My 83 year old mother is in the early stages of dementia. In the past three years my sister and her family in the southwest have moved her five times (I live in the northeast). Her overall health is really pretty good--nothing is killing her. But she always seems to be in pain and suffering from diarrhea. She has been to hospital emergency rooms numerous times for dehydration caused by this--often because she won't wait long enough for a laxative to work and takes too many. This has also resulted in numerous doctor visits. She was initially in independent living but since my sister was almost daily having to travel 45 minutes one-way to clean up after her messes (Mom couldn't understand why staff wouldn't do it--not their job!) she finally moved into an assisted living facility. They are also helping with medications now as well, but she claims she doesn't need that.

However, in the two independent places before now she was never happy. Staff stealing from her (no, they weren't), kitchen was messing up her order intentionally, air-conditioner too loud, bad view, no birds, incompetent staff, etc.... She loves virtually everything when she moves in but quickly finds fault. We know no place is perfect, but no one else complains about the things like she does and after time she alienates herself.

Tonight she called 911 after claiming staff wasn't answering her call for help and is on the way to the ER. She claimed the staff spiked her applesauce causing runs. She wants to move again. I think this latest episode was manufactured to justify another move and/or keep my sister from traveling six hours away to see her daughter and new baby.

My brother-in-law and sister are now saying she has to do this move on her own since she has been too rude/mean to them on past moves. They have been bending over backwards to help her and it is never enough. Sure, there are periods where mom says they are wonderful, but then she goes right back to complaining.

Anyway, she has the money to pay for the move herself this time (I do pity the firm that agrees to move her--I can hear her complaints now!) and my sister is giving her phone numbers of several reputable movers and places she may be interested in living, but otherwise leaving her on her own since my mother has been indirectly blaming my sister for past moves, even though Mom had final say on all decisions.

We both think this move will be much the same. The move itself will wipe her out physically for days afterwards, even with movers, because she will want to make sure each box is packed just so and no one has the time she'll want to spend on it. I do know my sister will remove valuables/important papers beforehand. Anyway, she will like the new place for a few days and then start finding problems and after 2-3 months she'll want to move again.

How can we explain to her that no one else is having these problems? It is a perception problem we can't overcome. We just don't see an end to this.

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I'm so glad that your sister has set some firm boundaries.

Consider having mom seen by a geriatric psychiatrist. Sometimes meds can help with mood, anxiety, agitation and depression.
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I think your sister is right here. Let her move herself. My father is the same way, thinks it will be so much better someplace else. It is because he is bored and they aren't catering to him enough. Then he found if he needed increased services he gets the attention he the tune of an additional $3000 a month. I don't sleep because of these increased costs. He can't move himself, he would need to to do it all and he can't figure out why I am not jumping at the opportunity to take on all this extra work.

The problem is in the past your sister jumped every time mom was unhappy so now mom thinks that is what sister is for. Let mom figure out her own happiness for once.
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