My DH and I had the talk with my mom last Monday that she would need to move because I want to re-locate.

Back story is here:

The initial talk went more calmly than I thought it would, so that is good. My mom said right off that she did not want to stay here if we moved, so that was also good, I will not have to fight her to sell her (our) condo.

As we talked it became obvious that she was heavily leaning towards wanting to go to Maryland with us. I told her that would be fine but that she would need to move to senior living. She answered something to the effect of "We'll see" and that's when I started looking to end the conversation, and we left shorty after. I know it was a lot for her to take in and I was glad things went okay- even though I knew we would be revisiting the whole "senior living" thing.

Sure enough the next morning she texts me that she wants to rent someplace first in Maryland then decide where to live (also in Maryland) I texted her back that if she wants to move to Maryland with us she will need to go to senior living, and I left it at that.

The next day (yesterday) we took her to the airport for her week visit with my sister. On the way she said the same thing- and I pushed back harder. My DH chimed in for her to check out Texas while you are there and maybe you can move there! She said NO she definitely did not want to be in Texas. I almost thought we were going to start fighting in the car, but I forced myself to stay calm. The fact that she was on her way OUT of town helped. When we were in the airport she asked me- Don't you want me to go to Maryland? I told her it's not that I don't want her to move to Maryland (I lied) but that we were not going to have the set up we have now, that I would be BUSY, and if she goes with me I need to have her in a safe place.

We had a little bit of time waiting on wheelchair assist so I explained to her that I had checked out some nice senior living in Maryland close to where I will be and that it was like a resort for seniors! Then I said that I planned a virtual tour with the director and we would do it Monday by Zoom while she was with my sister. She didn't say much, and then the wheelchair came.

On my way home she texted me from the plane and said she was "looking forward to seeing the condo".

I spent a lot of time Tues researching places in MD. I'll try to keep it short. I did find a nice place in Maryland and talked to the director for a good bit. She asked me a lot of questions about my mom, and when we wanted to move etc. She then asked more about my mom almost like an assessment- and then she told me that my mother could move to the Independent section of the community.

I was really surprised at this, as I thought assisted living for sure, but this director said they have residents in Independent living with dementia. I asked about the safety protocols and what happens if she needs something and I'm not around. Turns out even in "Independent" living there is a 24 hour staff, a daily check in system, call buttons in the apartments, and other supportive services. Lot's of guided activities. I was very honest about my mom's deficits and the director seemed confident my mom could start out in Independent living. They have assisted living and MC too in that same community.

Can anyone here tell me about experience in "Independent" senior living?

So, now she is at my sisters & I think it's pretty clear to everyone, mainly my mom, that I will not accept anything other than senior living.

On a different note- my siblings got the baby news via a sonogram pic text and everyone is happy and excited about that, especially my brother. I know in my heart that he is glad that we are moving and will be close enough for frequent visits.

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In 2011, I moved my folks to Colorado from Florida after dad had to stop driving after a few minor fender benders. I found a great and rather affordable high rise apartment bldg about 5 miles away from me that was an Independent Living Senior complex. They had a mini bus to take the seniors to appointments and shopping, to view the Christmas lights in December, etc. There were social events at the IL, meals available and I believe breakfasts were included (continental breakfast), and dinners could be purchased monthly, too. They had parties and gatherings all the time, as well as entertainment on weekends. My folks loved living there. They had a 2 bedroom apartment that was about 1000 sq ft, so it was large and comfy, with a full kitchen. They lived there for 3 years until dad fell and broke his hip one night, and that's when I had to scramble to get them both into Assisted Living.

Senior living places are great fun for the elders, not some little shop of horrors that some think they are! Your mom will likely love it there and have a whole new set of friends to complain about, not to mention The Food. It's the law, you know, to complain about THE FOOD in all senior living places!! HA! Welcome to the club!

EP, my mom was in IL for nearly 2 years until she had a stroke. The stroke was not due to any medical negligence on anyone's part (although I've always suspected that she refused to turn on the AC in her apartment may have had something to do with the timing; it happened on a very hot July day.). Mom had a piece of "vegetation" hanging off one the valves in her heart and her cardiologist predicted that at some point it would break off and cause a stroke. She was not strong enough to undergo surgery for this, so in essence, we knew it was a matter of time before this happened. The IL got her to the ER as soon as she showed symptoms.

Mom lived in a NH for 4 1/2 more years and got to see 2 more great-grandchildren born in that time.

Thanks for sharing all of that Barb! I'm glad your mom did so well in IL!

The place I found also has the things you describe. You can arrange to see medical staff on site including a doctor and there are also transportation services. Hair salon, movie room, a PUB, a dining room that looks like a restaurant, etc.

In this place in IL 2 meals are included, breakfast and dinner. But mainly, the socialization will be a HUGE improvement for my mom. As nasty as she can be she has always had an active social life and I think she will do much better than what I have been able to do here.

Oh this place also has Happy Hour with snacks daily. My mom will love that part!

How long did your mom stay in IL, did she eventually have to go to the AL side?

EP, good on you for remaining calm during the difficult conversation!

My mom moved first to an AL, which was both too much and not enough help. It was a disaster. Mom did not yet have a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (she'd had a small stroke that we didn't know about) and we didn't know that Independent Living existed.

The "bad fit" at the AL landed mom in the hospital (it's a long story, but despite 24 hour medical staff, they missed mom's fecal incontinence and out of control bp).

I asked for an psych consult in the hospital, because I was at a loss for what my mom needed. The psychiatrist who spoke to mom said she needed more socialization and kind staff, perhaps a social worker to work through the big change of moving out of her home.

My SIL found an IL/AL place nearby. IL had 3 meals a day, lots of varied activities--art classes, jewelry making, stock market club, religious services, college level lectures and trips to theater and movies.

Best of all, there was a geriatrics doc on-site who gave my mom his cell#. He took her off almost all her meds and referred her to a geriatric psychitrist who visited the facility--it was she who insisted on mom's getting a cognitive evaluation. So I no longer needed to run mom to all those doctors. She was able to get herself to the dentist via the facility van.

Mom gained A LOT of independence back at this facility because she was able to manage her own medical care and no longer depended on us for socialization. The GeriPsych solved the mystery of why mom was so anxious and got her on the right dose of antianxiety meds.

It is also a fact that services at ILs and ALs vary widely. Some ILs only serve one meal a day; this would have not been good for mom.

The AL (the disaster) prided itself on not assigning places at meals. This left mom to fend for herself when entering a strange dining room. Assigned seating was a much better fit.

The other thing that made a difference was the population the AL was mostly made up of the group that mom was born into-passive/aggressive self-righteous, judgemental biddies. The IL was a much more varied place in terms of ethnicity and mom made some good friends there.

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