Moving Mom and Dad into a separate apartment. How to handle the move to a new space?

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Mom has mild dementia. Mom is 83 in need of a hip replacement when they relocate to new apt. The new apt will be above my brothers house garage. Dad is 85 in good health. they both know about the move but mom doesnt remember.Mom hasn't seen the apt yet until the new chairlift is installed shortly. I want mom to transition smoothly into the new surroundings. they will be surrounded by her son, daughter in law and grandchildren on a daily basis.

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My Mom had mild dementia when she had a hip replacement. It threw her into full blown dementia. She never got out of a wheelchair. I can't imagine trying to take her out of wheelchair, put her on stair lift, haul a wheel chair upstairs, put her in wheelchair again, along with the other umpteen times a day you have to transfer them. Of course, she may be lucky and regain her ability to walk, but she will still probably always need some type of walking aid. What a hard job that will be for family members, plus how dangerous it will be for her.
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Have the doctor order occupational therapy. They will come to the house to assess need, accessibility and safety of the living situation you are proposing.
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I would agree with the others that have answered. My mom is now in end stage alzheimer's and my dad had installed a chair lift for her years ago when she was still functioning. But rapidly she became unable to use the stair lift. She did all the things mentioned. She wouldn't sit in the chair, or she wouldn't or couldn't bend her knees, she lost the ability to follow any directions, she would try to get out of the chair as it was moving until finally she had to be kept downstairs as it was way to much for my 83 year old dad. The stress was unbelievable on him and he had to have alarms installed that would alert him if she started to get near the stairs or the doors (motion detectors). It is surprising how bad they can decline especially after any big change - like an operation or a move, and once they decline they rarely come back.
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Stop, Please call their doctor or nurse they will give you the name of someone who will help you evaluate your personal situation. This will save you alot of heartache and pain from making decisions that you have very little experience in dealing with.
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Haven't seen this yet here. What if Mom forgets to use the lift? That would be my Mom. She would never remember how to operate it! And we often read stories on this site about those with dementia getting out of bed, forgetting they cannot walk then break a hip. I also wonder about the hip replacement. Anesthesia is very hard on elder brains, especially those with dementia. If you get the surgery done, you may want to wait on the lift as she will no doubt be in rehab for a period of time, and depending on hiw she progresses may not come home again.
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With the onset of dementia, eventually your mom will forget that she needs to remain in the chairlift. Will she struggle as it goes up/down? Will she panic during the ride because she no longer understands/comprehend that the chair is to take her up/down? As my mom progressed in her dementia, she started wandering out of the house. What if your mom does this, does not understand that those are stairs, and walks straight forward (and falls down the flight of stairs)? My mom got to the point that she refused to sit down - not even for a minute. We had to struggle to keep in her place (sundowning), what if your mom reaches this stage? How are you going to get her to sit still in the chair, or to lift her feet up the stairs or bend her knees to go down the stairs? She's not going to remember how to do these things. I would think it would be best to just convert the garage into an addition to the house, seal the door and make a separate entrance on the side of the garage. Of course, then they won't have a place to park their cars.
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a chairlift will clearly work and are very safe but if mom is riding on the chair needs help getting on and off, this may be a problem because your dad would have to walk down the steps to get mom off. However, if your brothers family will be available to help with this, it is definitely doable. Perhaps this is the best solution for the moment. Having parents closer to those family members that can help is a great idea. As mentioned about, it would be a great idea to have a physical and occupational therapist (covered by Medicare) to come in and show you the best way to handle daily activities in a new home. They will also gladly point out an hazards, such as rugs, etc which may have to be removed. Good luck with this new adventure
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I know this is not an answer to your main question, but I wanted to ask you if your mom is having minimally invasive hip replacement surgery? If not, I think you should investigate it. My mom had her left hip replaced 5 years ago and had a very quick recovery. It requires a very small incision compared to regular hip replacement and the muscles do not need to be cut so there is very little pain and, as I mentioned, a very quick recovery. If you go that route, make sure that you find a doctor who specializes in minimally invasive hip replacement and has done at least 10 previous procedures. Hope this helps. In regard to your mom and dad's living situation, I would suggest that dementia, older age, and stairs are definitely not a good situation. Assisted living seems like a better choice, especially in a facility that offers independent, assisted living, and nursing home care so that as your mother's dementia progresses and your dad can no longer handle her care, he can continue to be close to her as she declines and yet, can still continue his own life as best he can.
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A move is difficult, under the best situations. An apartment above a garage is not a good solution. Your mom may even refuse the use of a chair lift.

Assisted living sounds like what they need.
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I am concerned like everyone else! Especially for your Mom, should she start trying to wander. Upstairs seems very dangerous anyway you look at it! May be good for family but lots of concerns for your parents future safety.
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