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Days to the move
I will be moving my mom in just 3 days. I will tell her about the move the day before. I wake up rehearsing what I will say. I fall asleep rehearsing what I will say. All while imagining her response. She presents very well and is very verbal and able to tell you how she is feeling so this scares me. I hate to see her scared. I have to do this alone. My brother is out of state and my aunt who has been her primary caregiver is just a trigger for my mom at this point. She becomes angry as soon as she is around her. This feels so scary and overwhelming. I really feel like I can’t do it at times. I’m sure these days will be the hardest and I’m hopeful that it will be better than I imagine.
The story I will tell her is that I found a great place where she can be social, get some counseling, have activities and help and she won’t have her sister telling her what to do. These are all things she wants. We will be trying it out for a little while. I can visit her often since I live close and I will even be back the next day for lunch.
All my story.
Any advice or ideas of things I haven’t thought of??
Sending you lots of good wishes for a smooth move-in day. Your plan and story seem perfect -- and it is all the absolute truth! This really seems to be a good next step for your mom and everyone honestly. Moving her while she can still acclimate and enjoy the activities and socialization.
You are giving you and her the best chance to maximize comfort, safety, and 24/7 care that your aunt really can't provide. Your DM is blessed to have you as her daughter. I hope all goes well and gets even better as you both adjust to the change.
Praying for a smooth transition for both of you, daughter80!
Will you have her room set up and belongings moved ahead of time? I recommend it, we had my FIL’s room set up in nearly the same configuration as here and his things there. That way he didn’t have to stress with moving.
His main concerns that first day was he would not find anything after we showed him around. Fortunately, the activities director swooped in and took him under her wing. We said a quick good bye and he went off with her.
Thank you so much Butterfly Wings.
N00dles: I have been taking a box here and a box there out of her apartment anytime after I drop her off at home. I have a car load full that I will deliver Wednesday and then Friday we will be sitting in her parking lot waiting for a caregiver to come take her out for a few hours as we finish packing up the apartment. My aunt will take her for a few hours after to give us time to set up her room with furniture then I will meet my aunt and take her there.
Mayflowers: Yep, I will have the room set up. I even dropped off some flowers today that I will set outside of her window that faces a courtyard. How soon did you tell your FIL before his move? He sounded so much like where my mom is when he moved. How long did it take for him to adjust?
I do truly have to just keep remembering that this is really not the end. For some reason it feels like an end. I guess it is an end of one norm and on to another new normal. But she will only be 20 minutes away (5 minutes farther than she was) and I can still get her as often as I want. I have been getting her anywhere from 1-4 times a week. I keep thinking that I didn't take enough pictures. I didn't enjoy her enough. She was diagnosed only 10 months ago and in that time we moved her across the country, I have taken her to all of her doctor's appointments (and there have been a lot), I take her to church weekly, we have gone to movies, done movie nights at my house, taken her shopping, the zoo and out for meals.....so much and then only 3 weeks ago she got worse and I have visited over a dozen care communities, planned everything and will be moving her in 3 days. It has been so much and I am exhausted. My mind just takes the beating with all of this for sure....
On that note...Sorry I sound like a crazy person and Thank you all for grounding me and really helping me see that it will be ok and I am doing what is best for us all.
The days before the move are the hardest. When you see them there being cared for and after they’ve adjusted, for me it was a great relief. It was another step in this journey and DH and I made friends with other families and their loved ones. It became a kind of support group too.
It helped that the facility was open to family and we often went and had lunch or dinner with my FIL and his friends (even through none of them knew each other’s names)
We told my FIL the night before. I was going to wait until the morning before but DH decided. FIL was quiet. The next morning he was up packing. We used the “doctor wants you to go here” fib. He was pensive but ok. Our situation may not be the norm but he was ok from day one. As long as someone was there to show him how to go places, he was fine. He never asked to go home, he only had good things to say about the place (except one resident that yelled), he liked his caregivers. The only calls I remember was once when he couldn’t get his TV on, once he said his shaver was broken, and once he couldn’t get the radio volume turned down.
Hey there Daughter80 -- you've done amazing work. The time right before the move is definitely the hardest, and you're right, it's an ending of sorts, but it's not the end. There are still many good times to be had, they'll just be different.
When we moved my sister, we didn't tell her until the day of. I had one of her friends sit outside with her and keep her distracted while me, my s.o. and another friend of hers set up her room with all of her favorite (but non-breakable) things.
One thought -- have you labeled all of her clothes and things?
I'm sending all of my positive thoughts your way.
May flowers you really have the ideal story for the move if there is one. I am wondering if I should make someone/something else to “blame” so she can’t argue kind of. I can say I found this great place and I do believe that, but if I said something about the doctor said it would be best or the apartment complex where they are is remodeling so we have to do this move for a bit….just thinking that makes it more of a non negotiable and not “my fault”. I just wonder if this will help. Ugh this story piece seems so important and like the most stressful part for me.
What do you think? They are literally remodeling the apartment next door to my mom’s at this point.
The doctor fib worked pretty well for him because he has so much respect for doctors. I don’t know if it would work for everyone.
I think my FIL’s adjustment was not typical. He also never complained about much anyway, so it could be he was extremely upset and just never told us. Who knows?
Daughter80 -- Peggy did okay with the move. The first month was a little rough, and there were a couple of meltdowns. When she saw that all of us still called her, still visited her, she calmed down.
She's done well in memory care, over all. And honestly, her stress level has gone way down. Prior to memory care she did a lot of pacing, hand wringing, stuff like that. She told me that she didn't know what to do, and didn't know how to do it. A chunk of that was the house being too overwhelming for her. Memory care is smaller, easier to navigate, structured, and routinized, so much easier for her to manage.
I'm hoping your mom does as well!
I'm glad staff was on it regarding labeling. Things have a habit of moving around. Back when Peggy still had her phone, one of the residents picked it up and put it by their TV, thinking it was the remote. We got Peggy's phone back when the TV repairman came in to fix the TV (the remote isn't working!) and found it. I knew the phone was in the building thanks to "find my iPhone", but I couldn't see where exactly it was.
Thanks MayFlowers. I think this has really made me think I will add the “apartment is being remodeled” so that even if she says she wants to leave I will have something else to blame. I think that will really help me.
Thanks so much Tobow!
GothicGremlin thanks for sharing. I can see how it would take time to adjust no matter what. I can also see how it would be better. I know my
Mom will just change clothes, blow her nose, pace around the house, go to the bathroom over and over when she is in her apartment as well and I think having things to keep her busy will be good. Totally hard to maintain with just her sister or just me because she will forget that she has just done something and want something else to do. At least in MC she will have others around she can talk to and who are able to go home each night and over their weekend so they come refreshed and with energy to keep her busy.
I have a label maker and may need to label more things after your story. Never even thought about things like a cell phone, but I do know other residents just take stuff. Thanks for the advice