Does 'Ageing' mean going back to the UK for you?

Seems like nostalgia figures in a fair few of the responses. An increasingly dangerous state of delusion! My memories of the UK in the 60s - not great. Of the UK in the 70s, better but not brilliant. 80s - terrible. 90s - not much better, etc, etc...just one long struggle against financial insecurity, multiple class barriers and an increasingly selfish and materialistic culture.

The following messages leap out at me from this. 1) Take control (independent frame of mind). 2) Plan ahead (certainly don't drift into things). 3) Keep fit and active. 4) Embrace French language and culture (without of course losing your own identity).

After all we have all chosen to leave the UK for a reason!

Seems like nostalgia figures in a fair few of the responses. An increasingly dangerous state of delusion! My memories of the UK in the 60s - not great. Of the UK in the 70s, better but not brilliant. 80s - terrible. 90s - not much better, etc, etc...just one long struggle against financial insecurity, multiple class barriers and an increasingly selfish and materialistic culture.

The following messages leap out at me from this. 1) Take control (independent frame of mind). 2) Plan ahead (certainly don't drift into things). 3) Keep fit and active. 4) Embrace French language and culture (without of course losing your own identity).

After all we have all chosen to leave the UK for a reason!

Not sure if your answer was addressed to me Simon or not but to you and Barbara I reply, that because I’ve got a lot to deal with and the mental / character strength to so - I’m not complaining - I’m explaining - I’m imagining also what it would be like for those who dont have the same attributes, knowledge or ability to do so.

Though Some health conditions can’t be cured, but maybe possibly helped by exercise and your regime, whether before or after onset. As for a home to go to - there’s nowhere in UK, I’m last of my family line, no I live here in a rented stone cottage type house, with too much damp and mould and no insulation, that’s why I’m in the middle of taking my landlady to court with help of a Huissier! When you view a newly decorated property that looks good,

I wasn’t aware of a lot of things waiting in the wings to become apparent. Again why I called CAF in - my landlady refused to address any of these things I’ve been trying to get sorted for a year. I eventually stopped paying my rent for 3 months ( my effort to force her to sort things out- not sit there with her new car and new air con unit on wall of her house, since she started collecting my rent!) but no, she threatened me with the Huissier and that’s only when I thought WHAT A GOD IDEA! He agreed after viewing the property and took photos. I’m hoping she’ll have received his report just before Xmas! how mean spirited of me eh? :slight_smile: and I’m not normally like that!

No, I have my Faith in God and Justice - I always have! I’m happy, getting on with doing what I know must be done. I’ve Just got the Orange/wifi/computer problems to finish sorting out and I’ll be there!

However I do feel sorry for those who can’t! They are the ones who have difficult decisions

To make about whether to go back to UK or not, not me, not while I’ve got the determination, breath,and strength in my body to continue!

Happy Xmas everyone, mi e will be, I’m out to lunch at local cafe with the owner and her family and I.l be back here in time to watch Downton Abbey + have set to record, in case I’m not, I’m not leaving a god party! So yes Barbara, I have UK TV here, a good Digibox and French TV aerial, so I’ve got best of both worlds and so much more than some have.

Ok I have some bad days, who doesn’t, but it is possible to Survive in France :slight_smile:

I have to say, and I say this sincerely.......I really would love to go back to the

life I had in the sixties and seventies in London. Everything happened for me. I could

have just what I wanted. However the financial perimiters did not exsist and I there was no

need to seek financial security. I felt safe in every way.That is, perhaps the freedom of youth

and the magical time I found myself living in.

:slight_smile: as I’ve never been to mine Barbara, except to be born, it would be an interesting experience for me, but I have Seen photo of the hospital online!

So are your thoughts interesting Paul! Here there is a cultural tradition that family, when necessary, looks after its own and they do! I’ve yet to get to that point here, so can’t comment on what hill happen when I do, because I don’t know! If your mind goes Paul, you won’t notice or appreciate your generously proportioned house or the surrounding countryside and you may only be 1 at that time, not half of a couple. I take it you are expecting that your wife, possibly family will always be there to look after you then - lol? Life rarely happens as we expect or plan for it!

We also rarely think about the future in that respect!

Tansy you’ve got it dead right - Culture and grass roots DO make a difference. Although born and spent most of my life in England, my grass roots were always in Scotland and probably my genes!

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side! Perhaps also that is why Tom Jones made the record - the Green Green Grass of Home!

Some, like Brian M, worked and lived in so many different cultures and countries, he’s adapted to life and had a family here also - but when all we get on the subject of nationality, it’s apparent, yes he’s still a Scotsman at heart!

I’ve lived in so many different parts of England and Scotland, moving has always been normal for me, Iv’e holidayed in USA, 5 different Duropean countries plus all of UK, although not Eire or NI. People and their cultural differences have always interested me.

