It is ridiculous, that he is expecting you to do so.

To me, this is not honorable, what your Fiance is doing.
He has wanted this since the BEGINNING of your relationship.
And it seems, it is YOU, that he is making... meet the ends to his goals.
And he does NOT, maturely... realize, what his Mom needs, MEDICALLY.
If he really cared and knew what your MEDICALLY ill Mother In Law needs... he would be, getting proper medical care for her in an assisted living facility or get her a Home Health Aide etc.
And what if he says lets get married now?
Because, he wants his Mom to live w/you and you care for her?
Even if that is not a warm and fuzzy feeling... that is what will end up happening. Maybe.

HE is also blaming you... for not agreeing with him.
Um. Wow. That is really... for me, a deal breaker.

HE has to figure out what to do, per his job and WITH his sisters.
And your MIL has Dementia.
That in itself, requires 24/7 care.
You cannot leave her alone. At all.
It WILL get worse, the Dementia. And that is just one, health problem. And a mental health problem.

AND, your Fiance knows he cannot do this, by himself. Having his Mom move in. Without you, he cannot do this.
And he has been pushing to have his Mom move in with you... since the BEGINNING of your relationship, with him. Because, he wants YOU... to do it. You are a "woman." And his job, means he will NOT be home nor be responsible for his Mom. You will be... and by doing so, you will ALSO have to deal with, his Sisters. This is their Mom. Too.
And you WILL be caught... all in the middle... of... this....
Something is not right here.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Um....if she needs round the clock care and you both work, know no O. in the new area, who, exactly, is going to give the 'round the clock" care?
Can " your man" afford FT caregivers?
Has he even looked into this cost?

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Is he willing to hire someone full-time to take care of her? Otherwise it is just not safe.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

This will most definitely effect YOUR relationship with your fiancé ,your career and your overall health. The doctors know better than your fiancé about her health. Your fiancés sisters know full well what it is like to care for her and it was very difficult.

You need to make a decision M. S. Are you up for this task? You are under NO obligation to help your fiancé and apparently he is choosing his mom over what your wishes are. I am sorry to say that. It IS a disaster waiting to happen. Taking on a very ailing person is very draining emotionally,physically and financially...especially if you are not a united front with this decision.

Think long and hard if this is the life you want. You are not married to him...under no obligation. He is being very dismissive of the doctors medical evaluation and his sisters' opinions. Just wait til it is YOU he is not taking seriously when you are knee deep in your fiancé's mom living with you and the toll all the in- home care will mean on YOUR life. Mom will be #1 in your home...not you.

Mommy will come first and all her needs. You up for this?? How about YOU move out and get your own place for awhile. Let your fiancé have mommy move in with him and he takes care of her round the clock. You watch and see how he does before you consider moving back in. (But I don't recommend or condone living together before being married)

If you were married to this man then my answer would be much different. You have no rights or obligations as a fiancé or girlfriend...which is actually the same thing.

Good luck!!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

wow! he's pretty cavalier about insisting that YOU take on pretty much single-handedly the intensive care of his mother!
while i appreciate his desire to care for her at home, his sisters' input (especially since they HAVE cared for his mom) needs to be heard.
i think your fiance has a very unrealistic view of how difficult in-home care can be. when he's home is HE prepared to bathe her, help her with bathroom functions and clean-up, change her bedding and help her dress? does he understand how hard it will be for his MOM to have her son performing these intimate functions for her?
there are times when it has to happen, and there are situations where it's absolutely the best thing. but the notion that family is always preferable to trained, competent professionals is flawed. if it was your fiance taking on the bulk of the care it would still be an iffy proposition. the fact that he's insisting that you do it, and getting defensive when you even try to discuss it, is a huge red flag for me.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Nice response, Wild Woman. Sounds like you have been there.

IF you have your MIL move in, what needs to be discussed is what is the situation in which MIL needs to go to a facility, as her condition will deteriorate over the years. If he cannot afford 24 hr care, this will eventually be a must. Please contact a social worker that specializes in geriatrics to facilitate the meeting. He or she will be a wealth of knowledge and have dozens of contacts of folks who can help you.

