Difficult elder. Mother in law demanding to move back to Florida.

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My mother in law lives in Florida. For the last 2 years we have been taking care of her in our home in TX since her Husband passed away and she became very ill. She is doing well now and demands to return to her condo in Florida. She is 89 and needs a great deal of help. We are against the move because we cannot accompany her to any great exetent. We have no family in fl.


nelkster, I don't know why anyone would want to live in FL (or anywhere else) when they can be in TX. TX is wonderful for both the old and young. I have been so impressed at how much you can find for seniors in TX.

I agree with you that your MIL shouldn't go back to FL alone. It would be more difficult than she probably realizes. Elderly parents seem to always have a yearning for home, perhaps because they believe if they return then things will return to normal. I am glad that she has you there to talk to her about the wisdom of going home. If she is like many elders, she would be disappointed when she returned to find there was no magic there. Even when we get old, we can never go home again. Everything changes. We just have to find a way to make our new place our home.
I feel for you since I have been trying to reason with my mother about the danger of her moving home. She has been in a senior living facility where she has her own things in an apt, but all meals and house services are provided. She has made friends and can catch a shuttle to go anywhere within five miles. I think jessiebelle hit the nail on the head about our elders thinking if they return home things will be normal for them.

I did move my mother back home from an assisted living facility since she had improved from her stroke 4 years ago and things went downhill from there. She had several falls. Burned stuff on stove, etc. After one fall the rehab nurse told me she was going to call Adult Protective Services because she thought mother was being neglected. We had a caregiver with her 4 hours a day, but for that to work would require 24/7 and that was not an option.

I also live in Texas and am 30 minutes away from my mother. I told her if she moves anywhere it will be closer to me.

Sometimes what we really want is to "move-back" to pre-dependency and what old age has done to us.
I am going through a very similar situation. After my father died (he had dementia for 10 years) my sister and I moved my mother up to Alabama from Florida to be near us because she is blind from macular degenertion, unable to walk and in early stages of dementia herself. They had 24/7 help in Florida but...Well my mother tells EVERYONE that we kidnapped her. She hates it up here and tells me at least once a week that she wants to go "home". She has never liked Alabama because her son was born here and died during birth so she says "she lost her son to Alabama". I can understand her not liking it here because it is very deary weather wise - much less sunshine and no friends (even though most of her friends have died so she did not get many visitors anyway). I feel very guilty for doing this to her but I also understand why we did it. We had to rent the house out because of the real estate market and the lease is up in July - she knows this and really thinks that somehow she is going to go back then. I often wonder if we did let her go back if she would die down there - is she holding off so she can die in Florida. She has stated that she does not want to be shipped "home" in a box. Part of me would like to get her back to Florida, assign power of attorney to a 3rd party and tell her that since this was her wish that I am out of it - that I can not deal with issues going on in her life and can not rush down there to deal with things - almost as if she has died. Sorry I know I probably have not helped and have now turned this discussion towards me but maybe well - I'm sorry that I wasn't able to offer words of wisdom or comfort.
Be patient and consistant. Over time, less memory will possibly soften the desire to return home. My mom mentions less frequently a return "home". I purposfully brought things to her assisted living facility from home. Pictures and furniture where placed similarly as was at home. Not too many, keeping it simple helps to make what is in place stand out and eventually things have become "new" long-term memory which brings some stability and familiarity into the new environment.
If she can afford home care services to meet her needs, why not try a trial basis to see how she is doing living in her condo in Florida. If she cannot afford those services then at least she was able to have some imput in the decision of where it is best for her to live.
cotton1714. It is so difficult when our family member complains about moving back home. I feel strongly that no one can love and take care of their family member than their own child (unless there are serious "issues"). Even though your mom may not appreciate it, I am sure you know that you are doing the right thing for her. If they can't take care of themselves, they can't, thus we have to take the responsibility of making the right decisions for them. Finding someone who truly loves you to bounce off hurts, emotions and questioning really can help.
nekster: Reality is that your mil needs you. We want our family member to retain their dignity and to empower them to make decisions regarding their life. However, if she can't take care of herself then she needs to stay with/near family. I agree with momandteach. TX will become her home. Good luck!
Similar story here .. my mom's therapist has suggested I get her doctor to tell her she cannot without 24/7 care. He's not sure it will make much difference. I just try to distract and redirect her, but I am lucky she can afford companions in addition to me (but even dealing with that is no small task). My mother age 84 and some dementia is planning to get a job at the United Nations and move to NYC! I let her send her ancient resume and didn't tell her all apps are online now, but some days I do feel like just putting her on a plane and telling her to just go to NYC and get herself an apartment. Jut kidding, but there are days ....;-)
My 97 yr old MIL has been with us almost 4 months now.......She lives in Al and we live in TX. For the first 3 mths all we heard constantly was take me home I will be fine to live alone, so at Christmas we did just that (we stayed with her). Going home was truly an eye opener for her, she realized quickly she couldn't do it, just her meds alone were a BIG issue. She came back home with us with a totally different attitude and I am happy to say things are going very well. She does want to keep her house & return for a "visit" every couple of months, which we think we can manage. Like others who have posted we KNOW there is no one who would give her better care. My husband is an only child so we have no other help, but all the extended family keep assuring us we are doing the right thing and they remind her of that also, which is a big help. Hang in there, it isn't easy for you or her!
I have the same situation.My mother even packs her stuff up.She stole my trash bags yesterday to pack her clothes in.I think its hard but don't take it personally.They cannot help it.I would not let her move unless to a nursing home.(mine) she cannot and refuses to see a doctor and does not take care of herself.♥ to you.

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