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My husband may have an out of state opportunity; the move would afford us a better quality of life. My 89 yr old Mom has dementia and I would want to move her with us because no one in the family visits her but me- my brother is out of state and everyone else (cousins) have their own stuff going on. I'm afraid if I leave her behind she will fall into a really bad funk. She is in assisted living but no longer participates in activities because her dementia makes it difficult for her to carry on conversations and that no doubt makes her self conscious. She also has severe osteoarthritis and cannot stand/move around on her own. She is incontinent too- so she is also physically limited. So here is my question, has anyone had experience moving an elder out of state in this type of condition? I would have to hire a caregiver to help move her out cause I'm unable to help her...am I crazy thinking I can move her out of state???

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@sandwichedat40- thank you SO much for the airmedicgroup information; 90% of the anxiety I have about moving her is the transport. What a relief to have a professional company avaialbe as a resource.
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I know people suggest leaving her, but I strongly disagree if you can help it. Unless other health issues come into play first, the Dementia could leave your mom completely unable to communicate and bedridden. If she can't advocate for herself now, I'm telling you from experience, it is much more difficult to do long distance. I lived on the opposite coast from my parents, and even with a POA hospital staff (except for a doctor, but do you know how long it takes to get one to call you back?) wouldn't talk with me, because they didn't have a way to confirm my identity. Your mom needs someone to check on her and make sure she's ok, and to advocate for her needs. Also, you won't be able to talk with her on the phone, and not all places/staff are accommodating. How will you know if something is wrong with her? What if she has to go to the hospital? Moving an older family member, especially one with dementia, is challenging, but doable, as long as you have the resources and support. I moved my dad from a rehab/SNF to an SNF out near me. I visited all the places within a comfortable radius from my home, put my name on waiting lists, and applied. There was no way that I could give my dad the care he needs in my home due to his physical, as well as cognitive, deficits. As soon as a bed opened up, I put money down to "hold" his bed. Then I called a fantastic air medic company who arranged and took care of EVERYTHING bed-to-bed, flying him commercially. I was eight months pregnant, and I'm telling you, it was such a relief to have someone else doing this for me. (www.airmedgroup.com) I met my dad at the SNF out here on the west coast and helped him settle in. He is so much more content being close by us (we moved my mom out, as well, who lives with us) and he/they love seeing their granddaughter grow. I'm able to make sure he's cared for and I advocate when needed. If your mom goes to an SNF, you might need to apply for Medicaid to cover the cost. But be aware of your new state's laws regarding the estate of someone in an SNF and hire yourself a good Elder Care and Estate Planning attorney. However, if financially you can, you might want to consider finding an assisted living place near your new home that includes Memory Care (Medicaid doesn't pay for this). It's up to you if you think you can move your mom in with you, and if so, you will want caregivers to help, so that she is safe, and you have a break. As someone else mentioned, there are special companies which specialize in downsizing and moving seniors' belongings. We had a hoarding issue, and that had to be dealt with from 3,000 miles away, because I was pregnant. There were many ups and downs, and of course, we were not also moving at the same time, but we were going through a major life change. It is possible, and if you can do it, it would allow you to make sure your mom is properly cared for.
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I moved my mom two months ago from assisted living in Michigan to our home in SC. She turned 72 last month. Her present condition is similar to your mom's, sounds like, though I think your mom's dementia is just a bit more advanced. My mom had been in assisted living (well, rehab first) since a bad stroke three and a half years ago. She hated it there; she doesn't like old people (lol) and the nurses talked to her like she was four years old and 80% deaf. She also hates the cold. I knew I couldn't base my decision to move her solely on her whims. Nevertheless, the crazy thought occurred to me that planning had just been getting in the way and, on a whim of my own, I booked two one-way flights from Grand Rapids to Charleston. My husband and I drove up, he drove back with the car loaded up, and Mom and I flew home. The trip itself was stressful but she handled it like a champ. When we got home we both slept for about a day and a half straight. lol These last several weeks have seen some hard times for all of us, including my mom, but for us it was a good decision. Eventually she will need more and better care than I can give her and I'll feel a whole lot better about where she is when I can see it (and her) on a regular basis. Bear in mind I didn't say it was "the right" decision; I said "a good" decision. I can't imagine any cut and dry answers. Otherwise, why would we need this resource? I'm seeing some very useful advice here. Peace to you and to your mother, come what may.
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My son and I moved Mother out of Personal Care when she was 99 years old, she was injured there near death / blind from the facilities negligence and arrogance. She lived in Independent Living for 14 years at the same facility before being forced into Personal Care hellhole. We were criticized for moving her at her age. There was no problem moving her. The attorney I hired over an issue was no help at all. He called me up to yell at me just weeks after he told me how to move her out. He said that I was inconsiderate to move her to be close to my home for my convenience. She made the move like a trooper. I am able to stay with Mom 24 x 7 here.  It is in my community we know and trust and close to Church where I have been a member for 30 + years. We have a lot of love and support here. Mom has gotten a lot better than when she was in an abusive situation at the former facility. We set up her furniture, put up her favorite family pictures, framed prints and paintings on the walls. She felt at home here from the beginning. We had a huge 100th Birthday party for her here in October and invited all the residents and family from faraway came for the weekend (the nice side of the family). There were many well wishers and a group of members from the Church Choir attended and sang a beautiful Happy Birthday to her.
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This is a tough call here. My mother demanded to live in her own home alone in Massachusetts. We tried EVERYTHING to change the situation because she wasn't safe and quite ill. So I had to leave my Maryland home (sure I had a life!) and move in with her.
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Hi all- thanks so much for your thoughts and suggestions! Lots to think about and I'm sure I'll be asking if the move comes to pass!
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Great points ahove, I would just add that I'd try to look forward to when she progresses and may need Memory Care or a nursing home. With dementia, it can be rapid or slow. I had to move my LO from a regular AL to a Memory Care unit pretty quickly, due to an increase in her level of care. It went very smoothly (though I was stressed out about it) and worked out great, but, everyone is different. Some seniors don't adjust that well.