When he asked if his mother could live with you, he essentially asked you to care for his mother, as he is not at home. Does he realize this? How much has he cared for her while she was at his sisters' homes? What is he willing to do himself for this scenario to work? Do you have a good sense that he pulls his weight in taking care of a home and elderly members? Is he thinking that women are responsible for this exclusively?

Yes, your relationship, your career and your health will be impacted. This is what happens when our parents age. I wish employers and society as a whole was more sympathetic to the situation. I am responsible for my aunt, and it is a draining, frustrating, and sometimes stressful task that does not let up. For me, it has been the most challenging thing I have ever done. Raising my child is a breeze in comparison.

Talk to a social worker. Declare what your needs are during the meeting. Set boundaries and hold to them. No, really, HOLD TO THEM. Determine when you need even more support and get it. Also talk about the possibility of children and what the greater needs will be at that point.

See if your fiancé could do a test run with him taking care of MIL for a week. If you live in separate abodes, stay that way during the week. He needs to see what he is getting into.

My very best wishes.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It sounds like she would be best in a nursing home or facility that can offer the medical care she needs. However, if you absolutely cannot convince your fiance, then insist on having a full time nurse to care for her in your home. This shouldn't be your responsibility, especially since it doesn't sound like something you can even handle without medical training, not to mention the physical toll it will take on your body.

Because he travels all the time, it is completely unfair to expect the burden of caring for his mother to fall on you.

There needs to be a serious discussion before you agree to letting her move in. Talk about your needs and expectations, as well as how you're going to meet her needs. Like I said, insist on a full time nurse or don't let her live with you. Be supportive and understanding of his relationship with his mom and let him know that you see where he's coming from.

See if you can do a little research into facilities in your new town. Find out what they offer, both in terms of medical assistance and quality of life - do they have outings, classes, bridge clubs, etc for the residents to take part in? What types of things will be available to her whens she's feeling well? What can they offer to help ease her pain? Find out what their visiting hours and policies are so that you can assure your husband of when he can see her. Ask if they allow overnights so you can bring her to your home on holidays. See if you can find reviews and, if at all possible, talk to some people who have placed their parents in the facility. Get their honest opinions. Maybe if you find the perfect place, he will be more open to talking about it.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Your fiancé is not able to take care of his mother if he is a flight attendant. I agree with talking to doctors and letting them explain that it is not possible for him to care for her himself while he is away and you are at work. The nights are the worst. The person being cared for (in my experience) have sleepless nights and bang on walls and are very disruptive (they could be lonely and scared). It is almost like having a huge newborn.

It is so difficult to have in home care. The hired caregiver can and/or will 1. get sick, 2. need personal days/travel 3. quit. This means each time a new person needs to be trained (either for a day or week) in your home by you or your fiancé. A facility has many employees and the routine is much easier when an employee there has a day off or leaves.

Your fiancé is in denial. I do not use the word never much, but I would NEVER want to burden my kids if I was in that condition. I can not imagine her wanting you to clean up after her when she goes to the bathroom.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

How would he feel if she dies while she's home alone while he's traveling and you're at work?
I would not feel at all qualified to give her the level of care she is going to need at home.
Even then you'll never know what you will find when you get home after work.
Our neighbors Mom was put into a nursing home after she had fallen 4 times (once she fell asleep while she was on the toilet and hit her head when she fell off) and after hours of being on the floor managed to reach a phone for a rescue squad to come out and help her up.
Another friend of the family was looking after an elderly aunt with severe dementia - she'd get up in the night to use the bathroom and in the morning they'd find she'd mistaken the living room recliner as the toilet.
Your fiance wants to carry through with his promise but he's wearing blinders when it comes to how her health has deteriorated and his plan as it stands right now is not feasible - it would be cruel to her..
Could HE take a 2 week vacation and go stay with her and totally care for her himself so he has an idea what it will be like?
He won't be caring for her himself if she lives with you - he'll be doing it by proxy (you) and that isn't really fair to anyone nor is it keeping his promise to her.
A nursing home would be the best care for her.
I don't know what he thinks they are like but he needs to research it.
She'd be very isolated if she came to live with you and she should have friends her own age to socialize with while her mind is still intact.
A round the clock nurse at your home would not give her the social stimulation that she would get in a nursing home.

