My MIL had a stroke about 1 mo ago. She is about to get out of rehab, and will have to come live with us. She lives in No. California where she owns a home, and we live in Las Vegas. Of course she does not want to come, but there's no other choices. We don't know where to start in regard to home care, and should she continue therapy. She will need help taking a bath, and dressing herself. Both my husband and I work so staying with her all day is not an option. How do we know who to trust to take care of her, and having strangers in our home all day? Just don't know what to do, or how to do it. Thanks for your help.

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Before your MIL is released someone from social services should contact her about going home and what arrangements are there for her care. Call that office now, especially if you or husband is not with his Mother at this time. They will put you in contact with a home health care provider and have other information for you.

The rehab will also be sure whatever equipment is needed will be in the home before she leaves (walker, potty chair, oxygen...just whatever). Her doctor will advise if she is better off at home or assisted living or nursing home a better option. Everything for MIL's care must be in place before she is released.

Good luck!
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First of all, having MIL live with you is not the only choice. Really. You should give that some very careful consideration. It might be best, or it might not. Don't assume that she "will have to come live with us."

Another option is for her to continue living in her own home, with in-home care. Someone can come in there to help her with a bath. Someone can come each morning and help her get dressed. How much help she'd need depends on what she can and can't do for herself. Is her bedroom on the ground floor? If not can she manage stairs? Can she prepare sandwiches? Meals on wheels is a nice option for hot meals. Without knowing how impaired she is, I don't really know how feasible it is. It sounds like she is going to require in-home care. Are you positive it can't happen in her own home, at least until/unless she gets worse?

If she has to move out of her house, your house it not the only place she could move to. Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Facility or a Residential Care Center are possibilities, depending on the degree of help she needs. This could be in No California, if she has many friends and other family members there, or near you, so you could visit daily if you want to.

Or maybe living with you would be best. But it is not the "only" choice. It may be best for her and not for you. It may be best for you but not for her. It may not be best for anybody. And it may be best all around. If you are viewing this as a "have to" and she is viewing it as a "don't want to" you are all off on the wrong foot to start with.

Have you been attending the care conferences at the rehab place? What do they think your MIL needs? Do they think she should continue therapy after being released?

Whether she lives in her house or yours, an adult day health program can be ideal. Often they provide transportation to and from home, a breakfast and hot lunch, social interaction opportunities, and safe supervision. The one my husband attended even gave showers and trimmed toenails!

Do you have a close relationship with MIL now? Have you viewed her as your second mother or is the relationship more distant? Has she ever spent extended periods of time with you? Is she generally a nice person or does she have a prickly, difficult personality? Was your husband's childhood happy? Bringing a parent to live with you can work out beautifully, but it doesn't take much browsing on this web site to see that it can also be a horrid mistake.
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