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Ageing parents in the UK

Ageing parents in the UK

Old Jul 3rd 2012, 10:29 pm
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Default Ageing parents in the UK

Hi folks

I'll apologise in advance if this post comes across as a bit self-pitying - I'm at home with my parents just now and as usual my guilt-ometer is running even higher than normal.

I just wondered how other people who have chosen to live away from their home country (or who had to move for work) cope with leaving close family members behind. Specifically for me - my parents.

When we originally moved to Singapore 4 years ago it took me at least 2 years to stop feeling guilty at leaving my parents and taking their grandchildren away from them. This was exacerbated by the fact that my brother and his family had emigrated to Australia the previous year. So basically they went from having 4 grandchildren on their doorstep - to having no-one.

We've been trying to persuade them to move over to Asia with us but realistically I'm not sure how feasible this is, how we'd actually go about it or whether it's the best thing for any of us.

I feel that in our absence my parents have succumbed to old age - they are both 73. I don't mean that in a nasty way - but they have both adopted a very old mindset which they didn't have before.

They are both quite quiet and shy so I can't persuade them to join any groups or do voluntary work etc. My Dad has taken root in front of the TV and for a man who was always active and wanted to help with everything - it just makes me so sad.

Anyway, as I said - this is probably just a bit of a self-pitying post - but I just thought that I might find people on here who are coping with the same type of situation.

Thanks for listening!

Bocat
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 5:51 am
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Both me and Mr bakedbean have no brothers and sisters, so the onus (maybe not correct word) was on us to help all the folks, so we didn't even consider moving abroad until the last one left the planet.

Do they have close friends in the UK to help them out? That's one option and, to be honest, what we are planning now in Penang. Surround ourselves with friends before old age approaches. We can all help each other out. It's one way. There's no easy solution of course.

You're living in Malaysia now??? Get them to come out for a holiday and pamper them. Would you have time to do that? I know it's difficult juggling with work+kids+parents... not always so easy uh?

70s is older but it doesn't have to be Old, especially if they are in good health. And UK can be such a depressing place. Southeast Asia is just so much more optimistic... it might lift their spirits a bit.

If they like it, you know that the MM2H visa is a good one. Check out the links on the sticky above. Two options: if they meet the criteria, they could get the visa.... OR..... and this might be better option, could you get the visa? I cannot remember your situation <doh> but I don't think it matters if you are working in Singapore. Your parents can come into Malaysia under your MM2H visa. Just a thought.

Let me know if you have any questions. PM or email also can lah

Re: Australia, I think it's getting tighter to get into, isn't it? I guess your brother would know that. It's also very expensive place to live if not working. Hell, its expensive if you are working too, so my Aussie friends tell me. And you need to think about medical costs....

Anyway...just my 2 ringgits worth.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 6:09 am
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

The more I think about this.......

I've got friends here in Penang who are late sixties (lots of them) and some in their seventies too. Could be worth a look for them? Quite a lot of Brits here (being ex Colonial) but other nationalities too, and the locals are very nice.

That way you'd be close, but not too close. Some friends of ours doing this. They are retired and live in Penang, but most of their offspring are down in Singapore - less than an hour by plane, and lots of cheapy flights - or an 8 hour drive.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Hi bakedbean

You are a sweetie. Thanks for the replies.

Penang sounds like a fab place to retire but the chances of them doing something like that are absolutely zero! They are not the most adventurous people in the world and when they visited us in Singapore I couldn't even persuade them to go anywhere in a taxi on their own as they were too scared they'd get lost!!

I'll send you a wee PM re the MM2H etc.

Thanks again.

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Old Jul 5th 2012, 3:44 am
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Originally Posted by Bocat View Post
Hi bakedbean

They are not the most adventurous people in the world and when they visited us in Singapore I couldn't even persuade them to go anywhere in a taxi on their own as they were too scared they'd get lost!!

