Should my Mom, who has some dementia, help pack her home of 55 years? - AgingCare.com

Should my Mom, who has some dementia, help pack her home of 55 years?

Follow
Share

After an ultimatum of either going to assisted living or moving across country with me, my mom decided to move. It was an ultimatum after visiting her during the Chistmas holiday. I told her we would return to get valuables and auction the rest. She was agreeable. I was able to get an apartment directly across the hall from me. We have purchased new furniture for her. The time has come to return but I am having extreme anxiety about her accompanying me. My anxiety is because some days she seems to understand the purpose of the trip. I have explained over and over that she is downsizing and the cost of moving "stuff" that is easily replaceable, is to costly.However, when I told her I had arranged a realtor to help us rent her home, she asked if the people renting would take care of her furniture while she is gone....and looked at me like a deer in headlights when I explained again the purpose of the trip was to downsize and an auction company would sell the rest. She insists she needs to be there to decide what should be packed to ship here... I think it is to traumatic. I have arranged for Comfort Keepers to be with her until my husband gets home everyday I'm fine, but I don't know how to tell her she won't be flying with me...

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
7

Answers

Show:
Thank you for your thoughtful answers....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sit down on a good day with a jotter pad and ask your mother for a list of key items she wants brought to her new apartment. Do the list room by room for the new apartment, not room by room in her old house - so Kitchen, Bedroom, Lobby etc. You might also want to make your own private list (for your eyes only) of items you know she'll miss but that she might not think to mention - photograph albums, special ornaments that have stood in the same place for years, light fittings, that kind of thing.

Her furniture is difficult, no way she will not mind saying goodbye to it if she's concerned that tenants should take care of it. Still. As it is going to be auctioned, you can point out that people will be competing to give it a good home; and that she'll get a nice fat cheque at the end of it to get something very special for her new place, maybe?

Then explain that the journey itself will be tiring, and the work there will be non-stop, not even time for coffee and a sandwich, if you're going to get the place looking its best - you just don't think she's up to it physically. And cross your fingers behind your back and tell her there will always be the opportunity to retrieve anything really vital later on.

I suppose the main idea is to get her excited about how her very best things will look in her lovely new apartment. Best of luck, hope it goes smoothly once you get going.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This makes me so sad to even think about. I have been through this twice, once when I was ten and Mum and I had to get rid of everything and live in as Mum got a job as a cook in a private home. The second time was when we moved to the States and sold everything for a pitance. Now my eldest wants us to move closer to her and thinks most of the stuff we have collected is junk. Not going to happen as long as I am in my right mind. I just feel so bad for your Mom. I realize she made the decision to move but I am sure did not realize the implications. if her house is rented there will be income could not some of that money be used to ship her favorite things?. Her own bed favorite chair Her china and linens. Not everything but enough that she feels comfortable in her new home. You have seen how devastated people are when they loose their homes to floods and fires, That is how Mom will feel. She may never again use her own saucepans but she can see and feel them in her new kitchen. has she ever visited your location? how do you plan to transport her? if it is by road. could you rent a van and bring her stuff with you. may be a few white lies would be in order. she really does not need to know her belongings will be auctioned. let her think the renters will take care of her furniture. Don't have her there when you pack up. Let her tell you what she wants and move what she really needs and tell her the movers lost stuff if she asks. As others have said introduce her in the local community, find a church and a good Dr and senior center. It is just so hard to give everything up. it is just how I feel.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Don't take her back with you. Don't try to explain or justify too many details. This is very traumatic and she is likely second guessing her decision as she tries to cope and understand her new reality.

Have a conversation when she is most coherent, maybe mornings are best for her, take her out for breakfast, someplace quiet and have a conversation about her favorite things, what. Would be most memorable, etc. Consider bringing some special and comforting items back; ship them if you must. For example, favorite rug, favorite lamp (the one she always sits by when she watches tv, or the one on her nightstand, pictures, paintings, pillows (even if they don't match the new furniture), a vase, tablecloth, pillow cases and bedding (it will have comforting feel and smell), couple of dishes, coffee cup and saucer...yes sounds crazy, but who doesn't have their favorite cup and saucer!, maybe a baking pan, sauce pan...wooden spoon. I know these are all easily replaced with new, but this move is huge for our elders and they have much more affinity and irrational desire for their old and familiar things vs anything new.

Consider taking video or pictures of all her favorite rooms, garden, house, patio, neighborhood, neighbor houses and neighbors, favorite grocery, restaurants and you can later give them to her or organize in a photo album.

Make sure you introduce her to new friends her age, get her involved at senior center, YMCA silver sneakers or other organizations to help her adjust and assimilate to her new community. Maybe even invite some local seniors to her new apt and have a coffee meet and greet where you are the planner and coordinator to make her feel special and welcome.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Between physicians is like walking on thin ice. Get her medical records to carry to the new location and get an MD to do a complete physical ASAP.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

She is between physicians at the moment. However, I agree she would be traumatized. I also know she will be very angry when I tell her she won't be joining me on this trip.... I need her to stay here because I have no one to be with her while I'm packing her home....and I have already disconnected phone and cable at the house and will be staying in a hotel....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

She will be traumatized by the packing and will interfere and rummage. Check with her MD about the airplane trip, the changes in cabin pressure can be detrimental. He may want to prescribe a sedative to avoid a refusal to board or an outburst on the flight. She may also need anxiolytics to settle in to the new apartment. Be aware that you will become her home entertainment center unless you can connect her to people her own age. Like any four year old she will cry and want to go home, feign illness and throw a tantrum.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions