How do I transport my elderly mother who has Alzheimer's & physical issues from one state to another?


My mom is in a nursing home near where she lives. Her husband/my father died suddenly 2 weeks ago. My husband and I want to move her to a nursing home closer to us (she's in PA now, we want to move her to Georgia). She can't walk but she uses a wheelchair. She does get carsick but I'm hoping the doc can give her some medication for that. We want to make the trip in one 10-12 hour drive but neither my husband nor myself can do that long a drive in one day.

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Peymar, if the woman is 90, her own daughter is already too old to care for her at home. Attempting to do so would probably kill your MIL. Do not let her do this.
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My dad has 30 days left to stay at a therapy facility. After that, he will not be able to return to his independent life in his condo. Major life changes and being a retired nurse for so many years, I am the only one in my family who has the compassion and understanding of his needs. I am now challenged with moving him from NC to Iowa to a near by facility where I live. Suggestions please?
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Any ideas to move my mom from San Diego California to Dallas, Texas. She has Alzheimer's and dementia but sleeps all the time except eating and going to bath room. She can not walk.
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When the elder is in a pretty decent elder care facility, yet still complains they can't stand it there, it's important to consider what's really going on.
While it's easier for some families to move their elder nearer to them, it's not always a good idea for the elder, and it could result in unfortunate episodes in so many ways.
Please assess the risk: benefit ratio.
Elders complain they cannot stand their facility anymore, ALL.THE.TIME. What they are Probably doing, is complaining because they feel their lives closing in on them; suffered many harsh losses. What they are really trying to escape, is that they are losing their abilities to function, lost home, lost autonomy...they cannot get those back by moving to a new facility, nor by begging relatives to keep them at their homes.
IF the elder is Appropriately, Safely Housed in a Facility, due to their diminishing capacities; and, care is decent, often they need repeatedly reassured that is the best place for them; just stop promising them what is not realistic to promise!
Each case is different, and needs to be really well-assessed, before deciding.
For instance:
A relative's siblings have made her life misery for decades.
NOW, her siblings, via a lawyer [they won't speak with her--probably a good thing].. are trying to corner her into taking their Mom into her house [without adequate POA's--they don't want to give those up], to do 24/7 care, instead of keeping Mommy at the very nice Assisted Living she's in [it also has capability to move clients into increasingly higher-care levels--a good item].
Mommy is pushing 90, a bit ditzy, has increasingly more worse moments. Just had a fall w/broken wrist.
The lawyer even just told this Relative, after she'd told him "no", to [while she's out of state working]... "just go online to find a new facility for Mommy closer to your house"; then, "Mommy's estate can pay to fix your house and hire in-home care while you are away".
Mommy's been insisting she cannot stand to stay in that facility.
She's already been moved to 4 different ones in less than 2 years, declining a bit more each time. Pretty sure she was extremely demanding about being moved each time, and the siblings caved-in and arranged it--the woman has always been pretty formidable!
This Relative is herself an elder. Her only real source of much-needed income, is from taking jobs that work one or two months at a time, then no work for many months, always far from home. This intermittent work has been preventing her from becoming homeless.
Once Mommy dies, even if Mommy's estate pays for her care/fixing at her house, would leave this relative destitute upon death of Mommy, and, no way for her to return to doing that work.
She's got her own health issues, a too-small house badly configured; NOT Accessible [not ADA safe]. It'd cost many thou$and$ to fix everything.
After years of kicking this relative to the curb, and preventing her participating in family stuff, and promising to take care of Mommy, the Siblings now say they don't want Mommy in their homes...reasons.
Sister promised to build a MIL cottage in her back yard--got initial permits, but stalled..for several years now. Deliberately. And has her own health issues.
Brother says his hands are full; kids, work, health.
Sister now announced she's moving out of state, and wants this Relative to take Mommy into her house.
Relative is in NO position to do that, even with in-home helpers!
More weird sibling games afoot, make it even a worse idea.
But Relative says she'd really like to do it [heart's in the right place].