Bocat

If they hadn't been to SE Asia before, maybe a bit of a culture shock. Aaah get them over here - we'll sort them out
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 9:14 am
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

I may have mentioned this somewhere else but I met a Japanese couple when we were receiving our MM2H as were they. They had plans to open up a retirement home somewhere on the mainland side of the Penang bridge near a hospital (Bukit Mertajam?).
I believe it was to cater for only Japanesee as the design would be in a Japanese style.

I thought this was a wonderful idea and something that ex Brits/Aus might consider. It would be affordable for UKers or OZys to bring their parents for a period of time. It would not be a chore for the host family and be close to visit. The retirement home could arrange all the trips and entertainment and the old-uns would make new, but similar, friends from the homeland.

I wish I'd thought of that but, at 75 myself, not some project I should start.

Last edited by Davita; Jul 5th 2012 at 9:21 am.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Yeh but how many folks want to do that Davita? And you're 75 bless ya and still enjoying yourself right? And Bocat's folks are younger than you hehe. I think that's what i meant.... 70s doesn't HAVE to be old.

Oh and there's 80s too. I was over Bt Ferringhi today with a friend and introduced to an Aussie couple here for a few months to avoid Aussie winter....and my friend nudged me and said he's 85 don't look it. Yeh.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

You might be right BB..... how many would it take to be viable?
I realize now the reason the Japanese project might appeal is because of the number of old people and the cost of living in Japan.
The concept would be to move their Japan to Malaysia and enjoy cheap property and labour in maintaining buildings, nursing and caring.

The old folks could be confused into thinking they were still living in Japan...and that it was permanent summer.

As for me...languishing in the pool in our new villa in Bali drinking Bali wine mixed like a Sangria is helping me relax more...life has been too hectic lately as I've just boated around the coast of British Columbia....I need to take a rest......and my broker needs to sell the boat.
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Old Jul 8th 2012, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Originally Posted by Bocat View Post
Hi folks

I'll apologise in advance if this post comes across as a bit self-pitying - I'm at home with my parents just now and as usual my guilt-ometer is running even higher than normal.

I just wondered how other people who have chosen to live away from their home country (or who had to move for work) cope with leaving close family members behind. Specifically for me - my parents.

When we originally moved to Singapore 4 years ago it took me at least 2 years to stop feeling guilty at leaving my parents and taking their grandchildren away from them. This was exacerbated by the fact that my brother and his family had emigrated to Australia the previous year. So basically they went from having 4 grandchildren on their doorstep - to having no-one.

We've been trying to persuade them to move over to Asia with us but realistically I'm not sure how feasible this is, how we'd actually go about it or whether it's the best thing for any of us.

I feel that in our absence my parents have succumbed to old age - they are both 73. I don't mean that in a nasty way - but they have both adopted a very old mindset which they didn't have before.

They are both quite quiet and shy so I can't persuade them to join any groups or do voluntary work etc. My Dad has taken root in front of the TV and for a man who was always active and wanted to help with everything - it just makes me so sad.

Anyway, as I said - this is probably just a bit of a self-pitying post - but I just thought that I might find people on here who are coping with the same type of situation.

Thanks for listening!

Bocat
So, for a modest outlay, how about getting them hooked up to the internet and buying them an ipad so that you can Skype them and thus allow them to interact with you and their grand children. Should that prove too technical for them then perhaps you could hire a carer to come in to see them once a week or more and help them get connected and generally oversee their well being? Much more financially efficient and practical than shipping them half way around the world which may be their undoing? This is just my thought and a variation on this theme may prove beneficial to you and your parents.
Best regards

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Old Jul 9th 2012, 5:22 am
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Originally Posted by Bocat View Post
Hi folks

I'll apologise in advance if this post comes across as a bit self-pitying - I'm at home with my parents just now and as usual my guilt-ometer is running even higher than normal.

I just wondered how other people who have chosen to live away from their home country (or who had to move for work) cope with leaving close family members behind. Specifically for me - my parents.

