Any advice for a newbie? (long, sorry)
I've been here on GW, mostly in the Kitchens, Appliances, Buying & Selling Homes, and Pools forums, but the STRESS in our house forced me to find this forum and I'd appreciate any help.
My 83-y.o. mother has come to live with us in Florida from our home state of California basically because she was priced out of housing there. Initially, the plan was to have her stay through the summer months, see if she could handle the summer heat & humidity (she has a tendency to panic and move if the weather doesn't suit her, costing us all $$$ to deal with), and save money (ha ha ha). The longer she stays, the more my DH & I are convinced that she really can't handle living on her own, and she should just stay with us.
The problem is that she & I don't get along; never have, and I've known forever that she could never live with me, so here I am. She makes me crazy with her continuous stream of questions & criticisms. I make her crazy because I'm not perfect and my boys aren't either. When I get pushed to the limit, I walk away and escape to my bedroom before I blow up. My DH is weary of being the moderator between us.
I did find a book at the library titled "Doing the Right Thing: Taking Care of Your Elderly Parents Even If They Didn't Take Care of You" which speaks to my situation, I think, having only made it 1/2 way through the first chapter, but it's written in psycho-speak and difficult for me to follow (i.e. "You have to recognize your resistance to separating" - huh? or "...we have an insecure attachment to our early mother..." - okay, what?). I also found a book by AARP but haven't had a chance to crack it open yet.
So I've got two big issues:
How to deal with the psychological problems of having an elderly parent move in, particularly one that you don't get along with anyway, and,
How to take care of all the technical details of a poor older person - medicare and various supplementals, medicaid, social security, food stamps, section 8, etc.
So here goes:
(1) Are there any other books that you'd suggest? Websites? Forums?
My DH thinks we should get counseling. I think I could go, but I doubt my mom is going to change her ways at her age. She accepts that she is the way she is.
(2) How on earth do I find a counselor? What kind of questions do I ask to find the right one?
My mother is on SS only, income about $700/mo, but I think she could have filed to get the IRS rebate check.
(3) Anybody know if she can still do it and how?
She needs to change her residency here to get a local Medicare doctor, prescriptions and all that. She doesn't want to, because she gets about $120/mo from Medical because she's poor. I think she'd probably get that from the Florida version of Medical (Medicaid?) but I don't know how to find out and how all this stuff works (i.e. Part D for prescriptions?)
(4) Any references for this?
TIA for any help. We've managed not to kill each other for three days while my DH has been out of town, but we still need to face the situation. This is only a very brief description of the situation so I'm sure it sounds really messed up and it is. It actually feels better just to vent a little bit out like this. Thanks.