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I've been distanced from my family for 18 years due to mental health issues of mine that make it near impossible to have contact with family without total panic and anxiety attacks.


My elderly mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my cousin wants me to fly over to PR for several weeks to meet with the doctors, get up to date and take over everything, she says it's my legal obligation since the island has Filial Responsibility Laws.


My family doesn't know about my problem and quite frankly from my experience growing up I don't think they'll understand so I've let them think that I am just an ungrateful daughter all of these years because just the thought of opening up to them about my mental health struggles triggers a panic attack.


I don't feel that my mental state could handle this pressure and responsibility due to my severe anxiety.


Is there anything that I can do?

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In my opinion, daughter should take care of her own mental/physical health...I've been there and still TRYING to do that...sending you peace...this support place here has been the best thing for me...❤️️great support!! Please rename yourself, you are not a bad daughter 😊 Countrymouse said it well, ....."BITE ME!"
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In my opinion, daughter should take care of her own mental/physical health...I've been there and still TRYING to do that...sending you peace...this support place here has been the best thing for me...❤️️great support!! Please rename yourself, you are not a bad daughter 😊 Countrymouse said it well, ....."BITE ME!"
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In my opinion daughter needs to take care of her own mental/physical health...been there and still doing that...sending you peace...this support place here has been the best thing for me...❤️️
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baddaughterfl, here is a good article about how not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. This article was a great help for me, because I am not the warm fuzzy type, plus I am a senior citizen myself with my own age decline issues. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/not-everyone-cut-out-to-be-a-caregiver-162192.htm

As for the law, that would rattle anyone. Past cases showed such laws came into force when the children had engaged in fraudulent conduct or had illegally transferred mom and dad’s assets.

Is there some way that your Mother could apply for Medicaid? If so, and if she is ready for nursing home care, Medicaid will pay for her care. Or is there some way you could move Mom to Florida and be in a nursing home?
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Yes, but is it not a bit more complicated than that?
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Puerto Ricans are US citizens.
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The OP lives in Florida with her husband and young children. They are not well off enough to consider funding the mother's care.

The OP's mother, from whom she has long been estranged, lives in Puerto Rico. The OP's cousin has recently been in touch to request/demand that the OP drops everything and returns to PR to take over her mother's care.

The first question is: is the OP a US citizen, married to a US citizen? Let's cross our fingers and assume that yes, she is.

Baddaughter - unless you are keen to preserve any sort of relationship with family members whose first thought is to bully and threaten you into adopting their completely insane plan? - go to a lawyer with good experience of elder care *and* the Spanish-speaking communities, their language and culture (I should have thought there'd be plenty to go round in Florida, no?), and request from your lawyer a letter that says, in suitably technical terms, "bite me."

And next time, don't answer the phone, respond to the email, or whatever it was you allowed yourself to be duped into doing this time.
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By your personal info it says you are already taking care of your mother. Is she living here in the US with you?
I think some clarification would help.
I DO understand anxiety resulting from interacting with some family members.
You can probably provide the information required without having to travel outside the US. BUT, ask an attorney. Just a quick session, to see if you do or don't have to go.
I am completely unfamiliar with any laws outside of the US--so be sure you don't just let this go--and IF you have to travel, see your doc a get some anti-anxiety drugs to keep you on an even keel. Family issues are hard, at best, soul sapping at the worst.
All the luck--wish I had some idea how to help you--but best of luck.
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Filial responsibility laws were enacted to ensure that the taxpayer would not have to be on the hook for the care of people whose family had more than sufficient means to look after them, they were never intended to force the extended family into poverty or indentured servitude. I have no doubt that there are many lawyers in Florida who are fluent in Spanish, finding one who will help clarify the laws and your responsibilities under it will be money well spent, and if for some reason the long arm of the law should reach out to you your defence will already be prepared.
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I tried to read the text of the law but because my Spanish isn't great I didn't understand some of the "big" words. I did understand enough to see that there was a provision that requires other states and jurisdictions to cooperate when their investigator is trying to track down or verify assets from the person so it looks like it would be enforceable even though I live in Florida.

From what I understand the law refers mostly to financial support which I am unable to give and they can see that if they look at my bank account and tax returns but then says if financially unable to provide then I have to provide "non-financial" support such as having to provide care, I don't know if a judge would force me to leave my husband and young children in Florida to do that but it's terrifying just to think about.
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My first question would be are filial responsibility laws enforceable across state (or territory) lines? They might be because they are civil proceedings but if the long arm of the law can't reach you and you have no other reason to feel obligated then just do what is best for you.
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