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Everyone in the extended family live near my mother. Nobody visits at all. I pay someone to take her out weekly for lunch. I am saddened she is not visited and tired of doing everything long distance. I do everything, the financials, medical, and will be emptying and selling her house next year. After a recent er visit, and no siblings could meet her at the hospital, my frustration level peaked. I'd like to move her near me but don't know how to even bring up the subject. Or do I just DO IT? Any input is appreciated.

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Janet it sounds as if you're sad about it but you have come to the right conclusion. I especially like the last thought, that you can always change your mind! - but your reasoning seems very well-founded to me: humane to your mother, who would find the disruption hard going for uncertain benefit, and practical from a logistics point of view. It's a great pity that there isn't a bit more of your backbone to go round the local family members, but their visits would be only nice-to-haves rather than must-haves. Keeping her safe and settled where she is is the unselfish thing to do, I'm sure. Please do keep in touch, and enjoy your vacation :)
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Janet, I'm glad you've found some answers for yourself. Let us know how you're doing! We care!
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Thank you all for your input. It has been very helpful.
Just to update you, after Christmas, I decided it would be best for me to keep Mom where she is.
We brought her to her home for a huge family dinner and I watched her lack of interaction with almost everyone. I also observed how the extended family acted. I honestly think they are scared of an old person. The granddaughters who picked her up and took her back to AL broke down in tears after both trips. I think some people just can't handle this stuff.
I am in the process of selling her house and am finding the same lack of help in cleaning out the house. Memories, pain, ok I can do it and I get it, it's not for everybody.
Back to her living place, I realized that if I moved her near me, I would have NO ONE to assist if I go on vacation or anything else. (And I am planning a 2 week vacation) At least where she is now I have a network of people I can beg- or pay, to step in when I can't.
Who knows maybe I'll reconsider down the road. I'll be in touch.
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Janet, it sounds to me like it would be good all around to have mom closer to you. You are doing all the work already so i see it being easier for you having her close by not harder. My one suggestion to you would be to make sure she is placed in an AL that can care for her through the last stages. That way you will not have to move her again in the future. Having her close would most likley ease some of your stress, you can pop in often and not have to do all the extra traveling. Mom needs to be where she will get most attention and from what you have said that sounds like its close to you. Do wish you both the best. Hugs Ruth Anne
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Robimar: Agreed! I can hold my head high for my caregiving job! Not sure about my siblng. He went home when Mom was on her death bed even though I asked him to stay.
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Janet; I'd vote for moving her close to you. As our parents age, I think it's key for SOMEONE to be able to get to the hospital in an emergency situation quickly to give information and consent. Of course, you may need to set boundaries with her if she's going to assume that you will "do" for her since you're nearby, but that may not be of concern here.

I'd look for a continuing care facility, one that has Memory Care and NH on campus so that you don't have to look for another facility in the future when her needs change.

