Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Don't like elderly mother living with me

(97 Posts)
lmm6 Mon 10-Jun-19 12:45:28

Mother, 94, came to live with DH and me 4 months ago. Already the situation irritates me no end. She has carers twice a day, though we don't really need them because, from being in a nursing home at death's door, Mum has perked up considerably since being with me. However, it's the fact that she is HERE all the time. This morning I was on the computer in the kitchen and she came out to sit with me. Then prattled on about rubbish which she always does. I feel my home is not my own and am happier when I'm not in it which is crazy! I will be 70 soon and feel like it's a milestone and I want to tell her I'm too old to be doing this now. She does pay me to live here but I feel my life is slipping away because of hers. Then I feel guilty for having awful thoughts. We have never been close and, if I'm honest, I know she doesn't love me and never really has. I did read a post where someone suggested that in the event of any crisis - ie her having to go to hospital or becoming ill with any kind of infection - then I could say I can't cope any more. Anyone been in this situation?

Septimia Mon 10-Jun-19 13:00:06

We moved to the other end of the country, to a larger house, sharing with my parents. My father died within a few months but my mother was with us for several years. She didn't drive and often said, when I was going out, "Oh, I'll come with you for the ride, dear". Used to make me feel I couldn't go anywhere on my own, so I have some idea how you feel.

On the other hand, she had her own part of the house, looked after herself and we met up for coffee and afternoon tea as well as regular outings. Admittedly she was only in her 70s and was able to go to W.I., coffee mornings and other village events by herself.

Maybe setting a routine for doing things (like morning coffee) together with your mother and having time apart would help, although it might take a little while to get it established.

loopyloo Mon 10-Jun-19 13:08:04

Could you find a day centre she could go to? She might make friends there or find interesting things to do. Or find a companion for her one day a week who could take her out somewhere. She might be bored and lonely .

jura2 Mon 10-Jun-19 13:10:56

How did the move happen? Did you suggest it? Did you gain any financial advantage from it?

I've seen this kind of situation turn really sour som many times with friends and colleagues, I would never ever consider having my parents live with us, or us living with our DDs and families- even though we get on so well.

BlueBelle Mon 10-Jun-19 13:26:50

Seeing as you say you re far from close and never have been why did you think it would be ok to have her in your house 24/7 ? Why would you move her from a nursing home to your home when you don’t really like her? I m sure there must have been a valid reason I m just curious as it seems a strange move
If she’s paying you could she not pay a residential ?
I can really feel for you because it’s hard enough if you love the person you look after but if you don’t really have any closeness it must be awful but equally awful for her to be where she’s not wanted She surely must realise you don’t want her around
then prattled on about rubbish as she always does it’s obvious you do not want her around at all so yes I think you be need to look for an alternative for her as soon as possible

quizqueen Mon 10-Jun-19 13:28:08

It's always better to suggest 'a little holiday ' living in for a few weeks, as a taster, before committing to being a long time carer.

Eglantine21 Mon 10-Jun-19 13:43:15

It’s difficult to know sometimes if posters just want to vent, want sympathy, want validation for a decision they’ve already made or want some practical advice.

All good reasons for posting btw.

Which do you think you are OP. I’m awfully good at dishing out practical advice but not very good at the other stuff😬

3dognight Mon 10-Jun-19 13:51:03

Get her an iPad and help her to use it.

My dad was bought one in his mid eighties, and now at ninety three he is an expert, he is always on it.

In fact when I phone up to speak to him, my brother will say ' I'll just see if I can separate him from his iPad '.

Is this something you could do for your mother?

Your mother will never understand your need for time on your PC unless she's got her own!

FlexibleFriend Mon 10-Jun-19 14:01:26

I think you need to have a chat about how you both feel about the arrangement. Are you her carer or just accommodating her?
I know how you feel about the constant prattling on because I refused to have my ex Mil move in with us because she couldn't ever be quiet. I knew she would constantly interrupt whatever I was trying to do and his input would be zero. It would be whose life was taken over. As it turned out it was just as well as we later divorced and it's me that needs help around the house so my son and his soon to be wife moved in with me and they get "me" and leave me pretty much to my own devices, they know I will ask for help if I need it. I do think talking and being frank with each other has an enormous amount to do with whether this works or fails. No one wants to feel put upon or feel like a burden so talk and get it out in the open.

