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I’ve been assisting (part time) with my Grandmother’s care since she had her second stroke last year. At first, I was with her every free moment I had. Since the beginning of this year, all family members involved have cut back (for our sanity) and relied more on paid caregivers. Anyway, I left an extremely stressful job in March and now accepted a dream job in another state over 12 hours away. I’m not sure how to tell my Grandmother I am moving. She has been diagnosed with Dementia and her short-term memory is practically gone. I know that I need to tell her, but I also know that she will forget and need to be reminded which will upset her all over again. I could wait until the last minute, but I don’t think that is right either. I guess it would be easier if my grandmother had always been the loving, supportive type, but she hasn’t, and despite her memory deficits, her personality remains and she will take this move personally. At the end of the day, it is all about her. Any advice on how to talk to someone with Dementia about moving and life changes in general?

Don't even mention moving away, I would just tell her you are so excited you found your dream job in ______ and won't be able to visit her very often any more. Emphasize that you will call her and send lots of cards and letters.... if you focus on your excitement instead of your move she may even totally miss the fact that you will be too far away to visit.
As others have already stated it will be up to those that remain behind to use whatever therapeutic fibs necessary to redirect her attention if she gets obsessed about this.
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Reply to cwillie
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Chances are, Grandma will not be able to comprehend the idea that you’re leaving. The ones who are left with her are the ones who will have to deal with her questions and confusion. We often advise to tell “therapeutic fibs”. They can tell her you’re busy and will be by later. Chances are she’ll forget and they can keep telling her that. It’s not a good idea to keep reminding her and upsetting her by telling her the truth. That will make it all that much harder on the people who are caring for her.

Good luck with your new job. Congrats!
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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I agree with not telling her the whole truth. Just tell her you’ve gone back to work. No need to say it’s 12 hours away. Call her when you can. She’ll recognize your voice if you keep calling. You’ll be there tomorrow or this weekend. No need to stress her or you or the ones left to care for her.
Congratulations on finding your dream job!
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Please don’t give up your dream job because of Grandma...she will only be concerned about herself; not you . My life passed me by & I’ve given up numerous opportunities to take care of my mother. I’m now w no job, no husband, no children or ever have grandchildren. LIVE YOUR LIFE!!!!! Don’t be stupid like me.
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Reply to CaregiverL
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I agree with cwille. Just tell her you have a new job in ______ state. The less you say the better. If her short term memory is shot so is her reasoning and processing. Just say u won't be able to see her as often but will keep in touch. She will forget everything you say anyway. When she asks family where ur, they can say that you are at work and its a little farther away then your old one. Or your just working. No big explanation because she will forget about it.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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One more thing – don’t forget to get the story straight with the family members who will be deal with it after you have gone. Whichever story version you choose, consistency will be easier on everyone.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Hi... I have found that the least amount of chatter & possible confusion is BEST.
AS stated, just mention you found a job you can't pass on, & you will not be around as much. THAT'S IT.
If you go on & on thinking that your having a heart to heart with her, well we all know that' only lasts as long as the conversation.
I am a 24/7 caregiver. The gal that used to live here just left. Told her, i'm moving grandma"
That was 1 month ago & she still thinks she lives here??
Its never as bad as we think.
Congrats now go live your life !
I'm a PAID CAREGIVER. I CHOSE TO BE HERE.. & despite putting pepper on her cheerios, I love her...lol
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Reply to Clou1313
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Take the dream job and tell her that you found it. The end.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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