Would it be hard on my mother to move to another state at this stage in her dementia?

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My Mother is 84 years old. She has dementia. It is in the Late middle stages. She also has bi-polar and anxiety. She has been living with my husband and I for almost 5 years. Recently I realized that as she continues towards the last stages that I will not be able to meet her needs.

I have checked out and visited numerous Memory Care Facilities in our area and decided on the one I felt would best fill her needs. I have shared this information with my other 3 siblings. There has been talk from my husband and brothers about moving Mom to a facility in another state. This move would have a family member living near by and would be an easier location for family to be able to fly in to visit.

I am against this idea and have said so. I believe that at this stage of the disease ...any move would be difficult for her. But moving her from the Pacific Northwest to possibly a Southern State I feel would not be in her best interest and would aid in her further decline. Am I thinking straight here or am I way off base?

Expert Answer

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

I am not sure that your mother would recognize where she is living because she would be in an institution in both places. The trip may be a little traumatic but at this point the most important factors that may increase her enjoyment of life are frequent visits from her family. You did a great job by keeping her with you and your husband for 5 years. You might want to let go a little and give your siblings more responsibility for your mother.