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.