Respite Care - Good or Bad? Moving Abroad?

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Amorphia

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Nov 15, 2023
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My 83 year old mum cares for my dad and she's really struggling now. We were both on a video call together this morning in tears because we're at such a loss to know what to do next. I'm in the USA and I try to get back as much as possible but it's no longer enough and it's also really hard to arrange anything from where I am. We're thinking of putting dad into respite care for a couple of weeks to give her a rest but I have been told by multiple people that once they go into respite care they get even more confused and will start to forget who you are. Yes, respite care will be so good for mum but will it change dad for the worse?

Mum really doesn't want to put him in a home long-term. They're originally from Cyprus and my husband and I were thinking of moving them both back there. They can get a live in home helper for Euro700 per month. That way dad can stay with mum for a longer time. I'm such an over-thinker and it's driving me up the walls thinking of all the different scenarios. Mum has never been a decision maker and it's all left to me. I want to make the right decision for them but moving country is such a HUGE decision for anyone let alone making it for my parents in their current situation. I don't know if this is the best way to go or if moving dad will make things worse much quicker or if he just won't even realize much difference being in Cyprus. Thoughts??

(I'm sure eventually he'll need to go in a home but at least a home in Cyprus will only cost about Euro1500-2000 per month rather than the £1300 a week we've been quoted in the UK.)
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
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Hello @Amorphia Welcome to the forum.

Moving your parents back to Cyprus will be a herculean task. Finding a home, furnishing it, getting a carer installed and then flying them over. How would that be managed?

How long have they been in the UK? Do they still speak that language?

If all this seems manageable it might be worthwhile for the benefit of your mum, mostly if she will feel happier on home ground, but it might make no difference to your dad, certainly in the long term with the progression of his dementia.

Most people who have respite care, have it because the progression is becoming too stressful for the carer. There may be increased confusion which could seem to cause further deterioration but it`s more likely a chicken and egg thing.

You can tell by my post I`m as undecided as you are. Cyprus is too far away for a trial move, whereas respite care is local.

I don`t know if any other members of this community will be able to offer better advice and I wish you luck in whatever you decide.
 

Amorphia

Registered User
Nov 15, 2023
16
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Hello @Amorphia Welcome to the forum.

Moving your parents back to Cyprus will be a herculean task. Finding a home, furnishing it, getting a carer installed and then flying them over. How would that be managed?

How long have they been in the UK? Do they still speak that language?

If all this seems manageable it might be worthwhile for the benefit of your mum, mostly if she will feel happier on home ground, but it might make no difference to your dad, certainly in the long term with the progression of his dementia.

Most people who have respite care, have it because the progression is becoming too stressful for the carer. There may be increased confusion which could seem to cause further deterioration but it`s more likely a chicken and egg thing.

You can tell by my post I`m as undecided as you are. Cyprus is too far away for a trial move, whereas respite care is local.

I don`t know if any other members of this community will be able to offer better advice and I wish you luck in whatever you decide.

Thank you for your reply Sylvia. Much appreciated.

My dad has been in the UK since he was 18 and my mum since she was 29. My dad doesn't talk anymore but he still understands both English and Greek as he laughs if we say something funny in either language. My mum speaks both English & Greek and her Greek is probably better than her English.

My husband and I have a home there and we are heading back there in August to look at converting the garage into a wetroom and bedroom/living room area. This can all be put into place by early October as my uncle used to be a builder and still has contacts in the industry so the turnaround won't be too long. The bigger issue is that the carer will not be a professional, trained carer but if my mum has managed I'm sure this person will be able to learn like my mum has.

As you say it's too far away for a trial move and this is what weighs very heavily on my mind. I feel like I'm taking mum away from where she's lived for most of her life but at the same time she's not going to a completely foreign place and will have relatives nearby whereas now she only has an occasional visit from neighbours and church members. Although she'd like to stay in the UK, I do think the support system in Cyprus will be better for her as she grows older. Despite my thoughts that it will be good for her, it's such a huge decision to take on someone else's behalf especially taking her away from everything she's known for so long.
 

Alisongs

Registered User
May 17, 2024
709
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Hello @Amorphia Welcome to the forum.

Moving your parents back to Cyprus will be a herculean task. Finding a home, furnishing it, getting a carer installed and then flying them over. How would that be managed?

How long have they been in the UK? Do they still speak that language?

If all this seems manageable it might be worthwhile for the benefit of your mum, mostly if she will feel happier on home ground, but it might make no difference to your dad, certainly in the long term with the progression of his dementia.

Most people who have respite care, have it because the progression is becoming too stressful for the carer. There may be increased confusion which could seem to cause further deterioration but it`s more likely a chicken and egg thing.

You can tell by my post I`m as undecided as you are. Cyprus is too far away for a trial move, whereas respite care is local.

I don`t know if any other members of this community will be able to offer better advice and I wish you luck in whatever you decide.
Granny G. A person who grew up speaking another language does not forget it! In fact as they grow older it will be the language they return to! Dementia victims remember things from long, long ago and that includes their first language. My mum left Germany in 1948 at the age of 28. At 102 she did confuse German and English occasionally, and sing songs from her childhood. Personally, I think a return to Cyprus makes sense, butt then I live in a county with a large Cypriot community, and the facilities do exist to make a relatively smooth move
 

Alisongs

Registered User
May 17, 2024
709
0
Hello @Amorphia Welcome to the forum.

Moving your parents back to Cyprus will be a herculean task. Finding a home, furnishing it, getting a carer installed and then flying them over. How would that be managed?

How long have they been in the UK? Do they still speak that language?

If all this seems manageable it might be worthwhile for the benefit of your mum, mostly if she will feel happier on home ground, but it might make no difference to your dad, certainly in the long term with the progression of his dementia.

Most people who have respite care, have it because the progression is becoming too stressful for the carer. There may be increased confusion which could seem to cause further deterioration but it`s more likely a chicken and egg thing.

You can tell by my post I`m as undecided as you are. Cyprus is too far away for a trial move, whereas respite care is local.

I don`t know if any other members of this community will be able to offer better advice and I wish you luck in whatever you decide.

Thank you for your reply Sylvia. Much appreciated.

My dad has been in the UK since he was 18 and my mum since she was 29. My dad doesn't talk anymore but he still understands both English and Greek as he laughs if we say something funny in either language. My mum speaks both English & Greek and her Greek is probably better than her English.

My husband and I have a home there and we are heading back there in August to look at converting the garage into a wetroom and bedroom/living room area. This can all be put into place by early October as my uncle used to be a builder and still has contacts in the industry so the turnaround won't be too long. The bigger issue is that the carer will not be a professional, trained carer but if my mum has managed I'm sure this person will be able to learn like my mum has.

As you say it's too far away for a trial move and this is what weighs very heavily on my mind. I feel like I'm taking mum away from where she's lived for most of her life but at the same time she's not going to a completely foreign place and will have relatives nearby whereas now she only has an occasional visit from neighbours and church members. Although she'd like to stay in the UK, I do think the support system in Cyprus will be better for her as she grows older. Despite my thoughts that it will be good for her, it's such a huge decision to take on someone else's behalf especially taking her away from everything she's known for so long.
I say go for it. Your parents will be returning to their earliest memories and language and community as they grow older, and you obviously have the accommodation planned already. You may find once you're on the ground that trained carers are available. I expect you've never had to look for that in Cyprus before now. Just to start you off, try https://www.alzint.org/member/cyprus-alzheimers-association/
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
7,234
0
Chester
Granny G. A person who grew up speaking another language does not forget it! In fact as they grow older it will be the language they return to! Dementia victims remember things from long, long ago and that includes their first language. My mum left Germany in 1948 at the age of 28. At 102 she did confuse German and English occasionally, and sing songs from her childhood. Personally, I think a return to Cyprus makes sense, butt then I live in a county with a large Cypriot community, and the facilities do exist to make a relatively smooth move
Not everyone remembers their birth language or their early life.

My mother never once used any of the languages from her childhood. She stopped using them when she was about 12 but could still read and translate them in her 50s. (Hebrew and Russian so very different alphabets when written, she also spoke Yiddishas a child).

In fact she had no memory of her early life quite early in dementia but did remember my childhood and my childrens childhood and other things much more recently.

Everyone with dementia presents differently.
 

Rayreadynow

Registered User
Dec 31, 2023
445
0
Sounds like a Herculean task to move them to another country. I think that without an LPA or Deputyship in place you may find it difficult. Not sure what others view would be?
 

Alisongs

Registered User
May 17, 2024
709
0
Sounds like a Herculean task to move them to another country. I think that without an LPA or Deputyship in place you may find it difficult. Not sure what others view would be?
LPA or deputyship pointless after move abroad. Only valid in the UK
 

Amorphia

Registered User
Nov 15, 2023
16
0
I say go for it. Your parents will be returning to their earliest memories and language and community as they grow older, and you obviously have the accommodation planned already. You may find once you're on the ground that trained carers are available. I expect you've never had to look for that in Cyprus before now. Just to start you off, try
Thank you for the link. That's very kind of you to find that for me!
 