When we originally moved to Singapore 4 years ago it took me at least 2 years to stop feeling guilty at leaving my parents and taking their grandchildren away from them. This was exacerbated by the fact that my brother and his family had emigrated to Australia the previous year. So basically they went from having 4 grandchildren on their doorstep - to having no-one.

We've been trying to persuade them to move over to Asia with us but realistically I'm not sure how feasible this is, how we'd actually go about it or whether it's the best thing for any of us.

I feel that in our absence my parents have succumbed to old age - they are both 73. I don't mean that in a nasty way - but they have both adopted a very old mindset which they didn't have before.

They are both quite quiet and shy so I can't persuade them to join any groups or do voluntary work etc. My Dad has taken root in front of the TV and for a man who was always active and wanted to help with everything - it just makes me so sad.

Anyway, as I said - this is probably just a bit of a self-pitying post - but I just thought that I might find people on here who are coping with the same type of situation.

Thanks for listening!

Bocat
Hi Bocat,
You're not alone! My parents who are hooked up to the internet and have been out for a visit are doing a lot better than my husbands who refuse to have internet in the house. I'm not sure how well we are coping with it either...which was made worse when my father-in-law was recently hospitalised, and my mother-in-law "forgot" to tell us about it for a week, while we worried about why on earth we couldn't contact them! PM me anytime if you fancy a good self-pitying moan....there are no easy answers!
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Old Jul 9th 2012, 9:46 am
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Jonboy, skype is fine for sure. But when parents get older and need some help, possibly full-time, then what?? What's that going to cost in the UK to have someone there full-time?

It's impossible to plan everything, but I think folks need to start thinking about their situations before they get too old, and if they don't, then offspring or friends need to give them a little nudge in the right direction.

Some people just don't think about it at all. They act as if they will live forever and not get ill at all. Then when something happens, you have a real problem.
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Old Jul 9th 2012, 10:12 am
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

I thought Jonboy's post was a good alternative suggestion, as he said.

Too late for me now but there is no way my parents would have moved overseas with me no matter how many relatives or friends had nudged them to do so.
A new environment without their relatives, neighbours and friends nearby just wouldn't have suited either if them.

Difficult enough to get my father to go on holiday to the Channel Islands.
And the damage to his garden which occurred the once he did go away for a fortnight was sufficient to make him never want to go again.

My mum would have jumped at the chance to use the internet especially as she was part of one of the teams developing computers during WW2.

Last edited by ex reg; Jul 9th 2012 at 10:15 am.
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Old Jul 9th 2012, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Hi everyone - thanks for all the replies.

Jonboy - my Mum and Dad have used Skype since my brother went to Oz in 2007. They have also now travelled to both Singapore and Australia twice but financially I don't think they'll be able to do it again any time soon. My Mum is terrified of flying so this was a huge step for her (not that she hasn't flown before but this was like a quantum leap for her!) They are both relatively healthy for their age and are not in need of a carer or anything at the moment. My Dad does have some health issues though and health care (or affording it) is another of his concerns about moving abroad.

I think my two main problems are that they are both just lost without their family around. Their kids and their grandchildren were their whole world and now we're not here. My Mum goes to a couple of social things - keep fit, swimming and an art class but my Dad does nothing.

Mum was upset the other day and said she just feels like they have no-one any more. It broke my heart. I think she could be more easily persuaded to move than my Dad.

Again - this leads me to my other issue - in years to come I couldn't live abroad knowing that my parents were living in a nursing home or being cared for by someone else. But I don't want to live in the UK and I doubt I'll ever persuade them to live with us. It's a no win situation and just really gets me down.

Joamelie - I may be sending you a PM for that moan soon!!

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Old Jul 10th 2012, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Originally Posted by Bocat View Post
Hi everyone - thanks for all the replies.

Jonboy - my Mum and Dad have used Skype since my brother went to Oz in 2007. They have also now travelled to both Singapore and Australia twice but financially I don't think they'll be able to do it again any time soon. My Mum is terrified of flying so this was a huge step for her (not that she hasn't flown before but this was like a quantum leap for her!) They are both relatively healthy for their age and are not in need of a carer or anything at the moment. My Dad does have some health issues though and health care (or affording it) is another of his concerns about moving abroad.

