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How to decide about moving mom diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s?

She is still very lucid and bright and has 3 hours of care in her condo at this time and does well with that. Is it better to wait while she's happy there or move her sooner than later, taking the chance that this could cause a setback? Is it better to keep her in her home town/familiar situation, or move her closer to family so she has an advocate? She doesn't drive now due to macular degeneration and memory concerns.
Status: Open    Feb 18, 2015 - 01:38 PM


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Feb 20, 2015 - 08:42 AM

I think the question is best directed to your mom and how she feels about moving. You have several considerations to weigh, including: cost, mom's interests, safety, etc. These should all factor into the positives and negatives of moving her. It may even be helful to write these down.

My initial response without knowing much about your situation is yes, move mom earlier rather than later. This would give her the opportunity to get to know the community she moves to and begin to receive the support that you have already started to supplement in-home. Nearly every resident with memory loss does see a decline becuase of the stress of moving and the orientation to a new living situation, but when she adjusts to the building, staff and routine you will likely see a longer, steadier quality of life becuase she is receiving the services. She may even see an improvement because she would have staff available to her 24 hours a day and services like transportation and activities.

You implied that mom is living some distance away that that moving her will bring her closer to family. This is another big consideration and one I think should factor heavily in your decision. Does family visit often? Does she have someone to attend to her in the event of a crisis, and how quickly? Is her Alzheimer's being monitored? By whom? Are they communicating with you regularly? Alzheimer's decline typically follows a step pattern, so mom may go for some time (maybe even years) at her current level of memory loss and then suddenly become worse. Seeing the emerging signs of crisis is something to be aware of over that time and being aware and honest about the dangers of memory loss is crucial to her saftey. Ask yourself the "what-if" questions when you weigh the decision - questions like "what if mom puts a metal pot in the microwave" or "what if mom walks outside in the cold and gets lost"? These are real dangers and reasons to move your mom before a crisis forces a quick decision.


Feb 22, 2015 - 01:43 PM

This is a tough decision I had to make several years ago with my dad. He was hundreds of miles away from me in Denver, and had no family there, but had one friend that helped out. I decided to keep him in Denver, as his friend could visit him more than I could, since I was still working. That lasted about 6 months when I realized that it was so hard on me being so far away. Once when I was there for a visit, he needed to go the ER. Luckily I was there to answer questions and help him, but what if I wasn't? Moving him close to me was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I got to see for myself what was going on, and be there when there was a problem. Best of all, I got spend more time with him than I had in years. I got to take him places or just sit with him. I'm very grateful for the time I had with him those last few years of his life. I agree with the other gentleman that answered your question that moving sooner is better than later. The more the disease progresses, the harder it will be, not only to move, but to acclimate. I also suggest going to a Alzheimer's Assoc. support group, if there is one close to you. The people there can help so much.
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