Before my dad and my mom's husband of 62 yrs died suddenly in June (in NJ), they had planned to move to FL permanently. I currently live in CT. They've been snowbirds for the past 20 or so years -- have a beautiful home & are permanent residents. Since June, mom's cardiac probs have worsened ( broken heart?), and she was dx with dementia in August. She started showing symptoms about 2 yrs ago, but dad concealed and compensated well for her. Dad was trying to shoulder everything so his adult children didn't have to. ( I miss him painfully and am falling apart a little more each day). Long story short -- it's been the worst most challenging 6 months of my 57 years by far, as Im POA & HCP, with minimal family, minimal friend, and only professional support ( eg geriatric care mgr, one or 2 docs, my therapist).

Mom is currently in rehab, after cardiac probs & has no insight into future with dementia or real life current needs. She's assuming life as usual upon discharge, which should've happened a while ago, but hasn't bc of a slew of other related & frustrating challenges. She's gotta get out -- it's depressing and the medical care is terrible. And, I know the lack of stimulation and socialization is making things worse all around, in context of dementia. Not great feeling for me either, honestly. Love mom deeply.. Im feeling so guilty & sad that she's there, wanting to leave, and hasn't been able to. (Long story) She's always had THE best docs & care. Dad would be heartbroken. :-( ( stay tuned for a future post.about that)

Is the idea of moving to FL completely insane? She'd go to AL or MC. Home care isn't possible for a bunch of reasons. Fortunately, it's something we could swing financially. And, it'd save in the long run due to no income tax. So much would have to happen -- so many details, logistics, etc - eg, placement, travel, new medical team, medication mgmt (temp), moving me ( and pet), car(s) transport, transition challenges, etc. Sometimes, Im crazy enough to think it could work. At others ( more), I actually wonder if I've lost touch with reality not kidding. The sun &fresh air are good. (Not a fan of hurricanes, tho.)

Lots of important I haven't included.-- just too much.

Anyone have experience with something like this? Ideas? Suggestions? Sometimes the craziest ideas turn out to be the best ones, so im open to hearing them each & every one.

Ahead of time, Thank You for making time to respond. More appreciated than you know.

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I'm a bit confused on where everyone is living and where everyone may be moving to but my answer is pretty much the same. Your mother will need assisted living no matter where she is and she will be making new friends no matter where you move her. Although it seems like an imperitive that she stay in Florida because she's been so happy there, that life is already essentially over. She will be making a new life whether it is in CT, NJ, or FL. I would move her to an assisted living that works best for what YOUR long-term plan is. If you plan to stay in CT then have her move there; if you plan to move to FL find an assisted living in FL now. You only want to make this decision and move one time. You don't want to move her to an assisted living in FL where you aren't around and will be making constant trips to check on things. If you want to move to FL then this is a good opportunity to get both your mom and you settled there. If you want to stay in CT then bring your mom to CT and help her establish her new life there. Under no circumstances should you move in with your mother or she move in with you and never, never put yourself in a financial predicament by quitting your job, etc to care for your mom. Make certain that your decisions are based on what you want and then help your mom make the best adjustment possible.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to jkm999

Florida doesn't have the 'fresh air' and sunshine you think. I thought that myself when I moved my family there in the 80s and it turned out to be a humid bug filled environment where I couldn't go outside for the mosquitoes and sweltering heat factor. Not quite the panacea I'd dreamed up in my mind's eye, unfortunately.

I think your idea, if I'm reading it correctly as Daughterof1930 wrote it out, is a bit too big of an undertaking, to be honest with you. Why not get mom set up in AL or Memory Care AL first, then stay in a hotel nearby for a while to scope out how YOU'D like LIVING there before you make a permanent move. Or, move her to CT into a managed care facility nearby to where you live now, because she does not 'need' to be in FL. It just seems that two big moves would be to much to handle.

Perhaps more details would help, I'm not sure.

Best of luck
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Reply to lealonnie1

I grew up in Florida. I moved away for business reasons and then moved back many years later because I had family there and thought it was best to be close to them. When they were gone, I moved and will never go back even for vacation.

Florida isn't for the fainthearted. Hurricane after hurricane, and rebuilding after most of my house was destroyed in one of them was a nightmare. I had great insurance, but it doesn't just happen that the house gets built. It is a full-time job to manage, with insurance paid out in increments only as roof, electric, etc. are completed and pass inspection. Getting a good contractor is difficult as there are bad ones who take advantage in such a case. I ended up in a lawsuit with one licensed contractor who walked off the job, leaving a mess and billing for items that were never delivered but were used on houses that he owned. ("Prove it!" and I did.) A year and a half to settle that one, and the house was still not rebuilt. There were similar stories all around me.

Then, there are lots of rude people who complain that things aren't as nice as up nawth and swear and give others the finger over everything. Not a pleasant environment, even in the quaint small coastal town where I lived. Palm Beach County was even worse. The crime was horrendous, the traffic daunting. A good friend was attacked and murdered in a parking lot in an upscale area. A lovely strip mall in PB Gardens - robbers in broad daylight ordered everyone on the floor, held them at gunpoint, and robbed them and the store. Lots of drugs everywhere with halfway houses allowed in beautiful suburban family neighborhoods that attract drug dealers where children play. Most people I knew, old friends and new, have left. A well-known family takeout chain on a main thoroughfare in WPB keeps its restrooms locked so that customers have to get a key from the counter to use them. The problem? Druggies coming in and shooting up.

