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Dreambig1

Plans for summer move- dad just diagnosed with dementia

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Please help I’m so terribly confused and have spent the day so distressed.

After years of planning and waiting for the right time, we finally applied and received my partner visa a couple of months ago ( hubby is Aussie). Two months ago we plucked up courage to tell my parents who were nothing short of amazing although naturally heartbroken. So with balls in motion, things starting to look like they’ll happen in July, I’ve found out dad has a form of dementia. I’m devastated that my gorgoeus dad has such a cruel illness and have spent much of the day wondering how to move forward now. 
 

my Aussie husband has been homesick for over ten years and has been nothing but patient and supportive of finding the “right time”  he was finally getting excited and has even told his mates back in oz the move was on.... obviously he’s gutted for my parents but I can see he is crushed as his dream of finally going home now hang in the balance.

 

im so very torn. I feel whatever i do will be tinged with regret. Regret if I go and regret for my children’s future and our dreams if we don’t. My husband is nearly 50 and daughter on cusp of high school so staying and waiting a few years not really an option if he needs a job... I have two brothers and a sister within ten miles of my parents who I know will support and care for them 100% but surely that’s my job too.

 

please help... I knew they’d get sick one day but always figured I would’ve made the decision and be in oz already happy and settled. To make the choice to walk away now is excruciating .... but so will staying ... any advice much appreciated 😢

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dreambig1 said:

Please help I’m so terribly confused and have spent the day so distressed.

After years of planning and waiting for the right time, we finally applied and received my partner visa a couple of months ago ( hubby is Aussie). Two months ago we plucked up courage to tell my parents who were nothing short of amazing although naturally heartbroken. So with balls in motion, things starting to look like they’ll happen in July, I’ve found out dad has a form of dementia. I’m devastated that my gorgoeus dad has such a cruel illness and have spent much of the day wondering how to move forward now. 
 

my Aussie husband has been homesick for over ten years and has been nothing but patient and supportive of finding the “right time”  he was finally getting excited and has even told his mates back in oz the move was on.... obviously he’s gutted for my parents but I can see he is crushed as his dream of finally going home now hang in the balance.

 

im so very torn. I feel whatever i do will be tinged with regret. Regret if I go and regret for my children’s future and our dreams if we don’t. My husband is nearly 50 and daughter on cusp of high school so staying and waiting a few years not really an option if he needs a job... I have two brothers and a sister within ten miles of my parents who I know will support and care for them 100% but surely that’s my job too.

 

please help... I knew they’d get sick one day but always figured I would’ve made the decision and be in oz already happy and settled. To make the choice to walk away now is excruciating .... but so will staying ... any advice much appreciated 😢

It depends on the type of dementia but generally most live for several years from diagnosis. If your dad has just got his diagnosis then it’s likely it will be quite some years before the inevitable happens. Many with dementia live quite independent lives for years before slowly needing more and more help.   If you wait until it’s all over you may be too old as you mentioned and your daughter may not want to go and leave her friends/boyfriend. The reality is you go now or you may never go.  It’s not your job to be there to look after parents. I’d say it’s right that you ensure they are cared for but that doesn’t have to be from you personally. It sounds like your husband has been very descent and patient. You have your now family to consider.  It’s a difficult situation but I think you should keep to your plans.  Be kind to yourself, I bet your dad would  want you to be.

Edited by Tulip1

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I'm so sorry that this is happening to you because it's a really sad situation and the outcome isn't going to be pretty for your poor dad.  In reality, you've won the lottery, you have siblings and they will pick up your slack; they'll probably hate you for it but there are 3 of them to do the hard yards - there may be a role that you can take on at some point like helping fund care or come back for a month every year to do the hands on stuff or something.  If you were an only child I think your situation would be much more grim because unless you could persuade your parents to change their lifestyle now, before  the dementia gets overwhelming, and move into supported accommodation where they can be independent yet have support on tap is they need it, someone is going to need to be there for them.

