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She has been diagnosed with MCI, bordering Dementia. She has assistance currently but really needs to move close to my brother up North, she lives in Santa Monica and I'm on the East Coast.

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Go up to the Search Site box and type in "Case managers in Santa Monica" and you get a good long list of possibilities
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If she already has assistance where she is, what would be gained by moving her? Is North brother wanting her closer? If he is not already involved in her care, chances are he never will be. You might be better off to get a case manager and keep her where she is. Somebody here did that and it worked well for them.
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Don't have dementia that I know off but I really do not like having my surroundings disrupted. having workmen in the house comes under that heading as does the day the cleaners come. Have moved house many many times and it is always really disrupting. don't know where to put stuff in the new house. i knew some exec wives who had to move everycouple of years and they found a home in a subdivision with same model home they were leaving. Everything fit, the kids rooms were the same and all the drapes went up in the same size windows it is not just the elderly and/or demented who find strange stressful.
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Dmentia/Alz do better is familar surroundings. Take them out of their comfort zone and they are more confused. For me, Mom had to come to my house. She wasn't safe in hers. She still has her friends and Church and family.
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Major questions to be asked... and most replies have touched on them. Why does she need to move, is she no longer independent ?. Is your brother intending to just visit her on the weekend and supervise shopping etc, or as full time caregiver? What happens when she moves to the next stage of dementia and needing FULL time 24/7 supervision, will it be rest home or within his home, and never left. that is NEVER.
I took my Ma and g/son to the doctors, it was raining, so took the g/son [18mth at the time] to the car first to put him in his seat. She had been told to stay in the waiting room, I hadn't even done up the seat belt and I caught her out of the corner of my eye, wandering off down the car park looking for me.
That brought home to me, the need for full time care, within 3mths it was a secure dementia hospital that she was needing. So look to the now, but ponder deeply over the next phase as tho it is next week.
And shifting for the elderly with dementia,doesn't matter the distance between the 'homes' even across the street, is too far !
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Ive tried to get mom who is 86 and has mild dementia to move closer to me and live with me ...30 miles from where she is now...clise to my sons family and also other family members. She wont move. We would be renting a nice house and since hers is paid off, she says it doesnt make sense. I am 60 and just retired and have pets which i cant bring to her home due to its a patio home and no yard. So since i cant force her to move, she stays at her home with me doing all her errands, bills, etc. Tgis is the way it will stay until something happens which forces me to move her. There us little you can do if an elder is still considered competent and refuses to do anything...thats the bottom line.
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I can't believe some of these responses. The person who is least impacted financially needs to be the one to move. I know from my own experience of moving across the country for my parents, I wouldn't suggest that if it can be avoided.

vstefans, the mother isn't being moved to the east coast, the OP lives on the east coast. The mother lives in Santa Monica, CA and the OP's brother lives it sounds in Northern CA(here in Southern CA "up north" means Northern CA).

If he is of working age or close to retirement what is he supposed to do? The problem facing many adult caregivers is they're not quite to retirement age when the parent/parents need help.

As far as the mother having to give up doctors, friends, the hairdresser, etc. Well yes that is hard, but sorry AGAIN the person who loses the least when it comes to financial matters (ie. pension, SS) needs to move.

Let's see the 83 year old mother who has dementia having to move vs. the 53 yr old son/daughter who is a couple of years away from retirement from the same job they have had the last 25 yrs....it's called a "no brainer".
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I don't have an answer, but to say we waited too long to move my mother (when her dementia was really bad) and she was even more confused and upset with the strange surroundings. With dementia, routine and familiarity is very important. If you can convince your Mom while she is capable of making the decision it would be best. Maybe bring her to several places and let her pick, she can have lunch, meet people, find out about activities she is interested in, bribe her with seeing grandkids more, etc. Its really hard when parents are far away or living independently because you don't know if they are getting the proper care, or if they are safe, or what they are doing. (when Mom was in IL, she was going up and down 20 steep steps while carrying her cane) Even in AL, they don't know what Mom is doing every minute, but at least they check on her, make sure she is at meals, give her meds, etc. and we are close enough to make sure she is looked after. My husband and I have already planned to move near one of our children before we get too old and entrenched in our current home. There seems to be such a fine line between making a rational decision about the future and becoming rooted and that line is so different for every person.
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I ended up moving my mom from PA to AR, only after we were sure she would not be abe to live at home alone again. There were any number of little cultural and coping things that were subtly different and yet at that point, it was a good trade off. Earlier on, it would have been harder...much earlier on, both of my folks should have moved here and would have ended up loving it. I watched others move away to live near their parents and sometimes that was a good thing, other times, a lot of net losses all around.

California versus East Coast is a big cultural change I think. Just the travel part can be daunting for someone with MCI and any mobility limitations. That could be an argument for doing it now, or a good argument for letting her go on aging in place! I guess you have to ask yourselves what quality of life she has in Santa Monica that would be lacking on the East Coast, and how much would it mean to her to be closer to family who presumably can't move West. Long distance caregiving is not easy and will cost a lot too.

But, that's not really answering your question, if you have already weighed everything and moving is the only reasonable way to go. You show pictures of what it looks like in the new place, if there are grandkids you have them tell mom how excited they are to have her move hear them and think of things they could do (really grandkids are golden even if all they do is run up and hug and leave a picture or two). If you are a conniving daughter like me, you convince her there is a special geriatric rehab program she can attend that just happens to be closer to you and then don't move her back. She actually was excited about and even enjoyed the trip we managed on Southwest Airlines. The really sad thing is that she had a stroke while she was in the rehab, and then an MI, and health wise was no better off than she had been before, and didn't even remember the trip after that. The upside though was that when she did pass on about a year and a half later, I was able to be beside her. I hoep my story and all the other people posting here help you think through the whole thing. It is hard to make a decision you won't regret, but as a lot of people told me, if you are making the best choices at the time, thinking of everything you can and from your heart in the right place, its not going to be "wrong."
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I have a little different take on this. I have too many friends that have to travel to see their parents that are battling diffent illnesses and it's very difficult. Some are still working, some are retired but it's still difficult on them especially in the event of an emergency. Another problem is that they don't know what exactly is going on with the caregiver or facility. I do agree that it's hard on all of us to pick up and move but with dementia, they do get acclimated because they don't remember everything the same way. If it were my mom, I would try to get her to a place where you could keep an eye on her whether it was with your brother (if he wants the responsibility and can) or you. My dad is in a retirement facility at 92 and my mom is in ALZ. facility. I can check on both of them (my dad has many drs. appts. that I take him to) but they are being taken care of 24/7 by people who know what they are doing. Good Luck and God Bless.
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A sudden move will disrupt her more at this point in time. Since she has help, why not put the idea of a move on the back burner and wait until she gets used to the idea. She still has the right to make her own decisions and moving is very, very stressful even with "normal" people. So, just wait for now.
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Is this for son's convenience or is he actually going to give the daily care. Does Mom want to move? Is she currently safe and adequately cared for? Is there a financial issue? if it's a case of conserving mum's money for the family inheritance forget about it.
Mom's welfare is primary.
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Maybe give mom an option stay where she is and go into a nursing facility as freqflyer suggested or move near family who can take care of her. If she moves up north (colder here today then where she probably is) will there be someone who she can live with when the time comes or will she be going into a nursing facility? I had a neighbor who had the money to move into a facility but chose round the clock nursing care instead. She became sick and was put in hospital, nursing home from there and passed with the week. However, she was home where she wanted to be and happy. My parents, after many medical issues decided to move near me and brought my grandmom along. They lived in that house 20 yrs. my children were little and my area was nicer. My mom had LBD and Parkinsons and after she passed we just moved to a new house so my dad could live with us. It is wonderful but it was not easy. Had to make the house handicap accessible, etc. just showing that regardless of what your plans are for the moment, you will still need a plan b if your moms needs change. Good luck!
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It is very difficult to have anyone, younger or older, healthy or with health issues move from an area they have known as home for over 30 years.... they know the place like the back of their hand... they have friends and acquaintances... doctors and dentist... know their way around the grocery store blindfolded... and have their favorite hair dresser.

Moving to a new area is not easy for an older person, even though they might have visited that area every now and then. It's like they would need to start from scratch. Finding a new hair dresser could be more difficult than finding a new doctor.

I would vote for your Mom to stay where she is... maybe eventually move into a nursing home where she could find other women she had known years ago. Nothing better than seeing an old friend :)
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