Basically I am a people person. I think this is why I find it easier to fit in here and still have moved around a lot! My husband wasn’t like that here orin UK where he had specific interests that he couldn’t and didn’t do here. How many couples are always in perfect accord, wherever they live.

I spent 4+ hours Friday eve and yesterday afternoon, giving my local cafe owner a hand get things, like specially folded serviettes folded a certain way, ready for all the catering she will be doing this week, prior to Xmas. I’m spending Xmas day with her and her large family also, an invitation given to me 2 weeks ago.

The concentration and repetition was good practice and exercise for my brain, with the factory production line task, but we both helped and understood each others circumstances, irrespective of nationality or culture. My reason for staying is not about the food, wine or weather, it’s about fitting in with the community I live in, Head heart and Health may rule and dictate, but my genetic makeup stems from Scotland. Hope you and yours don’t fall out over whether or when to move back or not!

I've got a bottom line, UK self employed pension...I'm 73...I work too..'s not enough to do world tours very often...but..french eats...are need to blow a shedload of dosh on basic comforts. I like a simple life...but I've got a car and a dog who must eat well, or eats mine.....v unlikely to return to...where?...I forget where I came from sometimes...

Why do you feel insulted by your pension?

Yes Simon that is us.

We are going to downsize too. It is not the planning for the year, the adminstration

or taking care of the guests. It is the garden which we had always dreamed is a little

Holland Park and takes a lot of grooming.

But it is so hard to let go. We have great guests and I love finding events to make their

stay really special.

When we sell we may just stay around here or move near to Pezenas.

No Sandra! the reply button below your above response to the discussion, was for someone else to tap and make their reply to you to you.

I just wanted to say, tht any ALD treatment, or bospital RDV, if you ha e no transport (like me) get you the services of a registered/licenced taxi, your Doctor should issue an ‘ordnnance’, he/she fills in the details, of the whys and wheres, you book the taxi/transport, well in advance, and it costs nothing! The claim their fees from CPAM! Also re the Brits costing the French health service money, as far as I am aware the reciprocal arrangement is still in force, in that France claims back what it can from the UK Gov. That may only apply to pensioners and or children, if parents still receive UK child Benefit - not positive about either, as there have been a lot of different system changes over the months.

Like in the NHS, The French doctors do love to keep dishing out Pills! NOT taking them has helped me more than anything, at least stopped my PBC deteriorating and lose the 'portal hypertension, as well as a lot of the ‘brain fog’! I think it’s the French Government just trying to save money, like they are in UK.

Interesting and thoughtful post. Keeping fit is probably the most important thing when one gets to over 60. Rather than follow all these fads like gluten-free, lactose-free etc I found that giving up alcohol improves one's health at a stroke. No more aches and pains, no digestive problems ... and a will to get up and do things. Not that I drank much, mind, but in France it can become very easy to start/keep drinking a few glasses every day.

As to 'going home' ... you have to have a home to go to, as many readers have pointed out. Will friends and relations still be there and willing to look after old folk? In my case the 'home' in question is a horrid place called Belfast which I left nearly 50 years ago: no friends, no family and no links: most people left years ago, chased out by the medicrity of the place and the gunmen.

In my job (estate agent: selling gites and B&Bs) I encounter a lot of British vendors who are selling up. But, surprisingly, not many are 'going home'. Most are down-sizing to something more manageable. Those who do want to go home are usually the ones who have never learned French and who have grandchildren pestering them to return.

Finally, we hear little from our non-UK members on this topic: do the Americans, Dutch, Danes and others also contemplate 'going home'?

Does any one have knowledge and experience of French residential homes?

Care homes.

No nothing is easy full stop.

But you have time to enjoy the season in your own way.

I know that we are living in France but if you have British TV

would you indulge in Downton Abbey, the Queens speech and

Strictly come dancing....the gowns are amazing and the dancing


A nice glass of sherry.One of your favourite meals.

Sorry to hear about your family lacking understanding sadly

this happens so often.

I have tried to understand people why they are so mean and idiosincratic

but I will never get to find an answer. It really is not something which is found

on Google or any books.

Forgive them shirely.

DP, Ithink that’s very sad for you and also was for your mum. Perhaps I am ‘lucky’ that here I do not own my half of our property we bought over here any more. I rent and in am under the auspices of CPAM and CAF. WhT ever I have left in the bank and any saleable assets here will go the French State first. I dont have a problem with that. Ur for anyone left alone here who doesn’t have a pot of go,d T end of the rainbow, it is essential for them to think about how they ’ put their own house in order’. So yes again, I’m lucky because I have been aware for several months now, of my health and what is happening to me, so have done thT via my English DepRtmentale employed Sociale Worker here, there is almost nothing she does NOT know about me. As my conditions and legal action again my landlady progress, I copy her in by email with everything and she keeps a French colleague informed, who works in another related department of the service. They both have permission to access my bank statements. I have already spoken to the local Notaire, and my hospital taxi driver knows some things also, she is a good friend to me!

