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Moving mother

 

Question: Should I move my mom closer to home? My mom has been in a facility for almost three years. Unfortunately, she is over two hours away (when I had to place her in a facility, there were no openings in our town). I can only get away about once a month to see her. I am afraid to upset her with a move. She is familiar with her room and seems happy, and I don't want to upset that delicate balance. However I would to be able to see her more if she moved. I am conflicted.

Dr. Amy: There isn't necessarily an easy answer. Every situation is unique, every family is unique, and every person is unique. And the needs of everyone need to be considered. When faced with an important decision where many people are involved, I often find it helpful to write everything down and compare options. You might like to fill in the table below. The first time you do it, assume your mom is as she is today. How would everyone feel in all three options--where you move her, where she stays put, or where you move closer to her. I am not suggesting you move--only that you consider all options. Once you complete the table, do it again but this time assume her health is really failing and you need to see her more often. Think about the options in this light.

Once you have completed both tables, I encourage you to talk about your options with your friends, family members, a spiritual leader or counselor. Then make a decision, knowing it might not be perfect in every respect and that you may need to make another decision in a few months if things change again.  Remember that caregiving is not about making perfect decisions, but the best decision given all the information at hand, recognizing that the situation is likely to shift. The key part that people often miss is that decisions, once made, aren't forever when it comes to caregiving. You need to be able to reassess and adapt as needed. What may be fine today may not work in six months.

Move mom Stay put Move me
Mom Confused Happy
Me Miss mom

Feel conflicted

My family

 

Move mom Stay put Move me
Mom
Me
My family

Good luck!

 

 

 

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