Should I move my mother who has early-stage Alzheimer’s across the country to be nearer to me? What’s the best environment for her?
Discuss this situation with her directly if she is still lucid and can be meaningfully involved in reaching a decision. If possible, have a face-to-face talk with her. If this means traveling to her home, use the opportunity to assess her living conditions and suitability to live alone. Determine if you are comfortable with her solo routine, and if in-home care would be a suitable accommodation. This could set the stage for your hiring a geriatric care manager to look after her when you leave. If this is something you don’t want to do or isn’t feasible, then you can explore care facilities in her area. Discuss the situation with a social service agency near where your mother lives to find suitable resources. You can still hire a geriatric care manager to make regular visits and report regularly to you if she does move to a facility. The manager would be your liaison and be an advocate for your mother to ensure she gets proper care. THEN if you are still not comfortable, discuss her moving closer to you. There are numerous considerations for this, such as will she live with you or in a facility near you? If she were to live with you, would she need additional supervision (while you were at work or otherwise away)? In-home care is an option, and adult daycare may be another. You’ll want to get a hold of a social service agency in your area to obtain a list of nearby resources. With adult daycare, your mother could get supervision and also meals, socialization and activities. Some might also offer nursing services. These centers typically have transportation services of some sort so you should inquire about them, if you do not otherwise have a way to drop her off or pick her up each day. By talking with your mother, you will be able to form ideas about what environment would be best for her. Carefully consider the options — and be sure to bounce ideas off a trusted friend. Then make a decision and proceed with optimism. Alzheimer’s affects people all around Chicago and its suburbs. The Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro can help you plan what’s right for you and your loved ones. See our free, “The Indispensable Alzheimer’s Resource Kit,” for many more tips and advice.