As for my family, they have all deliberately cut me off. I understand why - because they don’t understand my health situation or the conditions I’m diagnosed with, which has one all encompassing name,confirmed by a Doctor last week, but the family, whhy can’t or don’t they understand! Because I can and do still Walk and talk! Last nights Big Build programme on BBC showed the problems just with the Stroke victim, Richard. He looked a wreck at times but his mind was still active, and he was just recovering from a stroke,al lot more may follow, because his aneurysm,like mine, was a spontaneous one - he just suddenly collapsed! Those who watched it will have got an insight into the difficulties of both patient and carers alike.

So yes I understand where you Re coming from with your narrative about mum and dads situations as were.

Nothing is ever easy in the end, wherever we live.

I’m also lucky

I can only speak for the UK. My UK experiences with late parents started out reasonably well in West Sussex, but they had to pay for their electric bath seat because they owned their own home. They also found a carer for Dad through their cleaner (whom they also had to find for themselves). Assessment of care needs by Social Services and Physios took a long time to happen and was rarely followed up (ie. if their needs changed nobody knew).

After Dad died in 2010 Mum was reluctant to stay in Sussex on her own so we sold her bungalow and bought a maisonette in S London which we paid for jointly. This meant no care home could insist we sold it to pay for care as nobody would buy 2/3 of a flat, and I could prove I had paid 1/3 of the purchase price and fees for our UK pied a terre to enable us to stay with Mum rather than family and friends as in the past.

Again, Mum's care took time to assess. We found her a cleaner, and Social Services outsourced her care to an Agency (ours was Mitie). All in all, I'd say her care benefitted Mitie's shareholders more than it did Mum, although the carers did their best within the time allotted they were under constant pressure to get to the next customer and visits rarely lasted as long as Mum was paying for. (The ladaies were paid only for the time spent in Mum's flat, not for travelling time). The agency invoiced the local council who invoiced us at random intervals for immediate settlement. Our son scanned the carer's logs to me in France and I checked the hours worked against the invoices. I had to challenge almost every one and won a reduction in every case, often of several hundred pounds. Mum was often charged for carers who didn't arrive, leaving her without a meal or unwashed or going to bed fully clothed. Because she was not renting and had more than £23k in the bank, she paid the full cost of care, about £15 per hour. We ordered her groceries, later mainly ready-meals, online for delivery to her flat and the cleaner or carers put it away. They also took care of the dishwasher and washing machine while she was able to ask them but as she went downhill they rarely bothered. The last year was pretty grim, and she kept going in and out of hospital, more through fear than medical need. District nurses came to inject her daily once she couldn't remember to take Warfarin - mainly at my insistence as I could see during my visits that she was losing touch with reality.

Had we needed to put her into a care home (which we probably should have done for the last month of her life) it would have cost her £40k per year. I don't think the standard of care would have been higher or more extensive. We kept money in her account to pay for a couple of years, maybe 3 at the most, after which a debt would have grown to be paid out of her estate. Once the estate was consumed, the state might have taken over responsibility. In the UK the family are not liable unless they have clearly been squirreling money away to avoid care home fees, or unless a family trust was set up years before care started. It is not a decision to be made suddenly, and if a hospital decides Granny can't go home this time you are up the creek, searching madly for a home which has a vacancy that week at any price.

It is worth noting that the UK Govt's promise of a cap to care costs is worthless. Only a small part of the care home's £40k fees relates to care, the cost of accommodation, laundry, food, cleaning and other "hotel" costs are not covered by the cap. The BBC calculate that virtually nobody will reach the cap, most will sell their homes to pay.

Organising and monitoring Mum's care, liaising with hospital, GP, social services, cleaners and the care agency was undertaken largely from France, and was rather upsetting. Towards the end our close friend and neighbour in France said "Look at you, look at what this is doing to you! This can't go on!" She was right, but this was just before we left for our final visit to Mum, who died in January this year. This is the only reason I would return to the UK to die - to spare my sons what we went through in 2014 while Mum was hostile, confused and stubborn while her life fell apart around her.

I think that we have to take each stage of life as we go.

Who knows what is around the corner.There are no golden rules for survival

in life.

How ever do go back to where we came because we can expect a better

life there' or do we go back because we need financial or emotional support

from family/and or friends?

By the way does the UK social service pay for a stay in a care home?

How well are the elderly looked after in UK? Holland, US?