I think my two main problems are that they are both just lost without their family around. Their kids and their grandchildren were their whole world and now we're not here. My Mum goes to a couple of social things - keep fit, swimming and an art class but my Dad does nothing.

Mum was upset the other day and said she just feels like they have no-one any more. It broke my heart. I think she could be more easily persuaded to move than my Dad.

Again - this leads me to my other issue - in years to come I couldn't live abroad knowing that my parents were living in a nursing home or being cared for by someone else. But I don't want to live in the UK and I doubt I'll ever persuade them to live with us. It's a no win situation and just really gets me down.

Joamelie - I may be sending you a PM for that moan soon!!

Bocat
I guess that you are suffering from the age old malady of the Expat/Immigrant, having had to move for work/love it is found that the parents/family have been left behind. The only consolation now is that communications are so much better these days. Past generations had to rely on the odd letter back home and the most basic telephone call a few times a year and a telegram in the event of a calamity. None of what I say can make your sense of loss any less but at least you live in times of nigh on instant communication, for what it is worth.

I sense that you do have choices in the matter and perhaps it is this that causes the anguish?

Best regards
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Old Jul 11th 2012, 2:02 am
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Default Re: Ageing parents in the UK

Originally Posted by Bocat View Post
Hi everyone - thanks for all the replies.

Jonboy - my Mum and Dad have used Skype since my brother went to Oz in 2007. They have also now travelled to both Singapore and Australia twice but financially I don't think they'll be able to do it again any time soon. My Mum is terrified of flying so this was a huge step for her (not that she hasn't flown before but this was like a quantum leap for her!) They are both relatively healthy for their age and are not in need of a carer or anything at the moment. My Dad does have some health issues though and health care (or affording it) is another of his concerns about moving abroad.

I think my two main problems are that they are both just lost without their family around. Their kids and their grandchildren were their whole world and now we're not here. My Mum goes to a couple of social things - keep fit, swimming and an art class but my Dad does nothing.

Mum was upset the other day and said she just feels like they have no-one any more. It broke my heart. I think she could be more easily persuaded to move than my Dad.

Again - this leads me to my other issue - in years to come I couldn't live abroad knowing that my parents were living in a nursing home or being cared for by someone else. But I don't want to live in the UK and I doubt I'll ever persuade them to live with us. It's a no win situation and just really gets me down.

Joamelie - I may be sending you a PM for that moan soon!!

Bocat
Hi Bocat (and everyone else)

We've just joined BritishExpat and yours was the first thread I read as it struck a chord with me.

We left the UK in March for a 'year out'. We took the Trans Siberian from Moscow to Mongolia then on to Beijing, traveled round China for a while then to HK where my wife's family have a house (Katie is originally from HK but grew up in the UK, I'm from Scotland)

We then moved on to Malaysia where we are thinking of settling to start a business (restaurant) It's either here or the UK and, at the moment, it's likely to take a long time before it's up and running let alone successful.

We're renovating Katie's parents condo here in KL (yep they've got one here too) and researching the business so it's given us time to see the opportunity here.

My parents are in their mid 60's, dad recently retired but is keeping his hand in with freelance work and his garage but I've noticed a 'slow down' in him. He never watched tv now he spends more time doing it. We skype and I've suggested them coming out here for a holiday but I know my dad wouldn't go for it, he hates flying. I felt pretty bad about it when he first retired at the end of last year because he's always been an active, get up and go person and I didn't want him to change or deteriorate like a lot of people do. Plus he's got no passtimes.

As for them moving out here it would never happen. They've lived in the same house for 30 years, in the same city they were both born in and have all their friends round them. It would never cross their mind and I don't think I could ever change that. So I can imagine how your parents are.

The saving grace is that my brother and his wife are expecting this year and that's got mum and dad excited.

Feel free to PM if you'd like a chinwag or if you're in KL and fancy a nasi lemak, we'll be free.
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