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HubCityGirl

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
I am new here and desperately need advice. I am in my mid 30's, married with two small kids. Recently my husband and I have been seriously thinking about moving from the East Coast to the West Coast. The ONLY thing stopping us at the present time is my parents, who are in their mid and late 60's. They both have health issues, nothing life threatening but my husband and I help them with things they start to not be able to do such as carry or move heavy things, etc. I am an only child and to my parents, my little family and I are all they have as other relatives have grown distant over the years. Over the years we have traveled together and even toyed with the idea of moving in all 6 of us together but that doesn't seem to be happening. I am personally at a stage in my life where I feel like I need a major change and that life is quickly passing me by. Moving to the places we are considering would be a dream come true but I worry for my parents as they don't have any other support other than us. If we were to move, it would not be a mere few hours of driving away or grab a cheap flight home. Financially I would be afraid to not be able to come home if they needed me.
I mentioned to them that it could be a possibility to move away that far, and although their reaction was "go for it", my Mom throws in comments when she can that it would be hard on the kids (which does worry me as well), that it's very expensive to live in those places... always trying to make me feel like it wouldn't be worth the move.

About 10 years ago, I lived an hour away and did so for about 10 years. I came home almost every weekend or two but, I remember when I moved back to my hometown, realizing how my parents were starting to age. It bothered me. I still get choked up thinking about it. So I worry that going away far will also make me miss them too much. We are very close.

I realize nobody can tell me what to do but I need guidance. I appreciate any comments and thank you.

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Terpin

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Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Hub Girl,

I recently went through the same decision process. Only I was moving from Las Vegas to Puerto Rico and my parents are almost 90. They have lived in LA since the 60's and have always been very independent.

Last year Dad had a stroke, and both parents were diagnosed with dimentia of sorts. I have the added layer of my mother being a narcissist, so our family has always been dysfunctional in one way or another.

That said, I'm an only child, and they ar my only family. I do ask myself why I do this constantly, when my parents have spent so much of our lives together being abusive towards me.

This year it became apparent that they were no longer safe in their home, so I took them to Las Vegas and they stayed there for almost six months. Although I have staff to help me, it was very stressful, and my parents failed to understand that my husband and I have separate lives. That meant that simply going out to dinner with hubby required elaborate excuses of why they couldn't come with us. I can go on and on, but having them live with us was very difficult.

Meantime, my hubby and I are moving to Puerto Rico - in fact my husband had to live in Puerto Rico for 6 months last year. I was having to stay behind in Vegas, and my parents didn't get (and still don't get) that I'm an adult with a separate and demanding life.

Depending on the relationship you have with your family (it sounds much better than mine) living together might make a lot of sense. But I say this with a lot of hesitation. The problem you may run into is that your parents will claim that their lives are on the east coast, their fiends are there, and they may even try to convince you that the friends will take care of them when you cannot. I heard this a lot, so I investigated the allegations. For the most part what I found was that they had very limited friends who were helpful to a limited extent. Many were feeling "putapon" but were too embarrassed to admit it to them. And as for their long term friends, most who were their age had died, or were just struggling to survive themselves.

With the dementia, my folks were remembering things as they used to be, not how they are in the present.

I used the holidays and gave my mother a choice. She could either stay in Las Vegas with my staff taking care of her, or she could come to Puerto Rico because, that's where I was spending the holidays. I also explained that she and dad could go to the "White House" which is the term she used to describe the assisting living facility I was moving her into. I stuck with that term.

They have now been in the facility for about a month. They don't like being there, but I can easily go to visit for an hour or so each day, and hubby and I can have a life with some boundaries. I always need to keep in mind that it's not about what they want. It's all abound what they need.. and they need to be safe, with dependable food sources, and medications delivered twice a day... that sort of thing.

You and your parents are still quite young - heck I'm 60, so not all that much younger than your parents. They are lucky to have you in their lives- and I think you need to remind them of that. Just don't forget that your children and family need you too, and the combination can potentially be very stressful.

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Christa4

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Posts: 50
Reply with quote  #3 
My advice would be to ask for a family mtg, that is all 4 adults. I'm making an assumption that your husband has a decent relationship with them and is supportive of you. Ask what their plans are for 5 yrs from now, 10 yrs out, if one survives the other, etc. This may be very hard to do. Every family is different. If they have given it thought, you will have peace of mind. If there are unanswered questions, I think you should suggest they discuss together and you & your husband discuss. There are so many factors, but maybe 5 or 10 yrs from now they would want to live near you.

I don't believe you should put what is best for you & your husband on hold, but you also should know if it's going to be entirely up to you to problem solve when inevitable things happen and are complicated by distance.
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HubCityGirl

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you for your advice. It's such a hard decision to make. I'm constantly back and forth with it but in the meantime part of my life seems to be on hold. Lots to think about. Thank you.
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Hub City Girl
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