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Old 11-30-2011, 01:45 PM
 
13 posts, read 52,487 times
Reputation: 22

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Hello everyone this is my first post to C/D although I've been a long time reader. My thought is to gain some perspective from everyone as I have a tough decision to make. My decision is whether or not to help out my mother who is in a hard place by inviting her to stay with my wife and child. My background is I'm AD AF E6, been in almost 13 yrs, and joined when I was 18. I have been succesful in my career so far, finished my education up to masters, always good reports and I just got approved for re-training into a job with a 6 month tech school. I am currently stationed about 2000 miles from my home state and live in base housing.

As for my mother she is 54 and has painted her self in a corner through years of bad decision making and some bad luck. She is currently out of work and her health if fading rather quick and no insurance to help out. She is now staying at a friends house of a girl she went to HS with years before. She has no assets, no car and no hope of getting healthier in the future. She now has de-generative disk with 2 back surgeries already. The dr said she needs another or will soon lose her ability to walk, shes using a walker currently.

Her bad decisions included leaving her job shortly after I left for the military, cashed out her 401k, burnt through that fast, and basically always found a man to move in with. Jumped from job to job for the last 13 years or so, they were always small paying and she never saved up money. She has applied for dis-ability 3 times and her final hearing is in 7 months. Without being old enough for medicare, SS she is left with no income of any kind or insurance.

My final thought is do I step in and invite her to stay with us even though it will most likely be a permanent move because she will have no means to leave? I feel semi-obligated to help becuase she was a good mother to me until I was 18 and could stand on my own. My conflict is I have worked hard to make sure I have a pension, some savings and no debt. If I bring her here I will mostly likely end up with more expenses than I can afford and now jeopadize my own future. Also she never got along with my wife and those 2000 miles have always helped us maintain our sanity. I hate knowing she is suffereing, but I live on base and have no real means to provide her with healthcare, food etc for the rest of her life.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:36 PM
 
5,670 posts, read 12,643,522 times
Reputation: 8899
IMO having her move in with you will only cause financial and possibly problems with your wife. Although I admire your desire to help your mom, she probably has a better chance of receiving disability $$ and medicaid by living apart from you. You might consult with an attorney who specifically handles SS cases where she is living. Your $$ would be better spent helping her get financial and medical aid so she could be independent rather than moving her with you.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 22,225,390 times
Reputation: 14263
I used to work in S1 when I was one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children and seem to remember that you could have a family member such as a parent added as a dependent if you were basically caring for them.

It has been 20 years now, so forgive my shoddy memory if I am not remembering correctly. I'd check with your admin or chaplain to see what is available or possible.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, NC
1,490 posts, read 4,984,037 times
Reputation: 1597
I had a dependent Mother -in-law for 16 years while I was active duty. They can get space available medical treatment in military hospitals (most USAF clinics will refuse), free medicine, and commissary/BX privileges. You have to prove you provide 50% of their support every four years to get a new ID card. While overseas they got full medical benefits.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Between amicable and ornery
1,088 posts, read 1,343,671 times
Reputation: 1451
Default Please Consider

I'm a little upset by reading your post but then again I haven't been in your shoes. What in the world is this country coming too when we have to ask ourselves (and others) if we should take our mothers in.

This woman gave you life and the ability to make sound decisions. If you didn't know, a person's personality and home training are pretty much solid by the time of age 16. You say you joined at 18 and have put 13 years in, so you are about 31 years old? Do you realize how much life you have left to live?

I'm not much older than you (40) but I feel like life is just beginning. I remember at 31, I thought everything had to be about me, my immediately family and growing it. Now that I'm 40, I have a different perspective. I used to be a work-a-holic always trying to make money and save money. The current recession/depression has taught me that savings and money are nothing because it could all be gone tomorrow.

The real wealth is in family. I don't know if you have kids, but do you want them to have the legacy of their father taking care of his mother or leaving her to fend for herself. Before you answer that, remember that you don't know what your future holds and what would you want your offspring to do with you...(even if you are penniless)?

Sorry if I appear to be preachy. I have watched aunts in my family take care of their in-laws and probably hated every minute of it and I will probably have to do the same for my MIL. But it is the right thing to do.

I have a 19 year old and a 9 year old. I tell them to be able to take care of themselves so that no one else will have to. I don't expect them to take care of me or my husband he is military as well. But if things got so bad that we needed them, I hope we have instilled the "family first" belief.

If anything, do research and see what type of services she can receive while in your home. Maybe there is adult daycare to lighten the burden.

