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Elderly parents

Partner asking that we move to his home country to care for his parents

47 replies

Shauna35 · 14/04/2013 10:11

Hi, My partner is from an E. European country. His parents are getting old and developing health problems. He announced the other day that "we might have to move there". I have never liked visiting there, can't speak the language and the only job I could take would be teaching English... What he is suggesting could put us there for years if not decades! His reasoning is that there is no "safety net" there for social care, and they would not be treated here by the NHS. We have a 2 year old son. Am I in the wrong for saying I just can not do this? I won't sacrifice so much of my life for his parents. What would others do in this situation? I guess I am asking for a sanity check!

OP posts:
lalalonglegs · 14/04/2013 10:36

I'd say no as well but I would expect to sacrifice quite a lot of joint money providing them with care and allowing him regular visits.

LaBelleDameSansPatience · 14/04/2013 21:39

Part of the reason that my family lives in this country is to care for my DM. Cannot imagine notn doing so (although maybe my DH does!) My daughter benefits so much from close contact with her grandmother.

LaBelleDameSansPatience · 14/04/2013 21:40

not, obviously, rather than the strange word I wrote.

sweetiepie1979 · 14/04/2013 22:18

I'd do it for my husband, that's part of the vows I think. I couldn't bear for my husband to feel that he wasn't looking after them and that he'd have to choose between us that's not right. It's his mother and father.

LunaticFringe · 14/04/2013 22:22

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZZZenagain · 14/04/2013 22:26

if you cannot get work there which will pay much , don't like the place and don't speak the language I would not go and live there. It is hard for dh but doesn't sound like a life for you and if the marriage failed, where would you be?

Anything like local nursing or care staff you could organise privately?

mercibucket · 14/04/2013 23:18

i wouldnt do it either. does he also envisage you doing the caring or him stopping work?
how come he is just mentioning this now?

MTSgroupie · 14/04/2013 23:34

My Chinese friend and her siblings live in the UK. They all contribute to pay for a housekeeper to look after their elderly parents back in China. Apparently it is a fairly common practice since £50 a week goes a long way back hoje

MTSgroupie · 14/04/2013 23:35

... back home.

Is this not an option, OP?

ProphetOfDoom · 14/04/2013 23:42

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Shauna35 · 15/04/2013 06:25

Thanks everyone for your views. I guess I see that a lot of people feel strongly but differently about this. But I know that if I did go, our relationship would be put under such strain that it would not survive anyway.

I have now said as much to him, and he has made it clear that if it comes to it he'll go without us. Not sure where this leaves us now, even if the situation never arises! Maybe going into a relationship with someone from another country I was naive for not thinking about this possibility in the future??!

I suggested paid care and he said he wouldn't trust anyone else to care for them. He has a sister who is very close to their parents but she also lives in another country to them.

I just know one thing - that I do NOT want my son to put himself and his future family out to look after me, I would rather anything that someone ruining the middle, best part of their life for the end part of mine. This is a message my own Mum conveyed to me as I was growing up, and she is now in a care home and I do not feel any guilt about that.

Anyway, sorry for running on and thanks for your points of view, it helps!


OP posts:
Timetoask · 15/04/2013 06:34

When DH and I married we knew that our new little family was our first priority, second to our parents and siblings.
I am far away from my family but I wouldn't dream of forcing DH to leave England like that. I wouldn't go on my own either, he is my family now.
Your husband is being completely unreasonable.

Timetoask · 15/04/2013 06:34

Sorry, second are our parents and siblings!

MrRected · 15/04/2013 07:01

This is a tough one.

On balance, I think I'd have to go. I am old fashioned in the sense that I think our aged community deserve more/better/inclusive/family led care, especially when they are becoming infirm or are unwell.

I can see your point of view, but I think you might be looking at the situation from all of the most negative angles, rather than trying to be positive about the situation.

Re. the timeframes - could you not agree on a fixed time, perhaps you could go for a few years? Re. the work - if you were housesharing with your PIL - would your costs be reduced sufficiently, to allow you to be a SAHM? Could you invest some time into learning the local language? Your DS will do nothing but benefit from spending time with his grandparents. It's so sad when an elderly person's knowledge and life experiences dies with them.

