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We hate the idea of blind-siding my mom, but after much thought and deliberation, it's the only way we will be able to get her out of her house and into the MC apartment. Current plan is for my sister to distract her with a long outing while we go in and move her basic needs and some furniture into her apartment and then we have lunch together and leave. A week or two later I'll bring the rest of her needs. I'm completely confident in the team at her MC to deal with the inevitable ugliness and I'm fine with not going by there for several days or more. Since her main complaint is loneliness, boredom, and not feeling useful, we are hoping there's a chance she will actually appreciate the complete change of scenery and lifestyle. But of course that's out of our hands.


If you've done this kind of thing before, your suggestions might be helpful to us. Please don't suggest we shouldn't surprise her. She will never, ever come around to the idea of leaving her home in spite of how miserable she claims to be, and equates "homes" with being institutionalized. And she has no idea what's best for her well-being anymore.


When visiting her, we plan to frame it as a place to visit for a while, do some volunteer work, and make some friends. When she frets about the cost just tell her its the same as her mortgage. Which she doesn't remember anyway. I mean, she currently doesn't believe she's in her own home anyway.


TIA for the good vibes! It'll be a day!

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Oftentimes, it's the only way to get an elder moved...........just go for it! Wishing you good vibes, good luck, Godspeed and every other piece of good fortune I can think of! She will be fine, ultimately. Your mother is lucky to have you and your sister working together for her best interest and safety. I can tell you this.......it'll be a load off of your mind once she's there and settled down. You'll know she's safe and being tended to at all times, and that's worth A LOT of peace of mind.

Fingers crossed for the best possible outcome
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Your mother is blessed to have a family so concerned and proactive in planning for her best care. I’ll be hoping to hear it all went better than you think!
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Oh boy....The heavy lifting starts. I’ve been through it with both mom and dad into assited living, mom passed away, then transitioned dad to memory care from assisted living, then moved him to nursing home closer to me.

I think you have a good plan and extra bonus that all the sibs are on board. I mean how cool is that! Unusual I think.

You May want to visit her or stay away. It depends on her reaction. With my folks, after the initial move I pulled back quite a bit. My presence gave them an enemy to lash out at and at the same time reminded them of all things “Home”.

Dont hesitate to tell whatever fibs that works for you. I practically had daily one act plays for my folks trying to keep them calm.

And stick to you guns. Don’t let anyone tell you that mom must consent. That’s just ignorant BS.
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gemmab123, everyone's situation is different. But here's what I did after agonizing for about a year over whether, when and where to move my then 95-year-old dad in late-stage dementia to a memory care facility:  While my dad was at adult day care, my wife and I (w. help from a moving company) moved furniture, clothing, etc. to his new room. When I picked my dad up from day care, I didn't tell him about the move, instead I just drove him there and he thought we had arrived at a nice hotel like we had done many times in the past. We ate a nice dinner together and I spent the night with him, showered him in the morning, and then we ate a hearty breakfast together. I watched as he ate lunch with his new friends and then I left while he was participating in an activity. Later that day I returned and observed him eating dinner. After that I rode my bike the 10 miles round trip to visit him at least once every day (and my wife visited him a couple of times weekly as well) for the next 19 months until he died at age 97. (During that time, I remained his primary caregiver, but with the facility's small army of aides and my daily bike ride I was a better rested, more fit and much more patient caregiver.) An unexpected bonus was that my dad became more social than he had been in many years.

      As it turned out, my dad didn't remember living anywhere else over the last 75 or so years, i.e. he didn't remember living with my family for the prior 3.5 years, nor any of the three homes where he and my mom lived for 70 years. However, almost almost every day he would ask me to take him home, but "home" was his childhood home where he thought his mom was waiting for him (or waiting for us, since he often thought I was his dad). I always told him it was too late today since all I had was a bike, but that we could go "home" in the morning after a good night's sleep and a hot breakfast. That usually satisfied him, but when it didn't, then we would walk the halls together looking for an exit and a ride "home." Sometimes other residents overheard us and wanted us to take them to their homes, too, and I'd tell them the same things I told my dad and that satisfied almost every one.

