Worried son and mother in France

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by LWCARAB, May 28, 2015.

  1. LWCARAB

    LWCARAB Registered User

    May 28, 2015
    9
    Essex
    Hello, I'm new to the site as I'm looking for general advice about my mum's behavior.

    The background to it all is that I moved to France with my parents in 1992, 10 years ago I came back to England to go to university and have been here since. The year after I went to uni my dad died suddenly leaving my mum to fend for herself as she wanted to stay in France which is fair enough.

    Over the last couple of years she seems to have been quite distant, she never calls but sends short emails every week or so and if you send her a long one you tend to get one worded replies or none at all.

    Having not been been back to France for a while (she had come to us a few times last year) I decided to go over for a long weekend at the end of February and was very surprised at what I found... The house was in an absolute state and this was very unusual for someone who was very house proud, as the hours and days went by I discovered that the house hadn't been cleaned in ages, there was dog poo all over the floors and there were obvious signs of hording, it seemed that she bought everything in double figures including food so was eating and drinking mould on a regular basis. From walking through the door there was obviously a gas leak, I turned off the supply and explained that she someone needed to come in and fix it before turning it back on again but she went and turned it back on anyway 2-3 times a day. I also found out that her 2 large dogs hadn't been let out in the garden or taken on a walk in over a year, they were just let out on some paving around a mangy swimming pool which was ankle high in dog excrement.

    A few other things I found out when I was there:

    - She was adamant that someone has been trying to break in to the house every night for months and had been to the police and given them a name of a local person who had broken into a local house 6 years earlier even though she had not seen him or anyone else for that matter. The police were therefor regularly visiting his families house which had caused some tensions as you would expect. I fitted some security lights and a fake camera to try and make her feel safer but I'm not convinced this person existed.
    - I started speaking to her friends and they all raised concerns, an old friend had emailed her a long message the week before and had just got a short reply saying "I have bought a hamster, he's called Hammy, he likes to run at night" and that was it, it sounded more like something you'd get from a 6 year old.

    I sat her down whilst I was there and told her very emotionally that I thought there was a issue and that she needed to go and see a doctor. I spoke to her for about an hour and she showed no emotion whatsoever even though I was a mess, all she would say was that there was a book of mine under the television. She eventually agreed that she would see a doctor and I went home.

    After a few weeks she hadn't been to see her doctor, I know as I had contacted him directly. She eventually made an appointment but didn't attend, she told her friends that she couldn't find the surgery, she told me and the GP that she'd fallen asleep. In the end I called up her GP on a Thursday evening in March and made an appointment for the following morning, jumped in the car and drove 12 hours through the night to take her to the appointment. She passed the memory test which wasn't a surprise as it was more her behavior I was worried about, the GP agreed that something didn't seem right, he said that she appeared indifferent to everything apart from her cold that she was telling him to give her an injection for to make it go away. He did a blood test and arranged a scan 4 weeks later. I brought her back to England with me for a couple of weeks where her strange behavior continued, she had to buy new underwear rather than let us put it in the washing machine, had to go out to a shop every day to buy random things like a knee brace (one a day), dried sage or a thousand tea bags...

    She went back home and a friend took her to her scan but she hadn't taken her referral letter or got the dye they have to inject from the chemist so they had to rearrange, this time the friend took her everywhere to get what she needed, she then spent the day asking everyone she saw to inject the dye including a cashier at the supermarket.

    She had the scan and it only showed a small shrinkage of the brain which the GP said could be associated to age (she's only 62) or some form of dementia. He put her on Fluoexetine to rule out depression and ask me to let him know if it made any difference. I went back to him this week to tell him that it hadn't and that the strange behaviour was continuing, he emailed back yesterday asking if I could attend an appointment with her tomorrow so I've had to drop everything and jump on a plane this afternoon, he wants to discuss her seeing a specialist or possible hospital admission and wants me there as she doesn't see that there's anything wrong.

    My biggest concern is her safety and her finances, she's spending money willy nilly and only had the limited funds I gave her a couple of years ago to live off. I expressed these concerns with her when she was here but it didn't change anything as the following day she went and bought a new car as "It was cleaner than hers", she's also up to buying her 4th 2 year mobile contract in the last 2 months, chickens was her big purchase last week, goes clothes shopping pretty much every day, is trying to buy another caravan even though she bought one a few months ago that hasn't moved...

