What would you do in my place ?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Stimpfig, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Stimpfig

    Stimpfig Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    Hi everyone

    We have been unable to get an affordable insurance for my mum which means she won't get an extension of her permit to stay here in Germany anymore. My hubby and I have done all that we could, and legally too, to have her stay with us now for nearly five years. Her current insurance expires on August 1 and I have already booked our tickets for departure in the last week of July (awaiting confirmation) - this would be the 6th long haul flight with my AD mother !!

    Oh, now I must warn that this is going to be a long post - please bear with me :)

    For those of you who might not remember my earlier missives on TP, I am an only child and my mum has never known life without me which again, is quite a common phenomenon in the Indian context. My dad died 27 years ago when I was still at school and so mum sort of relied on me for everything. When I got married and came away, she had a breakdown resulting in my bringing her here to stay with me and thanks to my hubby, he did all he could legally to get her a permit and be our 'ward' under extremely adverse conditions. The permit, however, is subject to getting a proper medical insurance. Unfortunately, insurance companies put a limit at age 80 and unless one pays through one's nose (say like 1500 Euros per month) , one can't have an insurance for a foreigner above 80. The risks for the insurance companies, I believe, are too high.

    Now, although there are some new 'homes' that have come up in an otherwise family oriented society in India, there are only very few care facilities to care for people who have suffered strokes, or are in advanced stages of dementia, or for those who cannot be managed at home. Most people engage nurses, social workers and psychiatric nurses on a private basis and provide home care to the extent possible. My mum is generally able to 'do' things under guidance but she responds only to me and not to anyone else.

    When I went to India last time with her, I tried to 'place' her with her sister's family for two weeks as an experiment but mum was so agitated, hardly ate or drank that it became difficult for them to manage her. In the end, she had to be hospitalised for severe constipation as she was not able to 'perform' in the toilet and wouldn't allow anyone to help her. In other words, she only allows me to monitor everything, bathe her, dress her etc.

    Given this situation, I am really in a dilemma as to what to do. Presently, for career reasons, my husband is not in a position to move to India with me. My friends tell me to 'put' my mum in a home - I just can't bring myself to do this, knowing the quality of care that exists. Moreover, having been together for so long, do I leave her to die alone when she needs me most and live with the guilt thereafter ? I know it for sure that without me, she just won't survive.

    I can't 'sacrifice' my husband for the sake of mum and can't 'sacrifice' mum for the sake of my husband. I suppose if we had children, the decision would have been much easier as they would have been the prime focus.

    At the moment, I can't seem to think properly. I would be so grateful for some objective viewpoints - I am so desperate. I pray for providential intervention but until then, am willing to listen to anyone who cares to reply to my question : What would you do in my place ?

    Thank you all !
  2. Rosalind

    Rosalind Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    You are in an impossible predicament, and my heart goes out to you.
    The only thing I can suggest is that your sister and family help pay the cost of the insurance, since you have relieved them of the burden of looking after your mother, and now it would not be feasible to have your mother live with them.
  3. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    I am not sure of the system in Germany but in the UK one could enlist the aid of an MP and get support for an appeal for Mum to remain with you
    Could you do this in Germany,it would be worth atry pleadind all the circumstances which you have outlined in your post?
    Can't think of any other way,hope yopu can find a sympathetic ear.
  4. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Both good suggestions, although the MP route might not yield results until after your deadline has been reached, if at all. Still worth a try.

    1500 Euros (about 1,025 pounds sterling) sounds a huge amount if you are only thinking of your own income, but if you could split it down between 3 or 4 other wage-earners from your family in India, would it be manageable then? They have, after all, had it easy so far (although not from their choice); would they be open to the suggestion of contributing to Mum's Insurance premium?

    My sympathy at this awful dilemma.
  5. Stimpfig

    Stimpfig Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    Thank you all for replying.

    Rosalind - you are right ! What a predicament. Actually, I am an only child and I have no sister. My mum stayed with her sister who is 76 years old herself but did what she could in spite of her own illnesses.

    Norman - I suppose this would work in Germany too but another friend of mine, who is a doctor but originally from India is a member in the present ruling party here. In spite of her position, she has not been able to get her mother (86) here, problem being with the insurance companies who don't start a new insurance after 80, for 'incoming' people. My mum will turn 80 in September and that's why we are in this situation.

    Lynne - Since my mum doesn't have any other children and has lost two brothers already, there's no one who can look after her except her sister which is an option I am still considering. By the way, you cannot transfer money out of India without tons of paperwork !! :eek: They want to conserve foreign exchange.

    I will be taking her back anyway and have decided to take it from there. If health and wealth permit, hubby and I plan to shunt east-west. Yes, Lynne, life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here, we might as well dance ... :)
  6. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Sue,

    This is a truely awful dilemma that you face. All I can suggest is that you investigage Nursing Homes in India as soon as you possibly can, although there will surely be a shortage of those. As you say, it may be a case of doing the East/West shuffle. You have my sympathies - I've been doing this for the last six years from Indonesia to the UK.


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