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to not want my elderly father to come and live with us?

(30 Posts)
AbbyLubber Wed 12-Aug-09 11:22:32

He's in his mid-80s, and has just lost my mother. He wants to emigrate to England from a much warmer, cheaper country and move in with us.

I love him, and I really want to help, but I'm very uncomfortable with the idea.

He won't know anyone here but us. He never does or can respect anyone's limits. He's interfering, bossy, and pretty tyrannical. We don't have much in common - his idea of heaven is motor sports on tv, and we're all musicians. Which also means we work from home... a concept utterly unknown to him. He won't consider living nearby - and if he did he'd still come around to us 24/7. He's impervious to hints and the children (now early teens) would have no privacy at all - it would really put their home at risk. But I can't turn him down either. What should I do? Or say? Please don't just scream at me for being callous. I can do that myself.

muddleduck Wed 12-Aug-09 11:28:19

Why don't you suggest he comes over for a few weeks as a "trial period", Hopefully it will become clear to all that it isn't working.

One word of caution - does he have family where he is? I only ask because we ended up in the situation where my gran (living abroad) desparately needed some local support but by then it was too late to move her over as she would have been too disoriented by the move. We wished that we'd helped her to move her over sooner so she could have settled in and hopefully made a network of friends before she deteriorated.

stealthsquiggle Wed 12-Aug-09 11:28:28

YANBU. Stop screaming at yourself. It would be a nightmare for all of you, including him.

Is there any third party (friend/relation) that you could enlist to help you talk sense to him? Immediately after your mother's death does not seem a good time to be making such big decisions. Living nearby (sheltered housing of some sort?) would seem to be a reasonable compromise if he does want to move back to the UK, but only if he can be made to see that there are limits and that he would have to build his own life.

CarGirl Wed 12-Aug-09 11:37:44

I think you will have to be blunt.

"We work from home so you couldn't be here during the day and we don't have a dedicated spare room nor can we afford to move"

it sounds like he's the type of person you will have to be blunt with.

notbeingfunny Wed 12-Aug-09 11:37:56

I think you just have to suck it up and get on with it.

Baies and small children are horribly antisocial and have a negative effect on everyone living in a house, but we accept that they have to live with us because they need us and we love them. The same should apply to any vulnerable member of the family.

AmazingBouncingFerret Wed 12-Aug-09 11:40:10

Short answer, and speaking from experience (kind of) dont do it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 12-Aug-09 11:47:37

notbeingfunny - I don't agree. Babies and children are not negative, what an odd thing to say!

OP - I wouldn't do it. I am sympathetic to your father but he and your Mum should have thought about this, discussed it with you and made plans for what the one 'left behind' would do.
I think you need to be very honest with him - and do it immediately before he takes silence as tacit agreement and starts to make his plans.

Good luck.

makipuppy Wed 12-Aug-09 12:01:33

My lovely yet domineering and cantankerous grandmother lived with us for 8 years. As a result my parents have promised us they will never ask the same of us.

OrmIrian Wed 12-Aug-09 12:05:28

Don't do it. Tell him that you love him and want to help him so you are willing to look for somewhere suitable nearby for him to live. Paint it as a positive thing for him - he'd have his independence, not be disturbed by noisy bolshy teenagers, not be disturbed by you and your work, have his own space rather than having to share limited room with a lot of other people. And he'd still have you all near enough to offer help and companionship when needed.

bumpybecky Wed 12-Aug-09 12:07:46

without even reading the post properly, YANBU

if you've got misgivings now, please don't do it. By all means support his return, even find him somewhere lcoally to live, but do not feel guitly for not wanting him with you.

preciouslillywhite Wed 12-Aug-09 12:12:07

what stealthsquiggle said

MamaKaty Wed 12-Aug-09 12:18:28

Try to be honest with him and explain that you work from home and it wouldn't be viable for him to live in your home. Tell him that you understand his wish to move closer, and perhaps research some other options for him like a small flat or sheltered housing option nearby.
YANBU - don't beat yourself up about knowing what is best for you and your family.