HildaW Mon 10-Jun-19 14:21:39

Sharing a house with anyone you are not really close to will always be difficult no matter who that person is. Some people are good at being open hearted and are happy to adapt to changes in their lives. These people can accommodate other's lifestyles and idiosyncrasies, I know I am not one of those people. I'm a person who likes a closed bathroom door or to to sit quietly reading a book and not talk to DH for hours!
After, what we thought was, very careful thought we became carers for an elderly parent but with even the best laid plans we had to admit defeat after a couple of years. Its tremendously difficult having someone treating your home as theirs even if you have organised private areas and accepted regimes. If you are keen to keep your own space then I doubt it will ever work even with a parent with whom you share deep emotional bonds. How we live from day to day becomes very personal and always having some else around who wants to live their life their way is always going to lead to compromises that frustrate or worse.
I seriously think you need to reassess this situation and perhaps you could do what we did to plant the seed. We arranged for some respite care so that we could have a holiday. We found somewhere that we felt matched the person's needs and were very lucky in our choice. Once he had spent an enjoyable time there we could 'have the talk'. Eventually it became full time care barely a mile away so that visits were very frequent but someone else was doing the repetitive day to day , hour to hour duties.
We went back to a much healthier relationship despite increased health problems. If he had stayed with us I think we would have all fallen apart.

Glammy57 Mon 10-Jun-19 22:19:12

Imm6 - oh gosh, I don’t know how you can tolerate this! I am an incredibly private person who needs space, solitude and peace every day. Your situation is made worse because of the lack of love between you. Do you have siblings whom you can turn to for advice? Wish I could be more helpful, but I keep you in my thoughts! 💐

Luckygirl Mon 10-Jun-19 22:29:26

There must have been a good reason to bring her into your home when you know you don't get on. It must be driving you nuts! Not sure what you can do now - can she go back to the nursing home?

stella1949 Tue 11-Jun-19 02:37:10

If she was in a nursing home at death's door why on earth did you take her out of there and bring her to your place ? Surely it would have been better to let nature take it's course.

absent Tue 11-Jun-19 05:38:30

Your mother? Gosh! I would give almost anything to have mine back in my house "prattling", even when she was confused and incontinent and my drawing room was full of pulleys and a hoist and a hospital bed and a commode. And of course my life was not the same.

Not only did I still feel my home was my own when my elderly mother came to live with me, I rejoiced that she thought it was her home too.

How different we all are!

harrigran Tue 11-Jun-19 08:25:59

I do understand how you feel, when my father was dying he asked me to keep an eye on my mother but stressed that we should never live together as we were oil and water.
My MIL was a different kettle of fish and did live with us for a couple of months when she was ill but sadly she never reached old age as she died in her late 50s.

Grammaretto Tue 11-Jun-19 08:45:20

I was persuaded not to share with my in-laws after posting on here! I haven't broached the subject again.
I think I can understand how this happened. You felt it was compassionate to let her come to you for her last few months but hadn't realised the effect this would have on you
When DM was recently retired and widowed we shared for 3 years. It was impossible and felt like a marriage breakdown by the end.
You must seek a happy outcome. Are there family members who could help? You must admit your mistake for the sake of your sanity.

MawBroonsback Tue 11-Jun-19 08:53:17

I wish I could feel more sympathetic but the way you express your frustrations , it is hard.
She has perked up (from being at death’s door)
She pays for her keep
She has carers so presumably you do not have that responsibility
She enjoys company and conversation (what you call “prattling”)
She doesn’t sound as if she has dementia
So the impression I am left with is that she is “just in the way”
How sad. But instead of resenting her, could you not look for ways to make both your lives easier?
I assume there is nobody else in the family to share her care, but how about a day centre for a few days a week so that she has company and you have a bit of peace?
There are many out there coping with worse whether with elderly parents or partners, who do it out of love
I realise how hard it is, but she is your mum who presumably gave you unequivocal care and love from your birth.
Can you not find it in your heart to reciprocate and repay that love?

