I knew that I was going to be out of town when Mom made her move last week. Because I had already made a commitment to be out of town before I knew that Mom was going to move, the responsibility to help Mom make this transition fell to my father and brother, Steve, who traveled from another state with his girlfriend in order to be present.
Having learned lessons from Mom’s last move, we tried to anticipate what would go wrong this time – and how we could make more of it go right. Dad managed to get the move scheduled for the day after Steve and his girlfriend arrived in town. We hoped that Steve’s presence allowed Mom’s attention to be refocused on Steve, instead of her new environment.
In addition, I pointed Steve toward my toolbox so he could grab a hammer in order to hang pictures in Mom’s new room. Although the room didn’t look exactly like what she was used to previously, Steve placed the collages of family photos in Mom’s eyeline so that she could see her relatives when she was awake.
On the day of the move, my father called me to report that all has gone very well. I replied that that was good news, but reminded him that sometimes the reaction is delayed. Sure enough, Mom exploded in anger the following day. Steve reported that she was yelling and insulting people, telling them that she wanted out NOW!!! Eventually, the nurse got her calmed down, but my family experienced firsthand the challenges of working with a loved one with Alzheimer’s during a transition.
Although I anticipate that Mom will have more reactions in the next few weeks, the silver lining in this move is that my father and brother now understand the issues that she faces (and presents) at this stage in her life.
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Published On: October 12, 2006