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I don't know what would be best. My mom is sharp in many ways, but struggling with short term memory loss. She's not leaving her house very often, barely drives, and complains about being lonely. Mom will not make an effort to see her friends, and does not want a caregiver in her home. She is not ready for assisted living, and has said she wants to relocate and move closer to me and my family, two hours away. Moving her closer would allow me to see her almost daily and help her with shopping and getting around. I also know that she may still be unhappy, change her mind and want to move back home, and will be in unfamiliar surroundings. I will have to coordinate all moving, etc, and am an only child. I feel horrible and stressed over what to do.

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There are stages to this process; for a couple of years, we moved mom to an IL facility where she was an hour from the two kids who were able to be involved in her caregiving. However, eventually, she had a stroke, which necessitated her being really close by to one of us (I should credit the folks on this site who said to me "why is your mom an hour away, now is the time to move her closer, and they were RIGHT ON). You need to think about what will be best for you when she gets more frail and needs more hands on care. Are you willing to be an hour's drive away or not? Is she? We've always presented this to our mom as "this is what we think you want us to be ==your step up to the plate kids; how can we make this work? We have jobs, kids, grandkids. This is all about us as a family, not just about you". My best line is, "Mom, this isn't working out for us" ie, I can no longer get dragged away from my job, family, obligations at a moment's notice because a light bulb has burned out, or because you think there is going to be a storm. My other ploy was "Mom, my youngest brother is going to have a heart attack after shoveling out his house and then having to come and check on your furnace".Hugs and good thoughts to you.
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I wanted to follow up, and again thank you for all of your suggestions. I went with mom to her GP appointment. I had faxed my concerns prior to our appointment, so he knew about my mom wanting to move near me. He explained to her and myself that moving her from familiar surroundings of her home to a new house near me, would be extremely stressful for her, and her memory loss would most likely get much worse, very quickly, and she would get lost. He said she needs someone to visit her a few days a week, prepare meals, take her food shopping, etc. Her doctor said that the only way he would support her moving, is if a caregiver was living in the house with mom. Mom really likes and respects her doctor, so is listening to his advice for now, and will not be moving. However, she did forget or block out his diagnosis, and later that day, said to me, "Well at least I don't have Alzheimers!" Sometimes, you just have to laugh...I'm now in the process of finding a care giver to visit mom weekly, although she is not happy about it.
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Your mom is not far gone at the moment. If she is willing to move, do it NOW. It could be very hard and disorienting on her later when she is further along on the dimensions scale.

Get her in a place where there are social programs and encourage her to participate even if you have to go with her to some of the activities. Take her out and do things with her, certainly, but don't ever let yourself be the one source of entertainment for her.

She might be unhappy in her relocation, but she could be please just as easily. It's all about attitude, YOURS as well as hers. As an only child, you won't have the drama of interference from siblings. Thank goodness. You are very fortunate.

But you should look to the future, as you are doing, and realize that there is absolutely no reason for you to need to be care taking from a distance in a few years. personally, I am NOT in favor of the temporary visitation idea. Suppose you have her visit and she decides she doesn't want to move. Then you will be forced to either leave her where she is and take care of her long distance or move her under duress without her cooperation.

Just move her now while she's willing and while it will have the least impact on her. if she doesn't like it later, you can apologize, but she'll still be near you. Better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
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First of all, please don't feel horrible. You are taking care of your mom and that's wonderful! You know how many seniors have no one to care for them? Too many.

If your mom is willing to move to where you are, by all means move her! The change will be difficult for her at first, but she'll become accustomed to it if you spend a lot of time with her and help ease her through the transition. Just make sure your frequently find ways to remind her the move will be permanent, no going back and forth.

You don't say how close or far away you live from your mom. But if moving her closer to you makes it easier and less stressful for you, that's a good thing for you and your mom. You said she's talked about being lonely and she doesn't go out much or see her friends. It sounds like she isn't really connected to anything where she's living right now.