Having just spent the best part of 9 years back in UK carrying for elderly parents (actually squatting in their back bedroom) - one with dementia - I'd say run for the hills! But, of course I couldn't have done that because I am an only child.  It's not an easy task as your life ceases to be your own and watching your parents get old and frail  is heartbreaking. 

Your husband may have the same problem with his parents - hes probably been feeling the guilt for a few years that he hasn't been there for them which may well have been fueling his homesickness.  Such feelings may well fuel homesickness in you too down the track so be prepared for that (they certainly cemented my loathing  for Australia before we went back to UK for the holiday from which we didn't return until last year when mum was dead and dad had taken himself to a care home).

In your shoes I would go ahead with your plan. Your DH should be your priority because you've got siblings who can step up with your parents.  I wish you all the best with it, you're going to be second guessing yourself all the way but you do what you have to do. Good luck 

 

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Posted (edited)

What Quoll said.  If you delay now because of your dad's dementia, how long will you stay?  If he's just been diagnosed, he probably has many years ahead of him.  As he deteriorates, it will only get harder and harder to leave.  IMO there's no "may" about it:  if you don't go now, you'll never go.  Your husband will have to adjust his dream to "Maybe I'll retire in Australia" - but by that time, your daughter may be settled in the UK and then, how can you leave her?

 You staying won't make a difference to your father's prognosis, and it won't make a difference to how well he's looked after.  It comes down to a choice between your dad's happiness and your husband's happiness.   The traditional view would be that your own little family should come first, and I think your mum and dad would understand that.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Thanks so much for your thoughtful replies. I know without doubt my siblings will support my choice ( they’ve seen the impact living in the uk has had on my husbands mental health )  and I fully anticipate my parents encouraging me to go still - in fact they’ve prob held off tellin me so as not to disrupt my plans however things at the weekend meant we had to call them out on dads condition ... my DH’s Father was diagnosed with cancer two months after we moved to uk in 2005 and he spent fours years talking to him every day and travelling home 2-3 times a year. His biggest regret is not returning to oz to care for him and now doesn’t want to go through it again if/ when his mother gets sick . I know he’d never demand I stick to our plans but I just can’t see how I can wave everyone off to go and live my best life by the beach when I know 10000 miles away my dear dad is slipping away.. I feel a sad 😞 and unbelievably torn 

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Posted (edited)

One way to look at it is: your parents have already lived a full life. They're probably retired. 

Your husband and you are still in your prime working years, and you're trying to better your lives and give your child the opportunity to grow by living in a different country. They'll then have a choice of two countries for when the time comes for them to choose their future. 

Edited by DukeNinja
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You will feel guilt and regret if you stay AND if you move.  
Try to take that out of the equation and look at the bigger picture, your family, your future, your parent and siblings.

As hard as it is I would say move.  Your husband has been very supportive and selfless and I think you owe him now.  It will always be hard with split families and it can cause resentment. You need an open and honest discussion with your husband and it really does need to be a joint decision.

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So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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5 hours ago, Dreambig1 said:

Please help I’m so terribly confused and have spent the day so distressed.

After years of planning and waiting for the right time, we finally applied and received my partner visa a couple of months ago ( hubby is Aussie). Two months ago we plucked up courage to tell my parents who were nothing short of amazing although naturally heartbroken. So with balls in motion, things starting to look like they’ll happen in July, I’ve found out dad has a form of dementia. I’m devastated that my gorgoeus dad has such a cruel illness and have spent much of the day wondering how to move forward now. 
 

my Aussie husband has been homesick for over ten years and has been nothing but patient and supportive of finding the “right time”  he was finally getting excited and has even told his mates back in oz the move was on.... obviously he’s gutted for my parents but I can see he is crushed as his dream of finally going home now hang in the balance.

 

im so very torn. I feel whatever i do will be tinged with regret. Regret if I go and regret for my children’s future and our dreams if we don’t. My husband is nearly 50 and daughter on cusp of high school so staying and waiting a few years not really an option if he needs a job... I have two brothers and a sister within ten miles of my parents who I know will support and care for them 100% but surely that’s my job too.

