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Elderly parents

Relocating parents... Was it better in the long run?

17 replies

Somermummy1 · 20/04/2013 10:21

Has anyone had parents relocate to be nearer to them and their DCs?

DPs in their 70s and 80s and 2.5 hr drive away. They occasionally talk about relocating but then dismiss the idea

Has anyone got DPs who have relocated and was it a good or bad decision in retrospect?

I'm an only child so my DCs are their only grandchildren

OP posts:
Parsnipcake · 20/04/2013 10:40

I relocated my mum and it worked very well for us, especially as she became more unwell. It was tough for her at first though, she felt socially isolated. I think it's better to do it when they are still well able to get out so they can establish a new social life.

Somermummy1 · 21/04/2013 23:07

Thank you!

That's my thinking too. That if its ever going to happen its better to do it sooner rather than later while there's still 2 of them and they're still able to get out and meet people and make the best possible new start

We'll see what happens .....

OP posts:
mymatemax · 27/04/2013 16:50

yes, best thing ever. My dc have a wonderful realtionship with them as they see them regularly, ds1 calls in on his way home from school.
I can go for hospitl/dr appnt with them far easier.
we spend time doing nice things, going for lunch etc rather than just visiting in a crisis.
they have both made friends & got to know their neighbours.

If they've mentioned it, suggest it to them again, my parents seemed waited until i suggested it before they did anything in case we didnt liek the idea.

We also downsized & cleared out a lifetime of clutter.

onedev · 27/04/2013 18:15

We relocated my mum too & it's brill. She sees the boys loads & they're all v close. She's too young to need looking after but that was part of the reason for us as it means if the time comes, she's close & likely we can either take care of her independently or move her in if necessary. (We haven't openly discussed that part Smile)

harbinger · 29/04/2013 20:42

How did you cope with the downsizing? They have been in their house nearly 50 years.
They have left the move too late to make a new life near me because they have the problems of people in their 80s and are quite housebound. However, they both have their wits about them still. (It's the body that's failing).
They don't need care yet.

mymatemax · 29/04/2013 21:00

down sizing was great, except all my childhood stuff ended up in my loft.
We went through loads of old stuff, chatted about memories.
Had to be ahrsh about things liek casserole dishes & numerous saucepans that my mum wanted to hang on to but we took them to a charity shop.
They still have the same number of bedrooms just everything on a smaller scale, tiny garden but enough for them to sit in etc.
They have a smaller dining room table etc,
Also went for a newer house so less reapairs needed
They see far more of family as they come to visit & stay the night

To put it bluntly it was a much more pleasurable experience than having to do it when grieving as my DH had to after his mum passed away.
At least now we know what is in the house & the stuff that really means something to them

mymatemax · 29/04/2013 21:02

Also, we were able to remove the bath & have a walk in shower put in as we sent them on holiday while we moved everything out & in to their new house for them.
We saved them mosy of the unpacking but all the big & heavy stuff was where it should be & any decorating was done.
It took alot of the stress out of it for them

harbinger · 29/04/2013 21:12

Ah, this is where it's very different. They have adapted their house with stair lifts and walk in showers already. It's just too big.
They are thinking warden assisted flat, probably just two bedroom. Can they get bigger and have a study/junk room.
My DF saw his GP today.

mymatemax · 29/04/2013 21:44

the other thing is, it is really only possible if they are moving to a cheaper area
My parents were able to downsize, (you get more for your money here) so they were able to have the adaptations done that were needed & have money in the pot for extras.
They are able to pay a cleaner, something they couldnt afford had they stayed where they were.
when health allows they also go away for weekends with a local coach company, go out to lunch regularly etc.

harbinger · 29/04/2013 22:32

Uuum, I'm talking about moving really old parents. They don't need care but are immobile (compared to us). Weekends away/coach journeys were at least a decade ago.
They would not be moving to a cheaper area at all. I should thing that the big family house should cover the price of a flat.

