Saturday, October 09, 2010 kat76, Community Member, asks

Q: moving a alzheimer's patient

my dad wants to move my mom to a new house in pa where there is more land and a safer neighborhood but the closest family is at least 30-45 mins away. An about 12 miles to the closest hospital. I would move with them but i have to work I couldn't stay home. Mom has visited the house and has said she doesn't like it and wants to go home. My siblings don't want him to move up there either. so what do i do he seems unflinching on moving?

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Answers (3)
Dorian Martin, Health Guide
10/12/10 12:11pm

Hi, Kat 76,

 

I agree with the answer (above). As the Alzheimer's progresses, stability and structure are critical for the loved one. Any type of move may cause a decrease in mental capacity. I saw this when the nursing home moved Mom to another room. She was exceptionally confused and her mental state dropped for about a week. Some residents with Alzheimer's who were moved never recovered their mental capacity.

 

Depending on what stage of dementia your mom is in currently, your help on a daily basis may not be that necessary.  However, as the dementia progresses, your dad is really going to need the extra help that you and your siblings can provide.

 

You may want to work with him on exploring options so that he can remain at the house. Or, as Nina suggested, you may want to explore other living options that will keep them near to you and your siblings.

 

Take care and keep us posted!


Dorian

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NC, Community Member
10/ 9/10 4:33pm

Hi Kat76,

 

The first thing the family needs to do is to understand what kind of controlled environment your Mom needs. I assume she is the one with Alzheimer's.

For an Alzheime'rs patient, the closeness to the family is important. At this point, it seems now she is close to you either way. The elder needs a familiar environment because she is forgetting a lot. Your Dad seems to think the current house is not safe. She needs to stay in the familiar environment unless the house is too old or in a real bad neighborhood or does not meet the need for the elders with dementia.  More lands does not really help the elder with dementia since it will be strange to her.

What she needs is a controlled environment so there will be 24 hours watch to make sure she does not get lost and etc. She could even go to the neighbors for help so familiar friends/neighbors are a plus also.

However if the current house has something wrong (too old or too many stairs for the elderly,) then the family may want to find a smaller condo or move your parents to the independent living home where there are health care support like an assisted living home. Many facilities have the combination of independent living, assisted living for dementia, and skilled care nursing home.

 

It depends on what factor your Dad is looking at. Maybe he is looking at the wrong factors. A new house is good if it is controlled so that she would not get lost. This has nothing to do with safer neighborhood or not; she needs to be watched so she does not get lost. If it is in a remote area, it is worse for her to get lost.

 

Usually the person with dementia is incompetent to decide where is safer or better for her. The family should set up meetings to discuss the true need for an elder with dementia or Alzheimer's.

 

Regards,
Nina

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AFA Social Services, Health Guide
10/15/10 11:08am

Hi,

 

Whenever someone is thinking about moving an individual with Alzheimer's disease to a new location, there are a few considerations that should be taken into account. First and foremost, a comprehensive understanding of your mother's illness is imperative. Understanding how Alzheimer's disease will affect mother's functional capabilities can give everyone involved a broader knowledge of how much assistance your mother will need. A discussion regarding how involved or uninvolved family members will be, because of the distance, can also put in to perspective the amount of care your father will be responsible for.  

 

Should your father believe he could handle the responsibility, then becoming aware of community services is vital. As your mother's illness progresses, she will become more reliant on your father and he can quickly become overwhelmed unless he has a support network to relieve him from managing such care on his own. Learning about resources like an adult day center, home care or caregiver services can at least prepare him for what course of action to take should he need the resources.

 

You also mentioned your mother has visited the new house and stated her desire to go home. Due to the nature of your mother's illness, it is important to understand her memory may be impaired and she may not fully understand the implication of what she is saying. While this may seem logical for her to exhibit because of the new surrounding, you should know this also occurs with individuals with the disease who are living in their own home. Whenever an individual with Alzheimer's disease feels unsafe or uncomfortable their reaction is to remove themselves from their current surrounding and in some cases request to "go home." Overall, discussing the meaning and potential outcomes with your father, on both his and your mother's well-being, could lead to a better understanding by all.

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By kat76, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 10/09/10