Lastly, Over the last 20 years, I have spent AT LEAST $150,000 -$200,000 of my "retirement" money on daycare, groceries, little league, horse riding lessons, children's clothing, christmas presents, etc. etc. and I'm only now able to contribute to retirement in a substantial way. Good luck to you and family first.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:58 PM
 
13 posts, read 52,487 times
Reputation: 22
Thanks for everyones thoughts, it gave me a couple of ideas to help but after the research I have done it looks like she will lose any request for disability because I would become the responsible one at that point. I think in the long run, I have to say no I can't help. I left when I was 18 because I wanted a better life, I grew up poor in a poor town. My mother never made attempts to stabalize and live what I call an adult life. She bounced from husband to husband, she has now been divorced 5 times. If I lived my life always expecting someone else to pick up after me, wouldn't want to impact my kids life later on. I know she gambeled her 401k away and in her mind she always planned on working with no end game in sight. I must had heard her say I need to be rich so I can take care of her when she was older. She put herself in her predicament and I feel for her but I can't be the responsible one. The legacy I want to leave to me kid is that you need to be independent and prepare for the worst, if then you fail and you've been a good person your family will be there for you.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:03 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,301 posts, read 3,709,105 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by smadley View Post
Hello everyone this is my first post to C/D although I've been a long time reader. My thought is to gain some perspective from everyone as I have a tough decision to make. My decision is whether or not to help out my mother who is in a hard place by inviting her to stay with my wife and child. My background is I'm AD AF E6, been in almost 13 yrs, and joined when I was 18. I have been succesful in my career so far, finished my education up to masters, always good reports and I just got approved for re-training into a job with a 6 month tech school. I am currently stationed about 2000 miles from my home state and live in base housing.

As for my mother she is 54 and has painted her self in a corner through years of bad decision making and some bad luck. She is currently out of work and her health if fading rather quick and no insurance to help out. She is now staying at a friends house of a girl she went to HS with years before. She has no assets, no car and no hope of getting healthier in the future. She now has de-generative disk with 2 back surgeries already. The dr said she needs another or will soon lose her ability to walk, shes using a walker currently.

Her bad decisions included leaving her job shortly after I left for the military, cashed out her 401k, burnt through that fast, and basically always found a man to move in with. Jumped from job to job for the last 13 years or so, they were always small paying and she never saved up money. She has applied for dis-ability 3 times and her final hearing is in 7 months. Without being old enough for medicare, SS she is left with no income of any kind or insurance.

My final thought is do I step in and invite her to stay with us even though it will most likely be a permanent move because she will have no means to leave? I feel semi-obligated to help becuase she was a good mother to me until I was 18 and could stand on my own. My conflict is I have worked hard to make sure I have a pension, some savings and no debt. If I bring her here I will mostly likely end up with more expenses than I can afford and now jeopadize my own future. Also she never got along with my wife and those 2000 miles have always helped us maintain our sanity. I hate knowing she is suffereing, but I live on base and have no real means to provide her with healthcare, food etc for the rest of her life.
What does your wife say about your mother's situation? Does she feel any compassion?
How does your mother feel about your wife?
If it is going to affect your relationship between you and your wife I suppose you will have to choose your wife. However, maybe you and your wife can still sit down and see if there is some way you can still help your mom long distance.
Maybe you need to take more time doing research what is out there available for her.
To say the least, maybe you can at least help your mother's friend with some money however little it may be.
To me money never was a question regarding our parents. My mother-in-law was never a question. We found a way to take her with us even though she did raised my wife as she should have been. My wife sees it as it is her mother and it is the moral thing to do and I supported her. Does it affect our finances, sure it does to some degree but to us one more mouth and a little less space is not such an issue to take care of a mom. Take care.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:22 AM
 
13 posts, read 52,487 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by elamigo View Post
What does your wife say about your mother's situation? Does she feel any compassion?
How does your mother feel about your wife?
If it is going to affect your relationship between you and your wife I suppose you will have to choose your wife. However, maybe you and your wife can still sit down and see if there is some way you can still help your mom long distance.
Maybe you need to take more time doing research what is out there available for her.
To say the least, maybe you can at least help your mother's friend with some money however little it may be.
To me money never was a question regarding our parents. My mother-in-law was never a question. We found a way to take her with us even though she did raised my wife as she should have been. My wife sees it as it is her mother and it is the moral thing to do and I supported her. Does it affect our finances, sure it does to some degree but to us one more mouth and a little less space is not such an issue to take care of a mom. Take care.
As for your first question my mother and wife have never got along. When we did visit each other over the miles the fights were litteraly nasty. Years ago when my mom was on her 4th divorce I offered her to come out and live but if she couldn't work then I wasn't spending my money on her bad habits aka smoking and the casino. She wasn't willing to give up smoking and just found another man to move in with and eventually marry. This latest divorce (always the mans fault) is her 5th and is really bad.

Honestly the more I think about it, she has ruined every relationship shes had from siblings to her marriages. I feel bad as a son that I can't do more. If we were close I would absolutely bring her in for meals and help her get where she needs to go and try my best to help her, but at 2000 miles away its almost 25 hours of driving.

At 18 I left that life, we were in a small trailer and it was a miserable life. I made the choice to enlist and start on my own life. The more time I take to think about helping her, I would just be enabling her to not grow up and learn to work for what you want, live within your means and not burn bridges.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:59 AM
 
5,012 posts, read 5,901,186 times
Reputation: 9462
perhaps find services, caretakers, etc whom you can pay to do basic help to Mom in her situation. Then as she gets worse she may get disability and can afford better services. The better she is set up there, the less the worry or guilt to be practical.

Sounds like she is a toxic person so a distance help might be the ticket until she gets worse. BTW, I like the suggestion that discussion with wife might be in order.
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