My mother-in-law is a Florida resident, but I need help with her. Any suggestions? - AgingCare.com

My mother-in-law is a Florida resident, but I need help with her. Any suggestions?

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My 92 year old mother-in-law had to move in with my husband and I almost a year ago. She is nearly blind from Macular Degeneration Disease and I feel as though she has me on a leash. My husband and I can't go out to the store or go eat a quiet meal because she has severe panic attacks. She has become very needy and I am lost right now. She has another son, locally and he prefers to do 'NOTHING." My general question is...she is a Florida resident, but lives in VA with my husband and I. Am I limited or can I even get any respite or services to help us out. Because of the stress, my health has worsened. I have had two surgical procedures done on my neck in the past month and I have had no recovery time to heal. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

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When mom lived with me, no one asked for proof of residency when interviewing her for benefits. She lived here. Period. I doubt that's an issue.

Why are you letting a 92-year-old lady (cute as she probably is) control you? If something happened to you and your husband, by tomorrow morning she would be placed in a nursing home where they would cajole her into a new routine, like it or not.

You and your husband need TIME. For pizza and a movie. Breakfast out and a shopping Saturday. Time with your grandkids. Whatever. This isn't your MILs problem. It's yours. You feel worse leaving her for some me time than you feel by being on a leash all the time. I hope you'll change.

Surely your MIL gets a retirement income. Start spending some of it for once a week respite care. "Mom! Do you remember our friend Cathy? She's going to keep you company while we run out a while." (Wink-wink-nudge-nudge) No Notice. No warning. Just go.

Did she save for a rainy day? Look outside. It's pouring. You need at least weekly breaks. You'll never last without them.

As to services, call your dept on aging or whatever it may be called. You might be surprised what services there are to help.
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Is she panicking because she's blind and has been moved to a new environment where she doesn't know where things are? Would it help to have some "practice" with you there of what she would do in an emergency? Maybe she can afford to hire a "sitter" to stay with her while your husband and you go out? Or maybe she does need psychiatric assessment and treatment for the panic attacks.

In terms of formal services, you'd need to check your local Aging resources and services for the blind. I doubt that your MIL's state of residency would matter as long as she's living at your house. Good luck!

In terms of services, you have to check your local Area on Aging, etc.
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Others will hopefully have answers to your question, but I have a suggestion. Panic and neediness can be symptoms of depression. Has she been evaluated for that, either by her internist or a geriatric psychiatrist? You will burn out quickly under these circumstances, as you well know.
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