It's a shame that your siblings are in such poor health that they can't visit or help out.
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That's right Robimar. You have to do what is right in your heart and not let nay sayers drag you down.
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Llamalover47..Thankless job too..however there are those of us who do what we feel is right and best for our family members with closed eyes and ears to those who do nothing and can only criticize. In my heart I know I am doing my best..and I am my own best judge..Happy Holidays!
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Just remember if you do move MOTHER close to you, that CAREGIVING IS A HUGE RESPONSIBILITY!
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If the other family is not involved, why would you expect them to start? Do everything you need to get the appropriate care and document every day and every expense as if you will be held accountable. Even if the relatives interject themselves at some later date, you can remind yourself of the facts at the time. Caregivers tend to take action on the spot - take responsibility. Don't sell yourself short. YOU are taking responsibility. Good luck.
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JanetP..my question is how fragile is your mother? Is there a social worker you can contact to help answer your concerns? I hired a Psychiatric Social Worker to intervene when I needed to make decisions for my mothers best interest. She was very helpful and objective, and replaced the family's involvement. I am a widow living by myself and am handling the full family responsibility, which I cannot do without professional help. I have piece of mind.
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To EastEagle,
I was in your same position a year ago. My 96 year old Mom was home alone, not eating well, and never showering or cleaning herself. I hired 24-hour care. I just did. I told Mom because I was far away, I needed to be sure she was safe. She did not really accept this, and wasn't a total joy to the caregivers, but it worked and I knew she was well taken for in her own home. The only reason I moved her to AL is that she was unsteady- had stairs, and became diabetic- needed finger pricking.
That's how she ended up in AL. At least when I had the caregivers at the house, I could talk with them as needed and they would call me if anything was out of the ordinary. THEY took her to the dr, did the grocery shopping (without her) and made the meals. Siblings did not step in then either.
I actually don't see it being any harder on me having her at an AL close to me vs where she is now. I do all the finances from home and I fly down about every 5 weeks to do what I can do there, but after I sell the house (yes, I will be emptying it and cleaning it myself) I won't even have a place to stay when I visit. My visits on one trip add up to more than the one sister has EVER made to AL since July.
I'm hoping I can make the picture clear to you, and I want objective opinions from you all, it already is helpful. Really!
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JanetP says that her mom is not bonded with anyone at the ALF, does not participate in any activity and is not social.(She's been in the ALF for less than 4 months.) She says her mom wouldn't even know where she is. With so little awareness of time and location, I think that her only caregiver being close by to check in on her would be very important. There doesn't seem to be any things that her mom would miss.
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I like your Comments Sandwich42. My mother is 102 and after caring for her over the last 5 years she is now in an ALF. She has always been involved in committee work, and that's how she lives her life in the facility. She delegates everything to at least 10 people in her facility and includes me in her to do list. I have set my boundaries as far as what she actually needs and what she wants. My sister lives 10 minutes away from her facility, and has nothing to do with her care. However, she has a big mouth and lies with excuses telling my children who live out-of-state about what I am not doing for my mother. My sister and I know longer speak...I need to keep my stress level down to protect my health.
My comment to Janet: If your mother has good care in her ALF and has adjusted to her daily living situation, moving her just to be closer to you would add more stress to your life and to her life. A facility that has good caregivers is not easy to find! It will become even more complicated for you and your mother, and you might upset her with the idea of moving. You will be the one blamed if anything goes wrong even though you should be the one to get the endurance medal. Stay focused on your mother's care and her needs right now, not the other family members.
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"Vegsister" brings up a very good point. In my case, my 87-year-old father still volunteers and attends bible study regularly at their church; these activities are the most important thing keeping him physically and mentally active. Their medical care and network of friends is more available where they currently reside.
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My dad is pretty functional and has only mild dementia, but I often wish my sister and I had not moved him to be near us after my mom died. He was very connected to the city where he lived and friends he'd had for years; moving him was very disorienting and took him out of the context he loved. We were completely surprised by how much my dad's life contracted once he moved...no longer the gregarious guy who made friends with everyone on the street; now he avoids people in his retirement community and lives for me or my fiance to take him for drives.

Then again, he might have died if we'd left him in his apartment. So it's such a tough call. Can you hire someone to be with your mom more of the time? Can a social worker take care of some of the stuff you do long distance? It is a tough call--I would just evaluate how attached mom is to her current environs and how difficult it will be for her to move. And also how difficult it would be for you to have her with you full-time...taking care of things long distance is stressful but so is being with a loved one with dementia every day! All the best to you and keep us posted.
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I am the eldest daughter of a large family, spread geographically all over the U.S. I investigated moving my elderly parents to NC (where I live) from FL because my mother is rapidly declining (due to advanced Alzheimers).

My older brother is a stock broker specializing in retirement planning (and Sr. VP of his firm). He advised me of "filial responsibility laws." While not often used to obtain payment from relatives for an indigent family member's care, as state funding has diminished some suggest it will be invoked more often. See if your state is a filial responsibility state here. graphics8.nytimes/packages/pdf/health/NOA/30states.pdf

Long story short, my parents will stay in FL. All of my siblings (and I) except one live in filial responsibility states, and even though my husband said "WE WILL PAY FOR YOUR PARENTS" if my parents become indigent, my siblings could be held financially liable and they do not want my parents to move. They are not in a position to help in any way physically.

