My mom is moving in 10 days and is really bad about her phone and can’t access her email anymore. How do I handle notifying friends and family? An email with my contact info? A card with her location and way to contact her or me? She has a few college friends she stays in touch with and other Christmas card and occasional friends and I don’t want to lose that connection or make her feel embarrassed.

You don't have to say she is in Memory Care. An email to family should be enough. Cards to everyone else. Just say something like: Mom has a new address:

Orchard Gardens
2010 Locust Drive
Newark, DE xxxxx

She would love to hear from you.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I want to share a story about an elderly aunt that my husband was responsible for.  She never married or had any children and she was the last left of her family, so when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, my husband, her nephew had to step up.  She was always heavily involved with her church her entire life.  We had to move her from the small town where she lived into a memory care facility near us so that we could manage her care and visit with her.  It was 1 1/2 hrs away from her home.  After a year or so, we found out that the church got a caravan of people and drove to her facility to visit with her.  We were mortified!  She was no longer in control of her faculties and became quite hateful.  Name calling and kicking.... She could no longer dress herself and had bathroom issues. She would randomly take her clothes off...etc.   If she were in he right mind she would not have wanted those people to see her in that condition.  A card or note sent to us that we could read to her would have sufficed.  We never in our wildest dreams thought they would have just shown up.  My point in telling you this story is so you might protect your moms dignity at this stage in her life.  Make sure you are involved if there are visits.  A lot depends on what stage she is in and the type of dementia she has. 

You said she is fine with cards and phone calls so there is no shame in reaching out to her close friends and letting them know about the move.  Tell them if they are interested in a visit to contact you and you'll arrange something.

You are her protector.
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Reply to Jamesj
gdaughter Feb 23, 2021
Well, that was nervy, if not well-meaning of the church, but seems like there should have been some measures in place to notify you or the nursing home in re to a good day/time and allow staff to get mom presentable...
When we moved my dad into memory care I sent “I’ve Moved” cards out for him & put his address and listed his room as Suite 4-B. It didn’t say memory care, just the name of the place. Dad was pleased and his friends were able to send cards and such. When we took him out after lockdown I had business cards made up with his new address. More for his benefit, but he gave some out too!
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Reply to DadsGurl

For people that are not close, do not see her and it is only the occasional card you can send them your contact info and say they can get in touch with mom that way.
For close friends and family that are aware of your moms dementia give them the contact info, where she is and the address and if they are allowing visitors. And let them know that they can always contact you and you can pass on any mail or info if they would prefer that.
The thought that one would feel embarrassed if a friend got in touch with them after a move to memory care is sad. I would hope that it would bring understanding and compassion to the one visiting or contacting.
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Reply to Grandma1954
Kblanchat74 Feb 19, 2021
Sorry, I didn’t mean that to be rude. My mom works really hard to maintain that she is fine to friends and family and her use of language is still very strong. I imagine in her lucid moments, she struggles with not being like her peers of the same age and wouldn’t want me sending a note that bluntly says she is in memory care. I want to respect her and not convey her struggles although I know she will never admit defeat.
Oversharing info in a situation like this is probably not necessary. If people send her a card or note, that is kind. If they call her, they'll figure it out pretty quickly.

When I have seen extended family members who haven't seen mom in a while, I will mention to them that she is healthy and doing as well as can be expected. I also tell them she'd love a visit from them (she does not do well on the phone at all) and give them her address.

Depending on the person, I may let them know she has about a 10 minute window of lucidity before she begins to wander, verbally.
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Reply to Midkid58

Email those who still use the internet. Mail out cards to those who are not on the computer anymore. Bless you that you are making sure mom keeps her contacts.
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Reply to Taarna

Everyone you inform of her change of address should also be personally informed by you if there are things to be aware of...many people who have never experienced a person with cognitive impairment may make the contact more stressful. Some helpful suggests to them would be wise.

Is it possible to create a private FaceBook page group for only a select few of her friends who understand her cognitive condition and situation? Then you and they could post pictures and video messages for you to show her?

When we first transitioned my MIL into AL (due to short-term memory issues) she went through her phonebook and called everyone in there asking for them to come get her. Even a friend who lived several timezones away. So I don't really recommend any voice controlled calling (like Alexa) or even her keeping a phonebook of contacts in her room. I suggest you are there for all visits and calls. Cards are great if she remembers who the writers are. Maybe put up pictures of her closest people and their names on the wall of her room? I hope all goes well as you both adjust!
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Reply to Geaton777

Tell her friends the truth. There is absolutely no reason to try to hide anything because if they keep in touch they’re gonna find out somehow. Not telling them is a setup for some kind of awkward unease all around. She has known them forever. They care for her. They aren’t gonna make fun of her. Let’s say they call her one day. They hear a funny noise on her end & ask, “what was that?” then, “I thought you were home? Where are you?... You don’t know? Are you safe? O my goodness dear, what’s going on? What’s the address? We need to call help!” -OK so maybe not that dramatic but it’s just weird not telling them. They can handle it and it makes everyone’s life easier.
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Reply to Portier

I just came across these phones for seniors from the Alzheimer's store online... maybe some solutions in here to consider?
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Reply to Geaton777

This is so sad.

One of the reasons why people dread placement, whether in a nursing home or a memory care unit, is the belief they will be shut away, out of sight and out of mind.

And, it seems, this belief is well-founded. A loving daughter (? - apologies if son!) hesitates to give her mother's friends her mother's new address, and why? The daughter wants to protect her mother from the embarrassment of its being known that her mother is living in a memory care unit. Only, for embarrassment perhaps we should read "shame."

I'm accusing nobody of anything, here - we all do have very confused emotions and preconceptions about dementia, about residential care, about the rights of people once control of their lives has had to be delegated to others, about what they would prefer (perhaps they might not want to be seen in their current "state"? Will they mind their friends knowing?) about the "correct" way to manage relationships and communications so as to show respect and love to the person without asking too much of her or showing up her loss of memory and abilities - rubbing salt in her wounds. On the other hand, to be forgotten and neglected, discarded because we're no longer the people we were - ? *Everybody* is trying to do the right thing. But goodness don't we tie ourselves up in knots over it!

What I'd do, and did, is send a standard change of address card to her Christmas card list (or similar), with an additional note to those people you yourself know well enough inviting them to keep in touch, and your phone number or email address if they haven't already got it.
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Reply to Countrymouse

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