Needmoresleep · 30/04/2013 09:01

In case it helps I chose not to relocate my elderly mother when we moved her from her old flat because:

  • I dont think, having moved away on retirement, she would want to move back to London. Cities with their busyness and fears of safety, can give older people a lower quality of life. My personal impression, gained over the past few months, is that people have more time and are more tolerant to older people where she lives now.
  • she was never a "gran" type grandmother. My father was different. When the children were younger my mother was more focussed on her interests (golf, cruises, bridge etc) and so did not invest much in a relationship with the grandchildren.
  • existing social links, including church. She no longer drives but has some good and kind friends who take her out. This enables her to feel as if nothing too much has changed, even if her memory is not what it was.
  • cost.
  • the range and choice of provision. We are already at the "extra-sheltered" stage with carers coming in. One day I will need to move her to a care home. The choice in a traditional retirement town is amazing. GPs, pharmacies etc are all geared up to having a high proportion of elderly patients.
  • accessibility. I can get to where she is by train or motorway fairly easily. Though tiring, I can do the round trip, say for a hospital appointment, in a day.
  • her illness. Dementia is hard. Mood swings, accusations, constant repeated questions etc. The good thing is that she is happy. Though I assume she would notice if she did not receive visitors, she does not remember individual visits. She confuses me with her sister, and I don't think she really recognised my son when he last went down. The value gained from the move against the disruption to her life and the resulting confusion, means it was better not to relocate her. Also, being honest, having her close and social dependent on us, and us alone, would be difficult.

In terms of relocation to a higher cost area, it is important not just to consider the capital values of property, but also care costs. The service charge in sheltered accommodation can be quite high and the cost of having someone in daily to prompt for medication or help with other day-to-day living mounts up. These costs will only grow as independent living becomes more difficult.

Though flats in sheltered accommodation have a resale value, they have restrictive covenants and can be quite hard to sell. If the local housing market is flat, people may want to downsize, but often cannot do so till they sell their family home. So when a care home is needed, there is a danger that the equity is stuck in a hard-to-sell flat with a high service charge. Fine if you can afford to sell at a loss, but not if you had to use the bulk of the equity from the main home to purchase in a higher cost area.

I dont know where you stand if you need to access social-rent sheltered housing. Wait lists will vary from area to area, but the general rule for housing is that the more expensive the area, the longer the wait list.
mymatemax · 30/04/2013 23:30

harbinger, my parents are in their 80's & not too mobile but were in their 70's when they moved, not sure how well they would cope if they had to do it now.

Theas18 · 01/05/2013 10:12

I think mine are too old to relocate. They have a social network and some support ( the lovely chap from the car pool for instance sat with Dad whilst mum went into a hospital appointment, he's known them years!). Much as it's be easier for me I think they'd also give up and want to become dependent on me IYSWIM. I hate making decisions for them that they should make themselves.

Whether they can stay in their house though.... depends on dad

harbinger · 01/05/2013 18:55

Mine have had the 'light bulb' moment 10 years too late.
mymate logistically they could do it. Health wise it would probably be a nightmare.
Thea18 Mine have no social network left and no support. They are having to rely on unreliable care services.
They know my town my town and like it.
A round trip to them is an overnighter.
I'm not getting any younger either! So having them nearer would make it easier short term.

I know I'm rambling, forgive me but I do need to give them the best advice. (With my own interests thrown in.)

Also, to be a further pain - Warden assisted or Sheltered? What's the difference. It seems so blurred.

Theas18 · 02/05/2013 09:46

Harbinger sounds like you need to move on this and soon, for both you and them.

Seeing how dad has deteriorated recently having been stable for ages I'd suggest looking for the most " additional services" you can even if you don't need them right now, so one of these " retirement village" type places where they get a flat with warden on site, but that there are carers that they can pay for as an extra if needed, and if it has a "restaurant" on site, and maybe even a wee shop all those things will help them stay there. I'd say avoid having " your own front door" too. A flat in a complex where he main exit is monitored is great. No odd " meter readers" that then steal stuff or wandering out at 2am at least without being asked where you are off to!

Worse scenario would be move them to " sheltered" (round here that means they maybe have a warden they can call on between 9 and 3 and pull cords for falls) and they then need more things going in than can be easily sorted .

iseenodust · 02/05/2013 12:37

My grandmother moved into a warden assisted block of apartments (you know the ones who build in small towns opposite supermarkets) when she became immobile & socially isolated. With hindsight it was the best possible move as it gave her a degree of independence again (could manage that 200yds to the supermarket) and some social life eg played bridge (communal lounge but not restaurant). She didn't have dementia but had a series of small strokes. I'm sure being there was how we avoided a care home.

harbinger · 03/05/2013 18:54

Right, we really are getting moving. Two sites are assisted living with the restaurant etc, the other two are in good locations but warden assisted/sheltered (which seems to mean the same).

Unfortunately, the top two choices only have one bedroom flats available. (A surviving spouse isn't going to move.)

One is near a supermarket and a very good location, the other is in a very residential area and not near much at all. The Warden assisted are not ruled out either.

I guess we'll have to see what becomes available.

Till one of them wavers! Again....

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