Should/Can we move my Dad back to the UK?

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by ScoutADJN, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. ScoutADJN

    ScoutADJN New member

    Jul 18, 2019
    Hi All,
    Does anyone have experience or advice for moving a person with dementia back to the UK?
    My Dad has lived in France for 30 years. His doctor is asking if we will move him back to the UK as that is my Dad's preference (and mine). My Dad's condition is deteriorating and it is apparent that he needs more care to support living at home and this may not be an option soon.
    I would love to be able to move him to the UK but there are obstacles - he has no savings, no property to sell, no UK address, no GP and he is receiving chemo for cancer. I have only just returned to the UK myself and I am trying to understand the system.
    He is unable to stay with family, I cannot see how he would be allowed to rent a flat as he is unable to understand finances, gets easily confused and lost even in familiar places . The only way I can see is to pay for private nursing home in order to get him an address in a safe place, a GP and assessed for financial and healthcare needs. His finances may be able to stretch to a couple of months of private care but I worry that he may not be offered a place in a state funded place (if they have a bed). And then what happens?
    Has anyone had a similar experience?
    I feel the care he is getting in France is good but he is far away and he will inevitably begin to lose the ability to speak French. As it is his preference to return to the UK I feel I really need to help him achieve that.
    Any insight or suggestion as to how I should approach this would be fab!
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    #2 nitram, Jul 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
    It's not going to be easy.
    I suggest you make an appointment with CAB or AgeUK making sure that they have somebody well versed in your situation.

    Before doing this reading through
    including links in Related Content on RH side

    would be useful
  3. Alex54

    Alex54 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2018
    Newtown, Wales
    Hi ScoutADJN,
    It is not going to be easy. We lived in France for fifteen years and then my wife got dementia. We came back to the UK for a short holiday to see if the change in language would be beneficial, but my wife became ill so we rented a house for six months. Now over two years later we are still in the UK as social services will not allow my wife to travel back to France.
    In terms of registering with a GP, social services and help from the Alzheimer's Society everything was easy and no barriers were put in place. Not sure this will be the case if the UK leaves the EU later this year.
    Personally, I would not leave France as I think the change will be too much. However, if you feel it would be beneficial, bring your father over for a short holiday and take him to a doctors drop-in surgery and see what happens.
  4. ScoutADJN

    ScoutADJN New member

    Jul 18, 2019
    Thanks for the links to more information.
    It's a tough situation. Anyone who doesn't live in the UK or hasn't looked into care in the UK isn't shy to offer the opinion that it would be easy to get him into a care home and the care would be free. I had an email from the doctor pushing for my Dad to be repatriated but I am not convinced it's the best option. And then the guilt kicks in and I feel bad he will be on his own in France.
    I will continue to look into options. Thanks again.
  5. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester

    Another aspect you could investigate is filial responsibility under the French Civil Code.

    This article is archival and 9 years old
    ....In France, families of pensioners have a duty to help pay care costs. The Connexion has found that this can be extended to family members living in the UK, even if they have never lived in France....

    ......England does not have such care obligations, but France and Britain have signed an accord that could allow French law to be enforced in such a case....

    You say you have only just returned to the UK yourself, if this was from expat status the French authorities might consider you left France to avoid the responsibility and pursue their claim in the UK
    The accord may be affected by the outcome of brexit.
  6. ScoutADJN

    ScoutADJN New member

    Jul 18, 2019
    Yes, we are aware we would be liable to pay. The doctor advised residential care would cost 2200 Euros a month. We weren't in France ourselves.

    It's more the worry of moving him from France where he has the medical support but not the familial to the UK where I am concerned he wouldn't get the same level of care. Due to his very limited finances we would only be able to fund private care for a couple of months before he would need to receive state funded care and I worry that at the point he runs out of money there wouldn't be a place for him in a care home.

    I hear different answers about how long it takes for the health and finance assessments to take place and then for a care package to be issued. And I worry the SS people won't think he requires residential care and then we are stuck as to where he would live.
  7. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    I think you are in a very difficult position. Could he not live with you?

    If he has been out of the UK for 30 odd years, How or why should the UK system pay for him ( Thats not personal, its general)

    How long do you have to reside in UK before you get benefits ( I have no idea) and does fully funded care fall within that?
  8. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    If care in France is about 2200 euros a month that is about half or less than it would cost in the UK.
  9. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    I'm not an expert by any means, but my understanding is that the person requesting social care must be ordinarily resident in the UK. The local authority will only assess once the person is settled and can be seen in person. This would necessitate a permanent address. Some benefits require you to be resident 2 years before applying, although residents from EU may have different rules. Social services tend to take the cheap option which is a care package at home first. Not easy
  10. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    Thats what I meant really. ''ordinarily resident'' is a long way from ''Moved back from abroad a few weeks ago because.....''
  11. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    Same for accessing NHS care.
  12. ScoutADJN

    ScoutADJN New member

    Jul 18, 2019
    #12 ScoutADJN, Jul 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
    Thanks for the replies I really appreciate all the pointers.

    Unfortunately he can't stay with us as we are in a tiny rental with 3 young kids and nowhere for him to be. We are hoping to find a place to move to but I am hesitant I will be able to persuade my husband that having my Dad live with us is the best option for us as a family even if it is my Dad's desire to be back in the UK. And to be honest I'm not sure that is something I really want either....

    And yes, Jessbow I agree it's a bit of a cheek to expect the government to foot the bill for him as he has not been resident for so many years. I'm really trying to find a way to honour his wishes to return but all I can see is reasons and benefits for him to stay in France. I try and point out that if he moved he would need to be in residential care as he gets confused and lost in new places, forgets how to use the cooker etc. He is lucky to live in a town where he can leave the house unlocked. My siblings are also keen he returns to the UK because they don't want to have to pay for his care in France as is the law under the French system! But at the same time have done nothing to research the practical requirements to move him.

    His doctor in France is pushing for him to return too as he knows this is what my Dad would prefer. I have asked that he gets more support at home but the doctor says that would be expensive and opens the risk of theft of money (he has been losing money and no-one knows how, maybe because he doesn't lock his house!).

    Trying to get advice from adult social care or the local authority is proving tricky. I will keep searching for a way though. Thanks again for tips.
  13. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    I think you’d benefit from having a chat with our helpline.

    National Dementia Helpline
    0300 222 11 22
    Our helpline advisers are here for you.
    Helpline opening hours:
    Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm
    Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm
    Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm

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