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answers from San Francisco on

Your fiance is an honorable man for wanting to take care of his mother.

HOWEVER, this is going to be a major shift in your lives and ultimately your relationship. Your fiance has every right to take his mother in, and you have every right not to want to take on such a responsibility this early in life.

This is going to be a huge hurdle for the two of you. It may destroy the relationship, depending on how you are able to handle it. No matter how much you "love" someone, life circumstances often dictate a relationship's success or failure.

Neither of you is wrong, but if you don't have kids with him yet, don't get pregnant any time soon. And you may just want to delay the wedding. You may find that having his mother live with you is an intolerable situation.

I agree with Doris and Amy J. Good luck.

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answers from Jacksonville on

When is the wedding?

I am wondering if the issue isn't more than just the current health situation with your MIL. You seem (hard to say from the amount of info you covered, but.. since you said " he has always had a tremendous bond with his mom" as what you take to be his reasons for wanting mom to live with him) to not understand that this may be more than just him being bonded with his mother. It is a cultural thing. Isn't it? Otherwise, why would you mention he is hispanic?

If you are not sure that you are ready to sign up for this, then perhaps reconsidering the wedding is what you should be looking at. I'm sorry, but if this is cultural, he isn't going to change his mind. And if you cannot be content and happy in that scenario, then you might want to move on.

I'm sorry this is happening with his mother. But he is the only son and DOES see it as his duty and obligation to her.

Good luck.

By the way, I am not suggesting, by any means, that his mother should move in with him. It sounds like she should be in a facility with round the clock care, with staff that are trained to deal with her issues. It is much more than one (or even 2) people can manage, even full time with no other responsibilities. In a facility, she will have round the clock folks who get breaks from their efforts in caring for her.

But, this man may not ever accept that. In his mind, it is HIS place to provide that for her AT HOME. HIS home. This is why I say that you need to look at what YOU can accept, and move on if you cannot accept a scenario with her in your home and her care falling on your shoulders. In some cultures, this is what would be expected of you.

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answers from Amarillo on

This might become a deal breaker. You are going to be a slave to carrying for his mother 24/7. The life you know and the job you have will have had will be gone. "At once, I am worried how this move will affect my relationship, my career, and my overall health. I am 27-years-old and never thought I would be in this position so early in my life. I love my man with all my heart and feel a duty to honor his commitment to his mom… but the whole thing seems like a disaster waiting to happen." You have answered your own question.

Caregiving is a long hard strenuous job. There is no end in sight until the end of the person which can be from one to 10 years.

If you feel that you cannot do this, then let him know and break the engagement. You are not obligated because you are not married to him. He does not want to see what he will be doing to you which is ruin your mental, emotional and physical health. Have a talk with him with a senior social worker and what is needed to provide help for his mother.

I am a caregiver to my husband. I try my best to work so that I have a break from the daily grind of carrying. I am try to keep myself intact as a person as much as possible.

May you have a happy holiday season.

the other S.

PS What about finances for the long term for his mom and a family of his own? He can't do both very well.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

ADD: Sadly, this may be a dealbreaker for the relationship. It is HIS responsibility. You can help and support him, but Christy-Lee has a point. It's not too late for you to let go, if he is unreasonable on this. It would suck, but there's only so much you can do and that you are responsible for. This isn't your thing, and if he can't see that he's being unfair to you (once he gets over the shock/worry re. his mom), then that's a message to you that you can't ignore.

ORIGINAL: Neither of you are equipped to care for her. You are not going back on your word - circumstances are not the same and that has to be taken into account.

You need to know what kind of shape she is in and what kind of care she needs - not from her, not from the sisters, but from a medical professional. Once you have that info, you can both plan on the next steps. It's wonderful that he wants to take care of her, but HE won't be able to. YOU won't be able to. So you both need to find out the facts, see what possible solutions there are, and go from there.

One thing I heard a lot re. long-term-care and assisted living situations is that each one is different. And a key thing is often how frequently family visits - if your fiance visits her every day or every other day, they will HAVE to take good care because he will see it if it doesn't happen. If you have to go this route, you can both do homework to find a place that works for everyone. My grandmother was in one for 9 years and it wasn't ideal (she had a room-mate), but they did take care of her.

