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I will be relocating several states away in a few months to a nice retirement community close to my daughter and grandkids. Mom has advanced dementia, uses a walker and has a 2 minute attention span. She has been in memory care for 5 years. All of her close family has died and she would only have my son nearby if she stayed. I plan to move her close to me after I get established. The new AL is wait listed. I will fly with her for relocation when it is time. One factor for relocation is that she received a life insurance pay out. She would owe estate taxes if she stayed. She is 96 years old. She is still very compliant in her personality..


My question is about moving her furniture rather than purchasing something new that she would not recognize. I expect a 2 or 3 day delay. I can rent a bed for the interim. I expect confusion for a while. Has anyone done this type of move and what should I expect?

This may sound crazy but we move my mom every year. While our primary home is in Puerto Rico, but we don't want to be there during huricane season, so we go back to Vegas during that time of year. And we take mom with us. I always have someone assisting me during the travel and when I'm here in Vegas. In PR she lives in an AL facility.

Even in the late stages of dementia she looks forward to the change. I decorate her rooms with lots of family pictures. She doesn't care about the furniture too much.

The travel is tough on her though- I always go for the shortest flight time possible and hope for no delays. An aspirin before flight is helpful to reduce possibilities of clots. I also make sure she moves her feet during flight. I bought her an iPad so I can download her favorite TV programming on iť. Sometimes the travel is easier than other times, but she's always happier to feel like she has a part in our lives, so iť's worth the effort.
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Reply to mterpin
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I can make a few suggestions. When the time comes to move her physically to her new home, YOU must have a caretaker WITH YOU to supervise her if you need to do a business transaction or might get distracted from watching her or if you need to use the bathroom. Do NOT do this alone. You will need help. As to moving furniture, I would go and buy the most basic essentials at a low cost or even as used furniture and put pretty bedsheets, flowers, etc. in the room. Tell her that her own furniture will follow later - this is temporary. She won't remember after a few days and it will work out. Make sure she has all of her medication with her if you can't complete the trip in a day as planned. Have a doctor provide some medical information in case of need and hold on to it for the trip. Watch her very closely - I think it will work out - but think out of the box before you move her.
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Reply to Riley2166
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If her attention span is two minutes, I do not see where furniture would make much difference. I would be more concerned with her ability to travel at her age. You can always tell her furniture is 'in the shop for repairs' or anything that will make sense to her. Sounds like a huge expense - moving furniture. Perhaps keep ONE piece of furniture and put it close to her vision field. Keep things that are 'on top' of furniture so she can make that connection, if she can.

I haven't done this type of move so others may have a more helpful answer, based on experience.
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Reply to TouchMatters
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When you do the actual move have 2 people - perferablely another woman so that you can be in the rest room together with her if needed - also you have back up when you use the facilities yourself - make it an occation for her

Here is something you may have to do ASAP - does she have valid photo ID? [we had this problem with my mom & she had lost all her papers so I needed to get her even a new birth certificate] - here we can get a provincial ID not a driver's licence that is used mainly by young people who do not drive but can be used by senior citizens too - this means a trip to get it plus a delay as it is processed & sent to you so do not leave it to the last minute - think 6 weeks

Will she sit in a wheelchair? - if she will then order one for her at both of the airports for everyone's sake - she can wander away, fall, walk so slowly you want to scream using her walker - have her wear a top & separate bottom then pack replacements in her carry on bag just in case - she may find it cold as most memory homes are very warm while the plane is kept cool [so that fewer people become air sick] - if you can even bring a small blanket - check with her dr about taking an anti-air sickness pill which will probably make her sleepy [do a dry run on any such meds at least 1 week before the flight in case she reacts adversely]

This flight will be about 1 1/2 hours plus time before & after [from arrival at one airport to exit to other] which will be about 4 hours minimum so you will need to distract her - bring her favourite foods in snack form - use some pretty paper napkins [put them aside as you pack your home up] - you can bring any solid food on a plane ... sandwiches & pickles, cookies, finger food even small wrapped chocolates but jello, yogurt, pudding etc may be a problem - have her bring her own cup with handles which will be sturdier than what is on the plane

So get hold of Homeland Security soon to know exactly what you can bring especially if she likes Ensure & check about the photo ID for while you're talking  to them in case you need a NEXUS card for her
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Reply to moecam
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Isthisrealyreal 7 hours ago
Get her doctor to write a prescription for any food or drink she will require for the flight and that will help you get through security with her needed items.

