My feed

to access all these features

Elderly parents

Having mum move in.....can it work?

9 replies

runikka · 21/01/2013 18:04

Hi there

This is going to be long so bear with me!

My mum has MS and lives about 40 miles away. I am an only child and live with my husband and three children, one of whom is severely autistic.

My mum currently lives in a two bed cottage, is a compulsive hoarder and the house really needs some work. She has a stairlift due to mobility issues but this continually breaks down and the house is too small to use a wheelchair, which she is likely to need to do.

We have a four bed house with built in garage. It isn't massive by any stretch but the girls could share or we could put a small room and wet room in the garage.

The most challenging thing is that my mum has mood swings, is fairly crude and can be very difficult. I suspect with support and a review of her medication, this could be improved but I doubt resolved all together.
She wouldn't choose to live with us I'm sure but we seem to have no other options. She got into debt a few years ago and we ended up taking a mortgage out on her property to clear. We pay the mortgage but I have since had to change jobs and took a massive cut which means we are on a debt management plan. She isn't entitled to housing benefit as she effectively gifted the house. There is about £40k equity but this wouldn't buy her somewhere outright that was suitable (ground floor, wheelchair accessible)...not in the South East!

With the equity we could adapt the house to suit and get off the debt management plan (no more mortgage on mum's property).

I am worried about the effect it will have on the relationship with my husband and also with the children. Our daughters already have to manage their brother's behaviour which can be extremely challenging at times.
At the same time, this seems to be the simplest solution and the quickest to realise.

OP posts:
ClareMarriott · 21/01/2013 18:52

Reading your topic line " Having mum move in .. can it work " and then reading that she would not choose to live with you, strikes me as possibly you could look at her still living in her own house, but tackling the hoarding/ work needed with her. If you say she does not need to use a wheelchair yet, how long has she lived with MS ? Does your mother consider she is a hoarder ? I, myself, belong to, the professional body for declutterers so perhaps you could contact someone who operates in your mother's area for any advice they could give . My youngest sister has MS so I understand exactly about your feelings and/or doing the right thing by your mother .

runikka · 21/01/2013 22:11


Many thanks for your reply. My mum was diagnosed 35 years ago but has got worse in the last ten. She doesnt recognise the hoarding but is receiving support to declutter but it is painfully slow.

She falls all the time and the stairs are narrow and turn. She could have a bedroom downstairs but her shower is upstairs. Its so hard as really i feel she needs a residential placement but she wont give up her cats...she has 3...very unlikely she can take them all

OP posts:
Parly · 22/01/2013 00:01

I?m tempted to think just from what you?ve posted that having her live with you would be disastrous. You obviously love your Mum to bits but the hoarding, mood swings, debt problems and her tendency to be difficult means she has a whole bunch of mental health issues that need addressing and supporting professionally.

You already have more stress and pressures in your home and family environment (as do your husband and kids) so don?t add to it by having your Mum live with you. It might seem like the ?simplest solution and the quickest to realise? but I can?t tell you how difficult it is to have someone with that level of need living with you and your family and how likely it is you?ll end up wishing you?d taken more time and thought. Sad

I honestly think you need to get in touch with social services and request some advice and / or an assessment ASAP to see what services and support are available to your Mum and the other options open. It?s imperative that you make clear the extent of her problems (medical history and mental health issues) and the difficulties with which you and your family are already faced.

twentyten · 22/01/2013 17:35

This is tough.Try age UK aso for advice-once she is with you it will no longer be a problem for SS......Think carefully.Good luck!

runikka · 22/01/2013 18:49

Thank you for your replies.

Social services are involved but because she is a compulsive hoarder, have said she cannot access support until she agrees to the house being cleared. We have tried to do it but the repercussions are unbearable...five calls a day, where is this, that, why did you move this etc and we only cleared the loft and part of the bedroom (ran out of time and that took 2 full days). I guess I wanted to remove her from the situation totally to get her help. That said I realise it would hard to hace her here. I am currently trying to look at bringing her bedroom downstairs but the shower is upstairs and we have no money or space in there to adapt. Arggh I wish there was someone who could help her other than me as I just dont have the resources to help enough especially with the distance away.

OP posts:
greenfolder · 24/01/2013 21:09

Please, from what you have described, mum moving in with you isn't a solution and is just going to create more problems. You need a sanctuary and it sounds like your mum could not be lived with. You cannot solve all her problems.
A relative of mine ended up with no equity due to an equity release mortgage. Hw wwas still considered for sheltered housing because he was viewed as vulnerable. So, to move her you need to think about that and refuse utterly to contemplate her living with you. Did she sign the house over to you? When was that?

CleopatrasAsp · 25/01/2013 01:20

Do not move her in under any circumstances. Your life will not be your own and this could go on for decades and could ruin your marriage if you are not careful. You already have challenging circumstances and you must put the needs of your children first. You can't mend your mum, she has mental health problems but, in law, she is seen as having mental capacity which means she is entitled to make her own decisions - regardless of how bad they are.

Have a read of this thread. It is from an American forum but it is eye-opening.

pippop1 · 26/01/2013 12:40

Wow. I've just read a few pages of that thread you suggested and it's really scary.

CleopatrasAsp · 27/01/2013 15:18

I know pippop1 it is very er unsentimental.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.