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My mom is living at Brookdale independent Living in Ohio. She is 87, I am 60. 2.5 years ago myself and my husband moved to Florida for retirement. At that time, she was living in her own home and very independent. She had often talked about moving to an apartment, but when it came down to it, we never made the commitment. After we moved, we noticed she was losing weight, and not maintaining her home, and her memory was really bad. We realized she needed to move out of the house and into independent living near where she lived. The reason was her sister lives there. And her other sister lives in her own home a few miles away, and now my son rents the home she left. The sister that lives a few miles away and my mom have always been very close. And she had been pleading with me to not take her to Florida. Between that, and my mom having such a difficult time leaving her home, I thought it would be best she go to Brookdale.


She's been there now for going on a year.


Whenever I go to Ohio, it seems like I am extremely busy taking care of things for her, her bills, her phone or technology issues, paper work, etc.


Well, now I'm really frustrated because she lost her cell phone. When I was in Ohio, we bought her a new one, with the same number. Well, she can't seem how to figure out how to use it. And she keeps losing it. She has a cordless phone also, but it quit working, and I could not get it working. So, I just ordered a new one to send to my sons house so he can see if a new one will work.


My husband feels that its not fair to my son to be expecting him to help out like this. My son is an over the road truck driver, and has other responsibilities. I agree, but I don't know what else to do.


I have looked at several places down here to move her to. We've ate dinner at some, and took my mom on tours of them, before Covid hit.


So, I am really torn about what to do. If I bring her to Florida I am afraid of causing emotional harm to both her and the sister that also lives in the same facility. And having to move to an area and facility that she is not familiar with. She said if she moved to Florida she would give up her car. But she probably won't remember she said that. I have not taken her car away from her. I don't think she wants to admit out loud she shouldn't drive, but deep down she knows it, and only drives to places within a mile and I feel ok with that for now. I would love to have her here, and spend her last years together. And do some of the really fun things together here in Florida. But, I can just hear my Aunt being so upset about it.


But, if I leave her there, I have to unfairly count on my overworked son to also fill in the void, and not have reliable communication, and not know what's going on.


I think I just talked myself into bringing her to Florida. That's what I really want to do. I'm just scared it's not the right thing for Her. That she would be better off in a familiar location with her sisters.


What should I do?

Find Care & Housing
What does your mom want to do?

I agree with your husband that your son shouldn’t have to deal with this unless he does not mind doing so.

If your mom wants to move, and this would make it easier on you, then do it.

There is a poster on her named, Lealonnie who moved her parents closer to her. They went into an assisted living facility near her. Her dad is deceased now.

Your mom has her sister to consider. Would she want to move with your mom?

Are your mom and aunt close or only see each other occasionally?

Do you want her living closer to you to make caregiving easier?
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I thought at the beginning a sister was the caregiver and manager. What does your mother want to do. Listen to her choice. I can tell you are frustrated and you have contra indicatores as to her functioning abilities. The old mind can repeat dayly routines and habits that are safe. Driving can be limited according to her cumpfort. If you have a super relationship with her ...you can say "you have to and here are the plans".
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Reply to DKelso34
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Please don't move her if she doesn't want to go. A move like that is pretty tough to handle for an 87-year-old.

Consider moving her to a higher level of care. She doesn't appear to be a candidate for independent living any longer. Have her bills sent directly to you, so you can deal with them at home.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Imho, do not move her to Florida. You may regret it if you did.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Try as hard as you can to not take her away from her town and sister. Is it possible that she can have a companion come in during the day to help her with things like making sure she eats, bathes, and has a working phone? They can communicate with you or your son by phone and keep you in the loop about how she's getting on There are options out there for you and her other than pack her up to another facility in Florida. Speak to the management of the Brookdale Independent Living where she is. They will help you get in touch with some social work who will set your mom up with homemaker/companion services and even person care workers if she's neglecting her hygiene. Most importantly right now, is her car and will have to be taken away. If she has dementia she cannot be driving still. That puts her life at risk and everyone else's on the road.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Please do not move her to Florida. She has a life in Ohio, her sisters are there as well as friends. If you move her she will lose all of that. She has told you she does not want to move.

I know my 86 year old mother would be devastated if she had to move an hour away from the community she has lived in for the last 55 years. She has an extensive social network here and would not be able to recreate that at her age.

There are a great many people here who are long distance care givers. People that do not have anyone local to their family member.

Based on Mum’s cognitive decline, she may need to have a needs assessment done. Her inability to use the cell phone and frequently misplacing it indicates that she may need more support sooner than later. Does the facility she is living in have higher levels of care available?
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Reply to Tothill
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Your mother wants to move to Florida. She wants to be with/near you. End of story. This isn’t a decision for your aunt (her sister) to make. Your mother will adjust to a new facility and especially the better weather. I don’t understand why you won’t support your mother’s decision.
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Reply to Susanonlyone
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I saw your add on below in answers, Kibooki, so I see your Mom would like to do this. Aunt remains against. I imagine Mom is torn. Any chance they could move together to a facility near you?
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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I think for now you could make either option work. I cared for my mom and dad long distance for about 6 years. I’m the only surviving kid so it was all up to me. They were in WV and I’m in Michigan.