After several years of failing health, my dad died last summer. My mom took care of him for years and wore herself out physically and emotionally. She often did things physically she shouldn't have done because my father could no longer do them, like lifting heavy objects. At the age of 83 she actually tore her rotator cuff from over exertion. Anyway, my mom is 85 and pretty healthy, but my sibs and I didn't want her living alone. I lived in Denver and drove back and forth between Denver and my parents' home two hours south of Denver every weekend for years. It was really taking a toll on me. Ideally we would have insisted mom move closer to me and my sister in the Denver area, but this was not a practical option for us for a wide variety of reasons, the least of which was not mom's desire to stay where she's lived her entire life. So I quit my job and moved in with her. For me, for our family, for my mom it was the right thing to do.

If you have the means and your mom is willing and able, move her closer to you. Just don't forget to take care of yourself and make sure you have your own life and time to yourself.
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Imtired, In terms of a companion, some folks lie and say it is a friend who is down on her luck and needs a place to stay and will pay rent. I told my parents she was a laundress and started her a couple times a week and she played along and did their laundry and put their clothes up and mom fell for it. When my dad had to have surgery, we had to have caregivers every single day and all night, too, so I used that as an excuse to make changes - I told my mom who has dementia that the doctor said dad had to have caregivers or he had to go back in the hospital. Unfortunately, your don't have another person to blame the presence of the caregiver on and there is absolutely no reasoning with a dementia/Alz patient. You have to basically force what needs to happen for their own good. They aren't going to like it, but then, your job is not to make them happy, your job is to keep them safe. My grandmother fired at least 6 companions before my aunt gave up and placed her. Sometimes it is the ONLY choice you have.

What might help you with your stress and also to wrangle this situation would be to hire a Geriatric Care Manager to come in and evaluate your mom at home and tell you what she thinks. This costs around $250, but it is well worth it. The GCM can tell you how safe your mother is at home and whether she can be alone or needs someone to stay with her 24x7 or what. The GCM will also have resources in your mother's city and can be your eyes and ears on the ground in an emergency situation until you can get there. There is a website if you will google Geriatric Care Manager called the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. This is a great resource where you can go to find one in your mom's area. If you decide to (and can afford it) the GCM can take a great deal of your stress away because you can hire him/her to manage the care of your mother including wrangling caregivers and your mother, taking her to doctors appointments, making sure she is eating, bathed and has all her needs taken care of and report back to you on what is going on and what you need to do. If there is an emergency, she will get to your mother and decide how it needs to be handled. IMO, the best GCM's are RN's. It costs around $100 - $125 per hour, but a good GCM is worth her weight in gold. Also, a good GCM will minimize costs so that it is around $1,000 - $1,200 per month. Well worth it when you are stressed out and need someone who knows what to do and has contacts who can help with every aspect of the situation.
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Thank you for your support and suggestions. I need as much help as I can get! I am thinking long and hard about moving her closer to me. I will suggest a visit. It's been a while since she has stayed with us and she might just change her mind about moving once she visits. Well meaning friends and family are telling mom to move closer to me due to the changes they see in her. Personally, I think if I could just get her to be okay with someone to help her now at her home, to be a companion and drive her around, she would be fine until she needs more care. I just need to find a way to get someone in to help her without her getting defensive and pissed off with me. Mom is in her early 70s.
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I agree with sunflo2. There is no way to tell how this will work out without trying it. Why not try it on a small scale, without committing to anything permanent?

Mom is unhappy where she is. She might also be unhappy if she moves. But will it be easier for YOU to have her unhappy 2 hours away, or unhappy nearby? That is a completely valid way to look at it. We don't know if anything will work for her, so you might as well give strong consideration to your own preferences.

If she has dementia, she is going to decline no matter where she is. Take that into consideration, too.

If she is going to make a significant change, sooner is better than later, in my opinion, while she still has coping skills.

Yes, she might tell you she wishes that she hadn't moved. If she doesn't move, she may continue to tell you that she wishes she could move. I don't see any way to avoid some unpleasantness over this issue. You'll have to do what you consider best (after a trial run, please) and brace yourself for the inevitable fallout, whatever the decision is.

If she has beginning dementia, she should no be driving no matter where she lives. Therefore living in a place that has frequent transportation to places like shopping centers, senior centers, and even casinos can be a plus ... or living where meals are provided, there is a beauty center on site, etc.

