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Dad wants to sell and move mum away from family

Far away from Mum

New member
Sep 18, 2021
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I live overseas away from my parents but call them weekly. Covid means I cannot travel to see them at all. They live in their own home and have been there about 3 years but this is not where they grew up or lived most of their lives. Mum has recently been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's.
My brother lives nearby but does not really visit or call them.
Dad has suggested that they are going to move far from their existing home. No firm decisions have been made yet but I am trying to work out why. He is looking at locations where they will no no-one.
He says apart from going out to walk the dog several times a day, their lives are very dull and he says they have no friends or visitors . Mum has a few hobbies that she still enjoys like painting and sewing. Dad has none.
Mum forgets the conversation she has just had but Dad says she is keen to "go on an adventure"
I am concerned that moving away would be detrimental to her. She is under the care of the memory clinic.
Am I overreacting? I would really appreciate some input from others.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,125
0
I think we need to know why the move would be detrimental to her before we can make suggestions, and why your dad wants to move. Might the brother, living close to their present home, step up to the task when their care needs increase?
 

Far away from Mum

New member
Sep 18, 2021
3
0
I think we need to know why the move would be detrimental to her before we can make suggestions, and why your dad wants to move. Might the brother, living close to their present home, step up to the task when their care needs increase?
I asked Dad why he wants to move and the only response I got was "what do we have to lose"
He doesn't seem to have a plan. As far as care needs, brother is a no but his partner definitely yes. A registered carer and has offered to help in any way possible but is shut out. Mum loves her to bits too.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
239
0
On the basis of what your father has told you your father's decision does not seem entirely irrational. It would be different if your parents saw your brother and partner but they don't. I wonder whether your brother's lack of interest in them is a big factor here and whether your father feels that the move three years ago was a mistake. Why have your parents ended up living near your brother and why doesn't your brother see them? And why is the brother's partner being shut out? However, there is the important consideration of whether a new home could make your mother more confused and perhaps accelerate a decline.

I do think that you need to try and ascertain whether your father is depressed and effectively trying to run away from the problems of your mother's dementia and what sounds like loneliness and isolation. As you know, you take your problems with you wherever you go. I wonder whether your father feels that he has no real support with you living very far away (Australia? NZ?) and your brother showing a complete lack of interest.

If your father is determined to move then try to persuade him not to move somewhere remote. It will almost certainly be even more difficult to get carers (and your mother is very likely to need carers) in a very rural location. It will also be more difficult to travel to appointments, get home visits, take your mother to day centres etc. He should certainly think about all the practicalities, in particular, the availability of public transport should he have to stop driving. I would also advise him not to buy a property that needs a lot of work as he will have his hands full with your mother.

As an alternative to a move, could you explore with your father ways of enjoying where they are living more?
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,125
0
If your father is determined to move then try to persuade him not to move somewhere remote. It will almost certainly be even more difficult to get carers (and your mother is very likely to need carers) in a very rural location. It will also be more difficult to travel to appointments, get home visits, take your mother to day centres etc. He should certainly think about all the practicalities, in particular, the availability of public transport should he have to stop driving. I would also advise him not to buy a property that needs a lot of work as he will have his hands full with your mother.
I think @Violet Jane makes a good point here that is seldom made. My father lives in a small rural community with hardly any amenities and minimal public transport. He has a house with ageing building services that need maintenance, and a large garden. These factors only make his care more difficult to manage and they limit his opportunities for entertainment and the alleviation of boredom and loneliness.
 

Dunroamin

Registered User
May 5, 2019
123
0
UK
On the other hand, could such a change could be very confusing to your mum and make things harder from her point of view?
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,685
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Hi @Far away from Mum , I think it depends where your dad wants to move to. If he's thinking of some extra care housing or a retirement village where there will be support and things on offer that might be sensible, although some places will not be keen on taking someone already diagnosed with dementia
However it does ring slight alarm bells as wanting to be somewhere else than you actually are seems as though your dad might be trying to run away from his problems rather than actually analysing what they are.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,702
0
South coast
I wonder whether it's actually your mum who wants to move and your dad feels he has to go along with it.

Its actually pretty common for people with dementia to realise that Something is Not Right, but are unable to understand that this Something is actually them. Consequently, they think that if they go somewhere else then they will leave the confusion behind, not realising that they will simply take it with them. They often want to move, go on holiday, get divorced or simply go out shopping all the time. My mum used to say "let's go, let's get out of this awful place - I'm getting cabin fever!" , but within a short time she would want to come back again.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,021
0
High Peak
OK... first, you say your mum is 'early stages' so it may be that a move would not be as confusing for her as someone in later stages. She might embrace it thoroughly!

It sounds very much as though your dad regrets the move they made 3 years ago. He has no friends, a dull life and with no interaction from your brother, he may as well not live nearby. It could be that he's trying to 'run away' from the problem but maybe it's more as he says, that he sees this as an adventure. Maybe he realises that now your mum has dementia, they will have limited time together before she's really not the person she was anymore and perhaps he wants to make as much as he can of the time they have left. If that means throwing caution to the winds and moving somewhere new, then so be it.

I know you are abroad so your input is going to be limited. But if you support the move, you could get more involved in his decision making and perhaps steer him towards something suitable and manageable. It needs to be future proof, so things like distance from shops, etc. can be a factor if he has to stop driving at some point. (Everyone should consider this!!) Or check local taxi services, etc. Where mum was (in a park home) a local coach driver organised trips out from door to door which my mum loved. You could certainly help him check out services in the new area. Tell him you are happy to support the move as long as he chooses somewhere sensible!
 

Far away from Mum

New member
Sep 18, 2021
3
0
Thank you all for your ideas and insight.
I had a look online to see what activities and services are in their area; to maybe encourage them to explore where they are living first. I was disappointed.
I do wonder, as suggested, if dad may be depressed. You work all your life with the hope of enjoying retirement, then along comes dementia with covid and lockdown in the mix too. He was hoping the memory clinic would find the miracle cure. He not interested in any support groups.

I'm sure their plan was to have some fabulous holidays and lots of adventure but mum gets anxious when travelling just an hour in the car. She cant remember where she has been, who she has seen and why she is there. She tells me she is embarrassed and frustrated as she knows she cant remember. So this is where my concern stems. Will she remember she wanted to move?
Realistically, I cant stop them and wouldn't try if they want to. It's not for me to tell them how to live their lives. So I will try to suggest they look at locations that have the local activities and services that they require now and in the future.
Dad has insisted that he will always look after mum and that she wont ever need residential care. Not so sure he is right and I cant help but wonder if he is in denial. You can read all the literature but believe it wont be the same for your wife/mum.
Something we will all have to accept but dad is the one living in the moment.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
239
0
It is a bitter blow to anyone who plans a wonderful retirement when dementia strikes and, unfortunately, it can strike quite early. I do wonder whether your mother would cope with a move. But, as has been said above, it is probably to work with your father to get the best outcome you can rather than downright oppose the move, which is likely to make him dig his heels in. I think that you will have to raise concerns very tactfully. Your father's way of coping may be not to think too far ahead, which includes not thinking that it is very likely that your mother will need residential care if she lives with dementia for a long time, which many people do, particularly if they are otherwise fit and healthy. My mother, who was in good health, lived for seven years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 80 and she spent four of those years in a care home.