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Without going into the family drama and why I would even attempt such a move ---especially since I live in a hilly area of northern California with 14 steps just to get to the front door!---I am wondering if taking her on such a long journey and getting her settled in a new living arrangement would be the finish of her. There is decent senior housing in town and I would be able to spend a lot of time with Mom and take her on outings. (She doesn't have Alzheimer's. She remembers people, and doesn't wander off or forget where she is.) However, in nearly every situation I know of where an aged parent was moved to a new home, even with a family member nearby, the parent died in less than a year, usually within three or four months. Would they have died during that time anyway is impossible to say,a but I can't help think that, regardless of the elder's mental condition, a radical life change would be the tipping point. Any knowledgeable people out there who can answer my concerns?

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I'd say move your mother closer to you . Sounds like it is not safe where she is.
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Thanks for the responses, everyone. I was entertaining the thought for my mother's well-being, even though she is the cause of her current problems. Jeanne, the "family drama" could fill a book or perhaps be made into a mini-series. (Now there's a thought. Maybe recoup some of the missing funds that way...)

I have three younger brothers, one of whom is retired and with his wife spent the winter at our mother's house. Then I took over for two and a half months, after which Mom went to my youngest brother's house, a 3 or 4 hour drive from her home. The third brother lives and works too far away and only visits occasionally.

Mom will be staying indefinitely with the youngest brother and his alcoholic ex-wife. (I told you it was a family drama!) That situation is far from ideal, including the drain on our mother's bank account, but since Baby Bro is the one who benefited over the years to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it, he SHOULD be the one taking care of her. His ex, who takes a prescription medication to keep from drinking, is home all day with our mother when she isn't running to the store with Mom's debit card. Although my first concern is my mother's welfare, I am also concerned that what piddling amount of inheritance is left will be pissed away instead of going to help my children and nieces and nephews struggling to raise families while paying off mortgages and school loans.

The two of us who for the last couple of years have been abandoning our families and neglecting our own homes and personal affairs to look after Mom and deal with her many issues have decided we couldn't keep doing that year after year. (Oh, and that brother lives even farther away---Alaska!)

I know she would be better off in senior housing near me than in her present situation, but I agree that the move would be devastating, not to mention that her grave plot is next to my Dad in SW Florida. It looks like she will be spending her final years in Dysfunctional Central. She figures she'll be going back home soon and doesn't understand why she has to spend so much time at her son's. Now if we could only convince her that we need to sell her home...
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Without knowing the family drama, it is really hard to know if the benefits outweigh the negatives for such a move.

How "rooted" in her community is your mother? Does she still have friends there? Does she run into people she knows at the supermarket, or is she even going to the supermarket anymore? Is she known by everyone in her church? Does she go to church? Would this be a big climate change for her? Has she visited you much? Does she enjoy your climate and your company?

When we looked for a care center for our mom we considered one right in her own neighborhood, but it wasn't near any of her children. In the end we placed her within walking distance from one daughter's house, which is fairly close to another daughter. The other two of us have a longer drive. I think we did the right things. Seeing her children frequently is more grounding and comforting to my mother than staying in her old neighborhood would have been.

Once you determine that you have to move a parent for safety or health or crazy family drama reasons, then I am not sure whether it matters if you move them 5 miles or 500 miles.

My mother's first move was from her apartment to my sister's house. She adjusted fairly well. Getting her medicines on time and having all three meals and snacks prepared for her and having some social stimulation outweighed the negatives of having to leave her apartment. She was thriving there but her dementia and in particular some acute illnesses made another move necessary after 15 months. She is in a nursing home. She thrives on the attention. She is going to activities we never expected her to do.

Yes, uprooting an elder, and especially an elder with dementia, can be very disorienting and can send them into a decline. But you also have to consider the alternative. We knew that mother was declining in her apartment. We arranged lots of in-home services and gave another 4 to 5 years there, but she had reached the point where she had to be moved. Mother did well with my sister, but that situation had to end.

You really need to consider a move in the context of the entire picture. Many people decline with a move. And some perk up and thrive. And sometimes the risks of moving are outweighed by the risks of staying in an unsafe situation.

Keep us informed about how this is working for you. We care! And we learn from each other.
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I know how you feel i want my mum to move away with me i still live in her house and hate this town but my doc says she will deteriorate quicker so then if she has to go into a NH she will deteriorate quicker? Mum has dementia so no way she can be on her own. Yes its a tough one but if your mum has help near her and other family then yes id leave her there and just visit more. Moving is stressful for a young person so you can imagine what it would be like for an old person.
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Old people are like big trees with big roots. If you dig them up and transplant them they wither and die. Leave her where she is.
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