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We're going to be moving out of state and taking my mother. She has short term memory and is 95. We moved her in with us 4 months ago. We haven't told her. We're probably moving in 3-4 months. Should we be honest with her and let her know what's happening or keep it quiet until the last minute. Really don't know what to do and need help. She's healthy, but can't be left alone. Her granddaughter lives down here with 2 little children that my mom adores and will miss very much. Mom is also very stubborn and tries to be independent. What should I do. GEP.

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Since she already knows something is happening I would tell she will ask a million questions when pts. would ask me again and again the same question sometimes if I asked them that question they would give me the right answer it was wried. May she can help plan her room in the new house like the color or curtains etc. good luck it must be very upseting to have to relocate at that age and then again. My Mother is too sharp do not throw anything at me but she knows what to tell each of us my sister was planning a trip for months and hours before she was to leave my Mon told me that she had been sick for days but did not tell my sister who lives closeby and I live states away she has done this before when my sister is planning a trip she still told me my sister does not know that she is sick which is not true as Judge Judy says if you tell the truth you do not need a good memory she told my sister's husband not to tell my sister and she tells my sister she is better and tells me the truth-she is 91 and very cagy.
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The truth is always first instinct with me, so I would go with that, It has never failed me before. but I always happy afterward no guilt or shame after telling the truth!, maybe once in a lifetime, to save face to or to prevent any damages I mght tell a lil white lie to spare hurt feeings!
I a sure tdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddu
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You are in fla and moving to sc? Are u nuts? I live in sc...Columbia...I would kill to get out of here...I am from Ga. I wanna go home so badly....
But momma wants to be buryed next to my dad...Like I could not fly her in...
But she had to be here so here we are.....Leaving fla to come to sc....This state sucks you in and you never leave..So get ready...Hugs to you...Sharon
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Tell her. She is not going to remember it. then you can always say.....Hey we told you. stop the dramatics...They do not remember. my mom used to ask this one girl every ten min,....Where do you work? She became creative....At target.....Then where do you work? At target in the warehouse. where do you work again? about 2 hours away from here. So see they are not going to remember it....So tell her then if she gets upset and tries the YOU DID NOT TELL ME GABIT....You can say...Ohhh yes I did..do not make a big deal out of it...just say it matter of fact...I go to my mom and ask here and there.....are u in there today...I need to talk...She will speak and shortly I know..Forget that one..she is on mars, pluto, somewhere but not here....So go for it...What is she going to do? Not remember it? Well....Yeah......and when you get in the car to move...You are taking a road trip...Just do not make a big deal out of it. She will be fine.....Sharon
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Your sharing in this entire post and discussion thread is inspiring to me, pricetag. Been there, though not on the relocation category. I understand.
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I have tears for you and your dear Mom, pricetag. I am proud of you for crying right along with her. Sometimes that is the most comforting and caring thing we can do for our loved ones and ourselves - to not hide our feelings, especially when there is nothing more we can do over and above what all we have already done. I am so glad your Mom had a good cry, too! May sound strange, but I believe that tears are healing, especially in real-time. Bottled-necked tears are toxic as far as I am concerned.
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Mom just told me she heard me talk to someone about moving her, and she wanted to know where? I mentioned SC.I informed her that we were selling the house(trying) and moving, taking her with us. I explained everything, and how great a new change it would be for all of us. The conversation ended and I left the room, heard a noise and it was mom crying. My heart broke in a thousand pieces. She was afraid she would die, since she will be 95 in Sept and shouldn't travel. or move. I cried with her and tried to comfort her that everything will alright. She wanted to stay in Florida, this was her home, but I tried to tell her, we had no choice and she'll be with us. I have tears right now, I feel so bad for her, she was moved from her condo to live with us, car taken away and now another move. It's just not fair.
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Glad we were able to share. You will feel like a huge load has been lifted once you let her know. Best to you and your Mom. Hang in there. I know it's tough,
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She saw our other grandchildren on skype last week and was amazed how they have grown up. My niece has skype as well as my sister who lives in Colorado. The great grandchildren who live in this area are young, ages 9 months and 1 1/2 years old. She adores the older girl. Thanks for your suggestions. I'll be relieved after she knows, it's very hard trying to do a little packing without her seeing or hearing me.
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I just saw that you have Skype, so the calling card suggestion is a moot point. Does she understand the unrestricted access she'll have with Skype across the miles?
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As she knows (or knew) that you home was for sale, that may be a good way to start the discussion with her. I agree with those who have said they would let her know. I wouldn't overwhelm her with details.

I'd start by mentioning that your home is for sale and talk about the uncertainty of knowing when, or whether, it will sell - as a change you are experiencing that causes you mixed feelings. She may clam up, or she may tell you how she really feels about your selling your home. That will allow her memory to come and go on the sale and what it may mean to her, personally.

