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Old 07-31-2011, 06:22 AM   #1
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I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

Good morning!

Well after all of the hand wringing and worry, I did the deed yesterday. My mom had threatened to pour hot coffee on the sitter , who texted me about it, so I called and mom told me she was so sick of having people always in her home. So, being the opportunistic caregiver of 2 demented people that I am, I took that opportunity to talk with them about moving.

And I honored my brother's wishes that we not out and out lie to them! What I told them was that Joe and I had heard their concerns about having the sitters all of the time (I think they think it's the facility that's providing them), so I spoke with our contact person there and asked if there were some other situation where my parents could have more privacy, but there would be someone nearby if they needed help.

Me: And guess what?! There is! It's in another part of [the facility] and you have to sacrifice some space, but you don't have people there with you all of the time...but if you need someone to help you, they're close by and all you have to do is ask. And I worked it out that we can get it done on Tuesday!

Mom: well, that seems really quick. I don't think they will want us to do that so quickly.

Me: Actually, it was [our contact] who suggested it be Tuesday. And the reason I jumped on it is because they actually have 2 rooms available now, and [our contact] said that it's very rare to have 2 rooms at once available. And on top of that, they're right next door to each other, which is exceedingly rare! So I didn't want us to lose out on this opportunity, so I grabbed it!

Mom: (who loves a good deal) Oh! Well, we can't let that get away from us, can we?! OK, then! Tuesday it is.

Phew! I did a good job! I said enough to satisfy them that the issue of the sitters was being attended to, but not too much that she came up with some reason to object. I still think, however, that when (not 'if', right?!) they ask to go back to the apartment, we'll start out reminding them about the 24/7sitters, and if that doesn't do the job, we'll use the termite excuse or something like that.

Of course, we still have 2 more days to get through, so we'll see how long this lasts.

Does anyone have any advice for how to handle the day of the move? The Housekeeping and Maintenance departments are handling it. When we moved them from their house to Independent Living we had this great plan, which of course went south very quickly (how naive we were then!). We had wanted them out of the house, but my mom had a "spell" so we couldn't get them out before the movers showed up. Mom was OK with it, but it worried Dad so much. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

Yours truly,
Sarah

 
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:38 AM   #2
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Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

I am so glad your Mom is happy with it. Good job!!

Well, I also want to tell you that for your Dad, although he does not care why and how you are moving them, it will be stressful for him for sure. It is actually true that you cannot move the elders with dementia too many times.
First of all, he will lose the old memory of his old home and now he has to get used to this new home. It is a lot of trial for him given his confusion.

The first week you may need to go there everyday to show them around to make your Dad feel easy and make your Mom feel comfortable. Since your Mom may be busy on her own trying to get used to it, you or your family may need to be there to help them to get used to the routine.

The other way of doing it is totally leave them to the staff, but I don't think you want to go this way since your Mom is very alert.

The first week or two will be harder. I suggest that you find out what you can do in the new place first. You can show them the place to eat, the place to have recreation, show them the yard, show them the staff and nice people/residents there.
You may want to get hold of this family support group so you can talk to other families. My FIL is far away from us (2 hours drive) so we cannot have family group really, but if you are close-by, you can join the support group there.
You will be going there a lot. Also bring something that your Dad is interested - a game or a card set or a golf set or whatever to keep him occupied in the first week so he does not say he wants to go home.
Make him get used to it like before. He will need more work because he is more confused than your Mom. The thing is although he does not mind moving, he will have harder time to stay or get used to. Introduce to him some nice staff and residents. He will take 1 to 3 months to get used to. Find something that he will like in the home. My FIL loves the food in his new home, so find something that will attract him a lot.

Good luck,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 07-31-2011 at 08:41 AM.

 
Old 07-31-2011, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

Sarah, you did great Knowing your Mom and knowing when to take advantage of a situation will get your far. You grabbed a great opportunity and ran with it.... KUDOS!! It was actually the sitter that gave us the reason/excuse to move Mom and Dad to AL. Dad loved the angel but Mom thought she was the devil spying on her.

You are through one spot but you are right, you have two more days to go. There is no telling where Mom's brain will go between now and then. Hopefully she will say in a positive mode.

We did not involve Dad in the first move to AL but we did Mom. All the concern was focused on Dad because he was further in his Vascular Dementia. Little did we know it was Mom that was going to be thrown off her axis. You live and learn! When we moved them to the Reminiscent Unit, we made arrangements for both of them. Dad went to a secure area in the facility and Mom spent the day with her grandchildren which she normally loved doing... while we packed up their apartment. But after a failed attempt to separate Mom and Dad, she decided that was what was going on again and she went off the wall with the grand daughters. She... ran away! My niece stayed with her and called me. I left the packing party to deal with Mom. She didn't calm down until we went back and picked up Dad. Yep, the best plans can go completely haywire so very quickly.

If the facility is taking care of the move, tell them to hurry. Send some quiet time with Mom and Dad, and then take them to the finished product. Familiar things help make the surrounding familiar. Food always worked with Dad. If life went completely south, butter pecan was the answer.

How long is it going to take them to move the furniture? Is there enough help for somebody to make sure the new place is right while you spend time with your parents?

One thing I would suggest, if possible, place the main pieces of furniture in almost the exact same arrangement as before. Mom and Dad had two rooms at first but we had one room as a bedroom and one room as a sitting room. When they moved to a single room we were lucky enough to be able to place the bed on the left as it was before with the dresser on the right and then put their chairs on the right as you come in right where they were. Just because they were in one room instead of two, it didn't seem to matter because the orientation was right. That move was probably the easiest. Dad was happy as long as that big green leather chair was on the right and he could look up and see the oil painting of his old home place. So figure out what makes them comfortable and see if it can be recreated in their new space.

