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Moving tips please.


Registered User
Nov 4, 2015
I am very grateful for all the advice I'm getting here. So far it has been very useful.

So, just before Xmas we found a buyer for her bungalow in Sussex and our offer for a bungalow near me was accepted. Mum should be moving mid to late Feb. By then we should have a diagnosis because mum is seeing a psychiatrist on 3rd Feb. The first thing I'll do once she has moved is get a social services assessment of her needs.

What concerns me most is how to make the move as stress free as possible for her.

Fortunately, the new bungalow is almost exactly the same size as her old one, so all her furniture should fit, and she will have her familiar things around her. There is a slight difference in layout but I don't think it will confuse her too much, although the fully fitted kitchen may cause problems: I look forward to phone calls from her complaining that they forgot to put in a fridge/freezer or washing machine, because she can't work out what is behind the cupboard doors.

Outside, however, everything will be different.

My gut feeling is that there is going to be a lot of paranoia over missing objects. When she can't find something she often suspects it has been stolen. For that reason my aim is to bring as many of her possessions as we can, and not have the usual pre-moving clear out. We'll just ask the movers to pack up lock-stock-and-barrel. Unfortunately, mum is ahead of me and my bro reports that she has apparently already thrown away a lot of her clothing. It has just disappeared in the last two or three weeks. I fear that if I ask her about it she will not remember and then get upset it has been stolen. Oh dear!

I'm apprehensive, but also looking forward to the move. Although I and my husband are committing ourselves to a lot of work, many aspects of mum's care will be easier. It has been very frustrating dealing with mum's care long-distance.

So, any tips on moving a senile parent gratefully received.


Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
Hi, Moorcroft, and I am glad to hear you have found a buyer/gotten your offer accepted. I'm not sure I have a great deal of advice to give you but will give it a go. I hope there will be others here who have been through a similar situation and can give you the benefit of their experience.

I think your gut feeling to keep everything as similar as possible to her old bungalow, is a good one. If the cupboard doors in the new kitchen do cause her problems, I'd have them removed (or maybe just go ahead and do it now). At the very least you may want to label them with print and/or visual descriptors of what it is them. If your mother complains, tell her "I put them up because I can't remember what goes in there." (That one works every time with my mother; if I blame MY memory for something, she will accept it.)

I do notice that with my mother (who has Alzheimer's type dementia) she has to keep her clothes closet doors open, or else she can't find anything or, sometimes, remember what the closet is. I suspect there is a visual element of "out of sight, doesn't exist" that happens with some people with dementia.

I fear you are also correct that your mother may get upset about "missing" items. Again, something I hear a lot is that anything missing (i.e, anything they can't find immediately, and sometimes even when they can find it) somehow has been "stolen," and there can be a lot of anxiety, upset, and confabulations surrounding that.

I would not ask any questions about the clothing that she threw out. If it turns up, great, and if not, well, it's gone. One thing I have learnt about dealing with dementia is to be very careful about asking questions and bringing up certain topics. Asking my mother about any "lost" items, or sometimes even telling her if I'd found something, often just caused more anxiety than the discussion was worth.

Probably the best you can do is to provide as much reassurance as possible during the move and the transition period afterwards. It's possible it will be worse than you fear, but also possible it will be better than you fear. It may be both!

My only experience of long-distance caring was just for a couple of years and only from a hundred miles, but that d@mn near killed me. Good for you for doing something about it, and wishing you the best possible outcome, for everyone. I hope that as you have the time and opportunity, you will let us know how you all get on.


Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
hi Moorcroft
I would put notices on each of the doors so that she knows where is what and what is what
For the bathrooom there are some really nice 'Bathroom' notices around - pretty
for the fridge etc i would just use white paper with black felt pen with one word in cap letters
My experience with my Ma says don't leave anything to chance
Great news about the move though

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
Moorcroft, I had a Google while on my dinner break and while a lot of what I found related to moving someone with dementia into a care home (Google "transfer trauma" if you are interested, or anyone else is), I did find a few possibly helpful links.



This one you probably know and it isn't specifically about moving someone with dementia, but the section on safety in the home and adaptations in the home might have some helpful information?


I wish I could find something else that might be useful. I had previously located a very comprehensive guide from somewhere in New Zealand that discussed modifications that could be made to a residential home to accommodate someone with dementia, but am unable to locate this today. Again, it doesn't directly answer your question but might contain helpful information for you or someone else.

To that end, more on the home safety front: