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I'm in NC and live with my daughter and son-in-law. He is taking a new job in Florida. My mom is about 45 miles from me now in a nursing home and has bad dementia. I only get to see her about twice a month but she recently said when I'm gone a long time that she is disturbed. I'm torn between telling her I'm moving and not telling her.

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If you can afford it, I agree that Pam has a point. Your mom may not have long to live and you may want to be close.

However, if that's not an option, I agree that you shouldn't tell her at this late stage. I do hope that you can somehow keep seeing her as often as you have been seeing her. She may not remember your visit but she still, underneath, knows that you've been there.

As far as her saying it's been a long time, in the later stages of the disease, she could say that it's been a long time in the afternoon even if you were there in the morning. I wouldn't take this as anything more than she is lonely and confused.

Try to work something out that is okay for you all. This is a tough place to be in.
Carol
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You don't have to move with them. You could get a senior apartment and stay in North Carolina. Why not?
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That's a really tough one. I'm assuming that you love her and want the least pain for her. How often will you be able to get back to visit? Can she take phone calls? Could someone local help her with a laptop so you could Skype? Is there any possibility of moving her to Florida?

Can you discuss this with someone at the nursing home? They have probably had to deal with this in other cases. Does she have an accurate sense of time?

Maybe you could split the difference and tell her you are going on a trip, and can't visit for a while. If that makes her more upset, maybe you can "come home from the trip," and visit when you can without going into the details.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.
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By no means, I am no expert in this situation. As an observer, my mother-in-law suffers from dementia. Recently her husband passed away and she cried a little, but by the time the funeral was over she was in another world. Her dementia has been an asset, we feared she would become hysterical at his passing, but we were wrong.
We have her in a assisted living facility and after my FIL passed away she has been more active and now takes part in activities. There are many ladies there in the same situation, they have lost their husbands too. This has formed a support group.
Life is hard, there is not doubt about that. Your decision will be a very hard one to live with, but life must go on. My father passed away suddenly, there was no time to say goodbye. My mother died in the hospital under hospice care. That was an ugly heart-wrenching death.
I believe that was the worse day of my life, to watch her suffer then die. I'll be honest, I would have rather been somewhere else and remember her when she was alive. The only time in my life my mother ever told me she loved me was 5 days before her death, but she did not have to tell me I knew it.
Do what you feel is right. Our opinions are ours, not yours. If moving is your only option, then you must do it.
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I can only speak from experience with leaving my husband for about an hour or more (1 - 2). With his dementia I'll tell him I have a doctor's appointment or am running to the store, but he forgets (advanced dementia). So I started writing him a note saying where I was going, and he can read and re-read the note. He will say he was "worried" something had happened to me too, so I know it can be pulling at your heart strings to hear your mother say something similar. Just leave a note telling her you will be returning such and such a date, have a calendar where she can see it, and then move. Send photos of your new place with you in them, and try to live your life to the fullest. Hers is being cut short by this horrible disease and she would want you to be happy I am sure. Happy moving!
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There are times when less information is more, and kinder. I would make sure the facility is aware of your new location. However, I would simply reassure your Mom that you will always be near, and whenever she needs you, you will be there. Call often, and always tell her what a great mom she IS, and how much you love her. I did. And it was a blessing, after she was gone. If you cannot be physically near, then simply reinforcing your love for her will be very important.
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Drake, since your Mom had later stage of dementia, I think it would be best not to tell her that you are moving since she won't remember this a few minutes later.

I would also assume with most later stages of dementia that the person no longer has a concept of time. I know my Mom didn't realize I hadn't visited her for over a week [I was under the weather].
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If you MUST move away, please try to move her, too. I can't imagine being left with no one who cares for me, and I know how poorly nursing homes can "care for" elders with dementia. She needs someone who cares about her to physically ensure that she doesn't have bedsores or other types of neglect or abuse.
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Thanks everyone. I'm not the only caregiver. My three siblings will remain here and they see her regularly.
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DrakeP1: A few considerations---#1 Does mom recall how to use a phone?
#2 If so, does she remember your home, work and mobile phone numbers?
#3 Does she remember your address?
If all answers are "no," then you've got your answer!
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