Today's Extended Family: Living With My Elderly Mother

Updated on March 22, 2017
lifewithkellbell profile image

Kelly is a sales rep, freelance graphic designer, and married mother of three. Recently, she moved her mom in to live with the family.

It's a Girl!

About 18 months ago, my husband and I added to our family. It was a girl!

No, we did not have a baby or adopt. Instead, we moved my elderly mother in from out of state. My father had passed away a couple of years earlier, and my mother had decided to continue to live in their home in Vermont all alone.

At first, all was good. Though she had some medical issues of her own, at the time she was in good enough health to take care of herself. Financially, things were a little rocky. You see, my parents had not planned for their future beyond social security. The benefits they received were okay, but when my father passed away my mom had to go without his full benefit, which cut down on her monthly income quite significantly.

Declining Health

After the first year of my father's passing, we noticed that my mother's health had started to decline at a steady pace. She had previously been diagnosed with COPD and was using at home oxygen on an as-needed basis. We noticed that the oxygen had been needed more frequently and got to the point that she need to be on it 24-7. She was having various COPD-related issues and was becoming more and more sick each day.

There were relatives living in the area, but she did not have visitors regularly enough for us to feel safe about her living alone. One day she had a dizzy spell during a breathing incident and passed out on her kitchen floor. It just so happened that an aunt in her town had tried calling her a couple of times. After not getting my mother on phone with a couple of attempts, she decided to stop in and check on her. We were all very lucky that she did. 911 had to be called and my mother spent some time in the ICU.

After this, it was decided. She would sell her house in Vermont and move to Connecticut to live with us. Though we have a small ranch house, our oldest son had just moved to Florida to start college, so his room was empty. The timing was perfect, although we missed out on knowing what it would be like to have a spare room again.

My Husband, the Saint

Having mom at home has been something to get used to. My kids are trying to adjust to having another adult in charge—and honestly, my husband and I are having a hard time adjusting to having another adult take charge of our children, as well.

Privacy in our household has become an unknown luxury.

My mother requires someone to take charge of her medications, doctors visits, insurance, etc. I am disorganized person by nature, and I have a hard time keeping track of things. Knowing this, my husband has stepped in and has taken control. He works the second shift at his job, so his days are usually open, which by default has made him the primary caregiver for my mom. He drives her to the majority of her many doctors appointments, picks up her prescriptions, makes her phone calls. He does it all. The man is an absolute saint. I honestly do not know how I would manage without him. My mother is no easy personality either, and he spends the majority of each of his days with her. He has the ability (most days) to let her complaints and words roll right off his back like water on a duck's feathers. His patience level is out of this world. I, on the other hand, have a hard time with biting my tongue and keeping my cool. There are not many men out there that would willingly take in their mother-in-law and take control of their affairs.

Finding Our Way

My mother was quite sick recently and was rushed to the hospital. She was in the ICU and had to be put on a ventilator. Her doctors were very grim about her prognosis. She was not expected to make it out of the hospital alive. However, mom being mom, she fought and fought and was taken off of the vent. After 8 days in the hospital she was released, much to the staff's surprise.

This incident has given us all a new perspective. Yes, life is hectic. Yes, privacy is a thing of the past, but we have learned that life is precious and even though your family may make you crazy at times, you must learn to hold on to and cherish every moment as if it were the last. You just never know when it will be.

I do not believe that we are unique in our situation. It seems that more and more people these days are finding themselves a part of the new, modern, extended family. As our parents age and find themselves in a financial dire straits from lack of retirement planning, children are now taking in their parents and becoming caregivers for them. It's only fair. They did it for us all of those years. It's now time for us to repay the kindness, even if it means changing the course of your life for a period of time. Hang in there and know that you are not alone. There are a lot of us our there with Mom or Dad at home.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • lifewithkellbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly 

      19 months ago from Connecticut

      Unfortunately, that is a reality that we will be facing down the road I fear. For now we are able to handle her care but as she loses more of her independence, we will be in that same spot as well. We are hoping for longevity, but her COPD is quite advanced.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      19 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      My Dad was recently in the boat your mother is in. One of my brothers stepped forward to take him into his home. It only lasted about a year and they had to put him into an assisted living center as his needs became more than they could handle. It took a while to get him transitioned in, but he seems to be handling it well. He has been in and out of the hospital several times since then. He always seems to defy the odds!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)