Bring something for her to fidget with, pencil and paper, fidget spinner, paper clips, paper cups that can be made into little animal faces, family photos to look through that type of thing. Distraction is what you are shooting for.

Best of luck to you.
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I moved my 86-year old mom from IN to PA a year ago. Her Alzheimer's dementia was advancing and she needed to move from AL to a Memory Care center. My wife and I flew with her and got her settled into the MC with furniture they provided. Then I drove back a couple of days later, rented a truck and brought her queen-size bed, dresser, nightstands, motorized recliner chair and side table w/ a familiar lamp. I thought these items would make the room seem familiar and make her more comfortable.
In hindsight I don't think it mattered. As soon as she moved in she said she didn't care about her furniture. When everything was in place she didn't seem to connect to her things. Within a few months we replaced her large bed with a hospital bed. The ability to raise/lower the motorized bed and prop her head up when needed is very helpful to the aides in caring for her.
Every situation is different and it depends on how far along she is with her dementia. I was stressed for a couple of months that Mom would react angrily or even violently towards me. It actually was way easier than I feared. It took her a month or two to settle into the routine, but she did much better than I expected.
I feel like I made one mistake in making this move. Fearing that Mom would refuse when I let her know she was moving, I told her it was a "trial" and we would see how it worked out. The first couple of weeks in PA she got up and pulled all her clothes out onto her bed several times. She told the staff she was moving and had to get ready. With her dementia it's hard to know what will register in her mind and what won't. I think it would have been better to just tell her she was moving to a new place.
Over the last year Mom's had a couple of times in the hospital and several other difficult times in the MC. I'm very thankful I moved her close to me. I can't imagine how I would have dealt with everything if she were still 600 miles away.
I hope your move goes well and you're able to get your mom moved easily. Know that you're doing what you think is best and showing your love by caring for her and about her living situation. Best Wishes!
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Reply to middleson
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My mom moved a few miles, from her apartment to our house, when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We moved all of her furniture here, and she didn't even recognize it, so apparently a change of venue  or any kind of transition can be confusing to an Alzheimer's patient, no matter what.  Since she'll be happy with you, I'm sure you can ease whatever confusion she may experience. After my mom moved in with us, we tried Assisted Living for a week, (and I went to visit every day), but it just didn't work, and in the long run, living with us was the best (if frustrating at times) option. I think each Alzheimer's patient is going to react differently to a new environment or a new situation, and you just have to take it day by day. The fact that she's compliant is wonderful. If you switch the letters in compliant around, that was my mom, she had a "complaint" about everything at times. There too, I learned to take things 1 day, or 1 complaint at a time.
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Reply to rlynn123
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Just moved my 94 yr old Mom from NH to Nevada to get her out of Taylor Community. I figured rather than let them decondition her in their Assisted Living processing plant , I'd move her in with me. She is saying how glad she is to be out of there. I got rid of everything except sentimental things and of course her clothes and meds.

You are doing the right thing, if you really want to keep a few pieces of furniture for sentimental reasons than yes keep it But if the others cost more to ship than it's worth, get rid of it.
I was initially worried about the plane flight with her asthma, she had only one slight episode, other than that it was the best flight we've ever had!
Just know that you are doing the right thing and you'll have no regrets.
I hope this helps.
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Reply to DownonTaylor
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In my experience this works best.
1. Take pictures of her complete room. All The details.
2. When her things arrive at the new location the pictures will guide you with how to set it up. If everything is the same as much as possible, it will look the same to her. This can be so comforting to her.
3. Many chose to do the travel by train. You can get a sleeper car. Yes it takes long but is easier in many ways. Doctors often will give you a medication to keep them calm and a sleep.
4. While traveling make sure you take snacks, drinks, favorite blanket, family pictures. Keep her familiar things with her.
5. Organization of the trip will make the travel successful.
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Reply to leslie3
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DownonTaylor 9 hours ago
Change is good, don't try to make it look the same, just make sure to have a few things that are familiar. That said, Everyone is different so it totally depends on the individual. The food and hydration thing is the most important part of the trip. If there's no issues with flying, that is the only way to go!
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The Memory Care facility that she is in now do they have another facility close to where you will be moving? If so her transition might not be as difficult as it could be. Most of the facilities are built using the same plans so other than the people the lay out would be the same. Best if you could get her the same room but that might not be possible.
Now might be the time to switch to a hospital bed that could be in place awaiting the rest of her furniture. Hospital bed will make things so much easier when having to turn her and change the bedding if she can not get up. Not to mention the mattress is so easy to clean. Check with the Dr. about ordering one.
I think after a while she will adjust. When I/we moved as soon as my Husband saw his recliner and the Cubs on TV he plopped down and was home.
She might actually be more confused and frightened of the ride to the airport, the people and chaos there as opposed to the actual move.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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I did move my mother from an AL in NY to one in SC. There was a room for her in SC. She had to wait about 6 months for a slightly larger room. Both AL facilities provided the bed and a few other pieces of furniture. As I was moving too her remaining desired items came with my move.

