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Elderly parent alone and pressure or 'encouragement' to return to UK

(10 Posts)
Hyacinthusbucketus Thu 12-Nov-15 11:03:52

Just wondering if anyone has experienced this and if so how they have dealt with it. Our situation concerns my MIL and though we are not there yet, I can see this becoming an issue we will face and I wonder if anyone has had a similiar situation? Many thanks.

oldestmumaintheworld Thu 12-Nov-15 11:16:03

We've had to face this - DM and her partner are overseas. She has dementia, he is the carer. We have talked about bringing them both back to UK, but decided against it. Firstly, he wouldn't come with her as hates UK weather and has no family here. She hasn't lived here for more than 30 years and all her old friends are either dead or in homes. So we decided, that although it is v difficult being so far away, they should stay at home with carers as long as possible and then go into residential care when necessary. We also realised that her dementia would probably be made worse by the trauma of having to leave their home and come somewhere she hasn't lived for years and without her partner.

In the end we realised that the only people to benefit would be us - her children. And we are the people most able to travel. So that's what we do. It isn't easy, but I suppose that is what happens when people choose to leave their families and friends and live abroad.

VulcanWoman Thu 12-Nov-15 18:44:13

I replied on the duplicate thread, MN could have copied/pasted, no?

Lillipuddlian Fri 13-Nov-15 12:13:52

Yes, my in laws are in Yorkshire. My husband, their golden son who can do no wrong, told them he was going to Canada "for a couple of years, max". That was 16 years ago.

I suppose I am the evil so-and-so who has entrapped their poor darling here against his will.

My husband is a mama's boy, calls regularly, skypes often. The family is still devastated, but he moved away in the first place because they were smothering and suffocating. His mother never warmed to me, his father did not attend our wedding here in Canada, nor did his sister.

The guilt and pressure, even unconsciously, to move back to England has been ever present in our marriage. We are considering a move back. Most of his family has died and he is homesick.

Long story, be aware that if it is one member of your spouse's family playing the heartstrings, it can be very difficult for the other spouse. The guilt is transferable and leaves a legacy in your relationship. Trust me!

Hyacinthusbucketus Fri 13-Nov-15 12:50:34

Thank you Lillipuddlian. We are not there yet because MIL is healthy but I can see the minute she is ill, things will get difficult. She is widowed, very sudden, totally unexpected and so that has obviously made things very difficult. She continues to adjust to this situation (it has been 18 months). My husband is very close to his mother (though not so close that they can actually talk to one another properly but that is a whole other story). He has two sisters, unfortunately the one who lives closest (30 mins) away, I would not rely on to look after a dog, never mind be useful to a person.

Can i ask about your family? my partents died before we moved abroad so i appreciate I do not have the same concerns as my husband and i was not close to my parents, unfortunately so I am almost seen as having no right to comment and anything I say about his mother must be independent and we cannot upend our lives to go back is seen as being callous. Many elderly people do not have children living round the corner so her situation is not unique.

I fear it causing a rift between us (his family have been very trying over many yrs). I don't know if she would ever ask him to go back or just make him feel so guilty and responsible that he needs to go back.

We have children who are settled in local schools and happy (we are in europe so a short flight away).
Right now I am making a problem that is not there (and it is getting me down as MIL says things about how supportove he is and she knows it can't last and how so and so has a son round the corner and her greatest wish is to make a granny flat at her house and have one of her children live with her.

Other sister is 5 hrs drive away and she (sensibly imo) is not goingt uproot and disrupt her family but is doing the best she can to be supportive given wher she lives.

Lillipuddlian Fri 13-Nov-15 13:05:54

please google "enmeshed family" because I think you will find it pertinent reading. To ask outright that your husband return would never happen, it's much more subtle than that! will write more later.

Lillipuddlian Fri 13-Nov-15 13:08:46

If you are in EU, lucky! We are in Canada, may as well be the moon. Have her move to you. She's legally entitled to with her citizenship and it won't disrupt your children.
put the offer out there then move on. She can live in a flat around the corner. Problem solved. Perfectly sensible offer.

Hyacinthusbucketus Fri 13-Nov-15 16:27:46

That is a no nonsense approach! But she has her own life, she has friends, activities she takes part in so I would never want her to give up her life but I fear my husband will see it as ok or even that we "must" move back. He says the children will adjust as he did (they moved when he was young) but the point is we have a life here and the children are happy and it is a good family life here. it is almost that we must do what they did and as she looked aft her mother, so should he, but our circumstances are completely different to theirs.

What is frustrating is that she will not even consider moving to a town where her activities and friends are and will afford her much more independence for longer and will only consider moving to the next village which entails a 10 m drive to her activities and friends.

Hyacinthusbucketus Fri 13-Nov-15 16:30:28

10 mile drive which on windy country roads will in winter and in the dark become increasingly unsustainable.

fussychica Sun 15-Nov-15 16:11:33

My dad came to live with us after my mum died. It was always his dream to live abroad, he loved it and we loved having him with us. Unfortunately, he died suddenly after only a couple of years.

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