    I could go on but have rambled on enough already. I'm just at wits end with it all, I have at 20 month old at home and I can't keep dropping everything and going to France every few weeks to deal with the next problem. I've tried getting her to come back to England but she doesn't want to, her house is a wreck anyway and with the french housing crisis wouldn't be worth much, definitely not enough to buy anything over her. She could rent but she'd have to pass a test with UK immigration to prove that she's back for good so that they will reinstate her NHS cover but she'd just tell them that she's going back to France and would fail.

    Richard
     
  2. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,598
    West Midlands
    Oh Richard what a difficult time for you

    I'm so sorry, I know nothing about the French health care system, but I think others in here do and hopefully they will be along when they can to maybe give you some pointers.

    Hopefully my lack of help post will "bump" this thread so it can stop it getting lost and you get some other responses.

    Keep posting your thoughts/worries. Someone I'm sure will relate to how you are feeling, and if not have an answer, maybe knowing you are not alone will help.

    Have a virtual hug for now x


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  3. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    563
    Hello Richard and welcome to TP. Goodness you have a lot to sort out don't you. I'm guessing you are having the meeting with Mum's GP today so may have some more info on her condition or at least the doctor's opinion on it. It may be that it's something that can be rectified with treatment but if it's continuing to baffle the GP even after the scan etc. then I would assume that Mum will continue to be as she is and work from that premise.

    That being the case is she really safe to be living alone and so far from family support? It's a shame about the value of the property not being huge but that's just the way it is - personally I think I would be looking at moving Mum back to the UK for logistical reasons if nothing else. Given her age there is nothing to stop her going back to France again if she recovers well. Could she come back over in the short term without selling the house in France?

    I'm sorry not to be more use but there are so many 'if's and but's' at the moment - the only thing that seems certain for me is that it's going to be an awful lot harder for you all ways round whilst she's still living in France...

    I'm sure others will be along soon to offer better and more constructive advice.
     
  4. Angela T

    Angela T Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    187
    France
    Hello Richard,

    It is very complicated - and clearly you can't keep jumping on planes and trains to rush over to France. And it won't get easier...

    It sounds as though your mother needs care, maybe full-time nursing care...?

    If you decide to organise that in France, she will have to pay for her care if she can afford it, and if not, it is her descendents who will be liable. CH and NH fees are around £1,800 - £2,000 per month.

    I live in France, and my mother in the UK, and I am in the process of moving her to a NH in France - I cannot manage her care at a distance, and she needs her family to be around her, and we all live in France. My mother is self funding, but otherwise we would have had to pay for her care here.

    Just a general comment about the French health system - the level of care is generally very high.

    Good luck !

    Angela
     
  5. LWCARAB

    LWCARAB Registered User

    May 28, 2015
    9
    Essex
    Thanks for your replies.

    It is indeed a stressful time. We had the appointment with the GP this afternoon and he believes it's Alzheimers but doesn't want to tell her that yet, he's trying to arrange a hospital admission to run a series of tests but we both questioned the issue of the language barrier, he's trying to speak to some consultants this afternoon to get some advice on it. My mum however still says there's nothing wrong with her which is the hardest part, she says she doesn't have any problems remembering things and to be honest most of the time she doesn't it's just her day to day behaviour which is strange!

    I also agree about the French healthcare system, I've used both and France wins hands down on the speed front, I do get the impression the NHS might be further ahead on the mental health front though.

    I spoke to citizens advice about trying to bring her back to the UK (she doesn't want to) but the issue is that she won't be covered by the NHS until she has an interview with immigration where they want to prove that she's moving back permanently, she'd fail that by saying that she's going back to France at the first opportunity! That part has got my back up a bit as she always has and still does pay her taxes and NI to the UK as she gets a UK teachers pension.
     
  6. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,254
    Male
    North Manchester
    "...the issue is that she won't be covered by the NHS until she has an interview with immigration where they want to prove that she's moving back permanently, she'd fail that by saying that she's going back to France at the first opportunity!..."

