1. Stockers

    Stockers Registered User

    Mar 21, 2015
    This is my first post, I joined today.

    My mother lives in France. Her partner passed away at the end of last year she has lived in a hospital in France since then. We were not aware that my mothers condition was as advanced as it is.

    We want to bring her home to the UK, she requires 24 hour care. We have a brief report from her doctor in France:

    "Thus in the psychological point of view she has an Alzheimer's disease has a moderate stage
    The spoken language is ease in English. She does not speak French
    She has disorders(confusions) of the recent and former(old) memory
    She forgets as one goes along
    She is disorientated in the time and in the space;
    She adapted well herself to the life in community. She does not like remaining alone, she looks for the contact.
    She walks with no problem at all and without risks of fall.
    She gets dressed only
    She needs help (assistant) for have a wash (shower and Shampoo). Sometimes she can confuse he toothpaste and the cream
    She is urinary and faecal continent
    She is unable to manage her medicine, her money. She cant decided by herself about administrative decisions. In France she is under guardianship.
    She cannot assure(insure) the domestic spots.
    I think that Mary cannot live alone. She can live in a retirement home or to one of her children"

    I have been in contact with social services who will not commit if they will care for her. We cannot, as we have a small house and 3 young children.

    While it feels unethical, can i bring her back to the UK, take her to my local hospital and get her assessed and cared for.

    She has a pension of around £800 per month and cash amount of around €10,000.

    I am worried that social services will not take her in and we will be left to take care of her which is impossible.

    Leaving her in France is and option, she will be well cared for but we would like her to be near us, she has no friends or family in France.

    Many thanks in advance for your help and advice
  2. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #2 Pickles53, Mar 21, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
    At the moment your mother is safe and well-cared for. I would make sure you know exactly what her situation will be in the UK before contemplating a move. I imagine you will need to find out if she will be treated as a resident of the UK and would start with DWP.

    If it is anything like the situation we faced with my daughter when we moved back from the USA, it took ages before we could even get her a National Insurance number. The issue of 'health tourism' is so politically sensitive at the moment that proving your mother's entitlement to NHS care may involve jumping through a lot of hoops. At the very least you may have a long time in 'limbo' before your mum could be settled in a permanent home, and most people seem to be sure that an acute hospital is no place for a person with dementia unless they have an acute illness which can't be treated any other way. I agree there is an ethical issue here too but I think that is a question only you can decide on.
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    On another thread recently someone wrote that care homes in France were very good and cheaper than in the U K and they were moving their mother to France to be nearer to them. If your mother can be accommodated in France and you cannot take care of her then it would be better to leave her there and be a visitor. This disease will get worse.
  4. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    Somewhere in the back of my mind I have this feeling that you have to be resident for 6 months in UK before you can access healthcare if you are a returning ex-pat. Can someone clarify this?
  5. Angela T

    Angela T Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    hi Stockers,

    You want to move your mother to the UK, and I want to move my mother to France, to be nearer where I live... !

    You say she is under guardianship ? Who is her guardian ? Won't it be up to them to decide where she goes after leaving hospital ?

    I think you need to see what your mother would be entitled to under the NHS.

    I am checking this out in France, before I move my mother over here. She is self-funding, so can pay for the nursing home, but she will need Social Security cover for all medical expenses etc... I know there are reciprocal agreements between France and the UK, I am not sure exacly what they cover.

    This is so difficult...
  6. Stockers

    Stockers Registered User

    Mar 21, 2015
    Pickles and Marion - Thanks for your comments they are very helpful.

    Onlyme - One does have to be resident in the UK for 6 months to access health care but.....The state will step in if there is an emergency and would not put someone vulnerable on to the streets, or so I have been told.

    I am aware that France has good care homes but, my mother cannot speak French, although frail will benefit from some contact with her grandchildren and vice versa, I will not be able to visit her regularly and it feels wrong that she will die alone in a foreign country.

    The fear is that if I go with the report to social services they may put her on a waiting list that she will never get to the top of. I am hoping that if I brought her back to the UK they will have a duty of care, and look after her.

    One option is to put her in a residential care home, self funded until her money runs out?

    Or pitch up at the hospital and get her admitted.

    I suppose I am asking "what's the worst that can happen"
  7. Stockers

    Stockers Registered User

    Mar 21, 2015
    Hi Angela,

    She has a local court appointed guardian, he is being pushed to move mother into a local home. So a decision must be made shortly.