 

please help... I knew they’d get sick one day but always figured I would’ve made the decision and be in oz already happy and settled. To make the choice to walk away now is excruciating .... but so will staying ... any advice much appreciated 😢

Why is it your job? If you have 2 brothers and a sister they can step up. It can take years for it to get bad enough that your Mum will be fine.

It's your life, you have one chance. They are going to get older, sicker, more fragile anyway, there's no telling what's round the corner health wise.

Take the plunge and try not to feel guilty about doing it. They can always come out and stay with you for a few weeks. Be a nice holiday for them.

My wifes Mum had dementia, she ended up in a home, didn't even know who her husband was in the end. She died about 4 years ago, both my parents are dead but lasted to 92. We went back for funerals. Sad but they are going to get old and pass away wherever you are. It's only a plane ride.

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My heart goes out to you, my dad suffered from vascular dementia for 2 years before he died from an unrelated physical condition. There is never a good time and this timing is really terrible. In common with others on here, my thoughts are that one way is your future as a family and the other is your past. You don't need me to say it's not going to be easy but waiting will not make it any easier and you have other family members in the frame.  

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Even though different circumstances, I do sympathise with you. When the only job available for my husband was in Brunei after the collapse of his UK airline, I had the hard decision to make whether I stayed in UK, as our three children and my mother were there or move with him, so I moved with him. My mother had a bit of a breakdown after I left, as she had  lived near us, so my brother sold her house and she moved to be near him. Of course I felt dreadful,  but she was near my brother and his three children, so still had family support.

There are no easy or even a right answers as individual circumstances are all different.  We have to do what we feel and hope is right, and learn to live with the decision made. Only you can decide which decision to make.

I know I haven’t mentioned our three children, but they all coped, it wasn’t easy, but they spent all their holidays with us, had the opportunity to spend time in a very different part of the world, made good friends with others in the same situation, but I spent many years torn between loyalty to my husband and my mother and our children. I still think I made the right decision, to put my husband first, sadly my mother died, our children grew up, but our marriage stayed strong, plenty of wobbles on the way, celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last year.

Wish you all the best xM

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4 hours ago, Dreambig1 said:

Thanks so much for your thoughtful replies. I know without doubt my siblings will support my choice ( they’ve seen the impact living in the uk has had on my husbands mental health )  and I fully anticipate my parents encouraging me to go still - in fact they’ve prob held off tellin me so as not to disrupt my plans however things at the weekend meant we had to call them out on dads condition ... my DH’s Father was diagnosed with cancer two months after we moved to uk in 2005 and he spent fours years talking to him every day and travelling home 2-3 times a year. His biggest regret is not returning to oz to care for him and now doesn’t want to go through it again if/ when his mother gets sick . I know he’d never demand I stick to our plans but I just can’t see how I can wave everyone off to go and live my best life by the beach when I know 10000 miles away my dear dad is slipping away.. I feel a sad 😞 and unbelievably torn 

If you decide to go, it's not to have a wonderful holiday by the beach while things get tough at home. You would be moving to work and live in another country because you think it's best for your kids. I think framing it as running off on holiday will just increase your understandable feelings of guilt, but framing it as seeking the best life for your children, as your parents did for you, makes a very hard decision slightly easier. Its a very hard decision, but I do feel that we have to live our lives in a 'selfish' way and do what is best for us and our family, as nobody else can do that for us. Your parents lived their lives and did what they felt was right for them and their children, now it's your turn to do whats right for you and your children (whatever that may be - UK or Aus).

If I was in your shoes, I would go, but I would do so with the plan to have regular visits home (2 weeks each year given the circumstances), as difficult financially as that may be (post covid of course when international travel is open). As others have said, your dad may be fine for many years and if they were able to visit you, those regular in person contacts may help you feel slightly better. I would also get a credit card or savings account with 5k in it and never touch it, to be used if you need to get home quickly down the line. All migrants have the fear of the need to get those flights, unfortunately it comes with the territory. 

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