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Should I come home?

  • 25-04-2020 5:13am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 441 ✭✭ ripcord


    Hi folks!

    I'm currently working in Canada and obeying all the social distancing happening over here.

    My 80 year-old mother lives alone back in Ireland. Her short-term memory is bad, but she seems to grasp the current situation ok. Usually she spends every second weekend in my brother's house. He lives an hour away, but obviously those visits are off the table now (he has small kids).

    These days, my brother brings her groceries once a week (but doesn't stay).
    She has neighbours she could call if she needs to.
    My aunts and uncles, my brother and me call her every day for a chat.

    Her routine is gone. She used to go to mass, then to the shop, then visit her friend, EVERY day. Now she just sits at home. Physically she's fine, but her mental state will only get worse as this madness could go on until next year.

    My idea for a plan would be:
    1. Move back to Ireland (I was thinking about leaving before this virus struck anyway).
    2. Isolate somewhere for two weeks.
    3. Move in with my mother.
    4. Get a job working from home (I work in IT and there are jobs in my field available).
    5. I would only go to the shop once a week and go for a run in the evenings.
    6. Stay with her until there's a vaccine.
    7. Then move out.

    I'm trying to weigh up the risks involved and am interested in peoples opinion.


    On one hand, me being at home would be great for her mental well-being.
    However, it's two flights and three airports to get home, so there is the risk to myself and others during that trip.
    But also, am I introducing a larger risk that I could bring the virus into her house? Even if I stay vigilant whilst there? Essentially, is an improvement of her mental health worth an increase of risk that she might catch the virus?

    Any thoughts welcome!
    Thanks


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,462 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how


    ripcord wrote: »
    Hi folks!

    I'm currently working in Canada and obeying all the social distancing happening over here.

    My 80 year-old mother lives alone back in Ireland. Her short-term memory is bad, but she seems to grasp the current situation ok. Usually she spends every second weekend in my brother's house. He lives an hour away, but obviously those visits are off the table now (he has small kids).

    These days, my brother brings her groceries once a week (but doesn't stay).
    She has neighbours she could call if she needs to.
    My aunts and uncles, my brother and me call her every day for a chat.

    Her routine is gone. She used to go to mass, then to the shop, then visit her friend, EVERY day. Now she just sits at home. Physically she's fine, but her mental state will only get worse as this madness could go on until next year.

    My idea for a plan would be:
    1. Move back to Ireland (I was thinking about leaving before this virus struck anyway).
    2. Isolate somewhere for two weeks.
    3. Move in with my mother.
    4. Get a job working from home (I work in IT and there are jobs in my field available).
    5. I would only go to the shop once a week and go for a run in the evenings.
    6. Stay with her until there's a vaccine.
    7. Then move out.

    I'm trying to weigh up the risks involved and am interested in peoples opinion.


    On one hand, me being at home would be great for her mental well-being.
    However, it's two flights and three airports to get home, so there is the risk to myself and others during that trip.
    But also, am I introducing a larger risk that I could bring the virus into her house? Even if I stay vigilant whilst there? Essentially, is an improvement of her mental health worth an increase of risk that she might catch the virus?

    Any thoughts welcome!
    Thanks

    You mentioned that you were thinking about it anyway, so if you truly believe that, then your plan sounds reasonable.

    Would your mother be comfortable with the thought of you moving in? She may feel you are cutting off your own life on her behalf and might not be comfortable with that.

    I think its a very thoughtful thing to be considering. Ultimately, the answer and decision will obviously come from you.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Are you on some kind of visa? Will you have to come home eventually?
    Are you still working in Canada?
    It's a personal decision, I probably would but maybe that's because I haven't seen my own mother in 6 weeks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,229 ✭✭✭ mvl


    can you cover point 4 while working for your current employer from Ireland ?

    - that may help with the transition


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,897 ✭✭✭ Irishphotodesk


    While the risk is very low at the moment, you would potentially be increasing the risk factor for your mother to getting it.

    Your plan sounds great, she will have someone there to help her etc, but you will be leaving the house daily (for exercise) and weekly for a shop... On each of those occasions and during your travel home , you risk catching it.... You may not be displaying symptoms but might be transmitting it for a period of time.