I would occasionally prevail upon some friendly neighbors for a little help or a grandson who lived nearby but was very careful not to abuse this.

It was a nightmare while they were still at home and I finally got them in assisted living in 2017. It was still difficult doing this long distance but it was a good place and I knew they were safe and cared for but still lots of guilt. Mom was still cognizant enough to know where she was, did not want to leave WV and would have been a nightmare to move with all her medical and mobility problems. I would make the 12 hour drive as needed to deal with various crisis. And there were a lot.

After mom died 2 years ago dad went into memory care. After a broken hip, surgery and rehab I moved him across three states to a facility near me. Hell of a trip that was. But I got to see dad every day for a few months until COVID hit. He died in September.
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Reply to Windyridge
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First of all I am assuming you are her FPOA? If so paying her bills from your home, having them MAILED to your home is not difficult. My bro lived in So Cal and I in Bay Area. He made me his Trustee and POA and I had all phone bills sent here, all medical, all supplemental, basically everything was handled by me from No. Cal. It takes about a year to iron it out, but that's it.
The phone was a problem, yes, but I was basically depending on kindness of strangers, who I paid sometimes a stipend for doing things like set up of things. Checking with Brookdale might give you ideas; there are some workers who will take on extras for a fee.
Main question, does your son resent this, complain of it? Is he the one likely getting a good price on rental of Mom's place???? Other main question, does your Mom want to move. Do you understand how tough such a move will be? It's a long long way.
The other thing is the disruption.
I hope WindyRidge weighs in here. Moved both his parents if I recall, and always recommends against it. Was very very tough.
I would say that Mom should stay with the sister she loves. My Mom made that decision when I was in California, she in Missouri. My bro wanted to remain a So Cal boy with all that sun and heat. Home matters. Even when it comes down to our own room and the folks we meet at table at mealtime.
So just my thoughts. This is a decision for your entire family, your Mom firstly, your son and you. To me, these days we require too little of our kids, not too much. How much of a burden really, has Mom been to her grandson?
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Thank you for all your replies. I guess one think I forgot to mention, is that she often feels overwhelmed, and when I am there, she tells me she would like to move to Florida and would like for me to take care of her. It's her sister that it against it. Plus I know her sister that also is in brookdale, is a support for each other. I had thought that if something happened to her sister, then that might be a good time to think about having her move to Florida. Yes, there are different types of help available. I tried using one option they have, to deal with the phone issue, but they didn't charge me for it, and just had one of the staff go help, which was not enough help. So, I need to talk to the person that originally helped with her move in I think. I know this is about her, and not me, or maybe its about both of us. After all she is my mother, she raised me for 18 years, and I do think she would enjoy things down here. The thing is I don't have a crystal ball. I am at least going to put this off until next April, that will be the one year
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Reply to kibooki
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I would not move her to Florida. She is in a place in Ohio with her sister and has another sister and grandson living nearby. Ask the facility about hiring an aide to help her. She also shouldn't be driving, and an aide who will drive and accompany her to places would be a safe way for her to get out and about.

She has a life in Ohio. Your life is in Florida. You can do paperwork for her from Florida. You can automate her bills. I'm assuming you have durable power of attorney, yes?

As for the phone, if she can't learn to use a cell phone now it's not going to get any easier for her. AARP has reviewed cell phones appropriate for seniors. Sounds like she is familiar with the cordless phone and replacing it is your best bet. As long as she has a phone in her room to keep her connected with the outside world, that is what's important.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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You can hire (with mom's money) a Geriatric Care Manager to oversee mom's affairs.

Or, have you thought about suggestiing that ALL the sisters move to Florida?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I think at this point in your mom's life it should be about what she wants and not you. You said yourself that you're "scared it's not the right thing for her." It sounds like she has enough of her mind left that she should be able to decide herself if she wants to move or not. I think it would be different if her mind was gone, and she really wouldn't know any different.

Can you not hire a personal caregiver in Ohio, that could go and check on your mom and take care of what needs to be taken care of, so as not to bother your busy son? And your son of course can check in on his grandmother when he's able, to make sure things are being taken care of. I mean it is his grandmother, and unless they don't have a healthy relationship, he should be happy to check in on her once and a while.

Uprooting a person with dementia can be very difficult for them as they tend to do better in the environment that they are used to and the routine that they are used to. There are exceptions to that, mostly if the person is deemed not safe in their environment. However it doesn't sound like that is the case with your mom. She seems to be quite content where she is, with her sisters near. Let her enjoy her final years, where she's at for now. You can always address the situation if things get a lot worse down the road. Remember, it's about what's best for mom, not you.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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