Should I move my mom across country so she can die at home?

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My 89 year old mom has end stage Alzheimer's and has recently begun receiving Hospice care. We brought her over 1000 miles on the train more than 2 yrs ago to be here so we could care for her, but lately my husband and I have been thinking - for a lot of reasons - about taking her home now.

She still owns her home (since 1949). Her grandaughter has kept the place up.
Other than us, what is left of her family is 'back home'.
Hospice said they would handle transfering her care to the facility there.
Taking Mom home would mean she could die in her own bed, and without all the hoopla and expense of using two funeral homes and air transports. It would be a relatively simple matter to get her to the family plot where she'll be buried beside her parents and my dad.

I don't think taking her home on Amtrak is ideal. We'd have arrange the 'handicap sleeping car' weeks to months in advance and I don't know how much time she has. And we'd have to drive an hour to the station, and then again another two hours once we reached our destination.

Taking her in the car woudn't work because she needs to lie down. Same thing on an airline (I would never subject her to traveling by air these days).

Medical transport? I'd have to rob a bank for that. Even the least expensive ground transport I came across cost over 5K.

So - I am thinking of renting a small RV - this is what medical transport company uses for their 'basic' package. Fold out the bed, add some additional padding, find a way to 'belt her in'. The trip is about 13 hours with stops, and husband and I can take turns driving.

A very preliminary look indicates i can rent one of these RV's for a week for less than $1500 + gas. We could drive down in a day, get Mom situated, (have to figure out whether to have a new hospital bed there or transport the one she has now) and husband can return the RV well wthin the week.

Additionally, we can transport more safely the elderly cats at the same time once I figure out the best way to secure them. (They don't do well in cars, and I've been worried about them surviving such a long trip).

Any input, suggestions, other ideas?

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Dear Mariesmom, you are an extraordinary daughter, and I hope you find solace knowing that your mom felt your love and caring up to the end. I moved my 93 yr. old Dad cross-country about 15 mos ago to care for him full time. He's Stage 6 Alzheimer's and slowly winding down. My sincere condolences to you - you were your mom's angel on earth.
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My deepest sympathy, Marie. Please keep in touch on this board, you have so much good information.

And God bless you and your family.
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Oh bless your heart... I know this is a great lose... may you find comfort in memories and knowing she is at peace...
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Thank you jaye. Mom passed peacefully at our Maryland home on September 17. So it turns out we would have had time to take her back to Georgia - but there was no way to know this for certain - and had she died en route there would have been issues as well.
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I think that your intentions are wonderful however I am thinking perhaps the reality of the situation is it may be to late. I would encourage you to be with her keep her comfortable! I think really what she needs is peace and comfort which is REALLY not provided by a place. take care and God bless...
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You guys are so sweet - thank you.
Mom is not doing well - its like she's gone from 60 to zero in the last 10 days and now every day she is worse. But maybe thats just my perception, maybe it just seems that way to me, as I have never been this intimately involved with dying before - not like this. Perhaps its like shifting into low gear and staying there for awhile and I'm just not used to it. Earlier my husband had gone up to bed and then twenty minutes later he came down asking "Is that your Mom? Was she yelling?" No. Not yelling anymore. He said he swore he could hear her as he was drifing off to sleep. OK I'm exhaustred and its tomorrow so down for one last look at Mom and then off to bed. Thanks again all - oh - sorry - the plan was to accomplish this by months end. It will be hard to do any quicker. I'm wondering now if we will have time. Kisses
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i have done that and it wasnt easy but i did it . my oldest daughter and i brought dad home 1000 miles away . we took the van and laid the seat back as far as it would go . we stop one night at a hotel to get him changed and moved around . then early morn came we did it another 500 miles more to go ,
as for hospital bed , u shall talk to hospices , they should contact one up where ure going and have a bed set up there . and have a hospice s stand by and ready for ya . as for elder cats , put em in cage with thier fav pillow or whatever and keep the cage covered , that make should make em comfertable .
bobbie has done that to her mom . many tousand miles away i think they took the plane and hired a nanny to go with em . may want to ask bob how she did it . her mom died at her own home and in her bed .
what you said about renting one of the speical van that is also a great idea . yes you ll need a third person . me and my daughter it was hard but we did it and im the one drove the entire time . made it home just in time for ice storm , whew !
hope it all works out for you .. xoxo
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How soon are you planning to do this? Please keep us informed as much as it is convenient for you.

I hope you have a third person with you, but I know you'll make this happen as safely and smoothly as possible.
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You all are very sweet. Thanks for your encouragement.
I will let Mom share the expense to get her home, as we can't afford all of it. I would never ask my brothers - they wouldn't respond anyway.
Whether or not she will 'know' she is home - who knows? It just seems like the right thing to do.
I am hoping one of my daughters may make the trip with us - but its not a bad drive and I've made it a dozen times.
The cats can't be medicated - just make the trip as stress-free as possible.
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What I'm about to say might sound cold but here it is. Whatever you decide to do, do it for your Mother and you and your husband. Relatives who have taken no responsibility for your Mom, like siblings, or those who have not communicated with her in my opinion should be on the bottom of your lists. You and your Husband moved her to you and have cared for her in every way. And I commend you for wanting to continue this love for her in this way. I would suggest that you write or call your siblings and tell them of your intentions, ask them to split the bill with you to make things easier on yourselves. Even if the siblings say no, or avoid it, it still gives you the opportunity to let others know that it is their responsibility as well., and just let them tell you no and have to look you in the eyes at the funeral. With others helping to share the financial burden it might allow you to hire some extra help for the trip, or pay someone to take care of your cats at home while you're gone.. I say if it's best for your Mom, you and your Husband then make it happen but still make an attempt to get help to make it a little easier on you. God bless your souls.
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