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Mum moving to somewhere suitable and guilt


New member
Dec 23, 2021
I posted before Christmas that my mum had a memory clinic assessment and was told very bluntly she has indications of start Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. I panicked agreed with her to put her house on the market so she could move near me and she has been living with me since then. With decent food and heating after treatment for a uti she is pretty well back to normal. Although thin and being tested for weight loss issues she was keeping herself to a vegan calorie controlled diet, 1 month of normal food with us and she has put weight on. Despite having offers to buy the house she hasn’t accepted them. She has turned down several properties near me and apparently wanted to buy a big new house similar to mine- 3 storey semi mock cottage. Sounds big but actually all rooms already occupied by myself, husband and son. Smallest bedroom is my office so I have to turf her out to work. The last month has been awful as relationships with her and my husband have become very tense. I feel torn between the two all the time. I thought my oh was making it up but I have seen her smirking when she causes an argument between us. She now has been offered a flat at a retirement complex 10 minutes from us. The complex is lovely, manager is absolutely great but the flat is very small. She initially said “I will think about it” but has accepted as I was very upset and husband had said take her back to own home if she turns it down. I really don’t know what to do and feel I can’t win. If she goes home husband says it might be a safeguarding issue (mental health nurse has assessed her safe to live alone and said she would contest that) and I would be at fault but he doesn’t want her to live with us. I don’t think she really wants to move unless to her dream country cottage but realised the retirement home is safer, can make friends own age and socialise . I just feel so guilty, if I hadn’t panicked she would probably have gone back home, we could have put new heating in but she would be 1 hour drive and dependant on neighbours which if they move would not be good. I just keep going round in circles and to add to it my health isn’t great as had suspect heart attack last year and feel I’m going the same way now. Sorry for the miss.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @brychensmum

It sounds to me as if this whole situation has become completely overwhelming for you and I suggest you take a deep breath and read through your own post. If you remove all the emotion, which I know may be impossible for you, you may be able to see the retirement home is by far the best option.

If your mum had returned to her original home how long do you think she would have been able to stay. It is not fair for responsibility to be passed to neighbours no matter how good and caring they are.

Nothing is ever likely to be perfect and all you are doing is trying to make the best of a really difficult situation.


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
Hi @brychensmum
This situation does not sound sustainable and you must look after your health.
Im afraid that your mum is never going to be able to move by herself and even if she found the perfect country cottage she wouldnt be happy - it is the way of dementia.
If she has agreed to the retirement flat get on and move her, because she wont be able to make these decisions herself (so its much easier to say no) and smooth over her anxieties about the move.


Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
My mother too kept on talking about wanting to buy a 'little house'. She had ideas of moving either to one of the more expensive areas of London that she couldn't afford though she didn't understand that, or back she she lived as a child where she no longer knew anyone. The flat she was actually in, though not sheltered accommodation, was pretty ideal. Modern, easy to maintain and very near shops and public transport. Mum thought the neighbours were stealing from her and a move would solve that, which of course it wouldn't. My husband made it very clear he didn't want her living with us and I agreed. Our house was tiny and the stairs dangerously steep for a start, as well as being on a busy road in an area she didn't know. In the end after considering sheltered accommodation, we moved mum to a care home.
Your mum doesn't sound as though she is quite as advanced in her dementia as my mum was when we moved her @brychensmum, so I think it is worth giving the sheltered accommodation a whirl, specially as you will be near at hand. Your priority is your own family, so just grit your teeth and do it.
Do you have Power of Attorney so you can help her with the selling of her place etc.


Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
Hi, the best piece of advise I had , when i was worried about the level of care, at home/ residential etc was, this is a progressive condition, and will always be moving in that direction. I think we all hope that it will improve or even stand still - it doesn't and safety for both your Mum and you is the most important thing.
My Mom was the same with what she did and didn't want to do, unfortunately difficult decisions need to be made and you need your space and family time xx


Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
I had my mum live with me for 3 months - it was very difficult. My husband resented her being there (although she had always treated him as the best thing since sliced bread) and she wasn't great with the kids.

When she arrived she'd had a crisis and I suspect a series of stomach bugs due to poor food hygiene - with good food she did improve - but this is only a short term thing.

