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Julie, I would reassure your dad that he will not abandon his daughter and in fact she would come I am sure to visit you and him in AZ. I think if you talk about the situation calmly and try to make it a new adventure for him, he may come around to the idea.
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You did say early on he knows he has to move closer to you and the advice you have gotten sounds great but if he still feels he needs to leave you just do what he needs help with -like cleaning out his house etc the thought of the move must be difficult all the work involved but to me he seems to realize this is what is best for him if he can have his own place at this point that would probably be best for him but if he has to live with you if he can have his own space in your house even if it is a large room with his own bathroom and a small kitchen that would be great-good luck and keep us posted how things are going for both of you.
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Hi Julie,
Now that you have provided more details about the circumstances I would like to offer an alternative solution. It seems your dad and sister have been each other's lifeline for a few years. Sister and kids need dad's attention and dad feels needed by them. Your solution is straight from the head, but lacks input from the heart. No question dad would get better physical care in AZ with you but I think he may need the connection he feels to your sister and her kids in OR. Would you consider offering him a "temporary" move to AZ to rehab from the ruptured disc and return to OR as soon as he recovers? Another option is for you to take a leave of absence from AZ and stay with him in OR until he is well enough to go it alone. That would be a win-win-win solution for all concerned if you can do it. But at your father's age, there are more "heart" factors than "head" factors to consider when you make such a major change to his normal routine. So please consider this before you force your solution. You may be doing the "wrong" thing for all the right reasons when you follow your head and hot your heart.
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I agree with Lilliput - Help your father make the decision himself.
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My mom just moved across country over a year ago. However, this was not an overnight decision. I talked with for several months before her move and gave her all the "pros" and then let it go. Soon, it was HER idea to move. Also, I think she could see that my sib was not at all interested in assisting her.
Before her move I flew out to help her sort through things and have a yard sale with the rest. I think the burden of doing it herself was also giving her anxiety.
She has settled in really well here and likes her new apartment. She missed everyone from home - but now, when people ask when she is coming "home" she tells that she IS home.
Hopefully, this will comfort you.
Lilli
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It might be about giving up his house and the thought of getting rid of items he has had for a long time if he can afford to put some things in storage for the time being that might help and it just might be he needs time to adjust to the move.
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Here's my perspective on your dilemna since it was mine a few years ago...

When my mother was diagnosed with a fast-progressing form of Parkinson's Disease a few years ago, I spent several weeks (after absorbing the shock of the diagnosis) pondering what to do. As an only child, we are a very small, close family of three. I wanted to not only spend as much time with parents as possible, knowing that the clock was now ticking more loudly and that my three or four long weekends per year were just not enough time for us to be together, but also because, with time, my mother's declining health would require more help than my father could provide.

With the exception of my 2-1/2-year marriage, my entire adult life has focused predominantly on my career. My mother's illness changed all that. I took a close look at my life and the lives of my parents. Being divorced and without children or anyone else to take into consideration but myself, I knew it would be easier for me to sell my house and move to them even though it would mean finding new employment and getting reacclimated in yet another new location. (I've moved a lot for work over the years.) I knew that my parents love their house, community, and circle of friends and don't want to uproot themselves. How could I ask them to leave all that behind, knowing that, if life goes as anticipated (i.e., my parents predeceasing me), I would still have time later on down the road to decided where I want to live.

Although I've never told them this, I see it as a gift to give them for the sacrifices they have made for me in the past. So began my search for new employment and the process of selling my house.

Long story short, while I was able to find a new job closer to them since reaching that decision, I am still a four-hours' drive from my parents...better, but not good enough. I have continued my job search and hope to be able to find new employment within an hour, two hours at most, from them. Now, though, I am able to, at least, help my parents better and more often and thereby avoid having too many strangers coming and going at my parents' house, often causing my parents more inconvenience and frustration than their efforts are worth.

In conclusion, I believe it's a personal decision based on a close examination of the parent(s)'s and child(ren)'s needs, lifestyles, etc. I suggest that it not be automatically assumed that the parent(s) move to wherever the adult child and (future) caregiver lives, although that is frequently the least burdensome avenue to take. Look within your heart, too, and understand how difficult aging, illness, the approach of death, AND a relocation (sale of beloved home, loss of friends and community, etc.) are on a parent(s). If you, the adult child and future caregeiver, have a lifestyle that enables easier relocation, knowing that you will have many more years ahead of you to live where and as you choose, why not give your father this gift of keeping the life he so much enjoys?