To me, when they begin to decline, have illnesses, injuries, etc. you may need to be close enough to see her. Since that's difficult to do long distance, I'd move her closer or have a good professional case manager retained to do that for you.

I hope you find a solution that works well for you both.
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Had she been competent I would've said talk to her and see how she feels about it. Since she has dementia and not doing well, I would say put her in a trusted memory care facility but first do your homework since there are many bad ones out there. Moving her out of state is only going to make an already bad situation even worse. That's because she's already confused enough and such a move will only confuse her more and even cause not only emotional upset but she'll go kicking and screaming. This will draw unwanted attention to you, so I strongly agree with the person who mentioned leave her alone
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We moved Mother once and FIL once. It's totally doable. Best advice, don't tell dementia patient that they are going to move in advance. Also, if it's more than a couple of hours distance, fly, don't drive.
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You might want to check in with a senior type moving company...I think one might be called Caring Transitions or similar. Not sure how it works but they manage moves and set things up so things are exactly as they were in the prior place. You may need someone on both ends to pull this off, and of course will need to find a place in the new state...but it does seem feasible that a change is going to be inevitable, and you must take some time to consider your own well-being and future. As far as the paper work, sounds like you have plenty of lead time, so just take a breath and start a to do list. Hopefully you've got legal stuff taken care of and have POA so you can get going on it...but of course there will be no address until you find a place for her. I wonder if a PO Box address (or a mailboxes + location?) might help...holding good thoughts for you.
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Lots of us have received that notification from our loved one's facility that they can no longer provide the needed care for Dementia/Alzheimer's, etc. At some point you will probably get one too from the assisted living facility. In my opinion it comes down to moving her now or later. Moving her now will allow you more control, as you can go ahead and find her a good memory care facility. Moving her later could be more difficult as you may not have time to find a good place that will take her. Either way you need to be prepared for it to take a toll on her mind. Keep in mind that if she starts saying she wants to go home, she is probably not referring to the last place she lived. Also, try not to feel guilty with the decision you make. Good luck.
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I agree that although it will be an expense and take some effort, moving her close to you will...in the long run...be best for everyone. Yes it will be more difficult for her, but once she is in a quality memory care community, you will have greater peace of mind, less stress, will thrive more easily in your new location and will still be able to manage your mom's care and nurture time with her. I moved my mom from nw of Chicago to mid Missouri. She was royally pissed for a few months, but has settled down and looks forward to our daily coffee and chat time with her neighbors...as do I. She is 91 with vascular dementia, generally good health and still walking around unassisted. I'm retired and 70.
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I too would leave her be. Change of any kind is the worst for any elderly but even more so with a loved one who has Dementia. We are 4 children in my family. My father is in NJ and only has early stage dementia and can do all his ADL's. My sister lives in SC and my two brothers in GA while I am out of the country! My father said after only 6 months of living in a Memory Care facility that he did not want to move nearer to his children. He dreaded the move, a new room, all new personnel, all new insurance and all new doctors and of course a new daily routine. He was not sad as he said he realizes we all have our own lives. He has his daily activities and we always mark in his calendar when the next time one of us is coming. He gets visits from one of his kids every 2 months. He is ok with that. And he knows the option of moving is always open but he is still not interested in all that change. Best of luck to you and your Mom. :-)
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My mother lived by herself 350 miles away from us. When we made her stop driving, she did not want to leave her home and move into assisted living near us. I hired a geriatric care manager and she had someone some in for 6 hours a day. She had lost interest in her outside activities that she had enjoyed for years by then. Six months later, after some hearth issues, she agreed to move. If you are the only one your mom has to look after who is taking care of her, she needs to be near you. The move may be hard, and confusing, but it sounds like she is already having trouble. She probably will need to be placed in a memory care unit. After about three years in assisted living, my mother moved into the memory care unit. She got more and attention and care than she was getting before.
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This is a tough one. My instinct is to leave her alone. The move would be horrible for her. You would have to hire a medical moving service.

My folks are 3 states away from me. It’s complicated but I will move them to a facility in their hometown when the time comes which will be pretty soon. That will be traumatic enough for them.

Depending on the state of dementia, life span and so on, I may move one or both to my area. But right now I can’t imagine pulling that off.

You also have to consider the hassles of adress changes for insurance, soc sec , finances etc.

Maybe you’ll hear more from folks who’ve pulled this off.
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