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Mom is 41 miles and an hour and a quarter from us through heavy traffic. Each trip costs us $20 and she seems to have a daily crisis. Mom is out of touch with how expensive things like gasoline are now, plus she is comfortable in her current facility. For our own convenience, we want to move her closer to both friends and family but we are not sure how she will feel about it. Also, we are both in our 70's and tire easily.

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Then stop rushing to her aid every time she calls. She will start feeling more and more lonely, and probably will make that decision by herself. You just have to use some tough love to more her in that direction. Let us know when she wants to move closer. Best wishes!
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There is no point in having an elder live in AL if you are going to respond to calls of "fix this" and "get me that" on a daily basis. That's what the "A" stands for--assistance! "you have staff to do that", is what I've told my mom. If this is a relatively new situation for her, she may need to get used to that idea. Other than that, tell her to keep a list of things that she'd like you to do/get. Can she email? Is she still mobile enough to go out shopping with you? Part of your weekly visit can be a trip to the mall to pick up a few things.
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I need to change my 100 year old Mom to another facility due to neglect/abuse issue....she was allowed to sit in pain for 14 hours with a fractured wrist on Jan 16th until the arm was taken care of at the hospital...when I turned the facility in to the state and abuse hot line (at the request of the state), the administrator then told me she "could not make any promises" on how my Mom would be cared for...My mother has been in this facility since Nov 2004....
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That stop running thing is hard but very necessary. they will eventually figure out how to have less needs if people stop running.
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p.s. - be sure to let the staff know that you are cutting back on the frequency of your visits so they know to help distract your mom if she is stewing about it.
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I have to agree with everyone else. There's no need to run to your mom's side every time she has a 'crisis'. My aunt is 90 years old and lives in a retirement community. Her kids (my cousins) visit her on Sundays and she's thrilled with that. AND they live closer to her than you do to your mom. There's no need to run over there for every little thing. Let her stay where she is. Moving would be a tremendous strain on her. Think how stressful moving is for any of us then imagine it when you're elderly. If she's happy there and the care is adequate leave her alone and visit once a week.
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If your mom still has a fairly good quality of life there (dining with friends, engaging in some activities...) then I'd be afraid that moving her might result in a cognitive decline.
I'd follow the advice others have already mentioned - don't respond to "emergencies" other than by phone. There's really nothing the staff can't handle. Limit your visits to whatever you can handle. Once a week sounds right. I don't know that explaining your reasons for reducing your visits will get you anywhere. I'd just keep it simple. "See you next Saturday, Mom."
However, in the future, if your mom's condition worsens to the point where she's really not engaged at all at the community, I'd see no reason to leave her so far away.
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I agree with what everyone has said, visit once a week. The constant crisis certainly sounds like manipulation. Does she suffer from dementia? My mother, in a NH, does and is to the stage where I don't know what's true, imaginary or manipulation. When I dropped off some stuff for her yesterday she'd lost the tv remote - dropped it on the floor the night before and waited for someone to come in the morning to retrieve it. The staff had been all over her room and couldn't find it. Frankly I suspect she's hidden it for the pleasure of seeing the staff run around.
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phone calls w/o daily visits will cut down on time and $. try for awhile and if that doesn't give her reason to change- let it be-she will adjust
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You need to have a heart to heart talk with mom. Tell her everything you just stated above and then tell her to either move closer to you or she will just see you once a week. She will probably choose to stay where she is. Change is so hard once you're established with the routine. If she stays there, stick to the once a week and she'll get over it quickly.
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If she is happy where she is, let her stay but keep your schedule of once a week. Remind her you are aging as well. I always remind myself that I want my children to have a life and not letting me demand their time. It's so hard not to feel guilty but I realize they could live longer than me...I need to choose to live fully now.
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Stop running for every little crisis. Often a "crisis" exists only in her mind and simply a way to manipulate you into a visit. My husband had a call from Mom who was "in agony" at 6AM. He asked if she took her pain pills " I didn't need them last night" she said. He told her to take the pills or call 911 and to call him back when she decided which one she wanted to do. Half an hour later she called back to say she took the meds and felt better.
If mom is comfortable in her current facility and her MD feels she is safe there, let her be. She has friends, too, and won't want to give them up. Just make it clear you will visit once a week and any crisis that pops up in between will have to be handled another way. Network with the onsite management and custodians, friends and neighbors to at least check on her and report back as to how serious her crisis is. Notify her police department/911 about her medical conditions and how to contact you if they need to.
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