I have been living in the US for 18 years now and a US citizen. My brother have been living in Portugal for over 30 years now. Reality is not pretty but I am going to say it: my mother is a toxic parent. Her anxieties, control and OCD have drove both me and my brother to move as far as possible right after college. As a 25 year old I would fall apart when I was due for a phone call. There has been times when I felt like the phone cord was strangled around my neck from 9000 miles away. Over the years I learned to control the flow of information I was willing to provide and fought for my own independence from afar. My husband has been a great support in the process. While my brother stayed away as much as he could, I tried and tried to rebuild our relationship with fairly good success. We travelled home every year for the past 13 years for 2 weeks. It has been a huge strain on our financials. I feel a lot of the control, bitterness and anxiety has landed on my dad's plate once I moved away. It has been breaking their relationship down, and ending them up in a situation that they can no longer or willing to handle. My mother is bitter and hates the place. At this point they are totally alone with minimal check-ins from my uncle and his wife. The problem is that my mother does not drive and my dad is getting weak. When there is an emergency my uncle has to be called and he is less and less willing to do it. They never had much social life they said they always 'lived for raising us'. Since we left their social life went to 0. For the past 18 years they have literally spend weeks and months without getting out of the house and the yard, especially during winter, other than picking up food, and literally lived (or survived) for us to visit. Over the summer my parents and I have discussed what should happen to them. Time is pressing and 2016 is THE year. We discussed several options. 1. They allow a social worker to help them with going shopping, medication etc. a few times a week. - My mother refuses to let anyone into the house. Partially I understand, as the system is a lot less reliable and open for fraud than here. On the other hand I am shaking my head at her attitude. 2. They move into an elderly home. - my dad might have a chance, for my mom we would have to supplement. Conditions in healthcare over my country are very bad. Even though they have free social healthcare it is falling apart. Doctors are scarce, nurses are way overburdened. Sometimes they oversee and entire floor alone. I had a chance to experience it this summer and God forbid either of them have to stay in for a more serious illness. Often money is taken but service is not provided. Plus there would be no supervision possible from us to make sure they are being cared for properly. 3. They would live where they at, and once my dad passed they would move to my brother. - Honestly I can't wrap my head around this one. Why would you take one but not both? My mother hates my sister in law, and the feeling is mutual. So this option is almost out of the question except for the fact that she would have free healthcare. 4. I move them across the pond to live with my and my husband. - His kids are grown and I never had one. It would be the 4 of us. Through family unification I would be able to get them a green card and of course I would be fully responsible for their expenses. We are looking into health insurance and I am prepared that it will not be cheap but to be honest looking at the numbers and the uncertainty, it scares me out of my socks. Their retirement is $800 a month together and once my dad passes it will be only about $300. Their savings will be minimal compared to the US. My mother argues that her family have been pretty healthy. My moms family lived into their 80s ( she is 72 now) and when they pass it was because of heart issues and in their sleep. My dad is at the age when my grandparents died and with this summer stroke he might go fast when time comes. But again there is no way to foretell the future and at this point I think she is saying anything to get in.
The problem is that while solution #4 is their best option, I am terrified of the historical emotional baggage and the possible life breaking financial burden.
Anyone in same or similar situation? How to navigate this? Any pointers are appreciated as I am starting my decision making journey.