Question of the Week #111

QuestionIf your parents became infirm and the only alternative to bringing them into your home was to put them in a nursing home, would you do so? What about a sister or brother who suffered a permanently crippling injury and–other than your home–had nowhere to go but a convalescent home?

This is going to make me sound like a horrible person, but I really don’t think I’d be able to give them a place to live. I even think I sound like a horrible person for saying that.

But let’s think about this logically… I don’t exactly have a big home. In fact, I rent a place and my name isn’t even on the lease. I’m basically just paying to live in a bedroom in someone else’s duplex. It really wouldn’t make sense for my suddenly infirm mother to knock on my door.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t turn someone in need away on a temporary basis. I’d give up my bed and be willing to crash on a couch or the floor for a while. But it would have to be with the understanding that they need to find a more permanent solution to their situation within the week.

Am I heartless? I don’t think so. It just wouldn’t make sense for anyone to make this kind of request of me at this juncture. Now, if I were more settled… say I had my own 2-bedroom kind of house… or even if I was married with a family and all those things society says I should have probably had by now… I’d probably be much more likely to invite that infirm family member to stay with me long-term.

What would you do? While you think about it, take a look at this classic clip from The Simpsons where Homer threatens to put Grandpa in a home…

*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

3 thoughts on “Question of the Week #111

  1. My sister and I are actually fighting over a similar question/situation right now.

    Our mom’s spousal support is ending soon and she will not be able to pay rent or her bills on her meager salary without that monthly check. My sister wants my mom to move in with me. I have the space, I wouldn’t need rent from her because I’m paying my bills just fine right now. I just… I just don’t want her to move into my homme. I don’t think it would be healthy for me (given my “beef” with her), I don’t think it would be healthy for my relationship, and I don’t think that it will do her any good ultimately because if she cannot make a living where she is now then she certainly will not make a living where I am (it’s very competitive in the Bay Area).

    I feel horrible for not wanting to open my doors to her but honestly, that’s how I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like the argument I used to have with my mom about her enabling my sister, who lived with her for about eight years throughout her late 20s/early 30s. I guess a parent has a hard time letting their kid fail, but that’s the easiest way for them to learn in my opinion. Obviously, in your case, the roles are reversed. Not that it would be easy for you to watch your mom fall on her face, in spite of your strained relationship. I don’t envy your position.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I want her to try and to succeed but if she doesn’t succeed, then I want her to “mostly” fail but to have a safety net (my house) secretly in place, because I’d never stand by to watch her completely fail. Not sure if that makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

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