Should parents be separated if one has dementia?

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I, her daughter, can bring Mom to live with me and give her higher quality of life. They are together in a dementia unit now. She is the only face he still recognizes but he is not always nice even to her. She loves visiting me and would probably agree to stay with me permanently. Visits for her to see him would be very rare, if at all, because I live in another state and the trip is difficult for her physically.

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freqflyer, I love the story about the man with his wife. I know that in the end he can feel good that he was there for the woman he loved through good and bad. I wish there was a way to save these posts here. I'll have to copy your story and save it.
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Jeanne, I love your answer. It was what was in my heart when I thought about the disruption and hurt it might cause. I also have a feeling that weasel's mother would be asking to go back fairly quickly. Even if her head and body were in a new state, her heart would be with her husband. Thank you for the truthful answer. It made very good sense to me.
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Jeanne, you brought up some good points.

Weasle, what if the situation was reversed and it was your Mother who had dementia, would your Dad want to move away and not be able to visit your Mother on a regular basis?

I remember long time ago reading where a husband was always coming in to visit his wife in a nursing home who no longer had memory of him. People would ask him why did he visit her if she no longer remembered who he was.... his answer was "I remember who she is".
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Let me rephrase the question: Should an adult child encourage her mother to abandon her life partner and perhaps never see him again because he has the misfortune to have dementia?

No.

Just No.

What part of "in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow" shouldn't apply here?

This answer may surprise regular posters who have seen my answers over the years. Usually I am not so judgmental. I support placing loved ones in care centers when that is the best option for all. I do not consider it "abandonment" to do so. I am not opposed to divorce. Sometimes detaching with love is a good option.

But to think of encouraging a wife to just turn her back on a dying, demented partner, makes me sick to my stomach.

Maybe her current living arrangement is not good or fair for her. If so, help her change it, but not by moving her out of visiting range of this person she has shared her life with and to whom she is the final link with his past.

I am only reacting on the brief information you have given us. Maybe there are extenuating circumstances. Maybe she was about to file for divorce when he was diagnosed. Maybe he has been abusive throughout their marriage. If you want to share more details, we can modify our responses as appropriate.

As it stands, I say don't encourage Mom to move because:
1) it is not the moral thing to do
2) it will not be good for your father (or doesn't he count anymore?)
3) it will not be good for your mother, even if she thinks it is what she wants
4) her health may deteriorate, too, giving you uncomfortable decisions to make

When my husband had lucid periods during his dementia journey I promised him I would never abandon him, that I would act with love toward him as long as we both lived. I told him I would see that he got the best care, even if I personally could not give that to him. It makes me very sad to hear of the situation in this post.
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No. And I don't know of very many successful moves across state lines for an elderly person. My grandmother declined immediately. My inlaws thought that they were helping her. She had to be moved back to her home state, almost as soon as she arrived.
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weasel, I agree with JessieBelle above.... your Mother might want to check up on your Dad on a regular basis to make sure he was going ok. Otherwise, she might feel like she had abandoned him.

Is your Mother ready to change all her doctors, dentist, even hairdresser? I always dreaded that any time I moved to another State for work. Especially getting new identification saying I now live at such and such address.

And for your Mother not be around other people her own age that she has gotten to know over the past couple of years at the memory care facility? Or is there a way you can move your Dad to a facility closer to your own home, so that your Mother can visit on a regular basis? That in itself could be a very difficult move, too.
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Separating couples that have been together for fifty years often leads to the rapid decline of both. Moving a patient to another state usually leads to a disruption of Medicare benefits and often a long waiting list.
Taking in a dementia patient is a 24/7 job, and no one person can do this, no matter how good their intentions are. Not recommended.
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This one would be totally up to your mother. If you want her with you and she wants to come, the answer is simple. However, don't be surprised if she were to move in and want to go back fairly quickly. I would approach this change with much caution and consideration of the "what ifs." Visiting and moving in together are such different things.
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