If you changed your perspective, could this be an exciting adventure, rather than impending ruin?

ernesttheBavarian · 15/04/2013 07:10

The conditions esp for the elderly in many eastern European countries are really tough right now. i have a Bulgarian friend who often talks about her concerns for her mother. so i understand that he is worried about his parents.

but living in another country is really tough, especially as you don't speak the language. it's tough enough even if you're there through choice.

i don't think you are at all unreasonable for not going. He seems to have decided there is only one solution. *you all moving) what is his sister's suggestion? She should have a say in it.

sounds like you need help discussing the options. is there anyone - a neutral party who can help work it out? it is unfair and unrealistic for him to offer only one option. but i your position i would not go.

good luck

BeckAndCall · 15/04/2013 07:17

It's. difficult to balance the responsibilities of outlives isn't it?

BUT presumably your DH left that country fr a reason - better opportunity here, perhaps. Would he really want your DC to give up what he came here for to go back to what he was trying to get away from? And assuming his parents supported his decision to leave, surely they wouldn't want his children to then have to lose the opportunity he has created for them here?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch · 15/04/2013 07:28

Has he considered your responsibility to your own family - I see your mum is in a care home and I don't know about your dad, but presumably you visit your mum etc.

What is he talking about by way of care - sharing a house with them, living nearby etc? Can they get a carer visit during the week and he flies back every other weekend? If he goes alone, would he still be able to work?

Are you sure they wouldn't be entitled to NHS treatment if they came here? For how long would that apply?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch · 15/04/2013 07:30

...what would the health care funding situation be if they moved near your SIL?

If he moved back alone, would you want to stay together and have a long distance marriage eg he comes home every other weekend or would you split up?

GizzaCwtch · 15/04/2013 07:36

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

juneau · 15/04/2013 07:41

I don't blame you for your attitude at all - especially as with you not speaking the language of his home country he would presumably be the main breadwinner and you'd be stuck at home with childcare and his parents to care for - that sounds like hell to me. He's being very unreasonable to demand this of you and should have spoken about this possibility long ago, if it's always been his plan, giving you the choice to accept or reject it before you got married and had a child with him.

marriedinwhiteagain · 15/04/2013 07:41

I think it sounds as though he wants to go back to Eastern Europe. I also think they would get NHS care here. The compromise if this is really about their care is that they live with you/close to you here - or would this only be possible if they were housed socially? If that's so then your dh/you have to pull down the funds to keep them. I don't think I would go if I were you OP; I don't think the opportunities for you and your son would be adequate.

marriedinwhiteagain · 15/04/2013 07:44

Having said that my DH wants eventually to move from London to Yorkshire and I'm not thrilled about that and we have had to compromise and agree to house here and house there with time divided when the dc are older (and they almost are now - 18 and 15) largely because my mother is on the South Coast.

juneau · 15/04/2013 07:54

MrRected - I'm sorry, but your point about putting a positive spin on this is missing the point. This is not an 'opportunity' to learn a language and experience a different life for a few years. This would be pure drudgery for the OP, caring for elderly people she can't even communicate with while her DP works and there would be no 'for a few years', it would be until they both die.

Caring for anyone should be something you choose, not something that is forced upon you. It's not a bloody holiday - I'm guessing it would be grinding and depressing and suggesting it would be anything else is naive.

SparklyVampire · 15/04/2013 08:12

I think it would be a PITA for them to get care on the NHS, My dutch DP was told that you have to be normally resident in England, you have to also prove that you have a commitment to stay in this country. A job and an address for example.
Residents of other EU countries cannot get social housing unless they are in work and have been for longer than 6 months. That's just where I live though it possibly different elsewhere. I wish you luck OP, there is no way in hell I would move to another country to look after someone else's mother and father.

LIZS · 15/04/2013 08:21

I also don't think it is that easy to access NHS care, do they speak English, what if they needed more support as health fails and couldn't live independently. If you were to go what would be available to you , in terms of healthcare, social life, support etc . Do you want more children and do you have family here ? tbh it doesn't sound very attractive , no matter what family responsibilities he feels he has. Was this always his plan when he left , did he bother to raise it before now ? Could he work to support you from there of you and ds stayed .

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