I am under the impression that she has lived all her life in Kiev, or at least Ukraine.
Yes. She only traveled by herself once to Czechoslovakia in the 1970's, for a science meeting. She visited us in the USA three times (all three times in Seattle, 1991, 1993 and 1995), but her husband actually did everything necessary for the travel.
As long as you have someone who can check in from time to time (meaning mutual friends, family friends etc.), it might be better to let her live out her days there.
Yes, I agree. She has a lot of company, actually. Several former co-workers (all younger than her, and still treating her as a "mentor"), and a number of her peers (one couple living in a building next door, down the street). The problem is, however, that she seems to have lost her former affection and even trust. She does not act happy when people visit her, complains that they all only bother her, eat too much, etc. It's such a sharp contrast with how she was just a few years ago.
Short of a seismic event moving Mississippi next to Ukraine, there is no solution which is going to solve all problems. That's not your fault. Don't let people make you think otherwise.
I'm just assuming that familiarity is the reason why she will not leave. Has she ever verbalized why she will not? If she hasn't, try to get her to do so. If nothing else, you and your wife will feel better about whatever decision you make, because you will know what you are dealing with.
Right. That's a good advice, I think we should do it. So far, we played a kind of "game": we tell her that we are ready to have her with us, and she replies that "oh, no, how could you even think that I could ever leave my Kyiv, my friends, my apartment..."
Has she ever visited you in MS? If that is possible, it is advisable, at least once. She can always go back. It will (or should) silence wagging tonguges. You might, as you already seem to know, have to do the paperwork etc. for her (I had to do the same for my then inlaws).
No, she has not; my father died in 1996, and I got my Mississippi faculty appointment in 1998. We never did anything to arrange her visit, because we know that she cannot travel, she is helpless, like a baby. My mom has great erudition and great skills in expressing her opinions about matters of her profession and about life in general - but when it comes to practical details, petty logistics, - she is unable to handle it, never was. I am afraid she could visit us only if someone flies with her, walks her through airports, passport control, security checks, boarding, etc. But then, maybe it is possible to arrange some sort of help. After all, sometimes even children travel, and there are some services available to assist them. I'll think about it. Thank you, Isa.