Dear Mary
Selfish, greedy and unloving.

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Dear Mary,

Mary BartMy Mom has been living in an assisted living building for over 2 years. It costs a lot of money each month – approx. 4,600 each month. She likes it, enjoys her meals and is use to the people and her room. It is her money that is paying for her to stay there and there is enough money in her bank account to fund this place for the rest of Mom’s life. My sister thinks that it is costing too much money and we should move her to a government place or somewhere cheaper. I don’t think that Mom would like to move. What should I do?

Sarah

Hi Sarah:

I hear this same situation from many families. One person wants to save money and often that person does not take into account that Mom is quite happy there. In my mind there is only one correct answer. Since it is your Mother’s money that is funding her location, than spend her money on her. I think that you sister is being very selfish and wanting more money left to her when your mother dies. It is not your sister’s money, it is your Mother’s money.

It is all about knowing and respecting what your Mother likes. As long as there are the funds to keep her in this nice place, keep her there. If you move her, than shame on both of you. Your sister is showing her true colours – and they are the colours of being selfish, greedy and unloving. Your sister needs to think about what is best for your mother, not what is best for her.

Mary

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Caregiving Matters

Mary is a daughter. She also Chairs our charity. Mary has also held Director roles on three other boards, most recently with The Palcare Network of York Region.

One response to “Selfish, greedy and unloving.

  1. I agree that the decision of where to live is completely that of the Mother as I assume she is capable of making this type of decision for herself. But I do want to point out some things about “assisted living” that may not be applicable to this story but may be important to understand as concerns about assisted living may not always be driven by “greed”. . In Ontario “assisted living” facilities are NOT regulated health facilities. Assisted living is usually the term to apply to a retirement home. Retirement homes are required to be licensed by the Retirement Home regulatory Authority which is not a government office. It has been established under the Retirement Homes Act but is not funded by government . It is funded by the licensing fees by retirement homes operators to the RHRA. All assisted living in Ontario are TENANCIES and are also regulated by the Residential Tenancies Act which is the basic landlord and tenant legislation. Seniors living in retirement homes must private pay for their health care — which in my opinion is two tier medicine . When determining whether a particular retirement home is suitable for a tenant , that tenant must look at whether the care services provided meet their needs. That is the key question as these are not health facilities but tenancies in which private paid care ( not OHIP covered) are made available at a fee. As care needs change the tenant will need to pay MORE for ongoing private care . This is in contrast to a long term care home which is a regulated health facility and which has the obligation to met the changing care needs of a person without additional fees. In long term care , the residents pay for accommodation ( room and board) but do not pay for health care as the health care is part of the publicly funded health system .

    In this scenario the one daughter may have concerns about what her mother is paying and that may be motivated by greed as you state. However that daughter should discuss those concerns with her mother understanding that its her mothers choice and decision , not the daughters. But the daughter that is now supporting mothers decision to live at this assisted living may be wrong in thinking her mother can afford this accommodation for the rest of her life or thinking that her mother will be able to stay there to the end of her life. As her mothers care needs change, the monthly charges will likely increase. Also that place may not have the care staff appropriate to meet her mothers future needs ( as its rental accommodation with private care) and her mother may need to face moving in the future as the assisted living place may not be able to meet her mothers future needs.

    These are more complicated issues that on its face. I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that the one daughters concerns all based on greed. It may be also based on concerns about the mothers care needs, what she is getting from the retirement home ( value for dollar) . There is more to this that is not explored in this leter and the response.

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