You are so wise to be looking at this closely before acting on impulse! I hope things work out well for the two of you.
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You are doing the right thing with familiarizing yourself with available facilities nearby and options for your mom and you. Also, good idea to discuss with her Dr. and he can help facilitate discussion with mom.

I agree also with ps. My mom is 91, and has resisted all attempts to relocate or make different living arrangements, refused companioncare, outside help, social activities, participation in her own local senior center activities, etc. She complains about being lonely, but won't make changes to alleviate loneliness or try new things in her own community. I live long distance, and she will go out with me but depends on me for any social activity or interaction.

I thought having her near me would be better at one time for similar reasons you give (visiting more often, ablility to take her places, help her with shopping etc), but as time has gone on, I can see that she will depend on me totally and will have no desire to interact with others or develop new friends/activities on her own. I also think that she would have difficulty adjusting to a new place, learning her way around, having to learn new stores, new routines, etc, new doctors, etc.

I agree with you, that it could backfire and she will be unhappy (at least in the short term) and be anxious and want to go back home or tell you that she wishes she hadn't moved. This can be emotionally draining and traumatic for both of you.

I would suggest that you bring her down with you possibly for an extended visit and together visit some places nearby and gauge her input. Take her to your local senior center and encourage her to attend frequently during her visit -- see if she readily makes new friends, is enthusiastic, etc. Return her home and without prompting, see if she frequently brings up the visit, has fond memories, and wants to come back or seriously consider a permenant move. Some AL have respite care -- so if there is an AL in your area that she liked or had interest in, see if she'd be willing to stay for a couple weeks on trial. Its best if she has buy in for the process in order for it to be positive and successful.

Its a difficult decision and a big decision for both her and you and your family; wishing you a good outcome.
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There are some wonderful facilities nowadays that have independent living, assisted living and memory care all in one place. There are many companies that offer this including Sunrise Senior Living, which is all over the US, Canada and the UK.

I bet that your mom is lonely at home. She is probably afraid to leave home because she may feel lost and not recognize her town and be afraid she won't be able to find her way back home if she goes out. The great danger to this is that if she is only driving one or two familiar routes and someday there is a problem where she cannot drive on the street she is used to, she may drive off and wind up in another state or something. This situation is why there are so many silver alerts. The thing is, you cannot discuss your mom's situation in front of her because it will make her angry and defensive. So write up your concerns and give a note to the doctor's receptionist. That way the doctor can read it prior to seeing your mom and then speak with your privately in regards to what is best for your mother. Most dementia patients thrive in assisted living with the structured environment, activities, music, crafts, games and lots of nice people to talk to.
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Thank you for the responses. I am definitely going with mom to her next doctors appointment to discuss her options before doing anything. I wish mom had an easier personality that would be fine to live at an Assisted Living Community, but right now, I just can't see her going along with it. That being said, I am touring the ALFs in my town to prepare. I am afraid of something happening to her and having to be a caregiver from 2 hours away.
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I'd put her in an asst living community. Since my mthr went to one unwillingly, she has been so much happier, with the social activities already planned and meals with others providing the contact she really wanted but did not realize.
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Agree with PS. Do not move her into her own place nearer you without first examining every available option. You're going to be looking at ALF before you know it anyway, and that'll mean another move when she's even less able to cope with it - better to get to a long-term choice from here without the halfway house. Sorry for your mother's worries, though; it sounds as if she's in a sad situation. Hope you can help her without ending up with a car crash on your hands. Best of luck.
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She is setting the hook, throwing the bait. Don't bite. You will move her and then she will complain about missing her house, her friends, her church etc. Then she will expect you to fill in the gap and entertain her at her beckon call. Go with her to the doctor's office and talk about what her options are. Moving someone with memory problems can accelerate the dementia process, especially if they have been in one home a long time. They will wake up and panic, which means you get a screaming call at 2 AM and have to rush over to her new apartment or call 911 to respond. Driving will be a disaster, she will get lost frequently. Promise me you will talk to the MD before you do anything.
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If she will eventually need to be near you, sooner is better than later in my opinion. If only my MIL had moved near us when my FIL died, she would have acclimated by now, made new friends, gotten close to the rest of the family and we would not be commuting 2.5 hours to care for her.
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