My husband has early on set Alzheimer. He is 65 years old. It was probably brought on by a stroke he had 2 years ago says his neurologist. He is probably at stage 2 or 3. My big dilemma right now is that he wants to move and is very adamant about it. He can forget everything else but that. We would be relocating to about 60 miles from where we currently live. He says he wants to get closer to family which the move would accomplish that. The move would also get me closer to my elderly parents who are in their 80s and requiring more of my time. I am an only child, so everything falls on me for my parents. So the move could be beneficial but every thing I have read about this disease advises against major changes like this. A new house, new town, new surroundings, stores, etc. I don't want to move if it will cause more harm than good to my husband. What should I do?

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Its a difficult decision, but since he wants to move, maybe this is the best time to do it? (before things change) It sounds advantageous for you, moving closer to family because you know you will need them and they will need you. The older you are, the harder it is to make a change. If I were you, I'd do it now.
Helpful Answer (17)

Yes, change can be difficult for people with dementia. But often it has to be done anyway. A person living alone cannot continue to live alone with dementia. It is a change, but it has to be done. At some point many persons with dementia require more around-the-clock care than they can get in a private home, and they are placed in a care facility. Another change that is necessary.

A very important point in your favor for this move is that you will be with him. Being with you is probably the thing he is most familiar with, and he isn't losing that. And, of course, the fact that he is asking for this move is another good sign.

I'd move.
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I was told by everyone not to move my grandma and myself as it would be too hard for her to adjust. I was told it would disrupt her schedule, would push her into a further stage of dementia and that we would suffer the consequences. We wanted to move to be closer to my sister and when my mom died last January I knew it was time to make the move. She was haunted in our old house not understanding where my mom was (she was her caregiver for years) and I was suffocating in the house missing my mom so badly so the timing was perfect.

I packed everything up and moved to a small town in Maine with my grandma and my dad. She adjusted amazingly well honestly. She was confused where she was for a while asking "where am I?" in the middle of the night but we moved her furniture, her pictures, her tv, etc with us so it was just placing it in the new room with her. Having familiar things helped I think. When taking her to her new doctors, she gets very confused expecting to see the same doctor she had had for over 30 years but still likes the new doctor as he's older too which is a bonus. She asks to go home still at times (after 10 months of living here) and asks to go downstairs. To be honest, I do not know what house she is remembering what she wants to go downstairs after waking up in her bed as in my 38 years I have not seen her do stairs.

Having my dad and myself around helped a lot. My sister's kids distracted her a lot from the move. She was upset with the number of boxes around the house at first. Then was upset as I was organizing things and still gets a bit nervous when dealing with me changing furniture or things around (I do not touch her room or things when moving them as she likes them the way they are).

I vote you move. I think being around family is so important. The fact you are moving with him and that he wants to move is great.
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I agree, if you think you might ever want to move there, now seems like the time to do it. Just try to figure out the way to make is as stress-less as possible (if that even IS possible).
Helpful Answer (9)

We moved closer to our children. Spouse has alz . I took him to sons & enrolled in adult Day care there. Left home day Sale sign was being put daughter & I packed & all boxes went in guest rm so he never saw them. Lucky in 3 days cash offer. Went back to sign only & back to sons for 9 days of which I bought a condo & closed. Our kids went & packed & disposed, loaded truck & relocated into new condo completely ready to live in. Spouse had no idea. We picked up pizza for kids moving us at condo & I said after we walked in this is where we live now. He said, Nice, I want to lay down. Bed ready ...asleep at 1pm. He has been somewhat confused but I answer in few words & he's satisfied. He has short term memory & doesn't know who I am but I assure him I will never leave him alone. Someone will always be with you. Security is what they need. I can never repay our children & 5 grands who made our move possible w no problems.
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Moving is the best of times.
He is saying he wants to move and I must say that a move for him now will be easier than a move later.
If you will get more help that would be a boon for both of you. But if you will end up being a caregiver for 3 people it might not be good for you.
You will need to set boundaries and stick to them.