Well said Jack! We brought my mum-in-law with us when we moved over this year. She is an active 93 and our local GP immediately whisked her into hospital as he could not believe she had nothing really wrong (aside from a little arthritis)... Turns out she has a mild heart condition, BUT this is actually from a childhood illness undetected in the UK. After 5 luxurious days in a private room, lovely meals and good chats in Franglais, she was, of course happy to be "home",but agreed it was a great hospital stay. Yes, after being a welder in WW11, working for the RAF after the war (plus doing a couple of jobs on the side to make ends meet), she is a wonder to behold - and she loves France and hopes to spend the rest of her days here with us (as of course we will). Having lived abroad both as a child and working

Having lived abroad both as a child and working adult, I found it hard to return to the UK in '98 then only because of my own ailing mother who, like me had also lived a nomadic life - (unfortunately, at the time I was based in the US and her medical care ongoing needs were not affordable there). Although I then met and married a wonderful man who had lived a similar life - he and I both felt out-of-place in the UK. We bided our time working hard on our farm taking care of parents but ultimately, we decided to sell up and move to where we could be more comfortable.

Alas, at the last moment, my own mother was unable to make the trip - she fell and basically woke up after hip surgery, diagnosed with vascular dementia. We unsuccessfully argued the case to bring her with us as social services took over her life; This said, she is in a loving, caring environment and is unaware of who we are now. She is visited constantly by other family and friends and we keep in touch all the time with the staff.

This did raise another point. We were powerless to fight UK's social services to do what we think my mother would have preferred - to end her days in the sun and with family, albeit not recognised by her.She was a linguist and loved talking in other languages, however, she did not know her native Welsh that is predominately spoken in the residential home in which she now resides. They have also prevented her from smoking more than two cigarettes a day and that on condition a carer is free to take her outside in rain and cold to do so. (she is 96 and has smoked since she was 19 at least 20-40 a day that may have caused her dementia, but she enjoyed that small treat.). They have forbidden alcohol - (glass of wine a day) and taken charge of her finances. Do we want to be subject to UK's family court actions? social services ruthless decisions? Or a gentler French system of allowing you to remain in your home and have regular support and care provided? We know which we prefer and this was a sharp learning curve for us

Do we want to be subject to UK's family court actions? social services ruthless decisions? Or a gentler French system of allowing you to remain in your home and have regular support and care provided? We know which we will prefer and this was a sharp learning curve for us, and in spiriting my mum-in-law away - delightedly so admittedly. it was lovely to see how much she enjoyed the local Christmas' seniors lunch here with our French neighbours, followed by the CLE's British Christmas lunch the following day. Our elderly neighbour, almost the same age and ability pops in for a chat and despite language problems they enjoy each other's company and chat away. She can be seen sitting outside in the winter sun having lunch and commented "I have never, ever in my life had lunch outside in December before" - says it all really...........................

We have had our house in France for 10 years as a holiday home and are planning on retiring there in a couple of years. For me it is not the language that is the issue but our French friends have told us that IF you should have to go into a care home in France, our kids will be financially responsible should our own finances run out. As my husband is Dutch that would not be a problem here in Holland so that is my only reservation about spending the rest of our days in France. Like you Glenn, we are both very fit, have been physically very active all our lives (tennis, running, yoga, walking, cycling etc.) and have a healthy (eating) life style. In spite of this you never know what's around the corner (see other posting about strokes on the forum today).

Diana P, In conjunction with my comments above, in UK I had one blood test a year only for my Thyroid. TSH only no doubt because thAt test was developed In the 40’s or 50´s i think. All they’ll test for hère also, unless you ask for more to be tested. thyroïdism is one of the most medically neglected research subjects! It’s time all International Health governing bodies started listening to the patients! More women with a thyroid condition go on to develop other side effects over the years in comparison to Diabetes, than men. Most of them appear also to be menopausal or post menopausal, and often go on to develop an autoimmune disorder - Hashimotos because of it.Lack of oestrogen has been linked by some US Doctors doing their own research and trials and has been found to help with so many of the other adrenal effects.

also re Diabetes - I was diagnosed as borderline Type 2 here a few years ago and put on Metformine, because I was overweight for my age and height - Terrible BMI! what is Borderline anyway? The Metformine, also on Thyroxine - ended up with an enlarged Spleen, now I have this ‘blood disorder’ ie dropping Leucocytes and Platelets, both below normal levels! Women do need to be treated differently because our hormones and levels are different to or from men’s! That wasn’t by the doctor I’ve had for last 2 years either. It was after the enlarged spleen the blood disorder was diagnosed and then I had the aneurysm & haemorrhage So things can and do link, and all conditions and prescribed meds should be looked at in conjunction with each other - not separately!

I should never have been put on Metformine for a ‘borderline’ only condition!

Feeling lonely and not having a true sense of belonging drive people back to

their place of birth for re attachment.But does that always work out?