What are some ideas on moving my mother over 5 states to live with us? - AgingCare.com

What are some ideas on moving my mother over 5 states to live with us?

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Mom is currently in an assisted living facility in Oh and has been for a year since Dad passed away. We would like to move her to TX as there are no relatives visiting her in OH. She uses a walker and has some dementia. She is ambulatory but needs help getting up steps, into vehicles, etc. We're thinking that paying a nurse whom she knows from her current facility to fly with her might be the best course. The other issue is it is going to be very difficult to get her to agree to come. We realize change is not in her makeup so thoughts on that might be helpful as well. I am an only child, and in her eyes this whole situation is my fault. Heard this before?

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If it's going to be very difficult to get her to agree to come, I question whether it is a good idea to move her.

Visits from relatives - especially relatives she's close to and is used to spending a lot of time with; does that describe you? - would be lovely, of course. But it is possible to overestimate their value to your mother. A good facility, caring people on the staff, familiar surroundings and continuity in her environment would all beat a weekly (say) visit from family hands down.
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"Some dementia" will turn into more dementia. If she's all alone in Ohio and you can find a facility near you in Texas where you can get her into a respite stay situation for a month or two, perhaps you can try it out and see how she likes it. And you can see her more also.
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Mom could but should not fly alone. With prior arrangements the airlines will make sure she makes the flight.Having someone with her would be a better idea. Some people I knew wanted to tae their Mom on an extended trip and rented an RV which worked out very well.
If she is well cared for and content where she is why not leave well enough alone.
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My mother who has just begun the downward spiral into dementia could no more handle a plane flight or long car trip than she could a trip to the moon. And changing your mother's entire way of life may be not worth the upset in the short OR long run.

If you can afford to pay for aides, and that is working, then continue to do so. Perhaps contact family or friends of hers and ask them to pay visits--once someone is in a facility, nursing home or ALF, they often just are "forgotten" by others. You may need to gently persuade them.

If she is already a "wanderer"...that isn't going to get better. And a move to a new state, entirely new facilities (I assume you aren't taking her in with you?) may just be unbearable.

It's hard to long distance "manage" care like this. Perhaps it's time for a visit back to Ohio and see for yourself the situation firsthand. See what you can facilitate for her now.

Best of luck--I know this must be hard.
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In that case, try pushing the facility to provide more enrichment activity and, in a sort of pincer attack, perhaps get in touch with your mother's former school/s and see if you can't interest them in recruiting befriending volunteers among the older students (voluntary work in facilities is excellent resumé material for those aiming for medical or nursing careers, for example). I shouldn't worry too much about the constant turnover of young people - that's a pattern that she will have been used to for the whole of her professional life.

You don't say, and I certainly wouldn't mean this as a criticism anyway, but when did you last spend much time with your mother? If she is already in need of a wander bracelet then her dementia sounds quite advanced. I appreciate the frustration of it but I really think it can't be in her best interest to move her at this point.
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Things aren't going to get any better, and having her near you--in the same town--will help as she proceeds to go downhill. I think you should move her now, as it will become increasingly difficult for her to adjust as she gets older, and because you may have to oversee her care more and more as time goes on.
When you move her, flying with her yourself really is the best option, or having someone she knows to fly with her. Find out her preferences for whether she wants to move by car or by air, and anything else associated with the move, and see if you can indulge a few of them. It may make it easier, and she will appreciate your efforts to make her move comfortable.
When traveling with a child, I always try to have something familiar to them: a toy or a beloved blanket, etc.etc. It makes their trip easier, and so try to have things that she likes and feels comforted by having with you on the plane or at least when you land, and in her new home, wherever that is. Maybe have a party for her when she comes to live in whatever you have arranged for her. Make it a happy time.
Just my advice...
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Your concerns are valid, but, I think that I might also consider some other factors when making your decision. She would definitely need a travel companion. Based on your description, I'd ensure that the aid is well trained in working with dementia patients. They may get overwhelmed, confused, and scared in a strange place like airport/plane. I'd make sure the aid knows how to handle that.

Is she in a regular AL or a Memory Care unit?

I'd also consider the walking that you describe. Often dementia patients walk incessantly, for no apparent reason. A Secure Memory Care facility would likely have an outdoor area, but, they all still require direct supervision when outside. I'd also consider that as they progress, they may not be as amused shopping, visiting, etc. as she has in the past. Of course, it depends on the person and their progression. You would know what she is still able to do.

I think that it's traditionally viewed as a negative to move a person who has dementia, I think it depends on the circumstances. If you have an ideal situation, I'd consider if that will happen again.

If you do decide to move her, I'd make sure that you have one that will accommodate her lined up. A regular AL often doesn't address the needs of a person with significant dementia.

And, if she's receiving Medicaid, that's another issue, if she moves to another state.

I had to move my LO due to her needing a higher level of care and it went fine.  
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Is there any reason you cannot fly to her & fly back w her. Seems that might be more joyful & distracting to have her only child as her flying partner. I also would advise having a sleeping aide pill w you or before flying. Much depends on person. You realize you must step into her world not your adjustable world. Must have great patience. Remember she cannot adjust in her world. What she thinks is. You just agree & love abounds. After 63 yrs of marriage & 9 years of hubby's alz have realized life is much better if I agree & praise him for even small things. Think of your self as her how you'd like your only child to treat you. God be w you in your decision.
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Last January, my 89-year-old Dad wanted to be near family members in CA who could look out for him and meet his needs. He is cognitively impaired, incontinent, nearly blind, and can only walk short distances with his walker. We found an ALF near us that would meet his physical needs, and then flew to GA to pack his things. Two days later, we flew with him across the country from GA to CA. The day of the flight was a very long challenging day, but we committed to meeting his needs and, we thank God he survived.

Because Dad is only 15 minutes away, I can visit him 2 - 3 times a week and that enables me to observe and reflect on his words and various emotional, physical states. I can discern what he needs and find the appropriate resources to meet his needs. We take him to church with us. I take him to Starbucks, so he can breathes in the lovely aroma, sip his black coffee, and watch the young folks interact with each other.
By seeing him frequently, I have also had the opportunity to interact the staff and caregivers and receive feedback about my Dad. By joining the ALF's Family Council, I have learned more about what is going on with the facility, it's history, it's staff, and advocate for its residents.

Over the past 4-1/2 months, my Dad has improved so much emotionally and physically. As you consider for the best living situation for your mom, your resources, and the season of life that you are in, I hope that you will explore the option of having your mom living near your family in an ALF that can meet her needs.
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Thank you all for taking the time to answer. You have been a great help. I still have lots to think about and more investigating to do. This is not going to be an overnight decision! I will keep you posted.
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