Should mum move?


Registered User
Mar 31, 2006
My parents live next door to a woman who has bullied my mother for 27 years. This ended in legal proceedings three years ago which caused my mum to have a breakdown. My mum has recently been diagnosed with dementia at the age of 62. My parents have recently put their house on the market and have found a buyer but my worry is that if we move her she will be unfamiliar with her surroundings. We don't know what to do for the best, move her away from the neighbour who I believe will cause more problems in the future or leave her in her familar surroundings. Our aim would be to find a house in the same part of town. I would really appreciate some advice as I feel completely out of my depth. Thanks a lot.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
Yes it will course your mum confusion, it did with my mother & I am sure other people on hear will tell you the same, but looking on the positive side at lest your for-ward & no what to expect, when & if your parents do make the move.


Registered User
Jul 2, 2005
West Yorkshire
Hi Jules

My parents moved 100 miles to be near me last December. Within days of moving, Dad had totally forgotten what the old house was like, everything about it, and has never, not once, asked to 'go home'. He's quite happy and settled, and I don't believe he's any more confused for moving.

We are so, so lucky in that respect.

You just never know which way the cookie's going to crumble, do you?

My very best wishes, whatever you decide to do.


Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Where is 'safe'?

Jules, this is a tough one, isn't it? It's not like a decision that can be easily reversed if it proves to be wrong.....

Sorry folks, but this is a llllloooonnnng one! Anyone cares to read through and can offer any advice, I would be really grateful.....

We asked mum to move into a house together years ago (physically frail then, and with no idea of what we might be facing now. Steadfast refusal at that time!)

We are still in the same situation in that neither our house nor hers is big enough for all of us - but in a very different situation now in terms of her health.

I read somewhere (probably here!) that to move someone with dementia would be bad for them as they will have 'lost' their familiar surroundings.. I can see the logic in that... yet I am trying to balance not wanting my mum to ever go into a home, yet not feeling physically or emotionally capable of 'running' two households for an infinite amount of time, especially with the forewarnings of how mum’s demands (for want of a better word) are likely to progress…

Quite frankly, on the purely practical level, it would be easier (for me!) to have one lot of bills/shopping/cooking - and mum would have 24/7 support. Even hubby agrees he would be more happy have MIL live with us than think we can continue this constantly 'running about' even though she is a 'stone's throw' away ...

It would be tough to even 'arrange it' – most here will no doubt know that selling and buying ONE (!) property is stressful enough - and I wonder whether mum is really well enough (if that's what we all agreed to do) to see the process through and whether I am capable enough of taking all the paperwork and legalities on (I don't seem to be coping now as things are).

Then there are the implications of selling mum's house (we would certainly need her capital from the sale as much as our equity to finance the type of property suitable for us all)... would that be seen as 'misappropriating'? - even if we're doing it in the short-term to ensure her care? This is not about ‘saving’ the family home – it’s no mansion, this about being able to look after mum in her own home for as long as we possibly can, but could it/would it be seen that way? But would it be her ‘own’ home? And why do I feel I need to justify all this?

I really don’t think she is sure anymore whether she prefers to be where she has been for the last 30+ years or would prefer to be 24/7 with us (including her treasured grandson). In which case, what right do I have to say, seeing as you can’t make your mind up, we’re doing this because it’s easier for me?

Someone please tell me the decisions get easier……

There is another side to this, …..

One incident with mum which has disconcerted me probably more than anything was finding a note by mum’s phone only a couple of weeks ago. (She always has a note pad by her phone and tries to ‘capture’ details when I am not there – although mostly now she has rehearsed the ‘Please ring my daughter and explain this to her’, and has my number written down next to the phone to pass on to the caller, unless it is a friend she recognises).

It was her handwriting - beautiful and legible as it used to be when she seems to have struggled to write/spell or re-read her own ‘reminder notes’ for months now. It read: ‘You can come home now, the fighting is over. Remember to say thank you to those who have looked after you.’

(I feel like I am prying, and at other times, like I have to be ‘private detective’ to give me clues as to what’s going on when no-one is with her!)

I recognised this was a throw back to ‘evacuation days’ (I know I have already posted elsewhere about mum living the legacy of the (WWII) war years, which I don’t necessarily see as an entirely bad thing in some respects), but I was shocked (apart from she had had some ‘imaginary’ phone call) that the ‘idea’ of coming home/going home is already a confusing issue for some.

If dementia sufferers like my mum (73) have suffered childhood trauma of being confused about where ‘home’ really is, is this likely to be magnified if there is another (apparently ‘forced’ – as was evacuation) change of environment?

All that of course, was in the best interests of the children’s safety – but I know for my mum personally she has NEVER recovered from being ripped apart from her mother for so many years…

Do I let her be, and just keep dodging the bombs that are dropping all around us or insist she goes along with what I consider to be a ‘place of safety’?


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya Tenderface,
A couple of practical questions (which you may have answered before), one do you have Power of attorney signed, two, is your mum's state of mind still OK to sign for the sale of her house?
Any new house purchased could be in joint names, (The one where you each own part of the house, and possibly you would need it to be in three names, with the proviso that it cannot be sold whilst it is needed by the others to live in - this somehow means it cannot be used for nursing fees' a solicitor would explain), so there is no question of misappropriation.
What impact would having your mum live with you have on your family life? Having granny to stay and having granny around all the time are two different things. I'm not certain that I would have wanted to expose my boys to my mum's decline on a live in basis; maybe if there was a separate sitting room then it might work.
Just some thoughts.

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Thanks Amy - appreciate anyone even caring to wade through that one!

No I don't have EPA. I have been a proverbial ostrich these last few weeks - concentrating on trying to keep sane and not sink into depression, coping only on a day-to-day needs must basis - like hospital appointments etc. Thanks to the support from everyone here glad to report I feel I am getting back to my 'practical' self and I KNOW I must tackle these things.

In terms of mum being able to sign (for anything), does it sound ridiculous to say I'm not really sure? For so long I have attended to all her paperwork, have POA on her bank accounts so she doesn't really have anything to 'think about'.. the only things I can think of that she has signed in recent years have been hospital consent forms!

In terms of family life, I guess it's striking the balance. When I referred to 'the house that we would need', I was thinking not only of the logistics of having a 'downstairs' bedroom and bathroom for mum - but sufficient living space that we could all have some privacy (not planning to stick her the garage extension as in 'Stairlift to Heaven':D )

Good point about the children - but again I need to think about the balance. Son not impressed this morning because I was out of the house by 6.30am to go and administer 'prep' for a colonoscopy tomorrow and told him I would have to stay until at least 1pm, then return later again this evening - or not at all depending on how 'grandma' was with it. If I look at the impact this is having NOW on our family life......

Thanks again, Amy. I know this is one I have to find the answer for myself, but having other people's comments/ideas really helps in thinking it through....


Registered User
Dec 5, 2005
I have had my sister aged 75 living with us (me, husband son 22 yrs) since july and feel it is much easier that all the running about and worrying that we had before. its not easy and sometimes we all get a bit overwrought but in the long run i find it less stressfull. husband and son now do lots for her and son especially for his age is very good with helping, makes all the family much more caring. we are just selling herhouse but she doesn' t realise as she thinks she is Ok and only came last week and will be going home tomorrow. in many ways that is one of the most difficult things as she wont believe whatever we say so have to resort to white lies feel really bad about that.