Luckygirl Tue 11-Jun-19 09:29:38

My sis-in-law persuaded her Dad to go to live with them abroad in spite of the fact that they did not get on (understatement!); fleeced him for a load of dosh to cover their extensions; rang us and said he was dying and wanted to come back to England to die; nowhere else for him to go but to us; so he arrived on our doorstep having been"posted" over to UK.

OH did not get on with him - never had. Consequently it was a bit of a nightmare - OH barely spoke to him.

He was not dying and lived for another 5 years or so!

I did manage to get him into a sheltered flat in order to restore harmony.

By the way I am not suggesting that OP agreed to mother coming home for money reasons. But I can't help wondering what the reason was - if she was already settled in a nursing home.

genie10 Tue 11-Jun-19 09:43:39

You say your mum has really perked up since she came to live with you. so evidently she was lonely and/or depressed in care. Would you want her to go back to that? Maybe you could have a little chat about needing some alone time with the promise of spending time together later in the day. She's old and won't always be with you.

Missfoodlove Tue 11-Jun-19 09:54:00

Don’t feel guilty, you cannot help the way you feel. My mother never loved me and we have never been close, I struggled to even get to Sunday lunch with my mother!
You have been very selfless to give your mother a home however do think about yourself and your relationships.
I don’t know what the answer is maybe a social worker could help? I do hope you find a solution.

aggie Tue 11-Jun-19 10:04:07

Move the computer into your bedroom !
Cut the poor woman some slack , put yourself in her position , how would you like to live with someone who grudged you space and didn't want to speak with you ?
Is there a Seniors club in your area ? I am a founder member of one here and It is great to get us " old Dears " out of the house and get different conversations . I live in a granny flat and my Daughter keeps an eye on me so I am not in her face all the time but can open or shut the door as we want , I must confess I couldn't live any closer , much as I love her

CarrieAnn Tue 11-Jun-19 10:37:24

My mother moved in with us when my stepfather died at the age of forty seven,so she was only a relatively young woman,and I can honestly say that it was the best thing we ever did.She helped care for her two grandsons who she adored,helped with housework,and helped out in our business.She lived with us until her death aged 90.I was devastated then and eleven years later I still miss her.

inishowen Tue 11-Jun-19 10:40:49

When I was eleven my gran came to live with us in a small three bedroomed house. It caused no end of friction. Gran had no sense of giving the family space. If my parents were going out she would rush for her coat and say she was going with them. My brother then 16 couldn't wait to leave home and went to London two years later. She was a church goer but refused to join mum and dad at their church. So, they had to arrange lifts for her to go to another church. She treated mum like a little girl, sending her to the shops to get things at a whim. First thing in the morning she would swipe her hand across the furniture and ask if it had been dusted. Mum started bringing her breakfast in bed to discourage her from getting up early. To be honest it ruined my teenage years having her there. When I got acne she said it was my own fault for hugging our cat. I could go on and on, but I know I will never inflict myself on my son or daughter.

Matriarch Tue 11-Jun-19 10:46:37

It’s such a difficult situation to care for a parent that you have conflicted feelings for as you are put back into confronting the reality of your relationship .It sounds as if your mother needs some independence as much as you need your own space . Does she have a room other than her bedroom in which she could have a phone , television , books etc ? What does she enjoy ? Having been in this situation I would recommend getting in touch with your local carers group as they will be able to offer support and advice . If you have siblings get them involved . Your comments show how stressed you are really feeling .Hope you find a positive way forward.

4allweknow Tue 11-Jun-19 10:47:47

Seems strange your Mother moved from a care home, needs carers twice a day who you don't even see, can decide she wants to go out for a ride with you. Was DM perhaps assessed as not needing fulltime care hence the move? Are you sure she actually needs to be living with you? Could a supported apartment not meet her needs. There are usually communal activities too. Given your relationship how on earth did you think DM living with you would work. You need to establish Your, Her and together activities. Get in touch with Age Concern (not sure if still called that) and ask if any day activities DM can attend or volunteers who can visit/take her out for a while once a week. Whole situation does seem unusual.