    You should discuss this idea with family and see what they think, for all you know your mother has a routine that she is safe/comfortable with and has a network of people supporting her, your presence could upset that.

    At the moment it would seem the virus is mainly in clusters of care homes and health workers.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 226 ✭✭ Steer55


    OP, you doing the right thing, your mother is very elderly, lonely and confused. Come back and in later years you will look back fondly and always remember the special time you spend with her during these troubled times.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,569 ✭✭✭ mugsymugsy


    I would say do it but just one change I would advise getting shopping delivered. Whilst the lack of social contact for you will be tough it will certainly reduce the risk to your mother.

    As others have said you will look back on this time and realise you did the right thing


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,104 ✭✭✭✭ Sleeper12


    If you move in with her then you would need to cocoon too. Either that or she would need to isolate herself in her room. She's safer living alone than with you leaving the house for shopping and exercise. She's no longer cocooning if you are coming & going.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭ Xertz


    You’ll also have to self isolate for 14 days on arrival. So be prepared to organise that well in advance. Ideally you’ll need a hotel with room service.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,462 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how


    Xertz wrote: »
    You’ll also have to self isolate for 14 days on arrival. So be prepared to organise that well in advance. Ideally you’ll need a hotel with room service.

    From op.
    ripcord wrote: »
    My idea for a plan would be:
    1. Move back to Ireland (I was thinking about leaving before this virus struck anyway).
    2. Isolate somewhere for two weeks.
    3. Move in with my mother.
    4. Get a job working from home (I work in IT and there are jobs in my field available).
    5. I would only go to the shop once a week and go for a run in the evenings.
    6. Stay with her until there's a vaccine.
    7. Then move out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 441 ✭✭ ripcord


    Sleeper12 wrote: »
    If you move in with her then you would need to cocoon too. Either that or she would need to isolate herself in her room. She's safer living alone than with you leaving the house for shopping and exercise. She's no longer cocooning if you are coming & going.


    Thanks for the advice everyone!


    I was already considering leaving this summer, and visa is not a problem as I am a permanent resident in Canada.


    Above is my major concern. If she is in more danger when I am there, then should I just stay where I am? Or is the benefit to her mental health worth the risk?


    I should have mentioned that I definitely plan to come home in December for Christmas anyway.. but who knows if things will be better or worse by then.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭ Xertz


    From op.

    Only reason I mentioned it is because at present Ireland is probably more deeply shut down than much of Canada. It may be complicated to find temporary accommodation at short notice.

    Things like accommodation and car hire aren’t necessarily straight forward. It’s very easy to not have a sense of just how disrupted things are. It may be easier in a couple of weeks time when restrictions might be relaxed a bit.

    I just wouldn’t take anything for granted as being in normal operation and would get as much detailed planning done ahead of arrival as possible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,498 ✭✭✭ SeaBreezes


    If your prompted to come home do. One thing is for sure, time is limited and you won't regret time spent with your mum.
    But why do you have to live with her?
    Find a place close by and visit her daily?
    Keep your own space and keep her safe as well?
    She might not appreciate having you living with her if she has her own routine/space and you may not find it easy cocooning/living with your mum.
    Just a thought..


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,892 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    You need to be certain you can get decent broadband at your mother's house if you want to work from home.

    There may never be an effective vaccine.

    Also (having had a parent with dementia) it is likely that her forgetfulness will gradually get worse, and she may be incapable of living on her own, so are you prepared to be a long-term live-in carer for her? or are there any other options for her care? If someone is 'in situ' then the rest of the family may well expect them to stay there.

    Wishing you both all the best.


  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭ patspost


    As has been suggested above, it may be difficult to get a place to cocoon for 2 weeks, or longer, or difficult to get your own place reasonably near her.
    Who knows how long this Covid will go on for, but your mother is alive now, so there may be no point in putting off coming back till next year or whenever.
    You mention the risk to others of your travels, but if you are covid free & self isolate in Ireland when you get here, there is no risk to others, but to yourself only.

    All the best with your move


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