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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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Stairs? Are you nuts? What are you smoking?
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this is tough,especially an upstairs apartment? Is it feasible for them to ambulate up and down to get out? Does the chairlift include going all the way downstairs? I would suggest a physical therapist go through and set up the bathroom situation, hand rails,lift on the toilet, tub/shower situation..all imperative to have checked out and changed or dealt with.Wheelchair accessible into the bathroom and kitchen, and doorways after the hip replacement...Lifting one out of bed and onto a commode/toilet...will this include a hoyer lift? No one can do this by themselves..Easy lift is another option...this can be evaluated by the therapist..you do not want someone falling and getting hurt or worse...good luck
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So good that they have family who care and want them near. I agree with the concern of the stair lift. It is something that may pose more of a problem for someone with dementia rather than a solution.
As for a party or gathering of friends or family when they move in, that may not be the best idea either as it may overwhelm Mom.
The suggestion to have the new place set up as close to her old home is excellent. I work as a senior move manager and my crew always take photos of the home we are moving out of and then try our best to set up the new place very similar to the old place. Even little nicknacks.
Would it work to let one of the grand kids have the over garage apartment and let Mom and Dad have their room in the main house? Then no expense to add the stair lift and I would guess a very happy grand kid. If they are old enough.
I had an apartment at home when I was growing up and it was super.
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this is a tough situation. I would love to hear more about your Mom's situation specifically and also the physical layout, as an upstairs apt does pose some risks, with dementia or not. The chair lift may seem like it will make it more accessible, however it might put more pressure on your Dad, because now he has to always be there to operate it and make sure she is not trying to use it on her own. In some cases the benefit of having family on site can outweigh the risks that that particular apt may pose, but often the risks and realities can outweigh the benefits. Also there is a lot you can do to help the transition go more smoothly for your Mom. Have the apartment set up before she gets there, and have it look as close to home as possible. Also, don't expect her to remember anything about the move, just expect that you will need to constantly and patiently remind her of what has happened and why and why they are in a good position now, and calm her concerns. Also please keep a close eye on your Dad, because even though this may seem safer at first, this situation has the potential to cause more issues for them down the line. With your Mom's dementia and your Dad's advanced age it may make more sense to move them into a place where there are staff to help your Dad, rather than make this move now, possibly trigger a decline in your Mom, and then inevitably have to have another move in the future. I'd be happy to talk to you about this all further if you'd like : )
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It seems as though this move is in the best interests of the family, not your elderly parents. Please consult with an occupational therapist about the physical arrangements, limitations and possible risks for injury.
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I would have a consultation either with a geriatric psychiatrist and/or an occupational therapist about this plan. Chairlift and dementia don't add up to a good total in my head .
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I expect that those around here who are familiar with hip replacements can provide you some good advice. I don't know much about them. I do have a little question about your parents moving into an upstairs apt. Even with a chairlift, is it feasible for people in their 80's to being using it on a regular basis? Lack of mobility and getting in and out of their apt for appointments would be my concern. Others may have a different opinion, but with 80 somethings I would be concerned about safety and what if they had to get out due to fire or an emergency? I'd look into that.

I would also go through the apt and look for things that might be an issue as the dementia progresses. That progression can go rapidly or slowly, but I would check things out with the idea that she could be operating with a very different mental state in the near future.

If you want to make the place comfortable, just use their same furniture and hang pictures of the family. You might have a small family housewarming to welcome them and wish them well.

I'd make sure that people who used to visit still visit, but once again, are friends their age going to have access to an upstairs apt? Can they use the chairlift? I'm not sure what it looks like, but I'd make sure it's safe and others feel comfortable using it. You dad is in good health, but still at 80, I'd hesitate to want my dad going up and down stairs multiple times per day. The exercise might be good, but I would fear he might lose his balance, fall and break something.

Being around family members can be very comforting, but it is different. I hope it works out for you all.
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