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I am hoping to move my mom into an assisted living facility (AL) by Feb. 1 after a geriatrician told me that she should no longer be living by herself. I have researched and visited six facilities and have finally decided on the one that I think would be best for my mom. My mom has moderate dementia and she will be fully able to grasp the drastic change to her life (she was living independently until Dec. 31). How far in advance should I inform her that she will be moving into AL? The subject is not open to "discussion" as she will only say "No" but I don't want to give her too much time to worry about this upcoming change.

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I made the mistake of telling my mom a week or so ahead of time. She had anxiety over this and began asking questions over and over and over again. It was difficult. She went from the hospital, to skilled nursing, to Assisted Living, to the hospital, now back in skilled nursing. She told me the other night "I want someone to take care of me. I don't want to be on my own." Made me very sad.
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I told my mom she was moving from IL to AL about three weeks out. I couldn't have done it any earlier as the move was the result of a fall and the three weeks were her rehab stay. Mom hated the rehab so much I could have told her I was moving her into a garden shed and she would have gone happily! Plus it wasn't a major move - same building, different wing. However mom still had to be reminded of the move several times over the three weeks. The major problem came later when we needed to move mom from AL to a NH. We told her in advance and tried to include her in the selection process. This time she tried stall tactics that ranged in seriousness - but we had no choice in the move as AL had asked mom to leave due to her care needs. Finally we picked one. Mom gave a last ditch attempt by way of flat refusal accompanied by a tantrum. Then three days before the move she seemed to have accepted the situation. Wrong! The morning my brothers and I arrived to load what we were taking all hell broke loose. The day actually went downhill from there - ending at 10:30pm with a 15 minute phone call to me screaming, swearing and saying things no adult child should hear from their mother - then she tried to escape - (sigh).
In hind sight I don't know how much I would do differently as we were making a sincere attempt to include her in the process - which in total was close to two months. If anything I think I would have called it quits on taking her from home to home earlier as she found a reason to reject them all - ranging from reasonable to ridiculous. But it was important to my brother to attempt to get her cooperation. Unfortunately he does not know her as well as I do. I wish you luck!
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I made the mistake of telling my mother one day, and the next day moved her in. She was mad at me for six months. But after a house change within her complex, she finally understood that after 26 years, I was totally burned out. I suggest you tell her that the doctor has determined that a move to an AL facility would be the best place for her now. Good luck.
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