    In France the family have to fund any shortfall in care costs. We have been asked to provide details of her family, I assume that they want to assess us to help fund care costs. This could be a concern for you should your mothers money run out, you will be liable to the costs and not the state.

    We have found the British consulate to be pretty helpful with advice.

    It is difficult, but we are lucky to be dealing with countries with good national health systems.
  8. Angela T

    Angela T Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    Yes, if your mother has a local appointed guardian, you can make the decision about where she goes.

    Yes I know that in France the family has to fund any shortfall in care costs, it is not at all the same as in the UK! My mother has a pension which covers her costs - but yes, it is more of a risk.

    I will call the British Consulate to get more information, thanks !

    I agree that we are lucky to have good national health systems - we will find a way through this. Like you, I want to be able to visit more often, and I feel that my mother will benefit from close family being nearby... there will be some downsides, but there are always are, nothing is perfect...
  9. Moonflower

    Moonflower Registered User

    Mar 28, 2012
    I think that bringing your mum to the UK without a clear idea as to who is going to take responsibility for funding her care could be very risky. Funding would have to come from the local authority, and there is a lot of pressure on budgets. If you were prepared to take your mum to a hospital and just leave her there then yes, I suspect the authorities would step in, but could you really do that? Local authorities tend to be reluctant to fund full time care unless carer visits at home, and maybe sheltered housing have been tried first.
    Might it be better to accept a placement in a French care home to begin with - then you will have a clearer idea of what care would be needed in the UK and less time pressure to work out how it is to be funded?
    If not, could your mum stay with your temporarily until you can persuade the local authority to fund care? That might work - if you moved your mum in with you and then contacted them and said that her needs were too great for you to cope with. But its a risk
  10. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    As your mum will be well cared for if she stays where she is, this would be creating an emergency situation simply for convenience, not necessity. The NHS and SS budgets are under enough strain as it is, without people abusing the system. If your mum gets priority, it simply means someone else's mum goes further down the queue. Sorry if that offends anyone; just my personal view.
  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    That is the case if you are coming back from from a non-eu country but I suspect it might be different coming from France.
  12. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009

    I don't think convenience is the issue it is more about what is best for the OP's mother, a UK citizen who has been widowed abroad and has dementia and needs English speaking people and family at hand.
  13. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    I don't think someone vulnerable would be 'put on to the streets' but there is already considerable pressure on hospitals to discharge patients at the earliest opportunity, sometimes when this is not appropriate, as many others have experienced.

    I would expect that the hospital would put considerable pressure on you to make alternative arrangements quickly, probably to transfer mum to a care home, so it would only delay the issue of entitlement to LA funding for a very short time. (This is assuming of course that she does not have a medical problem requiring hospital treatment.)
  14. Cheesecake4242

    Cheesecake4242 Registered User

    Apr 9, 2013
    Why not try to find her an assisted living flat(with a restaurant) through a private landlord (try local estate agents)? Where my MIL lives, most of the new residents seem to be renting. They literally turn up and move in without being vetted by the complex manager as their arrangement is with a private landlord who are, in most cases, the children of a deceased parent. Resale prices have dropped dramatically so owners are letting out the flats in the hope that prices will rise in the next few years. Rent is about £475 per month for a one bed. You could then see how it goes and if, after six months it doesn't work, you can then apply for local authority funding for care home costs.

    Your Mum sounds exactly like my MIL who has now managed to live in her flat for 2 years with carers three times a week for bathing/changing clothes. She can just about make toast for breakfast, has a three course meal in the restaurant and then has cakes/biscuits for tea. We manage the carers and her money. She is not happy but she would be unhappy where ever she was.
  15. Cheesecake4242

    Cheesecake4242 Registered User

    Apr 9, 2013
    Look at page 11;
  16. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    I suggest you talk to Citizens Advice Bureau about this.

    If she retained UK citizenship and is over retirement age and came to stay with you or paid to stay in a care home this could establish a UK address.

    She could then get an NHS number - maybe requiring an interview - and register with a GP and then could access the various health and social care facilities although there may be a time lag before all of these are available.

    If she just comes to the UK and does not establish a UK residency she would only be entitled to emergency care under the NHS who may later attempt to recover the costs.

    As I said contact CAB for advice, it's a complicated situation.
  17. Stockers

    Stockers Registered User

    Mar 21, 2015
    Thank you all for your advice......

    Its a minefield. And so difficult to negotiate the options while not cheating a system, having my mother close or putting enormous strain on my own family.

    I will post here what I do what the results are.

    Please do keep giving advice or comments.

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