FORMER “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul is fac­ing a devastating family heartbreak – she fears her beloved father, Harry, is slipping mentally.

Her concerns have left Paula, who recently landed the job as head judge on “So You Think You Can Dance Australia,” with a tough decision: Should she stay or should she go Down Under?

“This is a terrible spot for Paula to be in right now,” said a source close to the “Straight Up” hit-maker.

“She loves her dad an awful lot and wants to spend as much time with him as possible just in case he doesn’t recognize her anymore.

“But Australia’s too far away for Paula to commute back and forth once production begins in early 2014.”

Paula, 51, has had a tough time finding steady employment since leaving “Idol” in 2009.

She was featured on CBS’ short-lived TV series “Live To Dance,” which was canceled after one season in 2011, before becoming a judge on the first season of “The X Factor.” She’s also made guest appearances on “Dancing with the Stars” and the American version of “So You Think You Can Dance.”

“Paula was on the fence about taking the new job at first, but she knew her dad would have want­ed her to do it,” said the source.

Watching Harry, 81 – a suc­cessful businessman who ran a sand and gravel company – begin to lose a lifetime of memories has been par­ticularly painful for Paula. She still thinks of herself as “daddy’s little girl,” the source added.

“Paula tearfully told a pal, ‘When I get back from work­ing in Australia next year, he may not even recognize me …and that would break my heart.’”