    My first reaction was to get a medical certificate saying that she was not capable of making that choice but then I wondered if this might lead to an accusation of only returning to the UK for treatment.

    You could contact http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/ and see if they have any suggestions.
     
  7. LWCARAB

    LWCARAB Registered User

    May 28, 2015
    9
    Essex
    That's a good idea, thanks. At the moment I'm thinking that we'd be better getting the diagnosis in France as starting from scratch in the UK would take months at best whilst if she goes back with a diagnosis they will hopefully pick things up from there.... Probably wishful thinking!
     
  8. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,254
    Male
    North Manchester
    #8 nitram, May 29, 2015
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
    Just thinking aloud - maybe utter rubbish.
    Has she retained UK citizenship sufficient to apply for a UK passport, moves the argument to before she arrives at the UK border..
    Her best interests are obviously that she returns to the UK to be near you, don't think this cuts much ice if she is now effectively a French national.
    When you have most of the ifs,buts, and maybes sorted out a bit in your head contact the MP of the constituency she would be residing in.
     
  9. LWCARAB

    LWCARAB Registered User

    May 28, 2015
    9
    Essex
    She still a UK citizen and passport holder and has no formal ties to France, sadly that doesn't provide her with NHS cover though.
     
  10. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,254
    Male
    North Manchester
    So the crunch point is the bit I have put in bold ?

    If you move to the UK, you will not be charged for NHS hospital treatment from the date that you arrive, as long as:

    you intend to live permanently in the UK, and

    you have the right to live permanently in the UK or have a "route to settlement" (in the case of non-EEA [European Economic Area] nationals, or have Indefinite Leave To Remain [ILR] in the UK) that will allow permanent residence in due course

    http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1087.aspx?categoryid=68&subcategoryid=162

    Doctor's note as to capacity and proof of severance of French ties, sale of property etc. ?
     
  11. LWCARAB

    LWCARAB Registered User

    May 28, 2015
    9
    Essex
    There's 2 issues to that, you have to do an interview which my mum would just say that she wanted to go back to France in and selling property now takes years over here as there is no demand, I would hope that the fact that it's up for sale would be enough.
     
  12. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,254
    Male
    North Manchester
    Back to whether or not she has the capacity to make that decision and if not who can make it on her behalf.

    I doubt if you have a Health and Welfare LPA so I think it's a case of asking MIND.
     
  13. Humptydingo

    Humptydingo Registered User

    Jun 3, 2015
    5
    You need to speak to your local council social services who will point you in the right direction for advice about relocating your mother back to the UK. You will probably need to fill in a social housing application form on her behalf but this can't be done until she is back in the UK since they will probably send out someone to assess her and her needs. It sounds as though she will get housing priority for somewhere suited to her condition.

    I am in a similar position with my partner who is wheelchair bound and has now developed Alzheimers. We have lived in France for 19yrs and I have decided he will probably be better off metally living nearer his siblings and children so we are relocating back to the UK in October. As per Nitram's quote above, I know there will be no problem with getting NHS treatment - we were both born and bred in England and have British Passports and still have a UK bank account and intend to return permanently. We are taking an out of season holiday let and then intend to apply for social housing within the borough where my OH was born and lived for many years and most of his family still live there.

    Don't leave it too late otherwise she will be taken into care in France and this will be an unhappy solution for both of you - however good her french is they say as old age and mental state progresses one returns to speaking the language with which one has been taught from birth.
     
  14. Dayperson

    Dayperson Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    277
    Female
    Shropshire
    Richard, I'm sorry to hear about your mum, your situation sounds familiar. My parents moved to France over a decade ago and mum hasn't been herself since she had two operations out here and lost members of her family. She is now deteriorating fast and despite the attempts of dad and I to get help out here (we saw the doctor a year ago and asked him to do tests when her memory was much better), the doctor just told us to return to the UK for treatment. You are lucky to have a GP on your side who has given your mum a scan.

    Mum will have to go back to the UK eventually, but at the moment we are unable to financially. It's catch 22 at the moment though as I am working from home but mum's distractions are just delaying the date I can return.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.