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answers from New York on

If she needs round the clock care and supervision, how will she get it if you and your fiance are at work every day? If she can't even get to the bathroom on her own, is he going to hire and pay for an aide? Will the rest of the family share the expense?
Who does fiance expect to be the caregiver? Does he expect that you are going to be the one taking her to the bathroom, bathing and dressing her? That's a little much to ask of someone who isn't even married into the family yet. You need a serious discussion with him about this being HIS responsibility. How will you later have children when no one has time to care for them because sick, dementia grandma needs every bit of time and attention?
Leaving her home alone all day will be dangerous, neglectful and possibly contribute toward diminishing her mental state. You can be reported to social services if she injures herself in some way and it's determined that you have left her all alone without care. Is there a senior daycare center where you will be living?

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answers from Jacksonville on

Maybe you need to consider suggesting to him that he go to a doctor's appt with her (you go as well ) to hear straight from the horses mouth exactly what her prognosis is from a professional. Ask your fiance if he is going to be around to change her diapers ( when it comes to that), does he know how to administer IV drugs ,if it comes to that, and so on. These are real possibilities down the road. If he loves and cares about her that much he should be considering mom's well being. If she is in a facility ,(check them all out before she is admitted) she will have round the clock care, people she can talk to and they usually provide activities for the residents to keep them mentally active. He could visit her whenever he wanted to be sure she is taken care of. Would he rather you try to take of her ,no other human contact,does he realize how depressing that could become for his mom? (Which will affect her mentally and physically.) He also needs to consider you, what if you weren't around, who would he rely on then, it's a bit selfish of him to put the responsibilty on you. Who does he think is going to be around 24/7 to care for her? It is a HUGE responsibility and liability if something goes wrong. He really needs to reconsider for many different reasons, and I do understand his dilema, but, reality is,...... . I wish the best for all involved, C. S.

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answers from Minneapolis on

You got a lot of good advice in having the doctor talk to your fiance on the best place for your mil. One thing I can add that someone else mentioned is the social interaction. We put my grandma in an assisted care facility and she has more of a social life than I do! They always have events and activities for them. It is a million times better than her being home all day by herself and she actually enjoys it now.

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answers from Houston on

Folk really need to weigh many things when they date interculturally. I'm black, we tend to not put our elders away in 'homes' either.

This relationship is doomed. If you say yes, you will get pissed off with the duly care. If you say no, he will be angry and resent you when his mother dies.

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answers from Roanoke on

He's being unrealistic.

The only way this could work is if he got a work-from-home job that brings in as much income as his current job (which will be very hard). Then he can stay home with his mom 24/7. He cannot quit his job to be home with her unless you have a very well-paying job, enough to cover your expenses, support her, and still be able to save. He will also need to receive training on how to properly care for her from a medical professional.

If his mother has significant savings... enough to pay him for lost work income, then he could stay home with her and maybe manage a smaller side business. If you two are planning on having children, then you will need to factor that into your savings and time commitments.

Even if all that is covered, you would still have to be ok with sharing your fiance and your living space with his mother all the time.

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answers from Seattle on

Without reading everyone's have a ton!
You are going to marry a hispanic man. I am married to one, so I understand why this is an issue. My husband has never understood nursing homes or putting a parent in a facility like that. He has made it VERY clear, and I agree with him, that we will take on the responsabilities of my parents, his parents, and any grandparents that we still have living. That doesn't mean that we would not bring someone to the house to help us, but that means that the elders in our family will not be shipped off to a strange home with strange people taking care of them.
We are family. your situation. You need to understand that this is the way it IS in his culture. You don't just discard your elders when they become a bit harder to take care of. This woman birthed him, nursed him, loved him, sang to him, kissed him, told stories to him, drove him all over, went to his concerts, worried about him, knew his friends, took care of his needs, was his MOM...and he is not willing to forget that. Bravo to him.
Find a nurse to come and help you in the home to take care of her. Maybe through medicaid if she has it or through her own insurance. Hire someone to help. If your husband wants his mom at home than he may need to think about a career change because she wants FAMILY nearby and he needs to be with her during her last couple of years.
I understand that you are young...but you are not THAT young. You want to get married to this man. And he loves his mother. So, do you love him enough to want to support him in this?