I advised her, "look at patterns of borderline-elder abuse her family has played on [her] for years...what if Mommy had a mishap at her house...they'd be all over her in the worst ways". And, "How might she feel if those siblings, who have long-refused to let her into their homes, now demand to be allowed into this relative's home, even when she's not at home?"
And, they refuse to give up their POA's, so this relative would have no way to legally do anything but call 911.
Yet, this relative sounds like she's starting to cave-in to the pressure...
The siblings and their lawyer are pushing this on her while she's out-of-state working, too.
It can only be a bad trip, in every way, for their Mom, who is otherwise perfectly decently cared for at her current facility.
But it also sounds like her kids all fear to simply tell Mommy, "Mom, you really are in the safest place where yo hare right now, and close to people and things you like to see and do; if you moved again, there's no telling what kind of situation you'd land in, and be stuck in that."
Sometimes, elders need a bit of reality check; it's so very hard! And so do potential caregivers!
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Moving an Alzheimer's patient back to a previous location that she was familiar with would not normally make her worse. The move may even be helpful by lowering the stress level by being in a familiar environment. Plus if you are with her every day to increase her stimulation by recalling fond memories from her past, singing songs together etc. that should help her.
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Since we transport patients long distance ( state to state ,cross country) almost every day, we often encounter patients with dementia. Often they do not even realize they are traveling to another location.From our experience as long as the patient is not fearful or frightened about traveling the trip is not difficult for the patient. Perhaps that is because a our medical coach is more like a home with a couch and full kitchen etc. plius the patient does not have to leave the coach to use the bathroom. The stress falls on the family member who must change the diapers, change the foley catheter, perhaps suction the patient, arrange oxygen if needed, turn the patient every 3-4 hours to prevent bed sores etc. As mentioned above some sedation in route often helps patients who become anxious. Sending facilities seldom give sedation because of liability issues which they cannot control once the patient leaves their facility. Hope these comments are helpful.
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It took me over a year to finally get her here in AZ with me. She did not want to move. I hired 2 caregivers to fly up with me and take her out of NH. When we got to NH they were not prepared and did not have mom sedated so she would be more compliant. The NH she was previously in was horrible and took advantage of me living so far away. Anyway, I wound up paying the 2 caregivers to drive me and my mom back to AZ.....a 23 hour non stop drive. Mom currently doesn't remember the drive down here and thinks she is still close to Granite City, IL (where she lived for most of her adult life). If you would like to email me I will give you contact information for the people that helped me. Without them, mom would still be at that horrible nursing home. Best of luck to you.
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Well, I'm assuming, and pardon me for doing that, from reading 2bluwings post that the reason for the move is since the spouse died there is no one left where she currently is to make sure the nursing home is taking good care of her.

I moved my mom who has Dementia from a Missouri nursing home to Surprise, AZ to be close to me and make sure she is being well taken care of.
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Recent memory of events is usually the first to be lost. Long term memory recall of events 10 years ago should make the transition easier than going to new surroundings. One never know for certain but I think it be the better choice to return to the previous environment than to new surroundings. Still some patients adjust very well even to the new setting. Just my opinion for what it's worth after 30 years of experience transporting patients.
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Peymar401, my first question why was your Mom-in-law's mother placed in a nursing home to begin with, and how long has she been there? What other medical issues does Mom-in-law's Mom has beside memory?

Why does your Mom-in-law want to move her Mom back home? And like Babalou above had written, does she have at several shifts of professional caregivers lined up to help? Is her house set up like a nursing home? If not, and Mom isn't mobile, can Mom-in-law carry her from bed to bathroom, etc? With Alzheimer's there are different stages. Mom-in-law might find herself trying to live on 2 or 3 hours a sleep per day. I hope there is a really really good reason to make this move.
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