Transition: moving mom to my city and a new house.

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Please give any tips and experience about moving a widowed and elderly parent. All stories, all angles appreciated. I have to run now, but want to open the topic for advice. thank you-

-She's 93 and somewhat confused most of the time. sometimes she likes the idea, sometimes she doesn't.
-I'm an only child, 56 years old, divorced, with an 11-yr old boy. I simply cannot stretch myself between 2 towns anymore. We are her only family and she need to be near us in her last years.
- I am renovating a house just a few doors away from us where she will live. My goal is to get her here by this Christmas.
- She currently has a daytime and an evening companion. We will set up the same schedule here after the move with new people, but I will be spending a good bit of time with her too.

My biggest challenge at the moment is keeping her excited or at least positive about her new life with us. My father died about 2 1/2 years ago. the first year, she didn't want to consider it. the second year, I had gotten her liking the idea of a nice senior apartment complex near us, but she would miss having her own porch, yard, etc. Last spring a house 2 doors down from me came up for sale and she loved the idea. We decided to make this happen, but the moment it became definite, she started getting cold feet. The situation is actually perfect for her, and her excuses are mostly just excuses because I know she's scared of the change.
There are plenty of pros to this move: a safer, prettier neighborhood, wonderful neighbors, a selection of lovely churches in walking distance, her grandson and me visiting daily, etc etc etc... as well as a few real cons, like finding a new doctor (she loves her old one), the fact that father's grave will still be in the old town (she does not travel well and visiting it probably won't happen any more).
I have solutions for just about all of the potential problems, but we just have to get her here with little trauma.

My biggest concern is her personality. She has always been a martyr, a worrier, negative, reclusive, full of self-pity. (I do love her though it may not sound like it!) I'm concerned that her narrow and negative outlook might affect her physical health before or during the actual move.
I'm looking forward to any and all comments. Thank you-


If she has been a nartyr all her life and she has survived to age 93, what makes you worry that this particular event will do her in? She's gotten along just fine, apparently, with a narrow and negative outlook for low these many years. My bet is that she'll alternate between looking forward to the new home and being very grumpy about it. And I'll add a wager that this will continue even after she is well established in the new city. This is how she is. Why would you expect her to suddenly change now? Oh, I can fully understand why you'd WANT her to change, but I don't think it is realistic to expect it.

You are doing a great thing for well-thought-out reasons. The plans are in place. Move forward with them. You love Mom, worry-warts and all. Keep that up!
Um ... that "martyr" all her life. !
Because she hasn't had to deal with major change in 42 years, when she was 50 and healthy. Now she flirts with diabetes and has sporadic heart problems. She will definitely be upset on and off, but the move itself may cause her to have palpitations.
A few years ago I tried to help her organize her calendar, which had about 4 years' worth of obsolete appointments and info clipped to it. (Every year, she transferred old stuff to the new calendar because she was afraid of losing something important). I wanted to sit down with her and go through each thing and clean it up. She started crying, and yelled "I hate you!"- she NEVER yells- and actually tried to hit me, she was like a panicked animal. I am truly worried about the day of the move, even if she's on board the day before. Her memory and POV can change every 15 minutes. I'm seriously wondering if I could have her make the 2 hr trip in an ambulance.
Wow! She is so lucky to have you looking out for her. And bringing her close to you makes a lot of sense.

Is the doctor she loves aware of her panic behavior? I wonder if some as-needed medication would be appropriate? Has this ever been discussed? Being mildly sedated for a potentially stressful trip might be better than a full-flown anxiety attack.

When looking for a new doctor in the new location, I suggest a geriatrician. And start looking before the move.

Good luck!
Yes, I will find a Doctor before the move. Last month I actually set up an appointment with mom and her doctor to discuss the transition and get recommendations for Drs in my town, but mom didn't feel like getting in the car so I had to cancel. She can always change Drs if she doesn't like him/her.
I need to get started on that process again.
She doesn't travel well and has not come to my town to tour facilities or see this house; it will be a one-way trip when it happens.
I didn't bring up my long story of caregivers that had turned her against me over the years while father was still alive; I got rid of them within the year after he died, but I believe there is still some residual fear and mistrust that they planted in order to move themselves into her will, or at the very least keep their job with her in her town. She's probably still scared that no matter what I tell her I'm going to do, she's going to wind up in one of the bad NHs you hear about on the news. the whole point of getting this lovely house is so that she can be in her home for every day of her life and not have to be transferred to any facility, while still being close to my son and me.
Your situation sounds identical to what my sister and I went through two years ago, right down to the negative personality "quirks" you listed. I guess my advice based on our experience would be to emotionally prepare yourself for her to possibly blame you - and the move - for every upset or problem she has going forward. Mom was so miserable back in our hometown, felt isolated from us kids and grandkids (all of whom live in the same city), was planning to stop driving her car due to the expense and winter weather, worried about lack of access to healthcare in her small town, and on and on, but to hear her tell it now, we dragged her here kicking and screaming, snatched her car and her independence away from under her, and ruined her old age for her. She refuses to get screened for depression, so I am realizing that I may need to be the one in counseling, to help me cope with her. One big difference is that as far as I can tell, Mom has no memory issues, and you state that your mother does have issues and confusion. I can see where that takes things up to a whole new level of "stressful", so hang in there! :-)
Thank you! When things were at their worst, due to what her paid companions were saying to make her fear me, I had an epiphany: drop all expectations that mother will ever like, love or be nice to me again. It was very freeing. And when she rbegan to realize that I'm not the devil, it was a bonus to have her like me again :-)
She sounds just like my mom. I had to move my parents 4 yrs ago and she was only willing THEN (not before when I wanted them to) because they were burglarized. However, she still complained. I put them in a beautiful new apt. but she likes old prewar suggestion to you is to try to include her in at least decorating - at the minimum her own room so she feels like it is at least 'hers'. Give her some home power. LEt her pick new towels, bedding, etc. And expect her to complain even if she is happy :)
and PS SHE picked the new apt too .....and it's far better living than she ever had before (dishwasher, nice view, no pollution, big closet.....)
My brother and wife (her mother) Had someone take her for a long ride, so while she was gone moved all the things that fit in her new place from her old place and when she walked into her new place and saw her own things in place loved the move.

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