How can we move mom?

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Hi I am the daughter of a lewy body dementia mother.I have cared for her now 2 years.She is very angry about moving to a home. She is extremely strong and has extreme psychotic episodes.I feel guilty that I can't keep caring for her but I am so very tired.Do I haul her away from her home screaming and fighting?It is so very sad for me to watch.Her whole world is her dog and cat.Leaving them in itself will break her heart.Help!!!

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I am so sorry for your situation. You certainly have the right to make the decision that you can no longer care for your mother at home. I understand that completely.

Do you also have POA and especially medical POA? You certainly can make decisions for yourself (not to care for her at home) but I'm wondering if you also have the authority to make decisions for your mother. If you do have medical POA then perhaps you can get some official help with the physical move.

But before it comes to that, perhaps you could get her out of the house without the kicking and screaming by not telling her you are moving her. You're going out to lunch (which you have arranged in advance with the facility). At least then she will already be in the building! Or perhaps you could have several lunches there. Ask when there will be live entertainment there and bring her "to hear this great accordion player." I really don't know if getting her used to the place beforehand would soften the message that she is going to move there. Knowing your mother's current personality, what do you think? One kind-of-devious lunch to get her there, or several get-acquainted visits before you tell her about the move?

If you haven't used therapeutic fibs with your mother before now, it may feel very uncomfortable to you to use a little trickery to get your mother into the building. But it is way, way less traumatic for her than having help forcibly removing her. It is a kindness, for her own good.

Have you already found a suitable care center?

My husband had LBD and I attended support meetings for caregivers whose loved one had this disease. In almost all cases the person with dementia had to be placed in memory care, assisted living, or a nursing home. I never promised my husband that I would never place him in a care center. I did promise that I would never abandon him, that if ever I could not give him the level of care he needed I would always continue to advocate for him, to be with him often, and to see that he got good care. As it turned out I was able to keep him at home, but I think that is quite rare. Please do not feel guilty or inadequate for making the decision to place your mother. It is fairly standard with this disease.

By the way, I understand the worry about psychotic episodes and her strength. Is your mother taking any medications for anxiety or agitation? Perhaps it would be a good idea to talk to her doctors about medication that might help her be calmer before you attempt to move her.
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Moves are very difficult for anybody, even more so the elderly, and even more so those with dementia. Do not talk about it often, it will only raise mom's anxiety level. Some assisted living facilities allow residents to have pets. Have you looked for one. Can you keep her animals? Take them for visits if at all possible.
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