I should ask if your husband was raised in the town you will be moving to? If so it may actually become more familiar to him as his memory declines than the town you are currently in.
The other consideration is can you sell your house and find one that will be suitable.
You should look for one that is "handicap accessible" with walk in shower with no lip to step over. It should be large enough to get a shower wheel chair into. The halls should be wide and the doorways wide. No carpet. All these will make it easier when he uses a walker then a wheel chair and for you when you have to use equipment like a Sit to Stand or a Hoyer Lift. (If you plan on having him stay at home)

By the way often Alzheimer's is what I call a "lump sum diagnosis". My wild guess, with the stroke it is possible that your Husband has Vascular Dementia. He may also have Alzheimer's. The result is the same, decline and no cure. But the possibility of more strokes is great and you may not even be aware that he is having them. I think my Husband had Vascular Dementia, he would have rapid declines as well as the slow steady decline of Alzheimer's. If this is the case with your husband expect that there will be times he will have very sudden declines.
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I have heard from several staff members in senior communities that the people who adjust the most smoothly are those that (1) have a good attitude about moving and (2) tend to be younger and more "well." I don't think it is the wellness exactly... it's that you're not consumed with health care issues, and you have time to devote to making new friends, getting oriented, and getting settled.

It's (almost) certainly not going to get easier by waiting. It's a huge step, but it is encouraging that your husband wants to move. Usually the partner with dementia wants to stay, in my experience. You could also use the move to your benefit: for example, by making the case for getting him an ID bracelet, because this place is new and no one knows you, and what if you get lost? "I wouldn't know where to look for you, and having a bracelet would give me peace of mind."

As the only support person for your parents AND as the primary caregiver for your spouse, I strongly encourage you to get support in your new location! That's a lot to handle... and it would sure be nice to a have "back up support plan" in place if everything happens all at once one day.

Might I suggest looking for a continuing care retirement community that offers patio homes? There are also rent-only retirement communities with multiple levels of care, too, if you don't have the capital to invest in a CCRC.

Best of luck to you!
Helpful Answer (2)

After more than 6 years in bed because of dementia, my wife has no idea where she is, but sometimes says she want's to go home. I reassure her that she is at home and I'll always be with her. That seems to settle her.

A move gives you the opportunity to choose a place that suits a physically- restricted lifestyle. For me that would be of critical importance and is one of the reasons I totally agree with "Grandma 1954".
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I had a similar situation back in 2006. My mother, who had lived with us for 23 years, went into assisted living at age 98, and my husband had had a small bleed and Alzheimers onset plus hydrocephalus in 2004. One daughter was 800 and the other 1600 miles away. Neither mother or husband wanted to move, but I found a nice home less than a mile from the closer daughter, did all the packing and got us all three moved in 2008. It was a rough spot until everyone got settled in, due to needing to relocate mother while dealing with her depression while in a rehab facility for 6 weeks after our arrival here, and finding a different assisted living, moving all her stuff a second time, etc. Husband did well until second stroke in 2010, after which his abilities went downhill, and necessitating moving him into same assisted facility that mother had been in about 6 months after her death in 2012 at age 104+ He had become incontinent and I was up every night cleaning up messes in spite of the pull-ups used, and I finally developed a severe vestibular neuritis with severe vertigo, probably from my immune system being shot and unable to ward off a flare-up of a lingering zoster virus in inner ear, and could no longer care for him. It was rough at first, but he finally acclimated and lived there until he passed last year. During these 8 years following the move here, there have been any number of times that our daughter had to bail me out--being with my mother when she passed while I was out of the country with husband, helping me with needed foot surgery, etc. I am SO thankful that I took the initiative to move us all here, in spite of the turmoil. We all made it through, I was there constantly for everyone, but having back-up was the main difference.
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When I was struggling with this decision, the doctors stressed that I had to do what was best for me. They were so right. Your job is only going to get more difficult. What can you do to make it easier? For me it was moving for many reasons. Newer house with no stairs, handicap accessible, newer so no continuous house repairs, nearer children, etc. but, only you can decide what's best for you. My husband's doctor did say that a move was best sooner rather than later. The rent idea did not work for me because my husband declined to the point that the second move was extremely difficult. Look to the future and determine where and how you can be the most nurtured.
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