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Both mid 80s Dad with moderate dementia, will never agree to move, will have to trick him somehow. Mom diabetic, on injected insulin, bouts with chronic diarrhea, barely mobile but mentally ok.

Just trying to imagine how on earth I could ever pull this off, assuming I ever convince/trick them into moving. Maybe have to do it one at a time, separate cars with a crew of helpers? RV with handicap bathroom?

Anyone done this? BTW, flying is not an option.

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There's just so many conflicts between what they want vs what they need, and how that interacts with what we want, what we need, and what we can realistically provide.

The other difference to kids (or pets) is that we expect those to improve behavior and judgement with time and training, while the seniors are going the opposite direction.
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I like the idea of a medical transport company, although I suspect it would be quite expensive. When my parents were wintering in Texas there was one occasion when I considered hiring a service to fly them back. I don't recall all the results of my research but I believe that I had found a helo firm that provided medical transport. However, a larger plane would be more comfortable.

I like the idea of an RV trip home with various family members; it could be considered a rolling family reunion. It might also help keep your father oriented, a concern I would have for a long cross state trip.

I think that with dementia, it might be easier to do it now than later in the event your father becomes disoriented and/or combative. But the question is how to convince him.

I think one of the really difficult aspects of caregiving is that so many of us try so hard to accommodate our parents' needs while still being firm, but it's hard to be that way, and it's hard to be as firm with them as they were with us when we were children. With a child, "no" or "that's not going to happen" is firm, but with our parents, it's more of an opening salvo for a challenge to do what they want.

I wish I knew how to tell them and make them understand that these relationships are two-way; they don't get to make all the decisions about what they're going to do while expecting us to meekly comply. They didn't allow that when we were young.

Your situation really is a dilemma. I thought my predicaments couldn't get worse until I came back here and read your post! And you even have the arduous tasks of long distance worrying.
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Yes. Logistics will be a nightmare. After my in laws moved grandma from IL. to AZ. she was so discombobulated, that a move back was necessary.
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Sunny, I like your suggestion of explains AL is to help you get better. My Dad is not in advanced dementia yet, he still functions but has no short term memory and won't reason or get off whatever idea he has. It's getting hard for Mom but she does really well with him avoid conflict and fooling him into doing things he doesn't want to do.

Thanks to all for your responces thus far. It's giveen me a lot to think about.
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I should say her doctor insisted she go into assisted living. If she had refused, the doctor was going to report her to protective services. She told us both that. There was serious need, so I had to convince her to go.
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My cousin's doctor actually suggested that she go into assisted living to help her with her meds and to get therapy. So, my cousin eventually got on board.

I would write it on a tablet and hang it on the wall so she could read it, but she would forget it, so I would have to repeat it over and over. She would ask me over and over how long she would be there and I would explain over and over that it depended on her progress. That seemed to make her feel much better and I would always praise her for her great work in therapy. In reality, she would resist therapy, fell a lot and had to go into a wheelchair, but I kept being positive, to keep her spirits up. She couldn't help it. She was just declining. I still tell her how proud I am of her progress and how well she's doing. She smiles and it makes her feel good for the moment. The reality of the matter has no meaning to her, so I try to keep her as happy as possible.
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Sunnygirl, that's a great idea by saying one is going into assisted living to obtain therapy, etc. I'll have to remember that when the time comes for my parents :)
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Windyridge, you have a challenge ahead. I'm not sure how I would do it. With your dad's dementia, I would likely appeal to your mom's sense of reason. The progression of dementia will make it clear to her that assistance is needed. Living with a person with dementia is very stressful. The repeating, pacing, constant anxiety by the patient can really cause misery on the partner. If she faces this, perhaps she will agree.

I explained to my loved one that she was going into assisted living to obtain therapy and get her meds. That way she could recover and regain her strength and balance. She agreed to that. Eventually, she forgot why she was there and now doesn't know she has a house.
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Since it sounds like the move will be crisis-driven, contact a medical transport company and see what they can offer. Moving fragile people is their business, after all. My exposure to them was through a (young healthy) friend who suffered major injuries while far from home. Ground transport was in a specially equipped van, with a medically qualified attendant.
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PS: the rural area where I grew up has become a horrible, conjested, un zoned, over developed mess. I would never move back there. I've been away for 30 years have made a good life which I don't want to give up.
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When it's obvious that the move needs to happen Mom will be cooperative. But I really think it's going to be crisis driven. There will be no disscusion at present that will convince either of them to move. I can't even get the carpet cleaned or meals on wheels for Gods sake!

And they would not be up to any tourism. Maybe one night in a nice hotel along the way. I do like the suggestion of tagging ERs and so forth along the way. And it would have to be a large van or RV.

All their stuff, that's a whole other topic. There's nothing of any value except for some of Dads garage stuff. Everything else will go to Goodwill, yard sale and junk yard. The house and land will be sold to pay for their care.
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Is your mother in favour? Conning your father is one thing, but how are you planning to get the plot past her?

But let's assume she's keen and it's all set up. A very wise woman, once asked how she managed to stay so calm when driving her ghastly daily commute, said she avoided getting stressed "by not expecting the journey to take less time than it actually does take." [I never quite got the hang of this in my commuting days, I must admit. There was always at least one snarl up where there had no *right* to be a snarl up - but let it be.]

Adapted for your circumstances, then, the answer is not to try to do this in a hurry. Make it a three, even four, day road trip, with comfort breaks, meals, and overnight stays scheduled in. Visit a couple of landmarks. You could tag pharmacies, ERs and so on along the route in case of emergency. See if you can find a group for people with disabilities that does travel or touring guides, so that you know which facilities are best to use, and offer proper wash rooms and so on.

So that's them. You will need a good-sized estate car that you can fit them, their paraphernalia, and their baggage for say one week in.

Their stuff: hire a reputable removals firm that also offers a clearance service and let them do their job. It will be pricey. It will be worth it.

I don't suppose it would be easier for you to move near them..?
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Blannie.....ohhhh, you're good. The sedated RV trip. Hmmmmmm. I'm the only surviving child but I have a couple nephews, my folks grandsons, who might be enticed to come along for the adventure. And my wife is a trooper, my folks love her and will listen to her cause she's a lawyer ya see and knows things.

And Flyer, it may take the crisis to break this open and force the issue. Thanks for the tips.
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If it was me, I'd try to do it in one fell swoop, as it will be hard no matter how you do it and trying to do it twice would be more difficult (in my opinion).

I would say you have two options, either getting some kind of specialized vehicle and trying to drive straight through or staying overnight somewhere and possibly using a normal car with stops for bathroom breaks.

Do you have people who can/would help you? That would make it much easier to manage. You really can't be trying to drive and dealing with whatever might go on with the folks. Does your mom know that they need to move near you? Will she support you in whatever you have to do to get dad to cooperate?

The best option (though kind of drastic) might be to get the RV, get dad sedated to where he sleeps most of the way (put a diaper on him), let mom stop to use the restroom and go straight through. Not pretty, but it could get the job done. But I would want at least one other person (and maybe two) to assist me on the way, in case anything happened. Good luck...you will literally have your hands full trying to get them moved.
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Windy, good luck.... I can't get my folks to move 10 miles down the road to a really nice retirement complex. I am to a point that I will just have to let nature takes its course because I gave it my best to try to get them into something safer.

Maybe if one goes from the ER to a hospital to rehab, then maybe onto a continuing care facility. Wish I had a crystal ball, could be I am worrying over things that might not happen.
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