      I know the staff at some facilities advise family members not to visit for a while (my dad's staff did not), but you and your sister know your mom better than the staff does, so you and she should do what you think will be best for for your mom. Like I said, everyone is different. Best wishes in navigating your mom's move.
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Daughterof1930 Jan 19, 2020
Well done, bicycler!
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As someone who recently went through transitioning parent out of home into a care facility you have a good plan in place to move your mom. There’s no easy way to get through this, you just have to do what’s best for your love one. Wishing the best for you.
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Reply to Kitty19
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I would recommend bringing items that are a large visual stimulus like her bedspread and large familiar pictures on her wall. Her favorite chair. Big things that she will instantly recognize. Try to set up her drawers and closet they way she had them. I know time will be limited, but if you have some assistance and plan to bring the right tools you can probably accomplish a lot before you leave. Don’t worry too much about the small stuff right away. I’ve done this twice. Good luck.
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gemmab123 Jan 18, 2020
TY, yes there will be several of us on board!
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Here on AgingCare I've read of others who have used this strategy and I don't think any of them ever mentioned a downside, I can remember one poster who was able to recreate her mother's previous apartment so completely that she never seemed to notice the difference 😄. I hope the move goes well!
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gemmab123 Jan 18, 2020
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Couple of questions. Is your mom declared incompetent?
Is there a power of attorney?
Is someone her legal guardian for medical or financial?
Although, you may feel it is in the best interest of your mom, if she is not considered incompetent she could make a fuss and the legal consequences could be something you don't want to become a part of. In most states, people can live where they want, and cannot be forced to move because someone feels it is best. I suggest if you don't have guardianship, you seek legal advice.
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ExhaustedPiper Jan 18, 2020
How does somebody get "declared incompetent"? I've wanted to ask my mom's primary care doctor this question, but then the thought of it overwhelms me and I never ask.

I don't think a diagnosis of dementia is considered the same as "incompetent" so I wonder when it gets to that point? Who declares it?

My mom is still okay to live at her condo but it's next to me so she gets lots of assistance. I see her needs increasing and her world getting smaller and I know placement will have to happen at some point. But she will never move to a facility willingly. I feel for the OP because just the thought of it spikes my anxiety.
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Oh, she'll know. Trust me. Having dementia does NOT make you stupid. On any average day, your mom may not be able to find her way home from a next-door neighbor's house, but on that day she'll probably notice you've made a wrong turn and aren't headed "home."

I wouldn't change a thing. You've made a very difficult decision that you believe is best for your mom, and from what you've said, it sounds like your mom will come to agree. My only suggestion would be to remind you not to get into a discussion with your mom. At this point, you are past discussion, so no "This is best for you." or "You'll find you really like all the activities and won't miss your house at all." Oh, and bring something(s) that are really important to her, not just basic needs. A family portrait, a cozy blanket, her favorite coffee mug, or whatever helps her feel at "home."

I must say, though, that you are EXTREMELY lucky to have a sister willing and able to help with this impossible decision! I have the same in my brother, but many members here have just the opposite. Ugh!

Good luck, and fingers crossed!!!
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gemmab123 Jan 18, 2020
My brother, sister and I are all on the same page and in complete cooperation. I sense this is unusual!
Yes, we are planning to bring more things in every visit for a while..to make it look/feel like her place. Just being realistic for what we can do in a few hours time.
I didn't mean to imply she won't know, or that she is stupid. I've been taking care of her for a year and the moments of lucidity are often astonishing :)TY
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Gemma, I'm glad you are moving forward with this plan.

I've never had exactly this experience, but I certainly agree about not discussing this in advance. Once my mom developed dementia, we never told her about anything in advance. Her anxiety would go through the roof as well as her blood pressure. We always said "now it's time to.." or "the doctor says you need to.."


(((((Hugs)))))))
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gemmab123 Jan 18, 2020
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