It was my daughter's wedding last week.  My 93 year old mother came to stay for a week and joined in all the celebrations with friends and family.  During the 2 hour drive to return her home, she blurted out that she wants to sell her cottage and come to live with me and be near the family.

When I left to return home, she was in tears and said she had been alone for too long (my father died 7 years ago) and she needed to be nearer to the family and that I had no idea what it was to be 93 and that she can't cope any more. She has always been so positive and has never appeared to feel sorry for herself in the past, so this has come as a huge surprise to me.

She is fine mentally but is physically very doddery and can't walk far.  She suffers a lot of pain following a back injury some years ago. She lives in a small cottage, which my parents bought as a derelict and created the most beautiful haven for themselves in the countryside. She has lived there for 25 years and my father's ashes are buried there.  Neighbours take her out to shops and hairdressers and garden centres and for meals out. I go to visit at least once a month.

For 3 years I have lived alone with my two dogs and for the first time in my life am learning to be me and enjoying my independence.. I love not having to answer to anyone or to live to anyone else's schedule.  Now I am facing having a stairlift and a disabled bath fitted in my house and caring for my elderly Mum 24/7.  my life will be changed totally.  Inevitably her health will decline and she will need increased care.  This could go on for many years.

My question I make a totally selfish decision or a totally unselfish one.  I love her dearly...she is my mum.  I am 66 and full of beans.  Friends have variously told me to 'do it' and others 'don't do it'.

Would gratefully appreciate any input from 50+ members who have faced the same dilemma, any opinions or advice or suggestions.and similar experiences.
Hello patti3070,

I'm Tamara.

Having read your post, I couldn't stop myself from dropping my two cents regarding your dilemma about caring or not for your elderly mum. Personally, I would do it. Nobody loves us more than our mums, in my humble opinion.

Best wishes,
Hi, Patti.  i noticed your post is old.  i wonder how things turned out. for weeks now, i have been living at my 88 year old mother-in-law's house from Sunday night to Friday night while my husband goes to our house each night to supposedly work on preparing our home for her to come there. I only get about a day and a half a week at my home with my dogs and birds and my "stuff".  i'm beginning to get impatient with this situation, particularly since i'm not seeing much rennovating happening.  when i do get to go home i spend almost the whole day and a half cleaning, shopping and doing laundry so i still have no time to myself. My husband says he's tired when he gets home and i have an attitude. Meanwhile, his sister who doesn't have to be away because she's employed, calls telling me about her jaunts through France and Switzerland.  i really believe family should be there for one another but i'm feeling used.  is it me?
I would also like to know how things turned out. Ten years ago we left Calgary to return to Ontario to be near my brother. My parents were 79 and 80 at the time and I knew that it wouldn't be long before I was going to need help with them. They had been living very happily in a senior manor with a lodge next door with the idea that should something happen to one, they could be in the lodge close by.

When we moved, however, that changed. They didn't want to live on their own in a strange city and would only move if they could live with me. I didn't want to leave them alone in Calgary.  I had been on my own for ten years and didn't know how I would cope with having someone else around. I also work from home (so now picture that).

For the first nine years everything was fine. Then my dad needed a walker (we were in a two-storey home). Then my mom needed a walker. Then my dog blew his left ACL and his eyesight started to go. So we moved to a bungalow. Now, ten years later, there's a possibility that my dad will need a wheelchair as his back is deteriorating rapidly and is pinching a nerve in his right leg numbing it from the knee to the groin. We'll need to have a ramp built and we'll probably need to renovate our newly renovated bathroom. But I wouldn't change things for anything. The older we get, the less time we have and that time becomes much more valuable. They worked hard and they saved their money for years and now that money is going to help them  stay in their home.  I couldn't stand the thought of them being anywhere else and not knowing what's going on.
Loneliness is painful.

 In whatever decision one is making about the elderly one should do the following . For a few minutes stop and think ....that is me in 30 years time. How do I wish to be treated.

I pray for the old folks living in a world of solitude.

I am sixty two when I was in my 30s and 40s the vehemence of my physique was enough to defuse any situation. One look and the aggressor/s were back in their place. I notice nowadays I have to assert myself more in order to get a similar effect. It will come to a time that all they will do is laugh and call me the old fart............................... if they are not already doing so. Sad but fact.