I am retired and live with my husband of 35 years. Our 3 children are all married and we have 3 grandchildren (and one on the way). None of our children live close by and we are considering moving closer to our children (to another state) to help them with their growing families. However, that will mean we are 12 hours away from my mother who is 84, lives alone, and increasingly needs more help. (Currently we live just 2 hours from her). I really want to move closer to our children and they also want us to move. It will be a warmer climate and an exciting new start. But I do not want to live that far from my mother, and she will not want to move away from her friends and activities. I am looking for advise about this situation.

Two and a half years ago my husband and I were getting close to retirement and wanted to move out of state to be closer to our grandson. At the time my husbands parents lived about 15 minutes away. We always kept an eye on them and helped out when needed. When we told them we wanted to move they were devastated. His father asked us not to move. We wanted to move and thought the only way this was going to happen is if we brought them with us. So now we all live in a big house together. They are now 93 years old. For me this has been a huge mistake. They have taken over our house. I am having a really hard time. I miss my life with my husband.
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Reply to Susansa

What solution do you seek if mother doesn't want to move? Should you stay where you are so you'll be 2 hours away from her, which is not so close by in case of a real emergency, in reality? Or should you move on with your life and hop a plane if mom has an emergency? If that happens and she winds up needing real care, then she can move close by to where you're living and move into managed care.

We can't and shouldn't live life by the "what if's" but one day at a time and handle situations as they arise. If mother WANTS to move, that's another story.
From your profile
I am caring for my mother with age-related decline, anxiety, arthritis, depression, diabetes, heart disease, incontinence, and mobility problems.

Based on all of your mother's health issues, I change my answer to......see if you can get her to move into AL nearby to where you move. She's got entirely too many health issues to be living alone anywhere, imo, and needs to be where caregivers and nurses are there 24/7.
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Reply to lealonnie1
Seekingsolution Apr 7, 2024
Hi lealonnie1. Thanks for your insight. Yes, my mother does have a lot of issues. She is also very stubborn, though, and has difficulty accepting that she is getting older and probably won't improve much. But it is a great idea to check into AL near where we plan to move. I know she will prefer to live with my husband and me, but I know that will be very stressful, due to family dynamics. So we will have more decisions to make at that point.
I live three states from my daughter, am 81. I encourage this move for you. I often think the best place to live when you have aging parents is at least 1,000 miles away. Go, and enjoy this most free time of your lives, when you can enjoy your life with your children raised.

If your mother would like to move nearby to a nice small apartment, and that's what you would like also, that's great. But I would make it clear that the next move would be to assisted living where you could visit, perhaps go on outings and take her to appointments here and there, have the great grands visit. Such a choice would be up to her.

This encourages your mom to continue to live an independent life. And not to become dependent on you--but rather to know when she should join an independent living community.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
ElizabethAR37 Apr 7, 2024
Agree. Our adult children are all in the area, but I make every effort to act as if they are 1,000 miles away if care is an issue. I am doing all I can to assure that this strategy works right up until I am ready to make my Final Exit. There are no guarantees, but they know that I'm totally NOT a fan of "lingering" when/if I can no longer care for myself/attend to my basic needs.
Thank you for your insight, BayPoodle. I do think it will be extremely hard to be 12 hours away from her, since I see her every 1-2 weeks right now and would not be able to do that if we live so far away. I think I will present her with options and see what she chooses initially. She will probably choose to stay put at first but maybe be willing to move after a few months. We'll see.
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Reply to Seekingsolution
Beatty Apr 7, 2024
It is hard to move away, you gain many things but lose many others.

Of course plan for what you can, but try to avoid letting imagined scenarios have too much weight in the equation.

While it may be good to have a rough plan of what happens when your Mother is no longer able to live independantly, it is impossible to plan for every type of scenario.

Trust that you will find a way, if/when those decisions have to be made in a crises.
The trouble with Living far away is when the crisis begins - ER Visits, Falls , etc. you have to hop a flight or drive and stay in a hotel . It gets very expensive .
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to KNance72

Should you encourage your mother to move with you? NO!!!
Should you let her move in with you if you decide to encourage her to move with you? NO!!!

If and when the time comes when your mother requires more help and agrees to leave her friends and the life she knows, she can move to an assisted living facility near you or in the city where she's at now.
Your mother has lived her life the way she's wanted, so now it's time for you to do the same.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to funkygrandma59

‘Two hours away’ means four hours of driving, which is effectively a full day trip. My DH did that every four weeks for his mother, plus a full hour phone call at lunch time every two days and a quick check up phone call in between. Another brother and SIL who were closer also visited on the alternate weekends, the third brother just occasionally. It was a particularly good NH, and everyone was OK with that. But it wasn’t easy, and took a lot of time for over 5 years.

If your mother’s reluctance to move with you is ‘friends and activities’, remember that both will drop down progressively. ‘Friends’ of the same age get old themselves, stop coming and in fact some of them will die. After a while, my MIL had a 'friend' visit not much more than once a year. 'Activities’ often require transport which gets hard too. If M’s reluctance is about staying in her house, remember that will also get more difficult without a lot of input (whether paid or unpaid), requiring a fair bit of organisation. If there are younger family who would provide all that input, it might work out OK, but without that sort of help, your mother will not cope well on her own.

M’s ‘reluctance’ puts pressure on you to keep things just the way they are, which is the way she likes it. Except that ‘the way they are’ is not going to last too long anyway.

My suggestion is to do what you want to do. Make the offer to M, but don’t stress if she turns it down. If you force it, no-one will be happy. Wait until she has experience of living without your support, and then offer again. You may find that her reluctance has disappeared. The more you give in to what she wants, the longer it will take for her to realise that she is better off not trying to call all the shots.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

I moved my mother cross country to live with me. Honestly, I don’t think the loss of her friends, etc, would have gone well at all except she has dementia, so doesn’t remember that much about her life, or she remembers it like it’s a story she heard. However, I moved her because it was just TOO HARD to be so far from her as she had one crisis after another. One compromise might be to not ask her to move now, but to get her on the waiting list of a good AL near your new home? Good luck
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Reply to BayPoodle
Seekingsolution Apr 7, 2024
Thank you, BayPoodle. I think it would be too hard to be so far from my mother as well. But she does not have dementia so I think I will initially give her a choice on moving or not. I think after a couple of months she may be more willing to move out of state with us, and hopefully into an assisted living.
If your asking then I'd say you are not sure, if your not 100 percent sure don't move her with you, it will be difficult and its not ever something that will get easier.

If it was me I just couldn't move from my mom. But that's just me. There is no wrong , no right, there is only what's right for you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Anxietynacy

First of all , you and your husband should move and live where you want to live. Who knows how long Mom will live while you wait . Do not put your life on hold .

I moved to another state when my husband’s job ( the company ) moved him . My parents followed because my mother’s plan was for me to take care of them . She was unhappy in her new surroundings and blamed my husband . It was horrible. So NO , do not encourage your mother to move . You can tell her you are moving and invite her to live in an apartment near you followed by assisted living if / when she is ready . But do not forcefully encourage it . Leave it up to her for now if she’s making do on her own . Since it’s 12 hours away , when Mom needs help , then I would encourage she move to AL near you.

We are not moving my MIL near us , she will stay 4 hours away when she needs assisted living . She would not want to move away . I know that even suggesting it would be a mistake . I have an AL picked out already .
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Reply to waytomisery

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