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What can I do?


Registered User
May 24, 2005
My mother has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers, she is only 56 and it is so cruel that having cared for so many other people throughout her life she now faces this illness herself.

I have lived some distance away from my parents for a couple of years now, but since the diagnosis I feel I need to be closer to them to provide all the support and company I can. I just see them as being so isolated and lonely.

I moved away to be with my partner who's family, job and future plans are all routed in the area we now live.

I just don't know if I can commit to a future living such a long distance away when the support both mum and dad will increase greatly over the years.


Registered User
May 10, 2005
I am caring for my husband who was diagnosed with Multi infarct demntia 2 years ago at the age of 53. We have 2 children who are now 30 and 23.

Our 23 year old daughter lives a 45 minute drive away, and our son has recently moved to the other side of the country. HIs dilemna was should he go?

My answer was yes he should. He has his life and a family that he needs to work and care for.

Whatever, do not make any rash decisions about moving back. The important thing is to speak to your parents and see what they would like and if there are other ways in which you can support them. I find that having to sort the practical things out, benefits, finances, decorating, etc become so tiresome and are an added burden and pressure and it would be nice soemtimes just to concentrate on hubby.

The one thing I have found with the children not being on hand is that they now have more time and are more tolerant when they do visit to spend time with their dad, and when we speak on the phone they take the time to listen to what is going on for me. I think what i am saying is that the quality of the time we all share is much better. they visit because they want to and ring becasue they can and it is not a chore.

I know that should we need them in the future they will be there for us. The pleasure we get from hearing about their lives and work etc make us proud. if i need a break they will have dad to stay for a couple of weeks.

I do hope that this is of some help and i haven't waffled too much.

LOL anneX


Registered User
Mar 19, 2005
:) Dear Peter1

I live 250 miles away from my Dad who was diagnosed with AD last year at the age of 51. For my husband and I the immediate response was to uproot and move closer so that I could help my Dad's wife to care for him.

Unfortunately, my husband changed his mind a few weeks later, with the comment 'what's the point of moving up there when he isn't going to know who you are?'. Not the nicest of things to hear, but in a way I see his point. He has lived all of his life in Essex, and doesn't know anything else. I also feel incredibly guilty at the fact that I'm not there for Dad and his wife, who I know are not doing brilliantly. The guilt and stress is unbearable sometimes, but I know that wherever I end up I will still be having to cope with a responsible job, a house and a family of my own as well as Dad. At the moment we make the journey as often as possible, which is every 2 months or so for a long weekend. We make sure that we do as much as possible, although trying to keep a happy smile is hard, and I often spend weeks in tears afterwards. I don't know if it would be any easier dealing with it every day; at least I wouldn't feel that I had to keep up a brave face.

Whatever you decide, it is true that you have a life to lead as well, however guilty it makes you feel. I am still feeling torn, but I think that's natural when it is a parent involved- you instinctively want to help them as they have helped you over the years. Just don't beat yourself up about it too much, quality time can be as good as quantity of time, although people caring full time may disagree.

Sorry I can't be of any more help, but I definetly understand and sympathise with your dilemma.

Take care, love Kate x.


Registered User
Mar 2, 2005
Hello Peter
Sorry to hear the sad news about your mum. My Dad was diaganosed at 56 and at the time I was living in London with my partner.( now husband !). We were at the stage where we wanted to leave london and were contemplating going to live in Dubai for a spell. But in the heel of the hunt we decided that it was best if we moved back to Dublin, not quite as exotic as Dubai, but nonetheless a decision we made at the time as I felt guilty for not being around to help out. Dad is 61 now and had definitely got a lot worse in those 5 years and I think its really now that the help is needed more so than in the early stages.
There are pros and cons to moving closer, if you are going to move back I guess you will still be working full time in your job, you will also have to bear in mind that you have a relationship with your partner ! ( and as time goes on your partner will be the one to support you in turn when things get tough) so the amount of quality time that is available for you to give is not huge. Living far away is hard also because you can feel guilty for not being around and not being a stones throw away if something gets too much for your dad to cope on his own.
I guess what I am saying is there is no easy solution, when your living far away your life will not be affected as much by your mum illness , but if you do move back you have to be prepared for all that might come your way.
Sorry maybe not much help to you, but bear in mind that your mum may be in the early stages for a long time before she needs full time care, so a decision does not have to be made straight away.
Anyway there is lots of information for you on this site, I am sure you will find it both useful but at times upsetting also.
Best wishes


Registered User
May 5, 2005
Hi Peter

Like you my mum was diagnosed at an early age having been a carer for all of her adult life.
I have the advantage of living close to my parents; however my sister is some distance away.
I think you need to remember that offering your support and being there for your parents doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be with them every day. My sister and other members of the family prove to be a great support to my parents, often more than I am! Sometimes my parents go down to visit my sister or other relatives, it’s good for my dad as the carer, other people to talk to, new scenery etc. It’s good for mum too, possibly for the same reasons.
It’s also important to remember what our parents would have wanted for us, more often than not it’s to be happy, especially in our family life. There are organisations that can offer some home help for your parents, they can decide to what degree they would like the help.
Thinking of you.
K. x


Registered User
May 24, 2005
Thank you all for your views and advice.

Its comforting to know i'm not the only one with such thoughts and that wherever I live, that I will be able to provide valuable support to my parents.

Thanks for taking the time to listen.

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