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My Mum in Spain - Advice please

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Registered User
Jan 16, 2016
Hi Everyone,

My mum has dementia, she lives in Spain which is making things so difficult. She is being cared for by my step Dad who is unwell himself.

I feel so sad when I speak to her and she tells me she has been at work all day and needs to go home . She often doesn't recognise her husband and gets so distressed as she no longer recognises her home.

My aim is to bring them back to England but am unsure as to how. They own a house which they are unable to sell and have no savings.
I have three children myself and I am not in a financial situation to help.
Does anyone have any advice or been in a similar situation.

I would welcome advice

Thank you so much


Registered User
Feb 19, 2012
East Yorkshire UK
Hi, May not be able to offer much advice about the financial specifics of moving to England for care but have a few questions you could look at whilst considering things. The answers may help you clarify what people want and that may help with a way forward.

Why exactly do you want to bring her here? - to look after her yourself, to go into a care home here, to have her near you?

What would happen to your step dad if she came? - where would he live, would he want to come, what does he want for her?

Why can't they sell the Spanish house? If they can, what would they get for it and how is this affected by the financial arrangements around care in Britain (a whole complex issue in itself) - and where would your step dad live if they came here with money but no house?

I suspect that they could both move back here and get financial help to live in a care home together if both are British citizens and they have very little savings but that would need to be checked out. It was the case for a couple I knew of who moved from their daughter's area of South Africa, to the area of England where a granddaughter lived, but that was about 15 years ago and may have changed. The home was ok for the mum but the step dad found it hard as he wasn't really ready for that.

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Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
They may have to bite the bullet and accept a very low price in order to sell the house. We sold ours in 2010 for a much lower price but the annual costs which I no longer have to pay have helped to balance out the shortfall.

Spain has a good healthcare system but if they have poor Spanish it will be hard for them to access the care they need.

This problem is becoming increasingly common as expats gets older and sicker. You will not find it easy to solve this one without taking her to live with you in the first instance while her partner sells at the best price he can get.


Registered User
Jul 30, 2014
You need expert advice. I'm not sure if the house would complicate issues -- if they retain it, does it establish that they are not truly resident here? It might be worth ringing Age UK.
Are you certain they would move back? My father had retired abroad and he refused to return. Although it was a really bad decision on his part, I could not over-ride him, and once he was judged to have lost capacity I felt it would be a cruelty to move him, and his doctors agreed.
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Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
i agree age uk would be able to give advice re expats and it might be that they both live with you with the aim of getting sheltered accommodation initially (flexi care or extra care housing which would give your step dad support) and then think about a care home for your mum from there following assessments etc

age uk is a freephone helpline