My mother-in-law lives in PA, my hubby and I (nd our two small kids) live in TX.
Mom had a brain tumor removed earlier this week - hopefully benign, though we're still waiting to hear. She came out of the operation with good mental capabilities, however unfortunately has lost the use of both limbs on one side (she had gradually been losing function over the last couple of weeks before the operation but now has no use at all).
The hospital is confident that with hard work at the in-patient rehab facility (which starts next week) they can get her onto her feet and mobile with maybe a walking frame. However they are concerned because they don't feel she really 'wants' to get better, and is resisting hey every attempt to assist her. More than one professional has pointed out that she is in 'denial'.
Mom is 61 and lives alone in a condo with about a hundred cats. She works 3 jobs in order to provide for sister-in-law, who has some mental health issues and is totally dependent on both Mom's money and her day-to-day care. There are no other family members living. At this point Mom is insistent that she will go back to her own home and resume work as soon as possible. Mom's home is really not suitable for someone with mobility issues and it's hard to imagine how it could be adapted for her (think multiple levels, narrow steep staircases, low ceilings, narrow doorways, flight of stone steps to the front door, etc).
We are extremely concerned about her going home alone. She has had seizures before the operation (luckily around other people every time, who could call for help) and the doctor has warned us that those will likely continue. The doctor has told her she must not drive any more - so even if her home could be adapted, she will be isolated at the top of a huge hill in an area away from any amenities or services.
We have invited Mom to move in with us - we have room, a house that could easily be adapted for her, and would be happy to have her, however she does not wish to leave the area she lives in. She does, however want us to move over there so we can all buy a house together and we can help care for her (and, by default, for sister-in-law).
I should point out that we are not people of means - Mom is underwater on her condo and has around $30K to her name in an IRA, and that's it. We would also stand a loss if we sold this house (we only just bought it after years of saving the down-payment during hubby's military service) and would be moving to a new state with no jobs to go to. I am the breadwinner and earn around $40K in a good year, my hubby stays home with our youngest and receives a very modest military pension/disability payment. So, I don't know how we would ever be able to buy this house she speaks of to live in together, anyway!
We are totally overwhelmed with how best to help Mom. We do want to assist her but we cannot bankrupt ourselves in the process - we have small kids to consider. On the other hand, we cannot just walk away and wait for a call to say someone found her at the bottom of her basement steps!
Hubby is still in PA right now with his Mom, trying to help her prepare for whatever cmes next. But he has to come home next weekend because my employer, as kind and accommodating as they have been over the past month while he has been away and I've needed to juggle patchy childcare, need me to get back to my normal full-time work. I haven't slept in about 2 weeks. So I would welcome someone being able to throw out some ideas or perspectives...