Transatlantic granny dumping

My own mother is still in community hospital and I visit her most days (54miles) and take care of bungalow, bills etc in her absence.

Now my Canadian brothers-in-law have hatched a plan to bring my 89-year-old mother-in-law to the UK and leave her with us, supposedly for “4 months” but I suspect that they will not have her back. They perhaps think that everything is free in the UK.

MIL has a British passport and some assets, property etc here but not more than a year’s worth of residential care costs.

My husband cares about his mother and wants to do the right thing. I don’t speak the same language as MIL nor do we share the same culture. I love my husband and we have mostly had a happy marriage of 35 years. Yet I can’t face having this burdensome arrangement of MIL living with us on an indefinite basis. I could manage a few weeks by moving out temporarily but I can’t face the prospect of losing everything my husband and I have worked so hard for.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Not sure where your MIL is right now, but my experience is that to qualify
for NHS services, you need to be a resident for 6 months.

Even more so come social care :

How the law restricts entitlement to social care for people from abroad - Community Care

TGD … for a minute , I thought a new Government proposal for cost cutting as part of the forthcoming Green Paper.

Is she in good health or does she have any enduring health issues?

Your BIL and Husband needs to be aware that any possible or potential treatment by MIL would need to be covered by private insurance. Knowing this may change his plans dependant if she is in good health or not for her 4 month extended visit.

She has dual citizenship. British and Canadian. I understood that the rules are different for ex-pats (she lived here for 40 odd years) if they intend to settle in the UK permanently again.

Thanks for the replies. I couldn’t get the social care links to work but shall try googling this.

Hi Karma
Worst scenario. The Canadian in laws have an ‘agenda’ and are planning to leave MIL with you ‘forever’ because of costs in Canada or family unwilling to take on the future care needed.
Best scenario. They really mean only a few months so MIL can see your husband as the end of her life approaches.
BUT do you and hubby know of any recent diagnosis or deterioration which might affect her during those months. What happens if MIL becomes ill and cannot return to Canada?
I think you are quite right to be wary.
Knowing only what you have written and never having been in your situation nor wishing to be offensive in any way, my suggestions are:-
Say to Canadian relatives that of course hubby (and you) would be delighted to have MIL nearby so that he (and you) could visit her BUT unfortunately due to your commitment to your own mother’s care, you cannot put her up because you cannot possibly devote time to MIL’s care. Perhaps BILs would like to arrange ‘respite’ care for the 4 months in a nearby residential home, where MIL would be cared for and where your husband has easy access to visit.
Make it very clear to all the brothers that it is their mother and their responsibility to make any arrangements they see fit but YOU will have no input either in the arrangements or future care. Maybe your husband will want his mother to move in with you. Well, tell him to arrange carers (paid for by her) and take on all responsibility for her, just as you have for your own mother. Does hubby work? Will he take ‘time off’ to keep her company? Drive her around, arrange entertainment?
Perhaps you need to make your position very, very clear to your husband. The ‘right thing’ might be for you two not for relieving BILs from the ‘burden’.
Who will pay for her travel? What kind of state will she be in when she arrives? That’s a long, hard journey for someone her age.
What reason have BILs given?
Let the brothers sort everything. They will find many pitfalls no doubt. How about hubby taking a trip to Canada to see mum? Expensive maybe but stress cheaper?
Why are YOU trying to sort this out? Hand it over to the brothers and just make it clear that YOU cannot look after her. Not your problem. Not your responsibility. If hubby wants his Mum to come to the UK to be looked after then he and his brothers have to make all arrangements and do the looking after. Just like you do for your Mum.
That’s my opinion from reading your post. I realise there are many more ‘sides’ to this I don’t understand, but I do know what it’s like to have responsibility for a very elderly person. I can imagine how hard it is when that elderly person is someone you don’t ‘gel with’.
Be strong.

My apologies Freetoleave
Replied to the wrong name. Apologies to ‘Karma’ too. Didn’t look carefully enough at the original poster’s name.
I shall ‘smack my own wrist’!


Eligibilty for nhs coverage is based on residency, not citizenship.

What is the matter with MIL that BIL doesn’t want to manage her care any more?
Surely this is the reason he has hatched this ridiculous plan?
If MIL is old, and vulnerable has anyone actually asked her what she wants?

I suspect what she really needs is residential care in Canada! It’s OK for BIL to say he doesn’t want to care any more, but the solution is to sort out proper care for her in the area where she has lived for many years.

It’s time for you husband to man up and tell his brother where he can put this plan!

Elaine, No worries from me here, some good advice given to OP.

Correct as per my link directly to NHS given earlier in thread

If you’re visiting England from a non-EEA country, even if you’re a > former UK resident, you’ll be charged for NHS secondary care at 150% of the standard NHS rate> , unless an exemption from the charge category applies to either you or the treatment.


Thank you, thank you one and all.

As ever this forum is proving to be a real lifeline. Yes, Quebec relatives where MIL has resided for many years. My French still hopeless despite trying hard!

As far as I know MIL is in reasonably good health but v good point about “fitness to fly”, not something I’ve ever come across before. If she does come here she will need full medical cover as part of her travel insurance and that is definitely not cheap for someone her age.

Now I’m going to re-read the bumph on here about CHC funding in relation to own mother.


Now I’m going to re-read the bumph on here about CHC funding in relation to own mother.

Good luck … record time so far … links NOT included … nor Prof Luke Clement’s video … 33 minutes and 14 seconds.

Questions will be asked … just to confirm.

Ha! Multiple choice exam rather than an essay I hope.
It’s a lot to take in. Almost as though the whole system is designed to wear people down.

It’s a lot to take in. Almost as though the whole system is designed to wear people down.


I’d also look into the costs of travel insurance for her, or say to Bils that she cannot travel without it. That alone would probably make a trip finacially unviable