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AIBU?

To push them to move, or accept they won't?

14 replies

fluffyyarn · 07/01/2024 07:49

My dad and stepmum are late 60s and both very unwell. Dad is now on palliative care, in and out of hospital, and had three stays in a hospice. Stepmum is unsteady on her feet, keeps falling and dad isn't able to pick her up. We don't yet have a timeframe for Dad, but he's rapidly gone downhill in the last month.

They moved away from me and my siblings about 10 years ago. It takes average 2 hours to get to them. Recently, stepmum needed to be admitted to hospital and we realised how much more support they both need.

We'd like them to move to some kind of care home/ extra-supervision supported living kind of thing, somewhere closer to us. They both said it was a good idea and for the best, but since then, have backtracked.

My siblings are both saying we need to pressure them into moving, and if they don't, we should back off and not help. (Currently, I'm driving to them at least twice a week, sometimes more.) They have a carer who helps with cooking, cleaning, household stuff and picking up meds and food.

I wish they were closer, so we could help more. But I also think they have the final say, and are of sound enough mind to make that choice themselves. I won't withdraw support if they choose that, but it is difficult for me to continue with four hour round trips this frequently.

YABU- I should be insisting they move

YANBU- It's okay for them to decide to stay where they are.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

52 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
25%
You are NOT being unreasonable
75%
AllEars112232 · 07/01/2024 07:54

It’s sounds as if that sort of intervention (which often doesn’t work anyway) is too late for your dad.
You might find that your stepmum will be more willing to move when he has gone (sad to have to say that).

i know how difficult thees situations are, I hope your siblings are helping you out. If they have carers do you need to go up so often?

Sunflwer · 07/01/2024 07:54

They have the right to decide where they live and discussions should be had, but I don't think they should be pressured. However, as part of those discussions, it is fine if you need to say you can't do all the travel and aren't available to help as much. Tell them what you can do (that really does work for you, not what you think they need). They can then use that information to make their own decisions. If they need more help, they can get it through professionals which they should ideally pay for.

Toooldtoworry · 07/01/2024 07:57

AllEars112232 · 07/01/2024 07:54

It’s sounds as if that sort of intervention (which often doesn’t work anyway) is too late for your dad.
You might find that your stepmum will be more willing to move when he has gone (sad to have to say that).

i know how difficult thees situations are, I hope your siblings are helping you out. If they have carers do you need to go up so often?

I agree with this completely, sadly.

Funnily enough been having a similar conversation with my parents recently as they live 183 miles away. I'm an only but we have children and unwell parents here that tie us (caring responsibilities for in-laws).

MereDintofPandiculation · 07/01/2024 07:57

It's OK for them to stay where they are. But also OK for you to help them as much as you want but no more.

My first thought is that it's not a great time for them to be moving. A lot of upheaval at a time which is already difficult. My DH has stage 4 cancer. Prognosis is years rather than months, but there is no way I would move now, firstly because I have more than enough to worry about without diposing of all my valued possessions and organising a house move, and secondly I wouldn't put DH through that stress at this point in his life.

Phineyj · 07/01/2024 07:58

I don't think you can move people who are this poorly. It's not practical. Your only real option is to arrange care near where they live sadly.

As pp said if it were just your step mum then yes maybe care home near you.

DustyLee123 · 07/01/2024 07:58

I’d say you should leave them there for now, as your dad has a care package in place and it’s notoriously difficult to move that.
Does step mum have kids/family of her own?

Sunflwer · 07/01/2024 08:01

Toooldtoworry · 07/01/2024 07:57

I agree with this completely, sadly.

Funnily enough been having a similar conversation with my parents recently as they live 183 miles away. I'm an only but we have children and unwell parents here that tie us (caring responsibilities for in-laws).

I think most of us end up in this position eventually. Mine are 1600 miles away and rejecting all advice.

GenXisthebest · 07/01/2024 08:06

It's so tricky OP. We suggested to my in laws years ago that they should move closer to us. They made agreeing noises but then decided against. Their decision of course, but now they need a lot of support and constantly moan about how far away we live so we can't visit as often as they'd like.

fluffyyarn · 07/01/2024 08:06

Thank you for the reassurance, everyone.

I'm doing the majority of the driving and sorting stuff. My kids are mid/late teens, whereas my siblings both have younger ones to look after. Now the carers are sorted, it's taken some of the pressure off, but I'm going once a week just to see them at the weekend, and then at least once as an emergency visit because something has gone wrong and they've called. Recently this has been a medical issue, emergency medication needed, their elderly cat was ill, there was a roof leak in the storm... unpredictable stuff.

My stepmum really is a second mother to us all. They've been together for 20 years, and she has no other children, and doesn't see any other family.

OP posts:
Zippedydoodahday · 07/01/2024 08:08

Is the issue that he's not well enough to manage a move? It's a lot of physical, administrative and emotional strain if he doesn't have long left.

How close are you to your step mum? Does she have ties where she is? Perhaps she doesn't want to relocate to be near you if she thinks she'll be without your Dad soon.

fluffyyarn · 07/01/2024 08:13

@Zippedydoodahday yes, I think the stress of any move would be too much for dad to manage. When they had agreed to the move previously, it was before dad's rapid downturn, so he was probably feeling more able at that point.

Although they've been where they are for 10 years, they don't have many ties to the area. A couple of nice neighbours, but that's it. Stepmum would be very isolated there by herself.

OP posts:
rookiemere · 07/01/2024 08:13

Gosh they are young to be in that position.

Unfortunately for you I think if your DF is already receiving palliative care, it would be difficult and potentially wrong to try to move them now.

It sounds as if your DSM is also frail and may need to move into a care home at some point.

I think for the immediate future, the best thing to do is focus on reducing the burden on you. I don't think you should remove care, but work out how more of it can be delivered remotely. I'd start being a bit brutal and wouldn't be making emergency visits for a poorly cat, and housing repairs - that's what house insurance is for.

Can you get the carer to increase her hours for example, or ask for an assessment of their needs from social services?

Also do you have Power of Attorney? Sounds like you need it.

rookiemere · 07/01/2024 08:16

Cross posted with your update.

DPs live an hour away from me - only DC. Thinking that if DF passes away before her - he is 90- she would move into a care home near us, which means I could visit a lot more frequently. She has alluded to this, so it is a vague plan.

But for now, I'd just focus on trying to cut back to what is manageable for you.

littlegrebe · 07/01/2024 08:20

When DH had cancer I got a significant pay rise which would have allowed us to do our next semi-planned move and we thought about it for all of 30 seconds before realising there was no way. @MereDintofPandiculation has it spot on.

I do sympathise, I'm an only child living hours away from parents who are in good health but starting to get on a bit, but your stepmum is probably struggling to hold it together as it is, please don't allow your siblings to bully her into uprooting her life right now.

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