How can I move my mother to a nursing home near me?

1 answer | Last updated: Jun 22, 2010
Christy in scottsboro, al. asked...

I live in Alabama, and my mom lives in Columbus, Georgia, where she is currently in a long term care facility and needs to go to a nursing home. How can I get her to a nursing home here in Alabama close to me and what are the costs and any other details I may be missing?

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

If you use the search engine on your computer and put in long term care in Scottsboro, Alabama, you will find listings for all the nursing homes in Alabama and their rates. I would visit the ones close to you. Bringing a parent from another state is common practice. Many homes will have practical suggestions based on your mother’s income. Each state has different guidelines, so it is important that you do this work yourself.

Once you have decided which home best suits your mother, and have picked the date for the trip, I suggest that you plan the trip well. You did not say anything about your mother’s condition. I assume that she is frail, or she would not need nursing home care. While you travel, it is very important to have someone else with you: family, friend or paid helper.

Ask yourself these questions: Can your mother get into the car without help? Along the way, how will you get meals and attend to personal necessities? Will you have to spend the night? It is important to have reservations in advance on the ground floor of the motel unless there is an elevator.

Take a travel bag: make sure you have flashlight, food, energy bars and drinks. Chocolate is essential. Also take pull-ups, wipes, sun glasses, maps, as well as any medications your mother may need along the way.

Sometimes frail elders become agitated while traveling. If you think this may be a risk for your mother you may want to talk with her doctor about whether it would be safe and appropriate to prescribe an anti-anxiety pill for the trip and a sleeping pill if you have to spend the night. Over the counter pain relief may help if you think she may grow stiff from long periods of driving. Finally, take plenty of good tapes to listen to -- music or talking books or inspirational lectures.

Bringing your mother close to you may not be easy, but it will be worthwhile for her and for you.