Remember, there are no lies in Alzheimer's. We go into their world and do what is right for them... which may be different from our world

Good luck. You have won the first round. Hopefully the rest will go as smoothly! ... and I will keep you and your parents in my thoughts and prayers. Hopefully on Tuesday evening you can go... Whew... that was not so bad

Love, deb

 
Old 07-31-2011, 09:23 AM   #4
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Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

i am happy for you. great job and good luck

 
Old 08-02-2011, 04:56 AM   #5
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Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

So today's the day! Yesterday was busy with bringing the paperwork over and meeting with the director of the unit. I felt really good about the things she told me about how they will discuss the locked door with my parents.

My mom called me a little after 9pm last night and wanted to know what time it was. (I had told her yesterday afternoon that I'd be over at her apartment around 9am the next morning). I told her and that there were fewer than 12 hours left and she was in good spirits! So unlike before the last move.

Wish me luck!!

Sarah

 
Old 08-02-2011, 12:03 PM   #6
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Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

You know I wish you luck... and will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers that this goes smoothly... and stays smooth! Let us know how it goes. Just glad Mom was still in good humor last night... and hope it continues today!

Love, deb

 
Old 08-03-2011, 07:02 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

Good morning!

I am so happy to report that yesterday went very smoothly! Mom was in good spirits most of the day and when we walked into "her" room, she was so happy and loved it! And there was a good amount of activity in the hallway, which I think she thought she'd find in Independent Living. And after we'd looked around for a little while, one of the aides came by and invited my folks to come watch a movie in the "Sitting Room." Which was great! So they did that for a while and my brother and I arranged their clothing and toiletries.

The next thing we knew they were being called to dinner, so Joe and I left. And we went and drank some beers!!

Joe called this morning and spoke to a staff member who said that everything went well and my dad just got up a couple of times during the night (which he's done as long as I can remember), but that was it! Ahhhh, a sigh of relief. I'll be interested to see how breakfast goes today... it'll be the first time my parents have eaten a meal with strangers while in their bathrobes!

I am really hopeful that the staff will keep them busy enough that mom won't have time to sit around and brood. So, onward and upward we go! I think that all of the prayers for a smooth time yesterday were answered! I'll keep you posted!

Love, Sarah

 
Old 08-03-2011, 07:06 AM   #8
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Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

I am so glad that your parents like it! My FIL likes it too. It is like a hotel service and they are always served and treated nicely!

It is good and this is a good beginning. Your Mom must like activities, so this is perfect for her! Unlike my FIL who lives in a fantasy, I think your parents will like the new place for real!
I think Your Dad is OK because your Mom is nearby!

Good work! Now you should give yourself credit and relax a little bit.
I am glad you don't even have to be there everyday in the first week.
We had to be there the first week for my FIL. (My FIL is too confused and no longer understands why he was/is there in this residential home - he just moved there last summer.)

Take care,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 08-03-2011 at 07:07 AM.

 
Old 08-03-2011, 07:18 AM   #9
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Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

Hi, Nina:

I know what it's like to have to go every day like you did with your FIL... that's how it was when my folks moved to Independent Living. It is just exhausting.

I think I'm just going to call today, so that they can be free to do whatever activity suits their fancy today, and then go for a short visit tomorrow... I am hopeful that now i can pay some attention to my children! School starts in 2 weeks and I've been so preoccupied with my parents that I feel like I haven't had the time to play with my kids!

It's good to hear that your FIL likes where he lives. And you're right, my dad is happy because he's near her, and if she decides she likes it, we're "home free!" (or as home free as you can be when both your parents have dementia!)... Thanks for your replies and support, Nina... it means so much!

Love, Sarah

 
Old 08-03-2011, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

Excellent Sarah and I hope it stays that way. Just be prepared for a few rocky days. As for now take the day off. Short visits every few days will be perfect. Don't let them be so dependent no you that they call you for everything. The less you are there the more they will depend on the staff. Again, I am so glad yesterday went well. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers that it stays that way

Love, deb

 
Old 08-04-2011, 08:50 AM   #11
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Re: I told my parents they're moving on Tuesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by SandwichLady View Post
Hi, Nina:

I know what it's like to have to go every day like you did with your FIL... that's how it was when my folks moved to Independent Living. It is just exhausting.

I think I'm just going to call today, so that they can be free to do whatever activity suits their fancy today, and then go for a short visit tomorrow... I am hopeful that now i can pay some attention to my children! School starts in 2 weeks and I've been so preoccupied with my parents that I feel like I haven't had the time to play with my kids!

It's good to hear that your FIL likes where he lives. And you're right, my dad is happy because he's near her, and if she decides she likes it, we're "home free!" (or as home free as you can be when both your parents have dementia!)... Thanks for your replies and support, Nina... it means so much!

Love, Sarah
Sarah,

Thanks for your comment... Well, my FIL is now more and more short-tempered so the doctor gave him more dosage on his anti-depressant. Want to make sure he has no UTI and etc. (He has bladder issue.) He just stopped walking for real in May and he does not acknowledge it and yet he does not like this at all. He used to jog and all that... Having a cane in the beginning was a blow to him. Now his being on the walker and not being able to function normally in terms of his body movements makes him angry.
I guess he is reaching the stage where he will be very incompetent and angry that he can no longer really function as "normal" anymore. Yet he has not been really normal in his mind for at least 6 years!

I am glad for your parents. It is lots of work to keep track of the home and I sure hope you will be happy with the directors there.

Hugs,
Nina

 
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