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Old 08.02.2011, 18:28
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Re: How can I arrange for my parents stay with me?

At what stage would they have to have full medical Insurance? Have you worked out the cost - for 2 of them it could be very expensive, eg about 600CHF for the most basic on Insurance.
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Old 09.02.2011, 15:59
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Re: How can I arrange for my parents stay with me?

Shelley, we looked into this some years ago. My ILs are in the US, their only child here in Switzerland. But please note that we spoke with the the folks in SZ, and I assume that as with much else the regs and procedure will vary by canton.

We were told that in order to qualify the parent had to be alone in his/her home country. This was the first stumbling block, as both parents are alive - it was assumed that they could care for one another. Were one parent deceased and the survivor then left alone in the US that would have been a diffent situation. Exceptions could be made on an individual basis, though. I was of the understanding that parents wholly financially dependent on the family member living in Switzerland would have made a stronger case for an exception - but I could be wrong there.

Secondly, we would need to prove adequate accomodation. Our 6.5 room ca 200m2 house - currently occcupied by 2 people - would normally have been sufficient for all of us. But because my ILs physical disabilities would have required modifications to be made to accomodate their needs - and those modifications would have been in violation of the Quartier Gestaltungsplan - this proved to be a further problem. So we would have had to find another house - and nothing suitable was for sale in our Gemeinde. (We felt our best chance if the application was to be judged individually was to stay in the Gemeinde where we are known.)

Third, we would have to prove that we had the financial resources to meet the ILs needs for their expected time in Switzerland. This would involve putting together a reasonable budget, showing their average cost of health care, accomodation, etc. for several years. Yes, it could well come to a million or more, depending on the individual circumstances. The thing one needs to prove is that the dependent parent is unlikely become a burden on the public purse.

But the real question for us was whether bringing the ILs to Switzerland would improve their quality of life, or not - and here you MUST consider Swiss heath insurance and the Swiss health system, as Odile mentions. When we looked into it, we determined that the ILs could not get the level of care here that they had at home. The ILs are fortunate to have one of those 'cadillac' health plans in the US, and here all they could get would be the basic insurance, due to their ages and myriad pre-existing conditions. We felt that the basic insurance did not meet their health care needs. And at this stage, health care is a primary concern for them.

Beyond the health care issue, we felt that the ILs - in their 80s, speaking no German and unlikely to pick any up, homebound, knowing no one apart from us - wouldn't have much of a life here. At home they are respected and beloved members of the community, people know their history, remember their contributions to the community - something very important to the ILs. Here they would be viewed as suspicious Auslanders. We worried that they could not cope with that at this point in their lives.

So - we did not pursue it further. Instead we fly back and forth a lot.

If you feel that a move to Switzerland is indeed in your parents' best interest, then by all means keep pursuing this. Try to aticipate the kinds of objections you might be met with and put together answers to the issues already raised by the folks you spoke with. Show how you can meet the support issue, etc.

Wishing you and your parents all the best as you struggle with these issues.
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Old 09.02.2011, 16:31
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Re: How can I arrange for my parents stay with me?

My heart goes to all those who have elderly parents living far away. It is so hard - and at times totally physically and emotionally exhausting. Uprooting parents from their communities is often a disaster, for reasons so well described by meloncollie. And the cost can be huge- not just financially. Having In-Laws living with you can seriously rock your marriage, however much you love them. I've known many friends' families torn apart by this. Depending on your culture, the daughter in law often becomes a bit of a 'slave'. I loved and respected my parents so much - but them living with us in the UK would have never worked. Good luck.
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