This presents a problem for the poor bastard who probably had to sink most of his income in the first years of their marriage settling her debts. After all, John might be carrying the weight for her but he ain't immmortal. Unlike the idiot woman who weeps like a child with a skinned knee because her scary bad husband wants to be bad and scare her with talk about death, debilitation and dismemberment, he fears for her future after he dies.
It thus very well could be that at about the same time he'd noticed that Elly was too busy enjoying having Kortney blow sweet, sweet smoke up her arse to notice or care that the child was a malingering fraud who only pretended she respected Elly, he'd realized that she was pretty much the same moronic idiot who didn't know how things worked and reacted to common sense by ranting like an imbecile about how unfair it is that half of the people in the world will always be below average. His response to that alarming revelation was to sit Mike and Liz down and explain that Mommy was always going to need someone to take care of her and was too combative and stupid to be a good fit for any environment that was more structured than a game of contract bridge. Therefore, they'd have to arrange their lives so that the mother they all knew to be a belligerent dunderhead who doesn't learn things can sail through her remaining years blissfully unaware that she's been made into a client of the able-bodied.
It thus seems to me that Mike's contribution to the plan was to buy the Pattermanse and telecommute to Portrait secure in the knowledge that Elly would never know the difference. Elly and Connie would go on thinking that he'd left the evil, scary city and its evil, scary ways behind him so that he could be the Great Big Author she could have been owing to their never actually reading the magazine (because it has simply AWFUL women showing TOO MUCH SKIN), never actually going to the city (not because they're racists, no, not THEM, they just feel uncomfortable around the unfamiliar) and never actually using the devil computers that would tell them different. Also, Elly would be able to pretend that she's making up for lost time by ignoring a new generation of children and witlessly pitting them against one another.
The downside is that April had to be kept out of the loop because of her inconvenient lack of experience. She might know that Elly doesn't listen to her but she doesn't know that Elly can't live on her own and thus might doom her mother with kindness and honesty. After all, Elly isn't good at realizing what she sucks at and would object to knowingly being under the protection of the competent.