Your mum has improved by living with you - but there is only one way with dementia and today is the best she will ever be. There might also be an element of hostess mode at play which will slowly disappear - my mum certainly managed hostess mode for a fortnight when she stayed with us in very early stages.

I'm with @canary - get her moved ASAP - and 'persuade' her to make the decisions that will benefit her ie accept an offer on the house - as the house price bubble can't carry on the way it is (my opinion).

I moved my mum to sheltered extra care which has been ideal for her. She had deteriorated more than yours has I suspect when she moved in, but being in a small flat with much less to manage and worry about appeared to stabilise things for a few years. She joined in all the activities and made friends. Things have moved on since but this was a really good decision at the time.

It is very easy for the needs of a PWD to take over the lives of anyone involved in their care, as the needs increase, the PWD also has no perception of the impact they have on others. As I had young children I realised I needed mum near me as I couldn't keep visiting on a long journey - she is 10 minutes away and the half hour round trip plus shopping and dealing with bits and pieces still takes 2 hours.

Unfortunately 'safe to live at home' and able to carry out normal daily living functions are 2 different things, but the old capacity chestnut can come into it.

You will need to arrange everything to do with move, including being brutal with a lifetimes accumulated 'stuff' - whilst your mum might have some understanding she won't understand it all.

I did lose my temper with mum a few times sorting everything out - ultimately her behaviour was like a small child's pushing the boundaries at that stage - and if I was firm enough she did agree - but sometimes like with a small child, firm enough did include me losing my temper. My son was 8 at the time, and she was more on that level or younger (my daughter was 12 - and was a better support than my OH)

My mum has an Alzheimer's diagnosis but to borrow a phrase from Sarasa - her logic boxes were fried - and her memory loss wasn't impacting on her daily life at that stage.


Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
High Peak
I think possibly the reason your mum is dithering over selling her house and choosing a new place could be because she would like to remain where she is, i.e. living with you. Maybe she thinks if she keeps putting off the move, it will become a 'done deal'.

But she's agreed to the sheltered housing and it seems the most suitable option at the moment so if I was you, I would work like a demon to make it happen! Don't keep discussing it (or other options) just do it and get her moved in. She won't like it of course but you're going to have to be thick-skinned and ignore her protests. Make sure she knows that staying with you is just not an option but stress how good it will be that you are nearby, how lovely the new place is, easy to keep clean, etc. Just don't listen to any objections.

Your husband's concerns are justified and whatever care your mum needs now, she'll need a lot more in the future.


Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
@brychensmum I think you’re being very hard on yourself! You’ve got your Mum into a healthy state and kept her safe whilst doing so. She’s agreed to take the retirement flat, which sounds ideal (even a reluctant agreement is a win when dealing with Dementia!). The move itself will be a pain, they always are, but hopefully your husband will be motivated to help your Mum move out. Or get mum to pay for professionals. Once she’s safely into her new place, you can get the house sold.

On the whole things are going the right way and that’s all down to you and your hard work, so give yourself a big pat on the back and take a breather.

I’m afraid with dementia you have to learn to be more assertive, both with husband and mum. You can’t do everything yourself, so don’t even try. Just do what you can and are willing to do. And they need to learn that you’re not going to put up with manipulative behaviour. I’m still working on this myself 😆

Keep reading and posting here. It’s a great resource.


Registered User
Dec 17, 2021
I would also recommend moving your mum into the flat without delay. I spent years trying to persuade my mum and dad to move. It took a real crisis period of delirium for them to go along with it. It has been a good move, but was exhausting to downsize them into a much smaller property. I had to do absolutely everything for them, but was determined to make it work. Me and my husband also considered living with my parents, but I am so glad we didn't.


New member
Dec 23, 2021
Thank you all for your comments and support. Im
Glad I’m not alone. Mum has signed the lease for the flat at the retirement complex. I asked if she could meet the other ladies playing dominos before we went home. They were lovely and her face lit up. She is now much keener to move, realises she looks shabby so we are going to do Pretty Women the older years on her.

Unfortunately I had a massive row when I got home as my husband wanted an exact date for her to move eg next day, it has no carpet or furniture. All her stuff still at old house. I ended up having a complete melt down and trying to walk out as trying to cope with this, work as main wage earner and now ill pet. Best thing I could of done as husband is now willing to help at last and mother has realised that I am not well. It was a shame as spoilt my mums day and husbands 60th birthday!