Mom's short-term memory is next to zero, but she believes things are ok. She doesn't want to leave her house where she feels secure. Last week, some strangers helped her get home from her walk. She didn't know her dog was sick, until the neighbor stepped in and help (nearest family member is 300 miles away).

How to I help her see the light and overcome her fears of new place near me? I have tried saying, this would be a temporary situation, much like a vacation. I would be nearby to help out and be part of family, but she can't see past of the comfort/security of her home. She believe she is doing ok. But is very much alone and very little social contact.

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Is there a desirable facility where she could stay for a week or two as a trial period? You might have to set it up as Respite Care which means you would pay out of pocket, but maybe your mother would find she did not mind it after all and would go along with a permanent move.
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Your mother is naturally frightened of change. Unless you can and are going to force a move, it would be perhaps be best if you could choose the best facility, not bewilder her with a choice of several. See if you could take her to lunch there more than once – perhaps say it’s a real bargain meal, or it’s a hotel for older people that puts on special lunches. If you are 300 miles away, is there someone who could manage to do this? Then see if you can arrange ‘respite’ there – many permanent facilities have a couple of respite rooms. If you can help it all to become a bit more familiar, she may be easier to persuade.
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If your Mom needed to be helped to find her way home, she is no longer safe.

What if this happened in the middle of the night?

At various times in our lives, we all have had to do scary things.

We were scared about our first job. If we didn’t work, we wouldn’t eat. But, we ending up loving being able to eat.

We were scared about our first date. But, we fell in love.

And, on and on it went, through life.

Just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do.
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I think a good place to start is to agree with her. New places are scary, but she needs help. Now, if your Mom is anything like my MIL, she will fight it tooth and nail, but this is when you need to put your big girl panties on and make the hard choices.

Of course it would be easier if she would see the light and understand the danger she is putting herself in, but she is like a child in this regard. They don’t see the danger until too late.

Personally, I would lie my face off and call it a vacation that never ends. Because if they don’t see reason, it will be a never ending argument that never goes anywhere.

Sooner or later, you have to deal with reality - with how the way things are, as heartbreaking as it is. It’s not the way you want it, and that’s a good thing. That’s what makes you a good daughter, despite feeling s***** about everything. Because this isn’t the way you would choose for things to be.

But that doesn’t change the way things ARE. All you can do is what’s right for your mom. To keep her healthy and safe. That’s showing love.
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One of the earliest signs of my mom's cognitive decline was anxiety and fear about everything.

"Yes, change like this is scary, Mom. We will be here to support you when you need that if there are any issues. But you can't live alone anymore".

We told her that because we weren't near enough to respond to her near-constant "emergencies", she needed to re-locate (we never said "move" and we never talked about selling the house) so that there would be folks on site to assist her.

Look, going to live in a facility is a little like starting Middle School. Will they like me? Will they be mean? Will I be the "dumb" one?

Find several facilities, take mom to visit. But re-locating at this point is no longer her choice.

Get her doctor to chime in, if necessary.
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Your Mom can no longer be reasoned with. She has lost that ability. Also its no longer what she wants, its what she needs. She should no longer be alone. If she is not caring for the dog, she is no longer caring for herself. I hope someone has a POA. If so, that person needs to get her placed in a NH. If no money, then apply for Medicaid.
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