Should I stay here?

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I am a widowed man turning 87 with increasing physical problems and likely early growing mental impairment. I live alone in a 2600 sq ft, two level home stuffed with possessions. I am evaluating four independent living/extended care communities, all acceptable and affordable, and hope to be in one of them within a year. I have two middle aged single children, a son an hour away in a nearby state and a daughter in a distant state. My son is my power of attorney, will be my executor and is 55, hoping to work for another six year or more..
The problem I would appreciate hearing others opinions is this: Two of the places I’ve looked at are here where I have lived for 17 years, and the other two are in his city. He would, I’m sure, prefer me to check in to one of those close to him. However I am reluctant to commit to such a move – replacing all my doctors and support people, my church, my familiarity with a small town and its resources with starting all over again in a strange, much bigger city in a new state. I expect to need more support from him as I age further, and it will be more difficult for him if I stay here and at my death to serve as executor.
Am I unreasonable to want to stay here?

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With "early growing mental impairment" along with growing physical problems, the sooner you move into a place you like and can trust, the better. Make your choice based on the facility, what services it offers, its reputation, etc., not the facilities location as long as it is within a reasonable driving distance from your son.
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Oh, one more thought. Settling near your son or daughter will save them the pain of having to uproot you in the future and move you when you are unable to tend to yourself, making it harder on everyone. I vote for you're moving within an easy 10 to 15 minute drive to one of your children, anyway. Good luck, no matter what you decide though.
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Take it from someone who's moved plenty of times, Starting in Ohio, to Dallas, to Kansas City, To Joplin and to where we are, with various movies from home to home in many of those towns. The big move will be from out of your house, which you will be doing regardless. I'd say talk with your son and your daughter. Ask them their opinions, push for their honest thoughts.

I'm going against the grain here, but you did say you are aware of growing mental imparities and physical problems. When the time comes when you really need help, there's nothing like having children around, CLOSE, to help. I'm not talking about turning them into 24/7 caregivers though, so you're still going to want independent living/extended care communities. But having your son or daughter close will help you not feel alone when you do need more advanced care.

We all live in the hear and now. Within a year or two you'll be well settled in any new place you choose, even if you have to go for new doctors and learn the area. Sounds as if you're young enough and sound enough to do this. Have an Estate Sale, load up everything you'll need for a 1500 sq. ft cozy happy peaceful home, and head on out. POA, by the way, can be handled over the phone for most instances, so living near your daughter is not out of the question. I think most will agree that daughter's make the best caregivers, although some men can be good ones.
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An hour away is not bad, but could be hard on your son if you and he want/need frequent face time, like several days a week. One thought if you stay where you are would be whether you both might use and enjoy social network or Skype contact. I tried to bridge the gap before my parents went into care by getting a Ceiva to send pictures...didn't work out for us, but its an idea. If that sort of thing is not your cup of tea, and you do want to have lots of visits, bear in mind making new friends and learning to get around in and maybe even coming to love a new place is not impossible. Missing an old place where you have roots though really can be hard, and I'd absolutely agree with asking your son how he really feels about the hour commute - maybe he feels like it really would be "nothing" and is happy to drive in any weather, or mabye two hour round trips more than a few times a month would seem draining.

