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A couple of years ago, my husband and I began a discussion to move to the city from our rural home. I recently went about finding one. We have a large beautiful home in the rural area, but couldn't afford anything of this size in the city. I found one that is a small cape cod with some charm. I am worried about moving him as a month ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. His dementia has a diagnosis now. Our kids were here over Christmas and he asked me where he slept now. Most of the day, he is pretty rational. Memory loss is the biggest problem. How should I expect his to respond to living in a different dwelling? I've already bought the house. I wish I hadn't.

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Living out in a rural area when you have a person who needs care, supervision, etc. is challenging. It's much easier to ask someone to drop by and bring you some milk and bread, if you are closer to town. Plus, you can get things delivered like groceries, medication, etc. And as other upthread stated, if you need help, it's easier to get them to your house if you aren't so far out. There are so many pluses for the caregiver to being in smaller place near town.

I have heard the downside of moving a dementia patient, but my cousin had significant dementia when I moved her to a Memory Care facility and she did just fine.

The progression will take place and there are issues and challenges, but that is true even when there is no relocation.
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He will settle in. Make the new bedroom familiar. This isn't the time for a new bedspread or great new lamps.

When we took Mom to a nursing room we had her room all set up with familiar chair, her own bedspread and family pictures on the wall. It helped. She's been there going on two years and sometimes she is confused about where she is. How is she going to get home from the dining room? But as soon as we open the door to her room she brightens up. What she recognizes first are the plants on her window sill.

Make sure your husband has some "grounding" items in each room -- some things he will instantly recognize as "home."

The move may cause more confusion, but he is going to become more confused as time goes by, even in the house he has lived in for all his adult life. That is the nature of dementia.

We remained in our home together throughout my husband's 10-year dementia journey. Sometimes he desperately wanted to "go home." Sometimes he couldn't remember where our bedroom was, or how to get to the dining room. Don't blame every new confusion on the move. It happens.

Sometimes a move is necessary. The person has to be in the hospital, or in a care facility, or in a motel. It sounds like this move is necessary and will ultimately be good for both of you. Doing it now is better than doing it later. You are thinking ahead, and you will make this work!

Come back and keep us informed about how this goes.
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People with dementia don't do well with move initially, but come to be comfortable where-ever they are. If his room now has certain memorabilia in it, say photos of war-time companions or mounted fish or whatever, have those in the new room that will be his. Put the familiar furniture in familiar places in the new house. Have ramps installed to limit use of stairs. Get it set up for the long haul now, so that he will be comfortable as this miserable disorder progresses. Now is the time, not later. He will initially complain, be miserable, get lost, be upset, but over a period of 2 or 3 months, he will settle in to the new place. You'll be happy in the city, just give it a chance. You can also find a support group to go to, maybe?
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Perform the moving, packing boxes so he doesn't see (while he is at the doctor's?)
With family visiting, he may have become overwhelmed, a bit confused, thought he was at their house. Maybe it was a simple request to go to bed, buf he was lost...
Take care.
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Be sure to put his name on the door at the new house.
Minimize talking so much about the move, the unknown may be causing him anxiety.
Lighten it up a bit and answer with this when he asks where he will be sleeping: "Always with me honey", smile, pat his hand to reassure him.
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If your husband is in the early stages of dementia, now is the time to move, not later. I would talk to his doctor about meds to calm him in the evening, if he's having sundowning.
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The move won't go well and I think you know that. You are looking for "happiness by moving" but it doesn't always work. My advice is stay where you are and rent out the city house.
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All I can offer you is the encouragement to go get settled in the city before his stage of alz progresses. As a fellow rural dweller, I know how far it is to run to town all the time for dr. appts, etc. Also, if you should ever need in home care, it adds to the expense and limits the number of agencies willing to send health aids out to you. If you have already purchased the house, lean on your family to help you get moved and help you get him adjusted. Best wishes.
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