We do the best we can, but I will not claim it is easy (emotionally or financially). Good lcuk!
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I am in a similar situation, and don't know what do about it - yet. I guess I will have to wait until something drastic happens to my Mother. I would like to move her closer to me - to the brand-new Assisted Living which is less than one mile from my house. However, my Mother insists on living alone, and she says she does not want anyone coming into her house to help her. Here is my problem: My Dad died in Dec of 2009. Since then, my Mother has lived alone in her 3 family house which she still owns, right outside of Boston. She does have one male tenant who helps her out a little bit by shoveling the snow in winter, but that is all. My Mother is now 91 years old, blind in one eye and has lost vision in her "good eye" due to Glaucoma, she did not like the Volunteers who came to her house from Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. They gave her a magnifier to help with reading and writing, but she put that in the closet as soon as they left, and won't use it. She also has hearing loss and struggles to hear conversations, and has to turn the TV sound up very loud, so therefore she can't hear the phone ringing when I call her. BUT she will not get hearing aids - her answer is: NO WAY!. She also has some loss of balance, and her Primary Care Doc. advised her to use a cane, so she could walk more safely when she goes out. But no, she won't use a cane or a walker. She has a few falls, but none too serious. She has had stomach problems her entire life, and now she only eats crackers & toast, and drinks coffee all day - no other food. That is all she wants to eat, very little appetite. She can't get into the bath tub anymore, she takes sponge baths, but not that often. So back to my problem: I am the only daughter, and I have one younger brother, age 61, he is in good health, and has a great job - he is a Mechanical Engineer and makes great money, he also loves to travel with his wife. He lives 1/2 mile from my Mother, about 5 minutes away. He has POA, but he does very little to help her. He avoids taking her food shopping, he complains that it takes hours - because my Mother walks very slowly. She insists on going with him, and she is not happy when he shops for her. I am 63 years old, and live 30 miles away, it takes over an hour to get to her house. I have a heart problem, and my husband who is 67 had a severe back injury, he also has Arthritis in his hips and has trouble bending over. My brother and his wife expect me and my husband to go back and forth all week to help my Mother - which involves taking her food shopping and picking up her meds. My brother does not like to pick up her meds because the Pharmacy does not have parking right in front, he has to park around the corner and walk. All he does is complain about it. So, my Mother takes a cab, and then she complains to me that it costs $20.00 each way. I call my Mom every day - to check on her. We end up talking for about 2 to 3 hours each day. I do enjoy our time talking, but some days it does gets tiring. I feel very guilty that we don't live that close to her. I would be visiting her every day, if I could. My Mother has 2 younger sisters, 2 Grandsons, and a Cousin, all live close by. Her sisters never call her. Her Grandsons are always too busy. No one ever visits her. Only on the Holidays. This Xmas, my Mother has had more stomach pain, but has not called the Doctor. She was very upset that she didn't go Xmas shopping. We told her that her 3 Great Grandkids did not need any new clothes, and that she could give gift cards this year. But no, my Mother got very depressed that she could not go shopping. When we take her Shopping at the Mall, she wanders off on her own. Then we have to look for her, and this all takes many hours, since she will not use a walker. If she would use a wheelchair, we could zip around the Mall and get all her shopping done, but she refuses to do that. Also, she can no longer get into our car - we have a Jeep- and she is upset that we don't have a "normal" car that she can easily get into. Also, she refuses to come to our house this year for Xmas. She wants to stay at home, she says that old people should stay at home. As I said, I wish we could move her to the new AL, but I know she will not budge from her house. All I can do is wait and see what happens. It is so depressing to see her like this. Does anyone else have this problem around the Holidays?
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Moving your mom near you sound like a very smart move as long as you're willing to take proper care of her and provide for her. However, what I personally would do in your situation is start by gaining guardianship first. Guardianship gives you the power over all of her affairs including money, basic necessities, medical decisions, and even location. Guardianship actually safeguards you as well as her in case the other siblings trying to start anything with you over moving your mom to be near you. Another thing to remember is that having strong bonds is one thing, but the real truth is revealed when the person with whom you have a bond with is revealed during your greatest need. If these people are not contributing to help provide for her, then they very obviously don't have her best interest at heart. Just to make sure, you definitely want to investigate to make sure there's no friction between her and any of the other siblings. If not, then you have your answer. Even if they cannot do everything, they can each do something, even if all they can do is run errands for her or do some light cleaning. No matter how small the task, everyone can do something. If anyone can do any hard work to contribute to her well-being, then more power to them! I know that caregiving is definitely not for everyone, but again, even if not, each person can still do something. If no one who claims to care is doing anything to help her then they obviously don't have her best interest at heart. You should also have the right to speak up and tell each one of them how you feel. This is all part of the coping process of being a caregiver. We all need time to talk about stuff that's hurting us. This is how we cope and make it through even the toughest trials. If you ever find something too hard for you to do for any reason, help is always available.
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I think I would make a plan that works for you and your mom. I'd look into plane travel and make sure that is something she can handle. If the siblings have health issues that prevents them from visiting her, then they should be fine with your plan.