Property taxes are high and will go higher due to the large number of non-English speaking immigrants who require new schools to be built and other infrastructure, services and housing. You'll be paying for it with not much benefit to you. The heat can be horrendous, bugs breed year around, and if you don't like breathing mold, don't live there because it's everywhere and can't be stopped. In the home's drywall, attic, carpets, showers, even with the A/C on. It grows in the ducts. Sun and fresh air - you'll be sweating out there. Heat rash year around. No income tax? Believe me, you will pay in other ways. The State of FL always gets its due.

If this is right for you, go ahead. But be aware that you will have a set of problems that you've never had before.
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Reply to Fawnby
lealonnie1 Dec 28, 2022
Amen. People say the East coast is bad, and New Yorkers are 'rude', and I say BS to that. In FL, I'd have people pull up next to me in a strip mall asking if they could SYPHON GAS FROM MY CAR INTO THEIRS! Scam after scam after scam went on everywhere. My new house was built by a builder who hired a roofing subcontractor who used the wrong ADHESIVE for TILE shingles, which dragged the roofing boards apart THREE FEET at the top! The builder knew it, and closed his doors as a result of the liability he'd have to suffer by making it right with all of us. I had to suffer $8K when trying to sell that house to make good on that horrendous roof on an 18 month old home! I could go on and on, but you summed it up pretty well. As hot as it may get in NJ, the BUGS don't get to the size where they drag off small children! Nor do alligators walk the neighborhood streets and sun themselves in broad daylight. :(
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A point was made, this move should be for your convenience, not Moms. Especially if Dementia is now involved. In a few months, she won't know where she is. And as said, she will not leave the AL all that much. I would base this move on your needs. If you like where you are and have friends and family, it will be easier to move her from NJ to Conn than NJ to Fl. I just put NJ to Conn in search and its 3.5 hours. Now I know you will need to add time to that depending on where in NJ you are and where in Conn you are. Lot less time than Fla. If I had a choice, it would be Conn.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I don't think the climate should play into your decision, whether it's hiding out from the sweltering heat of Florida or the icy winters up north she'll be spending most of her time indoors because she will seldom leave the facility you choose (unless she has somebody to take her out regularly). Even the best of friends tend to drift away once dementia enters the picture so her support system will eventually be you and only you, and the closer you are the easier it will be to see and act on any problems that arise.
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Reply to cwillie
NeedHelpWithMom Dec 28, 2022
True, the weather may not affect her mom if she’s going to be indoors. If the daughter moves there, it’s another story for her though.
Unless I'm missing something it seems it would be simpler to move mom to AL near where you already live. Is there a reason that would not work?
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Reply to Natasana

Something to keep in mind... if mom has dementia, she will likely need Memory Care at some point. I recommend you look at places for her that have both AL and MC.

I'm in a very similar situation as you. I moved my mom to MC near me so that I can easily monitor and not have to uproot my life. I have a good job, and reality is that those in their 50's won't necessarily have an easy time finding new employment. And I didn't want to start over again in a new place. I just don't.

Don't kid yourself that you will take her out every day. That's stress, not only on you. But also on her. She needs a healthy routine. Instead of "socialization" being telling her life story to clerks and random strangers, my mom now has friends and regular activities at the MC. Breaking out of her routine much sends her into dementia crazes, so I don't take her out. The familiar is good for her and helps her stay balanced. I noticed this in a very short time. And I don't visit every day. That's for my own self care. It is not easy emotionally or mentally, and a certain level of self protection will keep you healthy. I saw what 100% dedication to care giving for my dad did to mom. It wasn't good.

And mom thinks she lives in a casino hotel in Las Vegas. But we are in the Detroit suburbs.

As others have said, do what is needed for you. Your mom will adjust and may not even recognize where she is. Her life has already changed. And there is no going back.
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Reply to Missymiss

Why not move your mother to assisted living or memory care where she lives now? That way your support group of family and friends are still around to assist and consult as needed. If you move to Florida you will lose your entire support group and people who can assist.
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Reply to Jwhill
Hope65 Feb 18, 2023
No supports in NJ or FL. Long sad story.
I don't think you should do this. If I were in your shoes, I would put mom in an AL with memory care attached. She is only going to get worse and depending on what type of dementia she has she could get violent as my husband and his best friend did. I have seen adult children uproot their lives to care for their parents just to have them die a couple of months later.

Be sure you have all the legal things in place no matter what you do. Especially a POA. My late husband needed to be placed in memory care but he refused to go. He wouldn't even see a doctor. I asked the director what to do because APS told me he had rights and if he didn't want to go he didn't have to. The director laughed and said "No one wants to come here." He said to get Power of Attorney,, which I already had. He told me, to call 911, tell them I was his wife, I had POA, he had dementia and couldn't reason properly and you needed to get him evaluated. They would get him from the hospital. I did and it worked, except he was terminal, so we brought him home on hospice and he died 6 days later.. What I am trying to tell you is get her affairs in order, because she is only going to go downhill.
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Reply to MaryKathleen

Hope65: Perhaps the better ideology would be to move your mother to Connecticut into a managed care facility NEAR you. I am not an advocate of you two living together, although I had to do this with my late mother as a last ditch effort. Possibly it wouldn't be as difficult as you moving to Florida; the dynamics of that plan are mind blowing and enervating.
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Reply to Llamalover47

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