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answers from New York on

It is a disaster waiting to happen if handled without a lot of loving care. Your fiance is operating on pure emotion without having any of the facts. He must get the facts about everything it will take to care for his mother at her current level of infirmity. What needs to be discovered is exactly and specifically what her doctors are recommending for her daily care. Then the next step is to determine if that level of care could be done in a home or better in a facility.

Your fiance is expecting alot from you for HIS mother. I didn't expect my husband to take care of my mother like that when she moved to our home when she was in the last stages of breast cancer, I did however schedule to take a leave of absence from work. She died after being in our home for less than 24 hours. She was that ill.

It takes alot to care for someone that needs round the clock care. Be honest with him about how much you can or can't do but you both must know fully what it is actually going to entail to do. Caring for her 24 hours will perhaps mean that one of you won't be able to work and you will still need professional medical in home help.

FYI - My mother became terminally ill and died in our second year of marriage. It pulled us closer together because we both loved her and were honest and open about what needed to be done and the sacrifices we were willing to make along with the financial sacrifices that needed to be made as well.

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answers from Atlanta on

This is not a normal 27 year old thing to do....however, being there before I can give you my insight. My father was injured by a hospital and went directly to rehab, bedridden and on a feeding tube. I wanted my Dad home with me because I believed the medical community would make him worse...THEY DID! My brother being the power of attorney had him in a facility that we fought with daily. If we hadn't he would have died a painful death. He could have been rehabbed, but they gave up because he was old. Written off!

Move forward in time....when money ran out because Tricare quit paying, my brother allowed me to take my Dad. He lived a year and a half, happy and comfortable in my home. My two young teenagers were there to help but it was a family effort. I can't imagine allowing him to die in the hands of strangers. I'm sure your fiancé is there. My husband and I are now closer than ever. When someone you love gives of themselves because you are more important than they are, it solidifies your relationship. If you truly intend on staying with this man til death do you part, understand where he is coming from. If you can't do this, don't marry him. Because this WILL come up again. Maybe not with his mom but his sister or a friend or even one of your children. To him, like me, family is family, and you do what you have to do.

Please don't take this as judgement. I'm just giving you what I think is where his head husband lost out on several job opportunities as well as financial gain during this time and he is still dealing with it after my Dad has passed on. But he's okay with it.

Think long and hard. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear....

God bless you in all your decisions!


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answers from Anchorage on

This was something your fiancé felt strongly enough about to be sure to get your agreement early in the relationship before things went to far, and you agreed. If you had said no way back then that may have been a deal breaker for him. It was easy for you to say yes because you thought it would never really happen, well now it has and I think you need to honor your promise and understand your fiancés need to care for his mother.

BUT you do have legitimate concerns that need to be addressed. First off there is the matter of care. Yes, she can get better care at home then in a nursing home facility, but you are not a health care professional that can give all of your time to her. If she is to be in your home you need to talk to your fiancé about hiring around the clock in home care. Some insurances may help cover the costs of this. If he wants to have the person work less hours or days only when he is home that is fine, but he can not expect you to care for his sick mother all on your own while he travels, so during those times a night nurse may be a must. Figure out what kind of help you need to make this work and just how much you are willing to do or not do, and then find a compromise that will hopefully work for everyone without a lot of hurt feelings.

I wish you the best of luck, this is a very hard situation.

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answers from New York on

Assisted living facility. They are beautiful! I would check,into them. However, not knowing her financial situation limits my suggestions. Been thru this three times!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Can your fiance afford to hire in-home around the clock nursing?

From a practical point of view, that is the only way this will work. If she can't go to the toilet by herself, she can't be in the house alone. And you both have jobs, so in addition to being gone during the day, you need to sleep at night so someone else needs to take care of her needs then as well. So is he prepared to do this?

If your fiance is not convinced that his mother is this sick, then you both need to sit down with your mother's doctors and get their opinion. In fact, you should talk to the rehab facility anyway, because they might not even release her to your home unless you can demonstrate appropriate care is available.