KIMItheThreadSlayer Wed 12-Aug-09 12:34:55

Just tell him NO
You are not his keeper, I think you need to put your familys needs before your fathers

AbbyLubber Wed 12-Aug-09 14:49:02

Thank you so much to all who replied. I do love him. But I am also going spare.

The problem with alternative accommodation near us is really money - we (musicians) are not rich, and he is legendarily tightfisted (though he can also be abruptly generous) but also housing costs much more in England than where he lives now. Is there some local authority person to whom I might speak? I know nothing about what to do. Alas, all close relatives are also pretty aged and mostly recently bereaved themselves. sad

piscesmoon Wed 12-Aug-09 15:01:15

Don't feel guilty-I know it is difficult not to, but it sounds a dreadful idea. I would have him over for a holiday and discuss all possible options with him but not living with you. I expect you could approach Age Concern, on your own and discuss options-they must have a web site.

Heated Wed 12-Aug-09 15:07:47

Do you actually have room for him?

preciouslillywhite Wed 12-Aug-09 15:47:36

I would contact your local authority housing dept and explain the situation, asking particularly about sheltered, to see if they'll consider him...also I'd play up the fact that there's noone else to care for him where he is now, cos I think in some areas he'll preferably have to be living in the area already to qualify.

If he gets his own accommodation and he's on a low income he should qualify for HB...I know you said he won't consider living nearby but maybe if you get all this info first you might be able to persuade him!

AbbyLubber Wed 12-Aug-09 16:18:05

Heated, not really. I don't think my children would benefit from sharing a room at their ages. But it might look to the outside eye as if we could make room, I suppose.

Thanks for the tips about AgeConcern, Piscesmoon, and local authority housing, preciouslillywhite.

GrapefruitMoon Wed 12-Aug-09 16:34:54

There are various charities which run sheltered housing schemes - e.g. you have your own small flat and a warden on site to keep an eye on things. Don't know if there is an upper age limit though - you usually have to be in reasonable good health before you move in.

Has he lived in England before? Did he move abroad when he retired or has he always lived there? Has he got a property to sell where he is living now? If he lived here before does he still have friends in that area? These are all things which would have a bearing on how feasible it would be for him to move here regardless of whether it is to live with you or somewhere of his own...

Please don't feel guilty about this - there is no point in ruining your relationship with him, which is what would very likely happen if you felt blackmailed into having him living with you and resented it.

NigellaTufnel Wed 12-Aug-09 16:40:07

There was a very good thread on here not so long ago about someone who had their MIL live with them for 8 years, and it was doing real harm to the family.

That was complicated by dementia, but there were some good general points about how looking after a mother or father can be very challenging, and not good for your children

Hassled Wed 12-Aug-09 16:43:40

I think it would be completely reasonable for you to say "You can't live with us - it wouldn't work out and we don't have room. But these (sheltered housing nearby) are the options available". You'd still risk the 24/7 visits, and would have to be very firm from the outset.

SerendipitousHarlot Wed 12-Aug-09 17:12:12

<Baies and small children are horribly antisocial and have a negative effect on everyone living in a house>

Blimey! notbeingfunny do you really mean that?

HecatesTwopenceworth Wed 12-Aug-09 18:30:45

I think that if you don't want to do it then it cannot work - the resentment you would feel would create a terrible atmosphere. And if you let him move in for a trial period - you'd have a hell of a job moving him out again!

You could find other accommodation for him.

I bet now his wife has died he is feeling very alone and wants to be with family. I feel sorry for him, but from what you say, none of you would be happy living together. Why be miserable out of a sense of duty?

LittleSilver Wed 12-Aug-09 19:16:44

Yes, do read that other, terribly sad thread about the MiL.

giantkatestacks Wed 12-Aug-09 19:32:20

We are mulling this very question over - though my dad doesnt sound as bad as yours iyswim (dont mean that nastily of course).

I do feel it my duty to do something tbh - its what my mother would have wanted and you cant just leave family because you dont like them that much.

We are thinking about a retirement flat really close to us or a bigger house where we can convert the garage - he will sell his house to finance anything (not that its worth that much).

But yanbu - its a horribly difficult thing.

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