I have an uncle who is happy as a clam after moving to a retirement community much closer to family, even crossing the Mason-Dixon line to do it; my mom never quite got used to Little Rock when I moved her here though she liked the grandkid visits that would not have happened had she stayed 15 hours away. And, she did not want to die alone, and much more likely that could have happened if she not moved. I did not make the trip in time for my dad, who stayed in Pgh., though we had already said all the important things and somehow that was not as huge of a regret for me as it could have been otherwise, or would have been with Mom. A lot of pros and cons, no single right answer. Maybe visit the town for a week or so and just try to get a feel whether it could ever feel like home. Most every place has its own charms and things to love; I have lived in quite a few places, and tend to get very attached, so only one was not somewhere I saw myself being happy to spend a lifetime in, but lots of people loved even that place. I often pray about these huge decisions too, where either decision could be right, wrong, or netiher. Maybe just pray that something will come along and show you the "right" choice for you and yours. Finally - make very sure that crossing the state border won't have unintended conseqences. Rules and regs for eligibility or even availability of various programs can vary wildly, some of the assumptions or plans you may have made might be altered more than you'd expect! Cell phone laws and speed limits you could likely adapt to, but length of residency requirements, different tax structure, and all kinds of things might have some importance in your situation.
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caseyh, your message was heart-warming to me. What a considerate person you are. I think the answer to your question depends so much on yourself. If you are a person who adapts easily and makes friends quickly, moving closer to your son may be a good decision if you can find a place that fills your physical and emotional needs. If, on the other hand, loss of your friends, church home, and things you are familiar with would be too much for you, choosing a place where you now live would be better. So much depends on the person you are, so please choose what is best for you. An hour is not so far, and if there are changes in the future, you can move again. I have friends who have moved several times with little impact on their lives. They are very adaptable people, so it didn't bother them.

What would you prefer to do? Do you think it would be depressing to leave what you have now? Would you be able to adapt quickly and make friends in a new place? The greatest concern that I have for you is that you would become depressed if you were doing something for other people and not for yourself. Whatever you choose should be what you feel would make your life enjoyable. Please let us know what you decide. I have a feeling your son will be supportive of whatever you choose for yourself. (The apple probably didn't fall far from the tree.)
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My absolute first thought was "Do your son a favor and move closer to him so in a time of need or urgency he does not have to travel so far." I have seen this happen so often where the parent and the child are living far apart and it puts a real burden on the child to visit or make needed calls when your condition worsens.

After I read the other responses however my thoughts changed. You so eloquently stated that you loved where you live and know where everything is, so my thoughts changed; stay where you are and enjoy your remaining years in your home town.

I would have a conversation with your son and daughter and tell them how you feel and ask for their input. You may be surprised to find out that they support you in staying right where you are. A trip of an hour may not be too much for your son and as one person said this way he will not feel pressured to "help you fit in to your new town and surroundings."

You sound like a very impressive and sharp gentleman who has a lot going for him so I am sure you will make the decision that is best for you while entertaining any recommendations from your children. I could only hope and pray to be as sharp as you at your age!

God Bless You!
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Okay, CaseyH it is now time for you to let us know what you are thinking. I am sure we are all excited to hear from you again!
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My nearly 88-year-old widowed father found that his friends passed away, and his favorite places shut down or changed in ways he did not like. You are comfortable with where you are now, but you may not be comfortable there later. I doubt that the support people you know in church and elsewhere will take care of your basic needs, such as washing you, cleaning your room, doing your laundry, making sure you eat and take your meds, even wiping your bottom. Your son is not a young man, and he is not getting younger. An hour one way can be a lengthy trip, especially if one has to work. You are still able to make friends, find a new church, and make a life for yourself in a new location. Your son can visit you more often if you are closer to him. And you sure don't want to make him have to move you a few years later. That stress would be hard for you and most likely much harder for him.
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From another perspective, I am a distance caregiver of my mother who is 101 and in an ALF. She has friends and people she employs to help her with some things she cannot do. I live 5 hrs. drive away and am 75 myself. Your son is much younger. He can drive the distance. Much can be done nowadays by phone and email. You have resources within your community. By all means discuss it with your son; however, as pointed out, he may not visit more often than he does now. I vote for you staying where you are in familiar surroundings.
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I agree with Ferris and Lilacalani – You're in the position NOW to personally evaluate communities and choose the one that suits you best. Why not pick one nearer your son to avoid the possibility of a future move? I work with two senior communities and I can tell you there's no better time or place that more conducive to making new friends! I've seen it happen over and over in exactly the situation you're in; a parent moving closer to an adult child. In fact, adult children are some of our best 'sales people'. They often say that their relationship with their parent has gotten deeper and more like a true friendship since their parent moved closer and was somewhere that they were comfortable (and their kids could stop worrying about them so much!). As for leaving doctors, unless your son lives in a remote area, there's probably no shortage of them and a senior community is a good place to get connected with them. And, though you don't have connections there, don't forget, your son does and can share them with you.
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