I think alot depends on whether any furniture is provided by the AL you are dealing with. Do you know where she is on their wait list? Is this the only one you are considering for her.

The pieces I moved for her had use and or sentimental value. I think you need to think that over in regards to moving anything versus buying new. I can't imagine there would be a great deal needed. My mother adjusted well. I think it helped that we appreciated the present facility more. People may have issues with the south generally which I understand but in general there is a great deal of kindness and gentility. I wish you the best on this journey.

PS. I have to laugh because this message almost was posted with the word fertility instead of gentility. There is not any fertility at an AL.
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Reply to Riverdale
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jacobsonbob 6 hours ago
I grew up near NYC and have spent many years in a few states in each of the NE and SE. The main difference I've seen is that strangers are somewhat more "approachable" in the SE, or perhaps I should say a greater percentage of strangers seem approachable in the SE. However, one "drawback" in the SE is that in some business contexts, people sometimes try to equate friendliness with good customer service even if the service provider isn't especially skilled or competent--perhaps this serves to deflect criticism or complaining from the customer. I recall an advertisement from an auto dealership overemphasizing that the service department will remember one's name--that's all well and good, but I'd rather hear evidence that they can service the car properly! Of course many people in all regions ARE capable and competent.
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MAC you've been on the forum long enough that you probably know as much as anyone the pros and cons of the move. I think I might try to present it as a holiday and her new room as a hotel suite - since you say she is compliant perhaps you could even spend a day or two actually having a holiday. In any event take her out for the afternoon when the furniture arrives and after her room is set up bring her back "home".
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Reply to cwillie
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The problems with keeping her in her place is that soon she will stop walking and will lose the ability to self inject supervised meds. That will mean a move to a nursing home anyways. As for myself, I am starting to become a fall risk plus my vision will probably mean I will lose my ability to drive within the next 5 to 10 years. I want to move to a warmer climate while I am still physically able to establish a new social life and establish a new health care team for both mom snd myself
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Reply to MACinCT
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While moving may not be ideal I can certainly see the logic in this case and I think probably moving a MC patient from one facility to another is very different than moving them from home to a facility, still hard but maybe not as hard on them. It sounds like you plan to pick out and secure a new place for her before going back to get her, I'm wondering since your son will still be in the area mom is moving from if you might be able to arrange it so maybe some of her furniture, say bed and chair or bed, burough and 1/2 her clothing or something could be packed up and shipped a couple of days before you move her, put a temporary replacement bed in her room and leave just enough items to keep it familiar. Maybe have your son take her out while someone switches the stuff. If you can set things up so that some of those key items arrive ahead of her maybe your daughter on the other end can set up her new space as similarly as possible so when you arrive with her it will be somewhat familiar. Then the items left behind your son can ship as soon as you leave with her and when they arrive you can move them into her new room in the same sort of way. Have photos in each space so she has familiar faces around and clothing or items that have her familiar scent around too. It might be too hard to arrange but you never know. The other option I suppose would be to spend a night at your sons say before flying out and then at your daughters or your new place when you get to the new area until her stuff arrives so it can be set up before she is moved in. I don't know if this would be more or less disruptive or stressful for her than arriving to the new place without her stuff for a few days, it probably depends on how she travels or how secure she is just being with you even in strange places but you would know that best. I'm just brainstorming ideas.
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Reply to Lymie61
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ArtistDaughter 6 hours ago
These are good suggestions if they would work. I think even if the bed is different, if it has a recognizable bedspread she would be more relaxed. Maybe think more about what she knows is hers. She might be okay with some new items with photos of people she knows around her room.
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The claim from the professionals to that you not move elderly. It very often contributes to the final decline.

from my own experience...I moved my Dad from his home....(really had to, their house was not going to be able to modify for handicap). I noticed an increase in his agitation right away. His decline really began the second week. He died 3 months after the move. It was then I read about the decline that seniors enter often when moved.
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Reply to Katiekate
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Judysai422 8 hours ago
I moved my 90 year old parents 3 times in 3 years...they are both still alive and kicking. Every person is different.
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