These are just some thoughts for you to consider. For me, it was a relatively easy decision to reach, despite knowing all the effort and, yes, even financial loss, that such a decision entailed. I have had no regrets and will have none, knowing that what I am doing is the right thing to do. Best wishes in your own decision-making. I wish you and your father well.
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Does he have close friends there in Oregon where he lives? I had to wait to move my mother until her boyfriend passed away and she was willing to leave her friends behind. My sister tried to tear mom away too early before her boyfriend died and there are still hard feelings between them, even more so now that mom is in nursing home and my sister has guardianship. Mom threatened me with legal action and got the ombudsman on my case when I tried to get her to move. I am just glad it is all over now and we have her where she can get the care that she needs. After five years of taking care of her alone I was worn out.
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Elizza, I appreciate what you say about not being pushy. That is not what I want to do. I just dont know what to do when he says he has to move here and asks me to go look at apartments and then starts sobbing on the phone. I have said to him many times to just stay where he is and then and he argues with that. Well I guess only time will tell what is best. I only want what is best for him and its hard when i am so far away. Thanks for your reply.
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A plane ride is under 3 hrs. He has been here many times. Its his friends, church and my sister and her kids he is torn about leaving. He feels if he leaves my sister he is abandoning her since her husband left her and 4 kids a couple of years ago but the fact is she will be fine and as I said she cant handle him but at the moment thinks she can. Thanks for encouragement. Its nice to connect with those who understand. Julie
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nelson thanks for elaborating on the situation. As neathon mentioned "yeah I would cry too leaving oregon", I can understand that as well. I have seen so many times on tv how beautiful oregon is and would love love love love to see it;,I often wondered if it would be a great retirement area. On the other hand Arizona is also a fabulous state that I have seen as well on tv and is also another destination that I would love love love love to visit as well and as well thought of it as a retirement area. So I would have your dad come down as a previous poster mentioned and have him come and see how wonderful your area is as well. I would have him come and adjust at this earlier stage then later when it becomes more serious and he cannot really take in and enjoy the area around him and have already adjusted to it. If you could just go get him for just a week visit and do a trial it would be marvelous but I know traveling is tough when you are frail. How long is a plane flight from OR to AZ?
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No offense, but I have found that we kids are generally too pushy. Our parents have a right to make their own decisions - and mistakes! If you are only pushing this now because it may be difficult later, I do not agree with your decision. You don't know what will happen later, he can handle life where he is and he does not want to move. If you make him do it against his will, there will be repercussions that can't be turned around. I would have a conversation with your father, maybe even ask leading questions that will help him come around to making the decision himself. Can he afford someone coming in to help while he is incapacitated? A disc problem can be resolved. It is never a good idea to force someone to do something against their will - chances are very great that you will both be unhappy! Step back. Talk with him some more. Help him to make his own decision.
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Thanks to everyone for suggestions. He is 81 and in good health but has a ruptured a disc and at this point were not sure what will be done to repair it. The issue is that I feel he should make the move while still able to rather then wait for something more serious. My sister lives much closer, an hour away but she cant handle it emotionally and gets very angry with him and says very hurtful things which upset him. Also she works and has 2 young children. I do not work outside the home and have the time and patience. He is sobbing over leaving Oregon where he has lived most of his life but knows he needs to make a move to Arizona to be near me. He does NOT adjust to change well and I am concerned he will be depressed here. How do I know if strongly encouraging him to move here at 81 is unfair of me since for the most part he is fine at this time except for the back issue which hopefully can be resolved. Although in the mean time he can hardly walk. Help. Am I being too pushy? At what age does one say "You should move because things will come up unless there is a sudden death there will be things you will need help with" or should i just let him go and hope for the best
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I sobbed too when I left Michigan and moved to Georgia, but I got over it. He will too. What kind of living arrangements will be provided for him in Arizona?. It will take time to adjust after the move, but somehow I think that you are doing the right thing. You want him near you. You'll have more access to him and his needs if he is nearer to you, so do it!
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Sounds like this need to move came up unexpectedly (health or financial issues?). While you are used to sudden changes and able to "go with the flow" your father is no longer so agile. It does not sound like he is in denial about the need to move, but is just showing his real emotions about the prospect. He needs time to adjust. You can help him prepare for the move by doing the following:
1) Agree on a specific date when the final move will take place. Try to cut him as much slack as you can but do not be hazy about date.
2) Encourage him to invite his friends to visit him in AZ once he is settled and also assure him that he will be able to visit them a few times a year ( if this is financially impossible then a fib is OK since it will give him something to hold onto until he gets adjusted to his new environment and make new friends in AZ Then it won't matter so much)
3) Respect his aversion to the move. After all, what if it were the other way around and you had to move back to OR and live with him?
4) Move as much of his favorite items (furniture, car, boat whatever) as you can manage. Do not even use the phrase "make a fresh start" because at his age making a "fresh start" is the equivalent of throwing in the towel.
5) Arrange for him to visit AZ several weeks before the move. If he is going to live in his own place, than try to have him participate in selecting that place. If he is going to live with you, than designate one room in your home that belongs to him (i.e. he is allowed to decorate and furnish it however he wants and if possible it should have a private entrance so that he can come and go on his own if he is able to do so)
6) Plan a bon voyage party with all his friends in the week he is to depart so that they can wish him well and he can brag about the benefits of retirement in AZ vs OR (so he can fib too)
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Would it help if he visited first, and became familiar with where he is moving to? Maybe schedule a visit to the Senior Living areas he will be around-even introduce some new friends to him so he does not feel like he is going to a strange place.
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Usually in such a situation we are sad about what is ending and what we are leaving. That does not necessarily mean we are sad about what we are going to. Hopefully, if this move is essential, once it is done your father will feel better and not be so distressed. It is very hard to see our parents unhappy, but if this move is necessary, then you may get comfort from knowing you are doing a good thing for him.
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I'd cry too if I had to leave Oregon. :)
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nelson...if you can manage it I would do it, but that depend on different factors. I don't quite understand the question is it a problem for you or for him? Can you elaborate the situation...
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