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How do I move my mum to a lovely care home when she has virtually no memory ?


Registered User
Jan 9, 2016
My mum has dementia. She recently started to wander and had a fall. We have put in live-in care for the moment but we(the family) feel it would be more consistent for her to be in a home. I have found a lovely, highly recommended place near to me.

My problem is how do I move her when she can't remember anything we discuss. I am very worried about the whole situation as it feels thet we are doing things behind her back. We always keep her informed of the care changes and tell her what is happening but she just forgets.


Registered User
Apr 6, 2010
Hi there! I see this is your first post, so welcome to,TP. You'll find loads of support here from people who have been through exactly this.

The consensus of opinion seems to be not to say anything at all. If someone forgets things that quickly, it's pointless and causes more stress on everyone.

I would be inclined, on the morning of the transfer to say that the doctor has recommended she has a break in a nice hotel and then take her along, or that you're going out for lunch. This is where the love lies kick in I'm afraid!

The home will advise from experience whether it is best for you to stay with her to settle her in, or whether to leave things up to them.

I'm sure others will be along soon with their experiences!

Good luck!


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
Hi kariann
welcome to TP - if you have a mooch around you'll find lots of information and there's always a sympathetic listening ear
there are a few threads which deal with this concern - I'm sure you'll come across some

with my dad, we had both POAs and he is self funding, so just went ahead and made the arrangements - he had wandered off in the middle of the night, while living alone - he wouldn't have remembered had we told him about the move - so we didn't, as felt that he would only get agitated
so he was moved in one day, and after seeing he was settled, told he was staying there for a while, and left .... and took it from there - he has a visitor every day (though I'm not sure if that's necessary after so long, and I may start to cut a few visits now I know he is well looked after)

lots of carers have told 'love lies' - eg it's a lovely hotel, you can have a holiday; the GP needs you to rest and recuperate, so we've found this lovely place; it's just for a while as you get better from (something eg the fall); the consultant has ordered the move (so s/he is blamed not the carer) - you get the idea

you know your mum best - do what you feel is best for her AND easiest on you, as this is a tough experience for the carer
have the staff at the home on side when the day comes - a warm welcome generally goes down well, and have someone distract when it comes time for you to leave, a cuppa and cake, maybe, or going to the dining area for tea (again, whatever is best for your mum)

hope all goes well - let us know :)


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
Please don't worry about doing things 'behind her back'. By a certain stage of dementia we sometimes have to, because the person will not be able to understand the necessity, or will fret about it, or will refuse to cooperate with whatever it is. And in any case, if your mum is going to forget whatever you say anyway, you might as well keep it simple.

We took my mother 'out for lunch', since she would never have agreed to go, and I have heard of several others who have done the same. Packing enough things surreptitiously for the first night or two may be best, if involving her at all is likely to fret her or make her anxious.

What it really boils down to is doing whatever will cause the least possible stress or anxiety for the person involved. And as always, those closest will know best. But as I said, please don't feel it is wrong or unethical not to inform her in advance, if this will be easiest for her.
None of us would dream of any such thing if the person did not have dementia, but this beastly disease does rather change the rules.


Registered User
Feb 19, 2012
East Yorkshire UK
This forum is excellent for support, so welcome. It took me a while to routinely make things up when talking to Mum but as others have said, that's the way forward. To give an impression of 'normal' 'familiar' and 'calm' in what you say is far more important than telling the truth as you see it when a person is moving further down the dementia road.

I still sometimes get a response from Mum that makes me think 'just a minute, she knows I am lying to her' but that's not so - she will immediately be somewhere else or can be distracted into another calmer place, so I need not to suddenly blurt out an unnecessary truth or an 'I've told you that'.

The other day I asked Mum if she wanted a drink and she answered with her usual response of No. A moment later I put a cup of tea and a biscuit in front of her and she happily had them. If the care home is presented in a way that feels normal to her - a holiday, a break, even calling in here to see a friend and have a cup of tea, and this is used continuously whilst she's there (as much so you remember to say it as anything) then it should be OK (?!) In my experience people sometimes ask to go home and relatives resort to 'No, you live here now' but that doesn't help anyone. Just carrying on the 'love lie' (as they are known) is much more likely to make the person feel comfortable in themselves and happy in the present. Happy in the present is so important for all of us really.

When I was training and had my first experience of 'full on' dementia I worked with a sweet very elderly man who had a very normal life (but set 50 years earlier, and regardless of day or night!) and regularly left the home (before the door lock systems!) heading off up the road to go 'home'. When I spotted him he'd get in my car to 'go for a ride' or to 'take you there' and get out at the home and go off to his room quite happily. On one occasion we went to a dance at another very similar home and he started to get upset about going to his room which he was certain was there. Again an offer of a 'ride out' was happily accepted and he was duly returned to his own residence which he entered quite happily and went off to bed. It took me a while to feel ok about the lies but they work far better for the person with dementia than the 'truth' ever could. It's really important to find out what matters (often something in the past, and it may change) and is comfortable to a person when they have this condition and I still keep finding it's not necessarily what I think! Good luck.


Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
One thing i learned with my mum is how she is still very good at reading body language. A big smile and calm voice go a long way.