My brother-in law is in a nursing home about a 45 minute drive away from my sister. She goes to visit him everyday. He does recognize her and he is devastated when she does not go to see him. Visiting in the summer is doable since the roads are okay and the daylight is longer. But in winter the driving conditions are often extremely hazardous. He was placed in this nursing home from a hospital. It was the one that was available at that time. He seems to do very well there. My sister is pleased with his care and environment. The bottom line is that there is a place closer which has a good reputation, where more family and friends would be more inclined to visit. She is extremely reluctant to move him because she is afraid the move to a different environment would negatively impact him. Could you point me to any articles or research addressing this topic?
Thank you very much.
You are asking a good question. It sounds like you are really weighing the pros and cons of the move, and are keeping your sister and brother-in-law's relationship as the priority. I also understand the reluctance to move your brother-in-law due to what may happen. I think the family needs to carefully weigh the potential toll against all the good that would come out of the move (such as the visits you mentioned from family and friends, which would be beneficial to your brother-in-law).
In my mother's case, the nursing home moved her (as well as the other residents who had dementia) two times to different rooms in different wings during renovations to the facility. Mom and some other residents with dementia seemed to rebound, but had difficult transitions. Other residents with dementia who seemed to be at a similar level as Mom did not handle the move well and their condition deteriorated. At least two died within a month after the move.
Here are some shareposts that I wrote about the moves (as well as a potential move that Dad and I considered for Mom to an Alzheimer's-specific facility) that may be helpful:
Moving Day: Creating Smooth Transitions for Your Loved One
How to Make a Smooth Transition
Moving Part III: The Importance of Stability and Structure
Helping Mom Through the Last Move
Should We Move Mom to the Newer Alzheimer's and Dementia-Specific Facility?
Take care and let us know what your family decides.
THE AFA social service executive answered a similar question some time ago:
Hope his answer helps.
I heard that changing homes does affect the patient. However if you need to do what you need to do, then it may be worth a shot. The key is your sister can be closer. Maybe she can ask the administrator of the new home to assist her by talking to him and etc.
BTW, I want to add that family and friends are important to the patient. So if being closer will bring more family and friends, it would be a plus unless the new home is too expensive or has problems. e.g, my father-in-law has advanced Alzheimer's and he still wants to see my husband very much and still wants to see his lady frends although he forgets after he sees the friends. He feel insecure so any close family or friend coming to see him is a plus. Unfortunately most people don't know how to help people with adavned Alzheimer's and are not willing to become like a caregiver and treat them like kids or patients. So naturally friends don't come too often. But if it is closer to your sister, it would be important because he will rely on her for sure.
In this our alzhiemer's site, there are lots of info. about nursing home. Just click on the topic nursing home in the post areas. Christine's and Carol's posts are helpful.