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Real Relationships: Caring for Aging Parents

Q: My wife and I have been talking recently about whether or not we want to take on the responsibility to caring for my aging mother. She currently lives in another city, and my father just passed away. She is becoming more and more compromised physically and mentally, and I don’t feel safe having her live so far away with no one to look after her.

My wife is not on board with the idea of having her come live with us, mainly because she is a stay-at-home mom and would become a stay-at-home caretaker as well. We could technically afford to put her in a home, but I don’t want to do that. I want to honor my wife’s opinion, but it is my mother; I don’t know what the right move is.

A: Caring for aging parents is a very hard fact of life and one that so many people are faced with. There is no easy solution and no easy answer. Bringing your mother into your home without you and your wife being in complete agreement is not the answer. It is very noble of you to want to care for your mom in her old age, but sacrificing your marriage to do it is not worth it. Consider it from your wife’s perspective: It sounds like the burden is going to fall on her during the day, and if you already have children that is a lot to deal with.

If you are dead set against putting her in a care home, I urge you to consider some other alternatives. If you have the funds to put her in a home, then you likely have the funds to pay for some in-home care. There are several excellent in-home care providers in the greater Sacramento area that provide all levels of care depending on your mother’s needs. If your wife doesn’t bare the full burden of her daily care, perhaps the idea of her coming to live with you won’t be so hard.

Take a look at a few of these in-home care options and see if they provide the kind of care that your mother needs and if they are within your budget. Then sit down with your wife and discuss the options. Make sure you listen to her thoughts, fears and opinions. Remember, it is your family’s home and you need to protect it, as well as your relationship, but that doesn’t mean you cannot take care of your mother as well. Good luck to you.

Vitas: End of Life Care

Support For Home

Care.com: In-home care search engine


Have a relationship question? Email sacpress@live.com with your questions. Questions and answers will be featured every Monday in Real Relationships.

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