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Should I bring my father to live with us in Spain?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Away, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Away

    Away Registered User

    Nov 20, 2016
    Catalonia, Spain
    Hello everyone,

    My mind is more or less made up, but I'd appreciate any thoughts on my situation. My mother died of Alzheimer's Disease in 2014. A couple of years ago my father started having problems with his memory too. He was referred by his GP for tests, but had a stroke before the tests were carried out. He has since had two further strokes. Despite us being told by his consultant that our father would be unable to return home, he fought to get better and has continued to live by himself. He has refused to accept outside help. Although my brother goes to see him several times a week, he is struggling and soon he will need to go into a care home. He admits (something he would never have done just a few years ago) that he is lonely. After a very unpleasant experience with my mother in a care home, I desperately want to avoid the same for my father.

    He is coming to visit on 9th December. I have just bought him a single ticket, saying that he can stay as long as he wants. Even he is vaguely talking about staying for some time and is happy that there is no definite date for him to go home. He may stay for the rest of his life.

    I feel a bit nervous about the idea. At the moment, I feel he will cope with us and we will cope with him. We are lucky in that our house is quite big, so there is room for the three of us, and our pets. He may have another stroke, which may severely affect him or even kill him. He may go further along the road towards dementia, and thus it may prove hard or even impossible for him to go home. If we can't cope with him eventually (as happened with my mother who became violent) we would be forced to find a care home for him where everyone would be speaking Spanish or Catalan and he wouldn't be able to communicate with others.

    As I write this, I see that the idea of him coming to live with us sounds like a bad idea. However, I feel he needs support which I cannot give to him if he is in England. For a time, at least, he will have company and be happy with us. He is certainly very enthusiastic about coming to see us for a while.

    The idea of him not coping at home worries me a lot: the other day he burnt two pairs of trousers while trying to iron them, he has asked me how to turn the tv down, while looking at the telephone... Worst of all, his is becoming sadder and lonelier.

    For the time being, my dad is coming for a holiday, but probably it will become a holiday that never ends. It sounds like a good option. I wonder what some of you think?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  2. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    I think this is a very difficult situation and it is a pity you had a bad care home experience for your mum. It sounds already that frankly your dad is edging ever closer to needing care and I can see that gives you a huge dilemma. The sadness and loneliness could be part of his dementia decline. At dad' NH an elderly lady with dementia was brought over from Italy to be near her family...she didn't speak any English and although a few carers could understand and reply in a few words it was very difficult for her when she became agitated. Another resident who moved her husband back from Spain to the NH ...he had become aggressive and their care in a mental impaired hospital was very inadequate told me that there are generally no Care homes for dementia and families are left to cope on their own. As he is coming on holiday for an extended period so that gives you peace of mind tgat he is safe with you for the time being perhaps a
    starting point could be to research what options and Care homes would be available to you if needed in the future
  3. spraypaint

    spraypaint Registered User

    Nov 1, 2017
    isle of wight
    i was thinking of the same thing- move to spain so that my father could be out and about in summer to enjoy a (holiday ) ,but then when the time comes and the dementia gets worse ,which we know it will do -he will have to go into a care home ( will keep him at home as long as possible ) would rather he can understand what is being said to him. its a hard call to make wish you all the best.
  4. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    Am I being too simplistic? Can’t he have the best of both worlds? An extended ‘holiday’ with you, but your brother research care homes in England for if, or when, the time comes?
  5. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    I was a bit worried because you haven't mentioned money at all? I think you need to find out exactly what the situation is and what it means if he spends an extended period of time in Spain. Does he own a property in the UK? Will that need to be sold if he moves in with you? I'm worried that he might end up in limbo if he sells the property in the UK, and then has limited funds but needs to move back to the UK to a care home - he might not be considered resident in the local authority area he wants to go. I don't know what the rules are so hopefully it's not a problem, but better to find out exactly what the situation is now so that you can plan appropriately.
  6. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    As others have said, there is the issue of what facilities are available in your part of Spain, should your dad need hospital/care home admissions (emergency or longer term). Would your dad be able to cope with this (language etc) and the financial implications?

    Then there is the issue, possibly, of repatriating him, should it be necessary back to the UK.

    It's a very nice idea for both or you but inevitably, there will be a lot of considerations?

    Good luck.
  7. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    My father spent his last year in Gibraltarian hospitals and care homes. Although many staff members spoke English, he used to complain about those who didn't and it made him very irritable. It was his choice - indeed, a choice made before dementia set in - to remain in a country where he had no family rather than return and live close to me in the UK. I had to do the long-distance caring when he got frailer and then was diagnosed with dementia and it was, literally, a thankless task.
    So bear all this in mind -- dementia can make someone placid become very self-centred and depressed, and then the things that they don't feel comfortable with they tend to blame on the nearest of the dearest. It doesn't matter that it was their choice; it's something you're doing wrong or not doing that is to blame for all their woes.
  8. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Registered User

    Nov 18, 2016
    My friend lives in Greece and her very elderly Dad went to live with her for his last couple of years. He wasn't tested for dementia but he showed lots of the signs. She just thought he would love the peace and quiet and the warmth where they Lived. He was perfectly happy to sit outside watching the sky and the distant views and dozing off when he chose to. he died in his sleep one day and she was just happy that he had enjoyed being with them in his final days. She has nice photos of him in a big sunhat dozing outside. He was perfectly content in a world of his own.
  9. JaquelineM

    JaquelineM Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    north london
    Hello Away , I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation , I just wanted to tell you that by coincidence our social worker came to see us this morning , she happens to be Spanish and she was telling me how much worse the care home situation is in Spain than in the UK , she said that people with dementia can wait 3 or 4 years for a place in a care home ( she was working in the same job there ), so I should think it might be a good idea for you to do some research into it before you make a decision .
  10. yak55

    yak55 Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
  11. yak55

    yak55 Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    Hi, if it was me I would rather have my father living with me while he could even with the prospect of him one day having to go into a care home where English was not spoken.
    I have my Mum living with myself and my husband and it is very hard but then what is the alternative.
    I also have heard so many horrible stories of what happens in care homes and its the last place I'd wish anyone, family or not, to be.
    I hope that whatever decision you make you will all be happy with it and succeed. Good Luck x
  12. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    To balance the Care Home thing.
    My father had to go in, once he settled, (which did take several months) he enjoyed life again.
    Watching him during an entertainment session, I knew the right decision had been made.
    We hear about the few bad cases, but never about the thousands of happy folk.

  13. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Host

    Dec 15, 2012
    hello @Away
    I think when you have your father with you all day every day in December that you will be more able to weigh up the situation, seeing how he is and what his care needs are

    I too want to stand up for the care provided in a good care home, as my dad has been living in one for over 2 years now - with some of his behaviours, I simply could not have coped with him at home - the staff have been kind and patient and so willing to support him through challenging times

    I also would be concerned about having my dad in a home where no-one spoke his language fluently - he finds it hard enough to communicate without adding a potential language difficulty too - he understands more than he is able to speak and values that the staff continue to chat to him
  14. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Yes, it worries me that the dreadful stories of abuse make people assume that all homes are the same. I couldn’t say my mum was happy in her care home; she wasn’t happy anywhere, but she constantly said how lonely and miserable she was in her own home. She was safe and well-cared for in a lovely place and 60 miles nearer to her family so we could all visit far more often.

    I don’t want to make light of the appallingly bad experiences some people have had, but provided you choose carefully residential care can be the best thing both for the PWD and their family. Nobody should feel guilty for making that difficult decision.

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