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answers from Columbus on

I think it's time for the whole family to have a meeting with the physician in charge of your MIL's care and find out what can be reasonably expected outcomes, currently, and long term, and what sort of care she will really need (ie, nursing care, visits for physical therapy, etc., and what sort of burden that will be on the caregivers). Designate one person to talk to the insurance and see what they will cover, either in a care facility or what they can offer in terms of assistance in the home. Also, contact the local government agency on aging, or if you don't have one, agency for familiy services and see what help might be available through there.

Do honor your fiance's wish to care for his mother, and work with me, but be realistic and protective of your own needs and ability to do the care. Maybe a compromise is to have her in a full care facility but visit her every other day or something like that.

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answers from New York on

Chances are excellent that if you work FT and he is a flight attendant, the doctors will not release her to you home - if she has dementia, she will need care 24/7. If I were you, I'd call the social worker myself and let her know your issues. She will keep your call private and help ease your fiance into the correct decision.

Forget how you feel - his mom needs the care she deserves. You can't give her that in your home. He will come to realize this in time. He's in denial right now. Bringing her home would snap him out of it, frighten him and then he'd realize his mistake.

Good luck!!

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answers from Sacramento on

i think its very noble your finance' wants to take care of his mother, as he and any child should. its only fair. as we as parents spend years of our lives taking care of our children, and i would pray my son would do the same for me. its not expected but hopeful.

With that did agree to this. HOWEVER...everyone is entitled to change their mind. considering by what you put, you will be the one responsible for her care. That is not what YOU agree'd to. You agreed for her to move in. Her care is the full responsibility of her son. NOT YOU. You are not her child or her care taker. You are simply her son's finance'. And for him to put that responsibility on you is honestly unfair and selfish. If he is a flight attendant, he won't be able to care for his mother. Then to expect you to take over, while in the process of a new job and expectations of your employer is again, selfish of your finance.

You seriously need to sit down and discuss this. If he can not be an adult and only think of his feelings and selfishness, then maybe reconsidering the who relationship may need to be put out there. You want a life partner who makes decisions with you and works with you as an adult through them. especially life altering ones like the care of a loved one.

If i agreed, i would only AGREE to the mother in law moving in. Care is full responsibility of the child. I would help where i can, but i will not will not expect that my spouse or significant other expects that i would be a f/t care taker unless asked.

You have some serious talking to do if you feel this way. To add...have her move in. Hire a care taker and your finance can fork up the pay for the worker. If he expects you to aid her care, then quit your job and he can support the both of you, since his job doesn't allow him home all time. I know he has wonderful intentions and being a true son to his beloved mother, but his intentions are not well planned out. His feelings are over empowering things. He needs to step back and look at the ENTIRE picture...with you as his wife and living together and how it will effect your relationship and daily life together. That is important when you get married. You BOTH make these decisions as any married couple should when and if that happens. Cause your decisions do effect each other, one way or another, they do!

good luck

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answers from Boise on

I haven't read everyone else's replies (no time).

He's Hispanic? In their culture it is expected that the son (sometimes DD's) will be there when the parents are old, and/or ill. They are raised that way, ever noticed that many of them live together? Sure some of it is finical, but a lot of it is cultural.You will not win this one.

Instead ask for a trial run, say 6 months. After the 6 month mark you guys can reevaluate the situation.

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answers from Kansas City on

I would only be willing if I was not going to be her sole caregiver. Will her insurance cover live-in help? Is there a facility near you that she could live in that he could visit as often as he's home?

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answers from Portland on

Been there, done that. I ended up being the one expected to take off work early to take her to appointments, etc. etc., even though my job pays more, and taking care of my MIL. I loved her dearly and would do it again, but doesn't sound like she was in near the bad health your MIL is.
If he starts using you as a crutch and expecting you to take care of her, I fear you will be taking on way more than you're able to handle and it will ultimately ruin your relationship.

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answers from Portland on

Two words: assisted living apartments. She would have her own apartment with daily help as she needs it. It's not a choice between living with you and a nursing facility. Assisted living goes in between. Check it out. It's a very nice way to live.



answers from Boston on

I wouldn't do it but not sure how to help you!



answers from Philadelphia on

well this sounds like a game changer to me. even if you are a very nuturing sounds like you would be a full time care giver.

is this something you want to do with your life at such a young age. i would seriously think about breaking up with him.
i think he is being very unreasonable. find someone that will appericate you. this will be like having a newborn before you have kids.

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