Amorphia

Registered User
Nov 15, 2023
16
0
it might be that your dad will be confused by the move or respite. it may turn out the same way with nothing gained by moving them.
Damned if you do and damned if you don't, right?!! So hard to know what's best.
Sounds like a Herculean task to move them to another country. I think that without an LPA or Deputyship in place you may find it difficult. Not sure what others view would be?
I have LPA for both my parents but as someone else mentioned they won't be valid in Cyprus. I can make a new LPA for my mum in Cyprus but unlikely I can make one for my dad there due to his condition.
 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
502
0
My 83 year old mum cares for my dad and she's really struggling now. We were both on a video call together this morning in tears because we're at such a loss to know what to do next. I'm in the USA and I try to get back as much as possible but it's no longer enough and it's also really hard to arrange anything from where I am. We're thinking of putting dad into respite care for a couple of weeks to give her a rest but I have been told by multiple people that once they go into respite care they get even more confused and will start to forget who you are. Yes, respite care will be so good for mum but will it change dad for the worse?

Mum really doesn't want to put him in a home long-term. They're originally from Cyprus and my husband and I were thinking of moving them both back there. They can get a live in home helper for Euro700 per month. That way dad can stay with mum for a longer time. I'm such an over-thinker and it's driving me up the walls thinking of all the different scenarios. Mum has never been a decision maker and it's all left to me. I want to make the right decision for them but moving country is such a HUGE decision for anyone let alone making it for my parents in their current situation. I don't know if this is the best way to go or if moving dad will make things worse much quicker or if he just won't even realize much difference being in Cyprus. Thoughts??

(I'm sure eventually he'll need to go in a home but at least a home in Cyprus will only cost about Euro1500-2000 per month rather than the £1300 a week we've been quoted in the UK.)
 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
502
0
I sometimes dream of doing thisl Just go to Indonesia where I come from. Cheaper,, warmer, and lots of support for me, but! I stop dreaming when I think of him losing his family, being among strangers who do not speak English, and me losing the NHS such as it is. Herculean task indeed. so, no. we stay. Your parents however are both Cypriot, right? and presumably still in good contact with family there? Sound like you also have a place there too where you can have long visits? And where they can stay? It is a mammoth decision. But for mum, unless she has put deep root here and have firm friends nearby, maybe Cyprus is better. oh dear, not much help am I? What does mum want? Good luck with a good end for all this
 

Amorphia

Registered User
Nov 15, 2023
16
0
I sometimes dream of doing thisl Just go to Indonesia where I come from. Cheaper,, warmer, and lots of support for me, but! I stop dreaming when I think of him losing his family, being among strangers who do not speak English, and me losing the NHS such as it is. Herculean task indeed. so, no. we stay. Your parents however are both Cypriot, right? and presumably still in good contact with family there? Sound like you also have a place there too where you can have long visits? And where they can stay? It is a mammoth decision. But for mum, unless she has put deep root here and have firm friends nearby, maybe Cyprus is better. oh dear, not much help am I? What does mum want? Good luck with a good end for all this
Thank you for your input Leny. I've been back and forth and back and forth and back and forth with it being a great idea and then it feels like a crazy upheaval for everyone. They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, right?!

Yes, my parents are both Cypriot, yes they are in contact with family there, yes they have somewhere to stay and yes we will be visiting (probably for longer lengths of time than we do in the UK). Mum wasn't keen on leaving at first. She's far more used to England and far more comfortable with life in England compared to Cyprus. She's now saying it's the best choice for dad although I do feel she'll be going half-heartedly but doing it for dad and for her sake to have more support. This is what breaks my heart more than anything - that I'm uprooting mum :(
 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
502
0
Thank you for your input Leny. I've been back and forth and back and forth and back and forth with it being a great idea and then it feels like a crazy upheaval for everyone. They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, right?!

Yes, my parents are both Cypriot, yes they are in contact with family there, yes they have somewhere to stay and yes we will be visiting (probably for longer lengths of time than we do in the UK). Mum wasn't keen on leaving at first. She's far more used to England and far more comfortable with life in England compared to Cyprus. She's now saying it's the best choice for dad although I do feel she'll be going half-heartedly but doing it for dad and for her sake to have more support. This is what breaks my heart more than anything - that I'm uprooting mum :(
 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
502
0
whichever way you look at it, someone is paying a bigger price. Have you had serious and long conversation with your mum about this? My heart goes out to all of you. Good luck with finding the best solution
 
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