As you are within a few weeks of moving out, consider sharing what a relief it will be for you to live in your new home with her without clutter. If she is physically up to it, give her a box to pack anything she thinks needs to pack, even if she doesn't pack the box securely. Let her know that you will secure the box once she has everything in it that she wants to take and has written her name on it with a marker.

While she is packing her box, you could pack another box for yourself and place it alongside her box. Write your name on your box as well.

Keep those boxes in her line of vision (in her bedroom if you can safely do that, otherwise another room.) Use the visual of the boxes with both your names (and, maybe your new address, too?) as a conversation starter and memory jogger leading up to move-out day.

It won't be perfect, but may help her to focus and release her feelings, etc. It still will be hard for her. (Moving is emotionally difficult for me, always. I can't imagine moving at your Mom's age.)

Even if she remembers bits and pieces, that will be better for her than totally new surroundings, move-out and move-in day shock. Additionally, if you tell her nothing and then surprise her, what she may retain even if unspoken is a lack of trust in you. She may wonder what you will do next without telling her and become angry in inappropriate ways. If she already said something to her grandchild about the sale of the house and got the reply that she did, her unspoken anxiety may already be in high gear. She might erroneously think that the reason she is not being told is because the move is about her and getting rid of her.

Some special closure activity with her granddaughter would be nice, though difficult. Make it something festive a week before. Sunday brunch, maybe, with the little children's hand-made gifts and happy moving cards, maybe? If you think it is a good idea, you might suggest to your Mom that it would be nice of her if she wishes to purchase a $40 or $50 calling card as a gift for her granddaughter to encourage the little children to call her often. Gives her something to look forward to and something to share with her grandchild as she moves away.

Hope all goes as smoothly as possible with your move. Any major event while one is a caregiver to an older adult is a real life challenge. You'll be emotionally exhausted. Hugs.
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I'm afraid the house will never sell down her in Florida, but we'll turn the page to a new life in SC. Appreciate all of the comments and probably will in a month or so, sit her down and inform her of us relocating. She'll miss her granddaughter and great grandchildren so much, because she is very close to them, but we do have skype.. I just don't want to fight with her if she tells me "she refuses to move", even though she has no option.
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When you're ready, I would let her know you are all moving. Tell her it's not safe for her to live alone anymore. If she wants to know when, tell her not until after you sell the house, if she asks again tell her the house isn't sold yet. once you have a date, write moving day on the calendar and mark off the days as they go. If she asks when we're moving pull out the calendar. If she's like my mom, on her good days she'll remember and ask questions and on her bad ones it won't matter. she will just frustrate you and then she'll just forget. So hang in there and try to stop worrying, do what makes you comfortable.
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I agree with Ksue and Naheaton, smaller changes in schedule are best left to the last minute (as I also do w/ my Mom) but something big, like MOVING, should be talked about, because even though she can't remember from one minute to the next, she is obviously congnicent that something is going on (thus the discussion w/ your niece.) You should keep her in the loop as best as possible....maybe she could even help pack a few boxes...towels, etc. It might be very annoying to go through her protestations and constant questions, but it could be quite disturbing to her to have it dropped suddenly like a bomb at the last minute. Good luck. I know what you're going through!!
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She sees boxes laying around, but I tell her they go up into the attic and haven't found time. Because I'm not sure "when" exactlly we're moving, find it difficult to tell her now whereby she might keep on asking everyday, "when are we moving". Yet we don't want to frighten her as well. It's a real tough decision to make. I've asked my brother & sister their opinion and they don't want the responsibility.
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PT:

Tell her now and remind her a couple of times a week. A small suitcase in her room, a box in a corner of the living room; anything that can spark a wisp of a memory.

-- ED
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My mother-in-law who also has the memory in the crapper & dementia thing going on, also says she can live alone still and wants to go back home. I just tell her "Sorry, if I could turn back time for you, I would. But that ship has sailed and you will NEVER live alone again". She gets mad all over again, but with much shorter duration because she knew that already. She is just testing my memory apparently.
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I really don't know what her reaction would be about moving out of state. The problem we have is if she heard that we're moving to SC and selling our house, is she worried about what's going to happen to her. Or does she think she'll be staying here in an apartment. She keeps on asking why can't she have her own place again. Mom feels that she's fine and can take care of herself. Maybe some days she can, but in her apartment she hallucinated, thought people were coming in to hurt her
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You know your mom best, if u think its going to cause you and your family some serious cauos, then dont do it.............I believe that honesty is the best policy, but in your case, in can get tricky, and unmanageable if she doesnt like the idea, if u just say nothing, maybe that would be better, what do u think her reaction will be if she knew?
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I want to thank everyone for their input. I'll digest all the suggestions and it appears to me that for right now, the best way to handle the moving situation is not to mention it for now. I like the additional suggestions about different ways Mom can help. I'm open to all suggestions, it is very difficult being a caregiver and I love her very much. I just wish the mind and body could age together. But one thing for sure, I'm not placing her in an Ass't Living facility as long as I can care for her.
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She seems sharp enough to suspect something 'big' is going on.
Within a week or so of the move, tell her what's about to happen & why. Then ask her to help you evaluate what to pack & what to sell/donate. Show her the camera on the computer that can bring her real-time interactions with the 2 great grandkids once you all have relocated.

