31 Years Old, About to Move 59 Year Old Bi-Polar in with Me, any Advice?

by Jessica
(Arizona)

My mom has had a long, and difficult life. She raised me by herself by choice, away from her extended family,(that I think might have been the source of some sort of abuse), and when I was 13, she became suicidal, and her alcoholism intensified.


She became a ward of the state after I was sent to live with my grandmother, and my gramma fought to become her legal guardian. The 5 years that she was a ward of the state, she was heavily medicated, gained about 80lbs, and all of her teeth started going bad.

When we finally got my mom back, she was different. She had no real concept of time. She couldn't remember a lot of things about her past, and definitely doesn't remember a lot of things day to day. She had vicious mood swings and was extremely paranoid.

My gramma, and aunts all told me that I shouldn't have to deal with the burden. Or that it was so sad that I had this burden. Always with that word. And all I could think was, why is this a burden? Did my mom not give up her life so she could provide for me? Mental illness and bi-polar disorder are diseases. You don't choose them.

My whole life I have seen families that housed one crazy family member, that would mutter something crappy, get their dinner, then go back to their room. They were still part of the family. In six months, my mom's lease for her apartment is up. I plan on moving out of state, and I'm bringing my mom with me.

I am very lucky, because my mother is very independent and doesn't whine for the most part. We are used to being poor, so money isn't a real worry, but she also is very good about taking her medication. And she is very heavily medicated.

She receives social security, and has a small cushion for medications and her teeth financially. She also is very funny. I know it will be rough when she is having one of her more cruel mood swings, but for the most part, I look forward to sharing my breakfast with her, and dragging her to the farmers market with me.

Having her in an apartment separate from me is actually the cause of a lot of stress for me, I only feel like moving her in would alleviate some of that.

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I Totally Understand
by: Angele'

My mother (now 86) and I moved in together six years ago. Although it has been stressful at times for both of us, it is the stress anyone would have sharing a home with a relative!

Like you say, the stress of worrying about her living on her own was worse. This way I can take care of her should she get to the point she can no longer care for herself. I work full time--so far no extra help has been needed for Mother as she is ambulatory, cognitively healthy (except for normal aging memory deficits), and basically physically healthy.

Can still drive around the area to do her errands (Wal-Mart, Freds, etc.) I take her any place else she needs to go. You are doing a wonderful thing. Just be aware there will be times you will ask yourself what the *!@# you must have been thinking, but you will have the peace and serenity of knowing your Mother is being well cared for and loved--and that is priceless. God speed to you both.

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