I know that I am about a 25 minute drive from my loved one in Memory Care and it still involves a lot of time. I can't imagine doing it long distance. I wish you both the best.
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I have full POA and am in the same state. Other siblings will not take on anything I request, even to meet her at the ER. They say they have health issues.

She is not bonded to anyone at AL, has only been there since July. She is not social and does not interact with the other residents. She would not know if I moved her to a new place, except for the plane ride. The only people she can name are her 4 kids.

Question for Sandwich42, what do you mean when you said "I often wondered what I had done to myself and my family". If you were able to do it differently, what would you change, and why? If it weren't done 'that way" what other options did you have?

Thanks much
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All my mother's family lived less than 5 miles from her but couldn't be bothered one iota. I lived 1800 miles away, but it was all on me. Or so I thought.

2+ years later, I realize that I self-assigned a lot of responsibility because that is my personality. To fill in, clean up, help out, close the gaps. I get myself into a lot of work this way. I also did all her personal business/financial paperwork & payments. Somebody had to.

There was a reason nobody wanted to have anything to do with her. She treated everyone very badly since day 1. She was mean, offensive, loud, and very unpleasant more than she wasn't. This is the consequence of scraping your boots on people for decades. She acted that way due to psychiatric problems that were never treated plus advancing dementia, but it didn't matter. The bridges were burned.

Still, the woman was unsafe alone, no longer living in reality, missing doctor appointments, hoarding spoiled food, and acting very strangely. Something had to happen before there was going to be an accident, said the little voice in my head.

I did move her 1800 miles to be near me. For the better part of these past couple years, it has been really, really difficult. Mom has a lot of issues, and was hospitalized a few times. It seemed like there was some big crisis every few months.

She had a period of very rapid decline for about 18 months or so. I wonder if it was the move or if it would have happened anyway. I'll never know.

Practically speaking, I often wondered what I had done to myself and my family. All those people who were arms' length from my mom were also absent, silent, and missing when it came time to move her, empty out the house, or deal with any of the legal & financial matters.

I'm an only child though. I have no siblings with opinions who could make trouble. Yes, you are going to need an attorney. You will need durable POA for her. If you are in another state, you will have to get a new one done locally, as there is no such thing as a universal POA document at this time. They vary by state.

If you move her, track the expenses for tax purposes. Boxes, bubblewrap, mileage, moving services, all that.

Be fully aware of what you'll be assigned to once you move her nearby. Be aware of your own motivations. Lots of people have told me how lucky mom is to have me taking care of her, I'm a saint, blah blah blah. I don't think so. For a time, I felt like I did what had to be done. But now, I don't know that it had to be done the way I thought.
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Are you her Durable POA and Healthcare POA?

Is she able to understand that you want to move her near you?

Does she have strong bonds with the people at her existing AL?

I'd weigh that to see if it's best to move her. Some say it's risky to move a dementia patient, but I did and it was a great thing. My cousin did much better after her move, but each case is different.

Do you have a place picked out that would meet her needs? It would be great to be able to visit her more often and confirm her condition with your own eyes. I'd say that's worth a lot.

Is she private pay at her facility? I'd explore her finances to see how that would work. If she's on Medicaid, you would need to apply for it in a new state.
I'd also consult with an Attorney before selling any of real estate. It could have consequences on her eligibility for some services like Medicaid down the road. It's doable, but I'd find out the rules and plan.

If the family isn't involved, doesn't visit etc. I'm sure I wouldn't ask their input. I may tell them when the move happens, but if they don't ever see her, they probably wouldn't notice the difference. I know it's family. Sometimes you do things to keep the peace. I'd do what I felt was right and have peace with it.
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