Since she complains she has little to do, stop 'doing every little thing' for her. Find ways to let her feel useful around the house: ask her to fold laundry (you can put it away, if need be), dust uncomplicated pieces of furniture (you remove the knick-knacks for her), unload the dishwasher, as you already have done, set the table, water plants, get the mail.
Don't get uptight if those chores are not done perfectly. (Imagine how you would assist & accept a 5 year old's help.)

We take our 87 year old (deaf, crippled, & nearly blind) to church on Saturday evenings, then out for a simple dinner. One day a week we also go for breakfast or lunch -- he loves pancakes & pizza. These outings help keep boredom at bay and also help the person to keep track of time. No doubt about it, caregiving is work.
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I found not telling mom any thing about dr appts her house selling was a better idea than telling her. I found when I would tell her ahead of time she would worry all the time about it and con't to ask me what was going on. Of course, everyone is different so you know her best.
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I think the answer to your question is as individual as the person you are concerned about.. I would not tell my dear Mother anything until either we were ON our way, or just about to be there. Any change in her daily routines would cause severe mood swings, anxiety and raise her blood pressure UNNECESSARILY! With a bit of levity I offer some 'modified Shakespeare from Hamlet........

To tell or not to tell, that is the question:
Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outright RAGE,
Or to take arms against a barrage of questions,
And by answering them, end them?
Speak no more, and by silence to say we
End the heartache of a thousand questions!

Acclimating her to a change in location can be done under the guise of a VACATION, have her help "pack" will keep her busy. Order the newspaper for the city you will be moving to, have that around, so the 'move' seems transparent.

Talking about a move that will only create anxiety and make it more stressful for YOU, is not in my estimation a good idea. Only you know what is best.
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She told my sister and niece that we treat her like a child. We don't give her a key to the house and do everything for her. Yesterday I had her help me unload the dishwasher and put dishes away. This morning she got her own cereal out with milk. I don't know what else she can do. I'm really afraid to tell her we're moving and she's going with us. I wonder if I should call her Doctor's office and ask the Head Nurse. Everyone's suggestions sound like the right thing to do, "tell" her.
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If it were my mom and she began asking grandkids about moving, for sale signs and boxes - I'd tell her and be sure to tell her that she's going WITH YOU. If she's still sharp enough to put these details together, she's sharp enough to understand - and fear - that she'll be left behind. If she refuses tell her how disappointed you'll be not to have her with you, that you enjoy her and want her to share your new home. Tell her about anything she'll enjoy in the new home - the yard, gardening, her new room and bathroom - anything that will make it attractive. If she's worried about grandkids tell her they'll visit often. Transitions on folks her age are hard so I wish you and her the best.
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Hey PT,

Get excited about it and include her in the plans. She's a big part of moving and might LOVE to be included even if she forgets about it 2 minutes later.

There's no refusing to move... Mom! You think we'd leave without you!?! omg!

The above references to letting her know and it becomes an exciting event to look forward to worked with my mom. rip

lovbob
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I guess I'm afraid she'll give us problems about "refusing" to move. We'll be only several hours away from my brother, as well as her grandson. We presently live in Florida, so in Greenville SC we'll have seasonal changes. We're originally from Maryland. I moved her down in Florida 18 years ago. We moved her out of her apt in March and took her car away -- all approved by my sister(lives in Colorado) and brother(lives in Atlanta). Of course Mom was very mad and upset.
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I would start telling her now. It is going to be hard. She will be upset either way. But the more you tell her the more she might remember. We took mom on vacation and every 5 min she was trying to walk home. She thought it was right across the street. I hope you have better luck with the move than we had on vacation. Good luck.
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Pricetag, With my mother-in-law who can't remember any NEW information for more than 5 minutes, not telling her about doctor appts early makes sense. But when you're talking about moving her out of state, then yes I would start telling her. If you start now, and talk about it everyday, then eventually it will become older information and if her dementia is anything like my mil, then she just might remember it. You'll have to constantly repeat yourself about your move to her, but I think it will be worth it.
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Yes, it does help. She was with my niece yesterday and Mom told her she knows our house is for sale and we're moving to NC or SC. My niece told her she doesn't know anything. We do have boxes laying around, but tell her we haven't put them in the attic yet from Christmas. So she hasn't come out and actually "ask" us if we're moving.
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